Photos by: Jake Bigley
Local Leaders Respond both Positively; Negatively
San Gabriel Mountains Forever Welcome Obama
Today, community leaders welcomed President Obama’s visit to San Dimas and the San Gabriel Valley for the official designation of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. This designation came in response to more than a decade of input and support from state and local officials, community leaders, environmental justice organizations, churches, water districts, veterans, educators and residents.
“I want to welcome President Obama to San Dimas as he prepares to officially declare the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument,” said San Dimas Council Member, Denis Bertone. “The mountains are a vital source of clean drinking water for our community. This designation will result in a renewed commitment from the Forest Service leading to better visitor services, improved water quality, educational programs, better access to trails and economic benefits for surrounding communities. I don’t see any downside. I see it all positive for local cities.”
The San Gabriel Mountains, north of Los Angeles within the Angeles National Forest, provide one third of the region’s clean water supply and 70 percent of the region’s open space. The new National Monument will allow hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, hunting and other established recreational activities such as four-wheel driving on designated roads, and will not create new water rights or affect existing water rights. The designation will only apply to federal lands and will not impact private, state, or local property within the boundaries of or adjacent to a national monument.
Recent polling showed four in five (80 percent) Los Angeles County voters express support for protecting the San Gabriel Mountains and rivers – with almost universal support (88 percent) among Latinos.
San Gabriel Mountains Forever (SGMF) is a diverse partnership of residents, cities, local businesses, health and environmental justice organizations, faith and community leaders, and recreation and conservation groups. The vision of San Gabriel Mountains Forever is: Protection and enhancement of our mountains, rivers and parks with access for all. www.sangabrielmountains.org