Defend Our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

  • Photo by Durand Trench on flickr licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

  • Photo by Duyen Tran.

Location

Alhambra , CA United States

On April 26, 2017, four days after Earth Day, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order calling on Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to “review” national monuments designated by three past presidents, going all the way back to 1996. Dozens of monuments became vulnerable to shrinking boundaries or even elimination, including six national monuments in California and another that straddles the border with Oregon.

This attack on protected public lands directly threatens the health and well-being of Alhambra and San Gabriel Valley residents, because our beloved San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is included on the chopping block. A vital source of clean air and water for the greater Los Angeles Area, a vast area of the San Gabriel Mountains could lose protected status.

The San Gabriel Mountains lie within a 90-minute drive for 15 million residents in the Los Angeles region. Our mountain range provides hiking trails, free-flowing streams and rivers, and wilderness areas where Angelenos can escape the noise and pressure of urban life.

These mountains are home to native plants and animals, as well as important cultural, scientific and historic sites. When President Obama designated the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in October, 2014, he emphasized that the monument provides a crucial link to healthy outdoor activity for nearby residents – especially families living in communities with little access to parks, open space and the healing effects of nature.

This monument designation came after more than a decade of outreach and discussion. In the end, there was strong public support from community organizations, environmental groups, local business owners and residents. We cannot afford to let all our hard work to be undone by President Trump’s executive order.

Our elected leaders understand this and have taken steps to defend the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. On May 2, 2017, Los Angeles County Supervisors approved a motion, authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis, calling on our congressional representatives to provide legislation protecting the monument.

“Many community organizations and advocates were instrumental to the appointment of the Mountains as a National Monument. We cannot have decades of hard work signed away with a stroke of a pen.” — Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis

On May 4, Representative Judy Chu re-introduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act to expand the monument area and provide Angelenos with a National Recreation Area along the San Gabriel River. Co-sponsors of the bill include the U.S. representatives Grace Napolitano, Linda Sanchez, Adam Schiff and Tony Cardenas.

We are grateful for their vision and leadership; but we all need to do our part. The Department of Interior has opened a 60-day public comment period on the national monument review. This is our opportunity to let Interior Secretary Zinke know how important the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is to local communities.

  • Access an easy to submit comment form on the San Gabriel Mountains Forever website at https://sangabrielmountains.org/monumentcomments/.
    Add your own personal remarks and be assured that your letter will be delivered to Interior Secretary Zinke!
  • Submit comments by regular mail to: Monument Review, MS-1530, U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240.

Now is the time to make our voices heard to protect our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument!

1 thought on “Defend Our San Gabriel Mountains National Monument”

  1. Thanks for writing this Op-Ed, Duyen. It is very informative and timely. I agree with your analysis. National monuments should not be subject to corporate profit.

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