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 and protections in Angeles National Forest. Her bills, introduced with Senate versions by Senator Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein in April 2019, would add more than 109,000 acres to the Monument and 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. Additionally, CalWild and our local coalition Nature For All are particularly interested in the included designations of 31,069 acres as wilderness and 46 miles of waterways as wild and scenic rivers, including the upper forks of the San Gabriel River.
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.
In April 2018, CalWild drafted an objection to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan, Draft Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact (Final Environmental Assessment). You can read that here.
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 31,069 acres as wilderness and 46 miles of waterways as wild and scenic rivers, including the upper forks of the San Gabriel River.