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.

Sincerely,

signature

SG Mountains Community Collaborative Membership

SG Mountains Community Collaborative Final Purpose Statement & Goals Mar 5, 2015

SG Mountains Community Collaborative – Final Code of Conduct March 5, 2015

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21 Comments

  • Debi Wilson

    Thank you for working so hard on our behalf. You are tremendous!

    • 12:43 am - March 15, 2015

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  • Kevin Ryan

    Thank you Judy for your interest and hard work with this. I was wondering where I can send some of my interest in this issue and others can share their interest in this matter also.

    • 2:23 am - March 15, 2015

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    • judymnelson

      Dear Kevin, You’re welcome to send your comments and concerns to me. I will respond to you and will continue to post updates on the development of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument management plan.

      • 5:50 pm - March 16, 2015

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  • Dan Simpson

    Thank you, Judy, for being a strong and persistent voice in these important matters. Azusa, as a primary gateway to the San Gabriels, should also have representation on that Collaborative. There certainly will be impacts on city services such as traffic and emergency responders. I recently visited Joshua Tree National Park and it took me more than 20 minutes waiting in a long line of cars just to exit the park. I dread to think about the negative impacts this NM may create for visitors to the San Gabriels.

    • 10:10 pm - March 23, 2015

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  • Volunteer Ministers (@VistaPrintScams)

    No offense, but the USFS does not need you to create any kind of “working group” or “commission” or “coalition” or “collaborative.” What the Angeles needs is more people to volunteer cleaning up trash and removing spray paint, plant trees, and cleaning-up the river, in addition to better funding which the National Monument designation has started doing — despite right wing extremist c0nsp1raz7 claims to the contrary.

    I attended the two meetings where Glendora citizens came to discuss the “Avalon Bay” monstrosity, expecting that they would actually have a voice in the city development and expecting to see City Council members apologize for their collaborative crimes in allowing the developer to violate our city rules, during which the National Monument was considered to be a “land grab” and other c0nsp1raz7 nonsense issued by glib comments by the majority of the City Council members who voiced their uninformed opinions.

    Now you want to pretend you’re going to create some kind of do-nothing fake “collaborative group” where it is expected that even more anti-Obama conspiracy mongering will take place, trying to stick your unwelcome, uninformed noses in to in order to advance your right wing lunatic agenda.

    Politicians like you should not be allowed to add to our nation’s problems. Actual real citizens with working hands are what our country needs to solve our problems, you and right wing politicians like you are what’s wrong with our country.

    • 11:45 pm - March 24, 2015

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    • Judy

      Dear Volunteer Ministers,

      The Collaborative is neither my idea or my creation. The USFS requested that it’s fund-raising arm, the National Forest Foundation, create the Community Collaborative. Its purpose is to:

      “represent the general public by integrating diverse perspectives to identify, analyze, prioritize and advocate for values, resources, investments, management objectives and implementation practices that sustainably benefit all communities throughout the region, the Angeles National Forest and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.”

      I am one of 45 individual members of the Collaborative. The USFS sits in on our meetings which are led by representatives of the National Forest Foundation.

      Thank you,
      Judy

      • 5:56 pm - March 25, 2015

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    • Sandy Duncan

      The claim is that the NFF supposedly asked her to create this group. I don’t think that’s very accurate since the NFF would have asked that the volunteer groups who work in the forest be included. In the list I saw on Facebook, only one volunteer group was asked to participate, COBRA. None of the others are on the list which makes me think the NFF had nothing to do with this notion.

      • 3:06 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • Fredric L. Rice

    “…President Obama used his Executive Order to declare…”

    No he did not. Good grief, why can’t any of you career politicians *research* what you spew about? Presiudent Obama did *not* use an “Executive Order,” he merely declared the section of the ANF as a National Monument which is part of his duties as dictated in the U. S. Constitution.

    I can’t expect Judy to actually learn anything, however here is the Wikipedia entry which discusses what a National Monument is and how it is declared. It is *not* an “Executive Order!” Good bloody grief, the ignorance of our nation’s elected “representatives” is appalling.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Monument_%28United_States%29

    • 11:50 pm - March 24, 2015

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    • Sandy Duncan

      Ha! Fred, thanks for posting the list of groups supposedly in this collective. You saw the comments from everyone wondering who this Judy is and why she’s involved in this despite the Facebook forum devolving in to the endless arguments about that development on Route 66.

      But don’t blame Judy for saying this was an Executive Order, a lot of people are making that claim and it’s only a minor mistake. People across the country believe it was an Executive Order on right wing web sites, and to be fair and give the devil her due, the results are about the same, ha ha!

      You were right about the National Forest Foundation, nobody has any visibility about anything they have been doing that’s positive in the forest, it appears to be a public relations failing. They work in the shadows and if they’re funding anything or organizing any workers, it’s all done on the hush insofar as the Internet is concerned.

      • 3:12 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • AngryNotSoOldHippy

    I also see that a comment was posted here about how you’re not needed and sticking your nose in to where it’s not needed, a comment that you apparently deleted. Does that mean you don’t *really* want to hear from actual citizens, just those you agree with?

