In his testimony on the Santa Monica Mountains, Beilenson asked for $23 million to complete the acquisition of lands along the Backbone Trail in Zuma and Trancas canyons and to buy one of two private properties in Corral Canyon in Malibu. The Backbone Trail stretches along the Santa Monicas from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades to Point Mugu State Park in Ventura County.
He also asked for $10 million to help fund the purchase of one or more additional properties in the mountains, including land adjacent to the Circle X Ranch, land adjacent to Rancho Sierra Vista in Ventura County, lands in Topanga, Tuna or Temescal canyons, and the Rancho Sierra Vista-Leo Carillo connection.
"In terms of providing outdoor activities for the greatest number of people now and in the future, there is probably no better use of limited federal park funds," Beilenson said of the Santa Monica Mountains acquisitions.
The $33-million request was supported by other California lawmakers, including Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Panorama City) and Cranston.
President Bush proposed $11.55 million for the Santa Monicas out of a total of $80 million for parkland acquisition nationwide. The Santa Monicas received $12 million last year, the largest amount ever.
An aide to the House interior subcommittee said that the $11.55 million proposed by Bush is a more realistic figure than the $33 million sought by Beilenson, given budget constraints.