Preserving the History of LA’s Urban Wilderness

Are you a Champion of the Santa Monica Mountains, Coast, and Environs? This is a call to those, who during the last 50 years, have battled to protect, preserve, and expand the urban wilderness around us, to contribute to the “Historic Preservation Project of the Santa Monica Mountains.” Win or lose, what battles did you fight? What and who did you save?

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation (LVHF) and in cooperation with the Third Supervisorial District, LVHF has embarked upon a comprehensive “Historic Preservation Project of the Santa Monica Mountains” covering unincorporated county areas, and adjacent cities, including Agoura Hills, Calabasas, Westlake Village, Malibu, and portions of the City of LA.


The most important component is an oral history recording of the grassroots activists or “Champions” of the Santa Monica Mountains, who, together, piece by piece, have saved and championed these spectacular mountains and our city and neighborhood landscapes in so many ways. If we do not document the important roles they played, their stories will be lost forever. 


If you have contributed in any way, large or small, to preservation efforts, or if you know someone who has please e-mail us ASAP:,writing “Oral History” in the subject line; and providing your contact information including a telephone number where we can reach you.

Once LVHF has made a determination, a date will be set for you to be videotaped and recorded. Follow instructions below as to how you should prepare. You will be sitting at a table but you can bring props, photos, maps, etc., and any notes you like. You may also be taped together with one additional person. LVHF will provide more details and a call sheet for this phase


Recall your activist battles and the challenges that were overcome. Who did you fight with and against? What was the outcome? Sometimes our smaller neighborhood battles for open space are the most significant. What elements of these battles meant and mean the most to you? Perhaps you saved an iconic tree or trees, a ridgeline, or wildlife?

How and why did you become so passionate about protecting the Santa Monica Mountains and the magnificent wild things that call it home?

What role did you play in the National Recreation Area in policies like the North Area Plan (NAP), Local Coastal Program (LCP)?

Cityhood for Calabasas, Agoura Hills, Malibu, etc.?

Did you sit on any old committees that had a profound effect on the future as we know it?

Divulge facts, memories, feelings, and insight that others may not have or be aware of.

Don’t let this history be lost forever. Consider that 100 years from now, when someone clicks on the County’s history of the Santa Monica Mountains, what do you want them to know, hear, understand, and realize? 

At the end of the day, we all share a profound connection to the wild that surrounds all of our communities. It clearly has called to you.


By Kim Lamorie, President, LVHF


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.