    • 12:07 am - March 25, 2015

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    • Judy

      Dear AngryNotSoOldHippy,

      Thank you for your message. It allows me the opportunity to explain my policy on comments: I do not delete any comments, with the exception of spam. When someone takes the time to comment on my articles, the message gets sent to my email inbox and I read it and publish it. I do not filter out negative criticism.

      Thank you, Judy

      • 2:18 am - March 25, 2015

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      • Paul Strand

        Judy, what a great opportunity. As an ex-wilderness patrolman, I have some insights to its use. Currently, the gold panning, hiking, shooting range, fire prevention, camping, and picnicking are great uses. More toilets and water fountains could help with those visiting the sites of the San Gabriel’s. Paul Strand

        • 7:18 pm - March 26, 2015

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    • Sandy Duncan

      I also see comments have gone missing which aren’t spam.

      • 3:15 pm - March 26, 2015

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      • Judy

        Hi Sandy,

        I just saw and approved all four of your comments. If you have specific questions about the collaborative group that you would like answered please let me know.

        Thank you,
        Judy

        • 4:11 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders

    It would have been nice to see some of the volunteer organizations that actually work in the ANF get invited to this coalition. The San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders which do the brunt of the hiking trail maintenance, bridge building, Crystal Lake Campgrounds fire mitigation work, and a great deal more were never asked, apparently neither was the West Fork Conservancy, the Angeles Volunteer Association, or the Fisheries Resources Conservation Corps, and it’s the West Fork Conservancy that collects, bags, and hauls the greatest amount of trash from the San Gabriel River every year.

    Indeed, lately the Trailbuilders have adopted some of the responsibility for addressing some of the spray paint problem along Highway 39 and within the North Fork of the San Gabriel River, as well as along Fish Canyon Trail and Monroe Truck Trail, issues that are the responsibility of Caltrans as well as the USFS yet which are traditionally beyond the scope of our trail work, yet the task has been adopted by volunteers (who spend their own money to purchase materials, equipment, and supplies) because spray paint is a problem that’s overwhelming the overworked paid employees much of the time.

    That’s the core volunteer organizations in the San Gabriel River Ranger District who do what they can, and I have to wonder if the Forest Service employees themselves — who do a lot more than volunteers can — were asked to be part of the coalition.

    • 3:23 pm - March 25, 2015

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  • Sandy Duncan

    The last thing we need is someone usurping — or trying to — the people who work in the forest. On Facebook I’m reading that none of the volunteer organizations that work in the forest were asked about this vague collaboration, and of the entities claimed to be in it, only COBRA appears to actually exist, at least on line.

    Why weren’t any of the volunteer groups asked about this? It certainly looks like Judy has some agenda she’s advancing that is almost certainly sinister, otherwise why be vague and why exclude everyone who actually works in the forest?

    Something obviously wrong here.

    • 3:04 pm - March 26, 2015

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    • Mike Duncan

      We might be able to believe the Mayor that the National Forest Foundation asked someone to create such a collection of groups to provide feedback, but yes, the outrage over the volunteers not being informed or asked appears to be growing.

      • 4:23 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • Mike Duncan

    Mayor, there is considerable anger on Facebook about the various volunteer groups being excluded, people are actually insulted that they were not asked despite years of dedicated hard work to their credit.

    • 4:24 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • Fredric L. Rice

    Thanks, Mayor Judy, for commenting about all of this. I’m looking forward to the renewed interest in addressing the trash and vandalism issues in the forest with the new National Monument designation. I’m skeptical about new groups being forced to provide feedback to the NFF which interfaces the USFS, it seems more reasonable to work with *existing* groups that work in the forest, but we’ll have to see where all of this goes.

    The fact that we got a NM designation is overwhelmingly a good thing, not only has it already improves funding fort some things, it shows that the Washington agencies have not abandoned our forest, something that those of us who work in the forest — paid employees as well as unpaid volunteers — some times feel has been the case.

    Thanks for your help and commitment to the forest, Judy. It’s appreciated.

    • 5:14 pm - March 26, 2015

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  • Kevin Ryan

    There was an “San Gabriel Mountains National Monument – What Next?” Panel Discussion on the 25th Mar. 2015 I just happen to come across this on facebook page and was wondering if there was any other notice sent out on this to let the public know about it. I showed up and it seems as just the groups such as the sierra club and other similar groups showed up. Also in the meeting they mention that there well 10 more public meetings and wonder how the public can be notify about these meetings so they can attend
    they mention one well be in may

    • 5:08 pm - March 27, 2015

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  • Judy

    My purpose for posting updates about the creation of the SG Mountains National Monument management plan, and the Collaborative group, is to inform citizens. I’m pleased to hear from individuals currently working in the San Gabriels to maintain trails, etc, who want to be involved in the process. I agree that your input is important. However, the decision is not up to me. Your request for inclusion in the Collaborative group needs to be made to the National Forest Foundation. Attached is a link to the NFF website that includes additional information about participation. There is contact info near the end of the article where you can submit your request to join committees. I will also post this information in a separate article on my blog:
    http://www.nationalforests.org/SanGabrielMountains

    Thank you,
    Judy

    • 7:31 pm - March 27, 2015

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