San Gabriel Mountains
Rep. Chu stood with President Obama as he declared the San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument.
Our highly urban communities look toward these mountains because they are in desperate need of outdoor opportunities. The Los Angeles area is one of the most park poor regions of the county. Too many of these communities lack the resources for residents to walk, jog, bike or picnic in their own neighborhoods. But the greatest tragedy is that the communities in the most need are also some of the most undeserved in our nation.
As beautiful as these mountains are, they are in critical need of safe and proper facilities, clean up efforts, and educational programs. San Gabriel Valley residents and environmental groups have pushed for additional conservation, resources, and facilities in the Mountains and throughout the San Gabriel River Watershed to protect the natural resources we have left and expand recreational opportunities for communities in the region.
My efforts to protect San Gabriel Valley’s natural resources include:
Creating a National Recreation Area
In June 2014, I introduced the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act (H.R. 4858), which would establish a comprehensive national recreation area to provide additional protection and resources for the San Gabriel Mountains. In response to legislation introduced by former Rep. Hilda Solis, the National Parks Service (NPS) commissioned a special resource study of the San Gabriel River Watershed and the San Gabriel Mountains. On completion of the study I worked closely with a wide range of local stakeholders and representatives from to draft legislation that reflects our local priorities. Now, I am urging Congress to take up this bill and I am working with the White House to secure permanent protections for the mountains.
Establishing 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 the nation's newest national monument! Immediately after the new status was announced, over $4 million were pledged by various groups to help improve this area. This change, the biggest since 1908, is a crucial step at making our treasured mountains, rivers, and forests a national priority, but it is just a first step. I will continue to push for more protections and resources through my NRA bill. You can see the map of the new San Gabriel Monument here.
Revitalizing the San Gabriel Watershed
For decades, the San Gabriel River has performed essential flood protection, drinking water recharge and storm water conservation functions. Residents have expressed a growing desire to rediscover the river and offer more of its benefits to all the communities along its route. That’s why I introduced the San Gabriel Watershed Restoration Act in the 111th and 113th Congress to study how we can improve the river and expand its use. The study will look at revitalizing the San Gabriel River Watershed, focusing on ecosystem restoration, outdoor recreation enhancements, and ways to conserve rainwater and keep our water clean. I will continue to introduce this bill until it is brought to the House floor for a vote!
More on San Gabriel Mountains
Accomplishments During the 114th Congress (2014-2016)
Bringing more federal resources to the San Gabriel Valley is one of my top priorities. This is why I partner with federal agencies to ensure that we have access to federal programs and funding that could benefit our region. I am proud to have worked with these agencies and the President’s Administration on the following initiatives.