San Gabriel Monument Update
I gave an update on the San Gabriel National Monument at a recent Glendora City Council meeting and would like to pass along the information.
Background: In October of 2014, President Obama used his Executive Order to declare 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a National Monument (NM). Within his proclamation, is a directive that the United States Forest Service (USFS) must create a new management plan for the forest over the next three years. That plan will determine, among other things, future decisions regarding water usage, recreation access and land management in the National Monument.
Update: Part of the stated mission of the USFS in the creation of the new management plan is to receive input from the public. To help with that, the USFS tasked its nonprofit arm, the National Forest Foundation (NFF), with creating a Collaborative group comprised of people representing various interests. I requested a seat at the table to represent the City of Glendora. I was approved by the NFF and also by my fellow council members at our February 24th City Council meeting.
Ultimately, the USFS will be determining the new management plan for the San Gabriels internally. However, they stated that they will rely on this new collaborative group to help identify where there is broad community support on issues pertaining to the management of the mountains and, also, where there are concerns. They suggested that the Collaborative might stay in place even after the management plan is finalized.
On March 4th, the first meeting for this newly formed Collaborative was held. It was a 6 hour workshop with 45 invitees who represent interests such as the environment, local government, recreation, native tribes, environmental and health justice, water, local conservancies and education. We defined the group’s purpose statement, goals and the intended audience, along with the adoption of a Code of Conduct for members.
Glendora is the only city with a council member specifically representing it’s interests on the Collaborative. During the meeting, I raised the issue of needing more seats at the table for the foothill cities that border the monument. These cities are home to over half a million residents and will be most affected by the new management plan. Resolution of my concern was postponed for further discussion at later meetings.
Following this initial meeting, the USFS conducted an online webinar for the Collaborative on March 11th, presenting their draft Public Involvement Plan. It is a 13-page document which includes an overview of how the USFS will share information about the new management plan with the public and receive feedback.
At the conclusion of that webinar, I volunteered to be part of a small working group that will review the Public Involvement Plan in detail and give feedback to the USFS.
In order to keep my constituency informed, I will make information regarding the Collaborative group available here on my website. At the bottom of this article are links to three public documents from the first meeting: The membership list, the purpose statement and goals, and the code of conduct.
As always, I welcome input from citizens on their thoughts and concerns.