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Rep. Chu Introduces Bill to Create a San Gabriel National Recreation Area

June 12, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, after more than a decade of studies and collaboration with local residents and stakeholders, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), introduced the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act – a bill that would designate the San Gabriel Mountains, river corridors and Puente Hills as a National Recreation Area (NRA). This legislation would allow the National Park Service (NPS) to coordinate stakeholders at the Federal, State, and local level throughout the region, and contribute to community-based, community-driven projects focused on sustainable recreation, education, and the preservation of local habitat and history.

“The Los Angeles region is one of the most park poor regions of the country. We face two challenges as a result: there are very few options for Angelenos to enjoy the outdoors, and the options we do have are under immense stress from overuse,” said Rep. Chu. “After a decade of consideration and collaboration, I am proud to introduce legislation protecting these mountains that’s consistent with our community needs and priorities.”

Congresswoman Chu undertook an extensive public outreach process to ensure local influence and control over the final product. Her efforts include four stakeholder roundtables with elected officials, water, sanitation and utilities, business groups and Chambers of Commerce, and environmental advocates, as well as a town hall for constituents from all over the San Gabriel Valley to voice their opinions and concerns.

“This has been a community effort from the very beginning,” Rep. Chu continued. “My bill empowers local communities to collaborate on recreational plans and projects in ways that don’t exist today. The vision of this NRA began with the community and it will be realized by the community.”

Additional Members who are original cosponsors of Congresswoman Chu’s legislation include Representative Adam Schiff (CA-28), and Representative Tony Cárdenas (CA-29). They released the following statements:

“Representative Chu's legislation is an important step forward in a decades-long effort to preserve open space and increase access to nature across the Southland,” said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank). “As the National Park Service finalizes their recommendations on the expansion or creation of a National Recreation Area in the Rim of the Valley as well, I look forward to continuing our combined efforts to ensure the preservation of wildlife corridors, recreational opportunities and rare ecosystems throughout our region.”

“In urban areas like Los Angeles, we must treasure and protect the open spaces that so many in our nation take for granted,” said Cárdenas. “My friend Judy Chu has taken a wonderful step in that direction, by creating a recreation area that is not pavement and swing sets, but instead the natural wonder of our mountain landscapes. I am proud to add my voice of support to environmentalists, nature groups and families through the Los Angeles area, and I urge my colleagues to pass this Act quickly, so that Californians can begin to enjoy the San Gabriel National Recreation Area as soon as possible, and for generations to come.”

The text of the legislation can be found here

A summary of Rep. Chu’s legislation and a list of supporters can be found here

A planning map of Rep. Chu’s legislation can be found here