San Gabriel Mountains
Rep. Chu stood with President Obama as he declared the San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument.
The Los Angeles area is one of the most park poor regions of the country. Too many of our communities – especially low-income communities - lack the resources for residents to walk, jog, bike or picnic in their own neighborhoods. This is why I have fought to bring federal resources to our region to maintain outdoor spaces that can be experienced by residents and visitors.
One of best ways to experience nature in our region is to explore the San Gabriel Mountains, with their forests, streams, and hiking trails. Our mountains attract millions of visitors every year. But, as beautiful as these mountains are, they are in critical need of safe and proper facilities, clean-up efforts, and educational programs for our youth. That is why I have worked with communities, stakeholders, utilities, recreational groups, and others to protect San Gabriel Valley’s natural resources by establishing the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
Establishing & Protecting the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
In October 2014, President Obama acted on my call for permanent protection for the San Gabriel Mountains and declared 346,000 acres as a national monument. This meant that we could finally begin directing much needed funds for new trails and cleanup to the monument, something that was difficult when it was just a part of the national forest budget. Immediately after the new designation was announced, over $4 million were pledged by various groups to help improve this area. This was a critical step towards making our treasured mountains, rivers, and forests a national priority.
But all of that was put at risk when President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the Secretary of the Interior to review all national monuments designated since 1996 for a potential rollback of their boundaries or complete nullification of their monument designation. I was shocked and dismayed that the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was on the list for review. And so I led an effort to keep the monument designation in place. I sent a letter from the Democrats in the Los Angeles delegation urging Secretary Zinke to leave the San Gabriels’ monument status intact. We made the case that our local communities benefitted from the mountain’s federal status. As a result, at the end of the review, Secretary Zinke did not make any recommendations to change the San Gabriel Monument.
Expanding Wilderness Protection
In order to further protect our outdoor spaces, I introduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, which would establish a National Recreation Area (NRA) along the foothills and San Gabriel River corridor, and designate over 30,000 acres of protected wilderness and 45.5 miles of protected rivers in Southern California. This bill would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest. It also establishes an NRA to enhance conservation, increase access for all communities by connecting park poor areas to open space, and improve the management of the area through improved resources, education, and public engagement. The 15,878 acres of expanded wilderness and 15,191 acres of new wilderness areas will benefit from the highest form of protection of any federal wildland. These areas of untouched nature will remain open to hiking, camping, and other recreation activities encouraged in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, but commercial activities and motorized vehicles will be prohibited in order to prevent over-development, pollution, and habitat destruction.
More on San Gabriel Mountains
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) has issued the following statement criticizing Senate Republicans for stripping language to increase protections for the San Gabriel Mountains from the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 which passed the House of Representatives yesterday:
PASADENA, CA – On Wednesday, as wildfires continued to rage in California, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), and 30 additional California Democrats and Republicans wrote to President Trump urging support for Governor Newsom’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to respond to wildfires that have struck the State in September.
WASHINGTON — With the Bobcat Fire still 0% contained and communities in her district facing evacuation orders, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) spoke with Angeles National Forest Supervisor Jerry Perez and has issued the following statement and guidance to constituents:
WASHINGTON — Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued the following statement on the Bobcat Fire which is currently 0% contained and spreading in the Angeles National Forest in her district:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6395, the William M. Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021. The NDAA authorizes $740.5 billion in defense spending at the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. This includes a 3% pay raise for members of the military, $5 million for research into extreme weather, and a $1 billion Pandemic Preparedness and Resilience National Security Fund .
Washington, DC — The House of Representatives today voted to pass H.R. 2546, the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act, a package of environmental protection bills that includes H.R. 2215, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), H.R. 2215 would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest.
To reach a vast tableau of pristine canyonlands an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, a group of conservationists on Saturday trudged along a trail that wiggles up steep slopes and along forested streams in the western Angeles National Forest.
Finally, they stood on a cliff edge with a panoramic view of dramatic Canyon Trail Falls, which plummets 30 feet to the ground at the boundary of an area that, despite all the pressures beating in upon it, has changed little in thousands of years.
Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted on two packages of spending bills to keep the government open through fiscal year 2020 at levels higher than current funding and higher than the President’s budget request. The first package, under H.R.
Washington, DC — The House Natural Resources Committee today voted 20-13 in favor of H.R. 2215, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. Introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), H.R. 2215 would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest.
Washington, DC — Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) is the 9th most active member of the 116th Congress, according to a new report by Quorum Analytics, which studied legislative activity from the beginning of the session – January 1, 2019 – to the start of the August Recess – July 31, 2019. Rep. Chu issued the following statement: