I recently had an editorial published in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune regarding misuse of the Antiquities Act in relation to the San Gabriel Mountains. My article was edited for brevity, however I’m including the long format below, as well as the direct link to the article.
In June of this year, Representative Judy Chu introduced a bill to Congress, HR 4858, the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act. It was referred to the Congressional Natural Resources Committee and it is clear that it currently does not have enough support to move on. On August 16th, just 2 months after submitting HR4858 to Congress, Rep. Chu announced that she asked President Obama to use his executive power to create a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, using the controversial Antiquities Act of 1906.
This past Friday, October 10th, President Obama signed a proclamation designating 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument. This is the 13th time our President had used his executive power to designate a national monument.
While it has been publicized that this monument was many years in the making, that could not be further from truth. It was implemented less than 7 weeks after it was announced. Some are confusing it with Rep. Chu’s National Recreation Area Act which did in fact undergo many years of study and input. The National Monument designation is different from the National Recreation Area bill and must not be considered the same. It does not have any written legislation to guarantee water rights, land management or recreation access.
I have actively expressed opposition to creating a National Monument for the following reasons:
Numerous residents saw three military helicopters flying in formation over the San Gabriel Foothills yesterday, presumably giving President Obama a tour of his latest National Monument. This will be the 13th time our President has used an executive order to create a National Monument.
Click the link below to see the video:
Please help us rally to show opposition as President Obama prepares to sign the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument into effect. This will be the 11th National Monument that President Obama has designated with an executive order. On Friday, October 10th, 2014 the President will be holding a press conference at Bonelli Park in the San Gabriel Valley to announce his plan to use an executive order to create a San Gabriel National Monument for over half a million acres of mountain and foothill land.
Friday, Oct. 10 2014 at 9:00-noon (we want to be set-up early for the press) Main entrance at Bonelli Park 120 E. Via Verde Drive San Dimas, CA 91773
For questions about the rally please contact: 323-899-7694
At the last rally we had 150 people attend, and hope to have several hundred more at this event. Bring friends. Please arrive early for the press and be prepared with a sign. Suggestions: Be non-partisan. Use your creativity while keeping the message focused on the topic— No Antiquities Act, Hands off our Mountains, No National Monument, Water Rights, Save Mt. Baldy, No Executive Order, Where’s the Public Input?, What Happened to the Democratic Process?, etc. The President is expected to land at Brackett Field Airport and hold his presentation at 1:00. Only invited guests will be allowed to enter the park to hear him. We will be situated just outside the main gate. All of the invited guests and press will have to drive past us as they enter a nearby parking lot for screening and transportation by shuttle into the park. The shuttles will run from 9:45 until 11:45. Then it will probably be just us left on the outside. Directions and parking info are listed below: Continue reading
On Monday October 6, 2014 at 2pm the field office of Congresswoman Judy Chu will hear from a growing movement of citizens and elected officials against her lobbying efforts to have approximately 620,000 acres of the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains designated as a national monument. They will deliver letters of opposition to Representative Chu and local groups will speak out against the plan during a media event outside Rep Chu’s office at 527 S. Lake Ave, Pasadena CA 91101.
Rep. Chu currently has a bill, HR4858, being reviewed by a Congressional committee to designate the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Recreation Area, however she hopes to bypass the legislative process and have President Obama declare the mountains a National Monument with an executive order as early as this month without proper studies or public input.
The field office of Congresswoman Judy Chu
527 S. Lake Ave, Pasadena CA 91101
Monday October 6th, 2:00-3:30pm
Public Officials raise concerns about fast-tracked National Monument plan
San Bernardino County supervisors unanimously expressed serious concern for the impact of Rep. Chu’s plan on their county. Several Los Angeles County supervisors have also expressed concern over Chu’s legislation. Residents and public officials have created a grassroots movement against Chu’s campaign for further federalization of local lands.
Elected officials independently opposing the National Monument designation are City Council members from the municipalities of Arcadia, Bradbury, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Glendora, La Verne, Monrovia, Rosemead and West Covina.
Local leaders have concerns over the impact to our water supply if the San Gabriel River is included in a National Monument. Recreation access and land usage may be restricted if this plan is implemented. Winter sports, off road biking and hiking, atvs, rifle ranges, horseback riding and many other activities and businesses could be curtailed.
Other groups attending and delivering letters of opposition will be the California Trail Users Coalition, Pasadena Bait Club, Public Lands for Public People, SoCal Cycling, Mt. Baldy Lodge, Off-Piste Hikers, Glendora Community Conservancy, San Gabriel Valley Regional Conservancy (SGVRC), and California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA).
You can download a copy of the press release below:
US Forest Service is holding a meeting presenting the possibility of creating a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by using the Antiquities Act. Please attend if you are able. Information is as follows:
Tuesday, August 26th from 4:00-7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center, 4640 North Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park, CA 91706.
On Monday, Aug. 18th, 2014 Congresswoman Judy Chu held a press conference to announce that she has requested President Obama use the Antiquities Act to turn large portions of the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests into a National Monument. This would allow the legislation to bypass a congressional vote and be enacted with a presidential signature. Attached below is an article about this from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.
The US Forest Service is holding a promotional meeting which is open to the public on Tuesday, August 26th from 4:00-7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center, 4640 North Maine Avenue, Baldwin Park, CA 91706. Please attend if you are able. I have attached a meeting announcement from the Sierra Club. It’s the same one being used by several groups who are in support of a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Lobbyists for these groups are expected to be attending this event to show consensus.
Congresswoman Chu cited a recent poll of just 400 voters in Los Angeles County that showed strong support among residents for the creation of a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. That poll is also attached below.
The National Recreation Area legislation was studied for years before it became a Congressional bill. Many cities and stakeholders reviewed the proposed legislation and provided feedback. A San Gabriel National Monument has not been studied in our region nor has public comment been received, however it is moving forward quickly.
Much more information needs to be gathered regarding exactly what would be entailed by making the San Gabriel Mountains into a National Monument. If you are able to attend the upcoming meeting being held by the US Forest Service and Congresswoman Chu, please do so.
As always, I welcome your comments.
Mayor, City of Glendora, CA