San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Update

November, 2016

Now that the election is over, it seems a good time to offer an update on an issue that I have been following for several years, The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

History:

  • In Oct. of 2014, President Obama issued a proclamation declaring over 346,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest a National Monument. That 2 page proclamation is the guiding document for care of the Monument.  It discusses the special features of the Monument that must be preserved and protected, and the millions of people in the region who will visit it.
  • It directed the Forest Service to create a management and transportation plan for the Monument within 3 years, to be completed by Oct. 2017.
  • Additionally, because the Monument is within such close proximity to the 10 million residents of LA County, the proclamation directed the FS to engage maximum public involvement in the development of that plan.

What has been done so far?

(more…)

Public comment period is open for the San Gabriel Mountains Monument Plan

The planning phase for the new management of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is underway. Once developed and approved, it will control how the 350,000 acre area is to be used.

During certain stages of planning, the Forest Service solicits comments from the public. The first official comment period is open now until July 27, 2015.

You may comment via the email link below or contact the Forest Service for more information. You may also request a hard copy of the “scoping letter” that explains the process by calling (626) 574-5278 and asking for Justin Seastrand, Forest Planner. 

Below is the email link for submitting comments:

https://cara.ecosystem-management.org/public/commentinput?project=46964

What topics or concerns would you like to see addressed?  Which recreation activities do you enjoy in the forest and don’t want to see limited? Are there areas that are currently closed that you would like to see reopened for recreation?

Every comment will be considered, and concerns that are most frequently mentioned will receive priority. I urge each of you to take the time to let the USFS know of your desires regarding the usage of the natural resources in our backyard. Every opinion is important.

One of my major concerns with this designation is that the San Gabriel River, our primary water source where Glendora collects up to 85% of it’s water, is included within the boundaries. The president’s proclamation, states that there are threatened fish and rare plants living in the river, and there is ongoing debate about whether those species will eventually be given priority over the collection of drinking water. One of my comments will stress the utmost importance of protecting this water source for drinking water.

An additional concern of mine is that there has been serious conversation about creating transportation systems to bring groups of visitors from across the southland to various entrances in the Monument such as at Glendora Mountain Road, Angeles Crest Highway and Highway 39.  One of my comments will stress the importance of working together with foothill cities, including Glendora, to prepare for the impact that an influx of visitors could have— where will they park, how do we provide trail and road maintenance, additional security, and how do we protect the privacy and tranquility of residents who live near the trailheads?

It will be very important for Glendora and other foothill cities to work closely with the USFS on this part of the management planning process, so we urge residents to submit their comments during the June 12th—July 27th public comment window.

Thank you,

signature

 

 

San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area (NRA)

For the past two years, I’ve been studying three pieces of legislation proposed by Congresswoman Judy Chu, California District 27.  In March of 2014 official drafts were released:

NRA draft legislation PDF

Wilderness draft legislation PDF

Wild and Scenic Rivers draft legislation PDF

If passed, the legislation would create a San Gabriel National Recreation Area (NRA). This would place a National Park overlay upon approximately 621,860 acres of the San Gabriel Valley and the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests.

Several dozen cities along the foothills and San Gabriel River are included in the NRA boundaries, from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino and south along the San Gabriel River and Rio Hondo Rivers to Santa Fe Springs. Additionally, in the San Gabriel Mountains, sections of the river would be designated as “Wild and Scenic” and sections of the mountain range as “Wilderness.” These designations would modify the type of access and usage allowed in those areas.

Should we rejoice, be concerned or both? A closer look:
NRA map
Proposed NRA map PDF
(more…)