San Dimas, CA, October 10, 2014 – President Obama is expected to make a statement today at Bonelli Park in San Dimas, announcing his plans to create a San Gabriel Mountains National Monument which would encompass 350,000 acres of public land.
Stretching from Santa Clarita to San Bernardino County, the San Gabriel Mountains provide outdoor recreation opportunities for millions of Southern Californians. However, according to the Sierra Club, inadequate funding and services have marred the visitor experience. Permanent protection as a national monument should solve many of the problems.
Not everyone is happy with the designation, however. Some lawmakers are concerned that the national monument proposal, which stemmed from legislation introduced by L.A. County Representative Judy Chu, has not had a single hearing in committee and that the President is bypassing Congress’ legislative role in land use decisions. Some are also concerned about limiting access to public lands and local businesses on and around them. Originally, Rep. Chu stated that an additional 270,000 acres in the San Bernardino Mountains were also going to be included, but after strong objections from local leaders she removed San Bernardino and Mt. Baldy from the plan.