Forest Service, Rep. Chu to hold one-year celebration of San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
|October 14, 2015 - There will be a celebration Friday of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, but we're still waiting for the expansion of the monument to include all the gems of the Angeles National Forest including the Arroyo Seco.|
|San Gabriel Valley Tribune|
The snow covered San Gabriel mountains loom behind downtown Los Angeles in this view from the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area. Scott Varley — Staff photographer, File
The U.S. Forest Service, conservation groups and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, will host a celebration of the one-year anniversary of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument beginning at 9 a.m. Friday in a heavily-visited area of the East Fork.
Speakers will gather at the Oaks Picnic Area, located about five miles east of the East Fork Road turnoff from Highway 39, 12 miles north of Azusa, and just west of the Glendora Mountain Road to talk about the future of the monument.
Besides, Chu, speakers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service will participate in the event. Non-profit groups represented include: the National Forest Foundation, the state Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, San Gabriel Mountains Forever, the Watershed Conservation Authority and the San Gabriel Partnership Fund.
“I will never forget the experience of watching history be made as President Obama declared the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument,” said Rep. Chu. “That day was the culmination of more than 10 years of work to increase conservation and access to the San Gabriels.”
Chu is expected to announce the re-introduction of her bill that would establish a National Recreation Area along the foothills and into the San Gabriel River and Puente Hills. Also, she intends to submit legislation that would expand the national monument.
President Barack Obama declared 346,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest a national monument on Oct. 10, 2014, at a signing ceremony at Frank G. Bonelli Park in San Dimas, overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains.
However, the monument did not include the Arroyo Seco, popular forest trails in Chantry Flat north of Arcadia and Sierra Madre, nor the Big Tujunga trails just north of Sunland. The Pasadena-based Arroyo Seco Foundation called for inclusion of the Pasadena-area trails in the monument, saying the federal government left out the areas most in need of repairs. On the east, the city of Rancho Cucamonga complained that heavily-used Cucamonga Canyon also was left outside the monument boundaries.
In the year since the proclamation, the monument received about $4.5 million in additional funding. The U.S. Forest Service, along with constituent groups, are developing a monument master plan set to be released in 2017.
Support for expanding the monument boundaries westward could come from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank. In a prepared statement, Schiff alluded to an expansion, saying: “I look forward to working with Rep. Chu to see that the president’s proclamation is fully realized, and to multiply its effect by preserving as much additional open space in the region as possible.”
Arroyo Seco Foundation, 570 W. Avenue 26 #450, Los Angeles, CA 90065-1011
PO Box 91622, Pasadena, CA 91109-1622 (323) 405-7326 firstname.lastname@example.org