Rep. Chu Celebrates President Obama’s Plans for a National Monument in the San Gabriel Mountains

PASADENA, CA – The White House today announced that President Obama plans to declare 346,000 acres of national forest land in the San Gabriel Mountains the nation’s newest national monument. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), whose district includes much of the future monument and who has led the Congressional effort for more protections, released the following statement:

“I am overjoyed and thrilled. This is an historic moment for the Los Angeles area, and it has been a long time coming. The San Gabriel Mountains are a treasure, providing 70 percent of the open space for Angelenos and attracting more than 3 million visitors a year. But without adequate funding, the gorgeous woods and waters are marred by trash and graffiti while many trails have become dangerous and lack appropriate signage. For eleven and a half years, countless stakeholders have worked on getting the resources needed to improve this area. Now, with the President’s announcement, there is finally hope. This marks the biggest change for the mountains since 1908 and is an important and immediate step towards fixing these problems. With this designation, the San Gabriels will become a priority, opening up new streams of funding that can be used to ensure that the mountains achieve their full potential for all the people who have gone there to hike, fish, or just enjoy fresh air,” said Rep. Chu.

The effort to protect the San Gabriel Mountains started eleven and a half years ago with the introduction of a bill by then-Representative Hilda Solis.  The result was a 10-year study by the National Park Service, which included 66 stakeholder meetings, and 16,800 public comments, most overwhelmingly in support of more resources for the San Gabriel Mountains and Rivers.  After the release of the study, Representative Judy Chu spent one and a half years drafting a bill on the San Gabriel Mountains and Rivers, conducting over 40 stakeholder meetings, earning the support of the San Gabriel Council of Governments and the San Gabriel Valley Water Association. 

The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives the President the authority to declare a national monument on federal lands, if they are historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.