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: