On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hosted a public listening session on expanding California’s San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Over 250 people attended the event, including Dr. Homer Wilkes, undersecretary at the USDA, and Dr. Rudy Ortega Jr., Tribal President of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians.
Earlier this year, California’s Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Judy Chu called on President Joe Biden to use his authority under the Antiquities Act to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by adding nearly 110,000 acres of Angeles National Forest land. The proposal is based on Senator Padilla’s PUBLIC Lands Act and Representative Chu’s San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. Expanding the monument is the next step in a 20-year, locally-driven effort to protect the San Gabriel Mountains. Ninety-three elected officials, along with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians, all support the proposed expansion.
The proposed expansion area would protect cultural resources and archaeological sites, conserve a critical source of drinking water, and safeguard wildlife corridors and habitat for species such as black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and mule deer. It would also improve equitable access to the outdoors, as over 18 million people live within a 90-mile radius of the monument and proposed expansion.
“The San Gabriel Mountains are among the most pristine and beautiful public lands in the country, and they are right here next to one of the nation’s densest and most park-deprived population centers,” said Representative Chu. “I hope that President Biden will recognize the importance of these lands by designating the western Angeles National Forest as part of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.”
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Quote of the day
You can’t hunt if there is nothing to hunt. You can’t fish if there is nothing to fish. No one is going to hike through ravaged forests; you have to preserve all of those areas for people to be able to recreate on them. Conservation goes hand-in-hand with strengthening the economy of Nevada.”
—Jen Gurecki, CEO of Coalition Snow, Public News Service
There are so many incredible sights along the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. As it flows from Colorado into Utah, the river passes through famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, intriguing petroglyphs and endless opportunities for adventure.Whether you delight in the challenge of a strenuous hike to spectacular views, the thrill of rafting through a twisting canyon or watching the sunset, there are a variety of activities for you to enjoy.Photo at @dinosaurnps by Nancy DannaFeatured photo: Inspiration Point in Angeles National Forest, part of the proposed San Gabriel Mountains National Monument expansion. USDA