Sacramento, CA - Assemblymember Chris Holden's bill to increase penalties for vandalism and illegal dumping in the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy was approved late Monday in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.
AB 1767 would increase the maximum fine for dumping, defacing or destroying property on Conservancy properties to $1,500 and would increase the fine for infractions to not more than $750.
"These parks, open spaces and wilderness areas are in our own backyard and if we don't act to protect them, we could lose them forever," explained Assemblymember Holden. "Not only will these penalties pay to restore and repair the damages, but will hopefully serve as a deterrent to those who would harm public lands. I consider these 114 parklands part of our heritage and I want them to be available to California's children for generations to come."
The bill would require that the fines be deposited into the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Fund specifically to be used to pay the costs of any repairs or clean up related to those violations.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy is a state agency created in 1980 to preserve open space, parks and wilderness in Southern California. The 69,000 acres that make up the Conservancy stretch from the Pacific Ocean through the Santa Monica Mountains and extend east to include parts of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Verdugo Hills and the San Rafael Hills in Pasadena.