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 — 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:
Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu testified before the Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of her bill, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act (HR 2215). This bill would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest.
Washington, DC — The House of Representatives today passed H.R. 2157, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2019, which provides $19.1 billion in emergency spending to provide disaster relief. The emergency relief in this bill would assist California in recovering from the recent wildfires, including emergency watershed protection, Bureau of Reclamation fire remediation and suppression assistance, National Park Service construction funding, Safe Drinking Water Act funding for facility repairs, and behavioral health treatment and crisis counseling for victims.
Washington, DC — Today, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) introduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, 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.
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.