The spectacular San Gabriel Mountains provide a natural backdrop for the entire Los Angeles metropolitan area – stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino. The majestic mountains are the recreational “backyard” for more than 17 million Southern Californians.
On October 10, 2014, President Obama established the 346,000-acre San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, which offers some protection to the wild areas and waterways surrounding the Southland. Though CalWild played a key role in the campaign establishing the Monument, this is just a first step. CalWild and its allies are working to provide even stronger protection for the potential Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers on the National Forest lands within and adjacent to the Monument.
CalWild Supports More Protection
Rep. Judy Chu has introduced legislation to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, a week after President Donald Trump ordered the review of the Monument and six others in California. Cosponsored by Representatives Grace Napolitano, Adam Schiff, Linda Sanchez, and Tony Cardenas, Chu’s H.R. 2323 proposes to add more than 109,000 acres to Monument, which was established in 2014 by President Barack Obama. The bill also proposes to establish a 51,000-acre San Gabriel National Recreation Area in the publicly-owned foothills adjacent to the Monument and along the lower San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo.
CalWild and our allies are pushing for a vision that includes protection of potential Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers and expansion of the National Monument to include more of the public lands in the San Gabriel Mountains. Our proposal also includes designation of 121,134 acres as wilderness and 52 miles of waterways as wild and scenic rivers, including the upper forks of the San Gabriel River, and Rep. Chu’s bills are great first steps toward that vision.
Why We Need Additional Protections for Wild Places and Streams
More than 15 million people live within 90 minutes of the San Gabriel Mountains, which represents about 70% of Los Angeles County’s open space and provides 30% of the region’s clean drinking water. The existing 346,000-acre San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was established to protect the region’s extraordinary outdoor recreation opportunities and watersheds. The Monument also helps protect the area’s rich cultural history, unique geological features, wilderness and free flowing rivers, and rare ecological values, which support dozens of sensitive, threatened, and endangered plant and animals. Monument expansion will better protect these values and establishment of the adjacent National Recreation Area will improve the connections between the Monument and nearby communities, many of which are under-served or park-poor.
CalWild has worked closely with the Nature for All coalition (formerly San Gabriel Mountains Forever) for more than a decade to protect the wild places and public lands in the mountain range. We played a key role in establishing the Monument and continue to work with Rep. Chu on the development of legislation to protect wilderness and wild and scenic rivers within the Monument. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution supporting the Monument in the wake of President Trump’s Executive Order requesting the review of nearly 30 National Monuments, including the San Gabriels.
CalWild is working to:
- establish a San Gabriel National Recreation Area (SGNRA) encompassing mountain National Forest lands and adjacent open space and foothill park lands along the San Gabriel River; and
- designate 121,134 acres as wilderness and 52 miles of waterways as wild and scenic rivers, including the upper forks of the San Gabriel River.