SANTA CLARITA — The city wants to extend its influence on open spaces outside its boundaries by joining a state-created agency to preserve wildlife and recreation areas.
The city and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy agreed in June to form a joint agency to secure open spaces. That agency, the Santa Clarita Watershed Recreation and Conservation Authority, has scheduled its first meeting at 2:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.
"It'll have tremendous impact here, not only on residents of the Santa Clarita Valley but also in the L.A. Basin," said Rick Putnam, director of the city's parks and recreation department.
Putnam said Santa Clarita will have greater input regarding areas beyond the Golden State Freeway, the city's western boundary, and help for its efforts to preserve the Santa Clara River within city limits. He and City Manager George Caravalho will represent Santa Clarita while conservancy chairman Jerome Daniel and member Anton Calleia will represent their organization.
The conservancy was established in 1980 by the state Legislature to increase public access to open space areas. Its representatives believe they will be able to better focus their efforts by joining Santa Clarita.
"I think the real benefit is going to be working together for conservation and recreation areas," said Rorie Skei, who will serve as assistant executive officer for the new group. "The agency has some new paths to accomplish some longstanding goals."
No regular meeting schedule has yet been determined for the authority.