Press Release: San Gabriel Mountains to become newest National Monument designated by Obama
Protection of Water and Access to the Outdoors Celebrated
(October 8, 2014) – The Conservation Lands Foundation applauds the news that President Obama plans to designate the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in Los Angeles, California.
“This national monument will be an important step forward in reconnecting Americans of all backgrounds with the outdoors. The President’s action will improve recreation, access and visitor services in the area. With the region facing unprecedented drought, the monument will protect a vital source of Los Angeles’ drinking water,” said Sam Goldman, California Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation.
For more than a decade, Los Angeles County residents have been asking elected officials to protect and improve stewardship of our San Gabriel Mountains, rivers and forests. Recent polling also showed that 80 percent of Los Angeles County voters support permanent protection of the San Gabriel Mountains and rivers.
A wide range of residents, business and community leaders, water districts, cities, churches and school districts called on the President to use this authority to protect the area as a national monument. President Obama will proclaim the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument using his authority under the Antiquities Act.
“The president’s designation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is a visionary step in addressing both conservation and public health,” said Brian O‘Donnell, Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “The designation will have incredible benefits by protecting the lands and water in an area with a critical shortage of parks and open space. With a renewed commitment by the U.S. Forest Service, visitor experiences will be improved for the more than 17 million people who are within an hour’s drive of the San Gabriel Mountains.”
The San Gabriel Mountains provide one-third of Los Angeles County’s clean drinking water and more than 70 percent of its open space for wildlife habitat and healthy outdoor recreation. Rising sharply from sea level to more than 10,000 feet of elevation, the area contains a tremendously diverse and unique ecosystem which provides important habitat for fish and wildlife habitat including Nelson’s Bighorn sheep, California condors, native fish and other endangered or rare species.
The national monument will preserve rich cultural history, including many Native American archeological sites and sections of two national historic trails: the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail and the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. Like other national monuments managed by the U.S. Forest Service, it will also protect access to a full range of outdoor recreation opportunities including camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting and fishing.
The Angeles National Forest was established by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908.