California’s San Gabriel Mountains to be Preserved as National Monument
The Sierra Club praised the news today that President Obama will designate the San Gabriel Mountains as our country’s next national monument. Located just outside Los Angeles, the area provides much-needed natural open space for surrounding residents and an abundance of recreation opportunities. The San Gabriels also provide one-third of Los Angeles County’s drinking water.
“For decades our community has been working to see this area protected,” said Susana Reyes, Sierra Club board member and long-time Glendale resident. “It’s a wild oasis right in L.A.’s backyard. It’s just great to see it protected as a national monument. Not only will that improve the visitor experience now and help improve public access for everyone, it will also ensure the things we love about the San Gabriels remain to be enjoyed by others.”
Stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino County, the San Gabriel Mountains provide outdoor recreation opportunities for more than 17 million Southern Californians. They include the Angeles National Forest, one of the busiest forests in the country with more than 3.5 million visitors every year. However, inadequate funding and services, such as the lack of trail signs, restrooms and trash cans, have marred the visitor experience. Permanent protection as a national monument aims to solve many of those problems and bring additional benefits to the community.
“We applaud President Obama for using his authority under the Antiquities Act to protect this beautiful place, and ensure responsible public access to the San Gabriels for all. This designation is more positive progress in the effort to make America’s public lands better serve the diversity and interests of the American people,” said Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune.
The designation follows efforts by community, business and local political leaders, utilities, homeowners, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and countless local residents to see the natural area protected. A public meeting held recently by the Obama Administration on the future of the San Gabriels drew an overflow crowd of hundreds of national monument supporters. Polling of Los Angeles County voters by Public Opinion Strategies found four-in-five voters supported permanently protecting the San Gabriel Mountains and a majority agreed that President Obama should act.
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