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 Forever Act, which would add 31,069 acres of protected wilderness to Southern California. This includes 6,774 acres of Yerba Buena Wilderness, 2,027 acres of San Gabriel Wilderness, and 13,851 acres of Sheep Mountain Wilderness. In addition, the bill protects 25.3 miles of the East, West, and North Forks of the San Gabriel River and 20.2 miles of the Little Rock Creek.
Wilderness is a federal designation that protects “relatively undisturbed” Forest Service land. It is the highest form of protection of any federal wildland. These areas of untouched nature would remain open to hiking, camping, and other recreational activities encouraged in the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, but commercial activities and motorized vehicles would be prohibited in order to prevent over-development, pollution, and habitat destruction.
More on San Gabriel Mountains
Rep. Judy Chu, who serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means, joins NBC4's Conan Nolan as she discusses the Department of the Interior's considering reducing the size of some national monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Chu addresses what she sees as the problem with reducing a national monument that took decades to be approved.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke recommended that President Trump change the borders of “a handful” of National Monuments. The Secretary did not publicly specify which monuments he is recommending be changed, but the recommendation comes after a White House ordered review of 27 National Monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument which Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) has championed. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), joined by other Members of Congress, both California Senators, and local officials across California, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke inviting them to visit California’s National Monuments before completing the government’s review. The signers of the letter all represent areas that include or border National Monuments whose borders may be shrunk or removed by Sec. Zinke’s review. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
And so I am echoing the call of the Community Collaborative who invited President Trump and Secretary Zinke to visit the monument to better understand how community groups are working together to best protect our federal lands. This week, I led a letter signed by other officials representing National Monuments urging the president to do just that.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Act to add 31,069 acres of protected wilderness to Southern California. This includes 6,774 acres of Yerba Buena Wilderness, 2,027 acres of San Gabriel Wilderness, and 13,851 acres of Sheep Mountain Wilderness. In addition, the bill protects 25.3 miles of the East, West, and North Forks of the San Gabriel River and 20.2 miles of the Little Rock Creek. The San Gabriel Mountains Forever Act is cosponsored by Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28).
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) reintroduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act. This bill, cosponsored by Reps. Grace Napolitano (CA-32), Adam Schiff (CA-28), Linda Sanchez (CA-38), and Tony Cardenas (CA-29), and supported by local water, conservation and recreation groups, would expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument boundaries and create a new National Recreation Area (NRA).
Washington, D.C. – April 29, 2017 marks the 100th day of President Trump’s presidency, a marker used for every President since Franklin Roosevelt. Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27) released the following statement regarding the impact of President Trump’s first one hundred days:
Washington, D.C. – Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order ordering a review of all national monuments established under the Antiquities Act over the past 21 years. This includes the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument which President Obama established in October 2014. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), whose district includes much of the San Gabriel Mountains and who pressed Obama to declare them a national monument, released the following statement:
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.