Monday, July 03, 2017

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument: Los Angeles' Urban Oasis

Los Angeles with San Gabriel Mtns
Los Angeles, CA in foreground with San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles County, CA in background.
CC by 2.0

National Monuments in Danger

We are down to the final days of the comment period!  Please, take the time today to comment on the fate of this national monument, any of the other 27 monuments on the Interior Department's list, or on the fate of all of them.  

To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):

This is the eighth monument managed by the U. S. Forest Service (USFS), and is comprised of sections of the Angeles National Forest and the San Bernardino National Forest (which also includes portions of Sand to Snow National Monument).  It was established by President Barack Obama on October 10, 2014.

Soaring high above the Los Angeles Basin, the San Gabriel Mountains also are working lands that provide Angeleños 70 percent of their available open space and 30 percent of their drinking water. The monument serves as the backyard to the nation’s second-largest urban center.

The fact that this monument is right on top of Los Angeles is amazing and wonderful.  It is also one of the main reasons why I did not visit it in 2016.  I knew that it was there, but I didn't want to get that close in towards L. A.

However, I might have stopped by for a few photos if my original itinerary for last December held together and I ended up being able to visit Carrizo Plain National Monument and the Channel Islands National Park, but God had other plans for me on that trip, including a blown schedule, a new rig that I didn't want to test in traffic, and a desire for greater solitude.

Known as the crown to the Valley of Angels, the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains frame the Los Angeles skyline. Over 15 million people live within 90 minutes of this island of green, which provides 70 percent of the open space for Angelenos and 30 percent of their drinking water. Millions recreate and rejuvenate in the San Gabriels each year, seeking out their cool streams and canyons during the hot summer months, their snowcapped mountains in the winter, and their trail system and historic sites throughout the year.

The San Gabriels are some of the steepest and most rugged mountains in the United States. Situated adjacent to the mighty San Andreas Fault, the mountains are geologically active, migrating northwest at an average of 2 inches each year. Deep canyons, many with precious perennial streams, score the mountain peaks -- north toward the arid Mojave Desert and south to the temperate San Gabriel Valley.

It is amazing that a place like this exists so close to the second largest city in the United States, and I think that enough warrants every level of protection we can give it!

Williamson Rock

San Gabriel Valley Tribune: Here’s all the local cities that voted to support San Gabriel Mountains National Monument ahead of Trump review (June 1, 2017)

On Wednesday, the San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative, a 46-member body representing water producers, local governments, tribes, gun owners, hunters, hikers, cabin owners, off-road vehicle users, businesses and conservation groups submitted a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke supporting the monument as created by President Obama in October 2014.

The SGVCOG, a planning group made up of 31 cities, three supervisorial districts and several local water districts, passed a resolution on May 18 saying monument status protects archeological sites, rivers, 160 rare, threatened and endangered species as well as recreational amenities such as trails, picnic grounds, skiing runs and off-road racing areas used by 4 million visitors annually.

StreetsBlogLA: SGV Connect 2 – President Trump and the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (June 28, 2017)

Mt. Lowe

Courthouse News Service: Unease as Trump Reviews San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (June 26, 2017)

San Gabriel Mountains Forever had urged Obama to make the forest a national recreation area. U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, D-Los Angeles, introduced legislation that would have covered the entire Angeles National Forest, but Obama refused to go that far.

“Now they’re reviewing the monument it’s a good thing, because it would have looked like a land grab,” Erskine-Hellrigel said on the drive up Highway 210 to Cattle Canyon, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. “We’re pretty happy and when it comes to all the monuments. I don’t think ours is on top of being tossed out.”

Cliff Hamlow, of the San Gabriel Valley Legislative Coalition of Chambers, representing business interests, also was confident. He pointed to the harmony between stakeholders and members of the San Gabriel Mountains Monument Collaborative.

“I think probably it’s low on the totem pole,” Hamlow said in a telephone interview.

The monument was already on federal land that is part of the National Forest, Hamlow said. It does not have the natural resources that have spurred protests over access from the oil and gas industry.

“There are only two or three ways into it, and I can’t see that business is going to move up the canyon at all. I don’t see it as being a place of business interests. I think it will be a place of natural resource interest and getting young people out of the inner city into a nature setting,” Hamlow said.


San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Map (as of July 2017) - PDF

To comment on the monument review process (due July 10, 2017):


Rubble - National Monuments in Danger:



Official Website



Courthouse News Service: Unease as Trump Reviews San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (June 26, 2017)

San Gabriel Valley Tribune: 

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument under attack by Trump: Letters (June 26, 2017)

Here’s all the local cities that voted to support San Gabriel Mountains National Monument ahead of Trump review (June 1, 2017)

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