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.
Why We Need Additional Protections for Wild Places and Streams
The National Forest lands in the San Gabriel Mountains provide 70% of the Southland’s open space and 35% of the region’s drinking water. These public lands attract more than 3 million visitors each year. Improving recreational opportunities in the San Gabriel Mountains and access to those opportunities, while protecting its fragile ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality, is critically important to local communities. The public lands provide a refuge for many animals, including Nelson’s Bighorn sheep, California condor, Santa Ana sucker, California spotted owl, mountain yellow-legged frog, and San Gabriel Mountain salamander. The diverse ecosystems and flora in the mountain range also defends against climate change by retaining carbon gases within its forests instead of emitting them into the atmosphere.
The San Gabriel Mountains also serve as the watershed for several rivers that provide thirsty urban residents with clean drinking water and opportunities for swimming, picnics, religious events, fishing, camping and more.
CalWild Supports More Protection
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. We also support the establishment of a San Gabriel National Recreation Area (SGNRA) adjacent to the Monument to include open space and parks along the San Gabriel River and the San Gabriel foothills.
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.
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.