Preserving Key Sections of the Santa Monica Mountains
The California State Legislature established the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in 1980. CEQA has played a key role in protecting about 20,000 of the 69,000 acres that have been preserved to date under the Conservancy. Although nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars have been spent by federal, state, and local governments on this effort to protect and restore key sections of the Santa Monica Mountains, the acreage protected through CEQA mitigation measures came at no cost to taxpayers. For example, 10,000 acres of the key north-south wildlife corridor in the Santa Monica Mountains were preserved as a mitigating condition required by Ventura County. Because of its requirement for identifying feasible ways to offset environmental impacts, CEQA facilitates these types of private land contributions for public use while allowing economically beneficial projects to move forward.