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Title:

Here’s all the local cities that voted to support San Gabriel Mountains National Monument ahead of Trump review

Subtitle:

Date:

2017-06-01

Summary:

June 1, 2017 - There's overwhelming support for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument now under review by the Trump Administration along with several dozen more important national treasures.

Author:

Steve Scauzillo

Publication:

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Content:


Rep. Judy Chu and Robert Bonnie, under secretary for natural resources and environment with USDA, unveil the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument sign for the Oaks Picnic Area for the monument’s one-year anniversary on Friday, October 16, 2015. Coca-Cola announces a $900,000 gift to the monument. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/Pasadena Star-News)

As a member of an environmental group put it, support for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is so strong that the overwhelming response from volunteers has created a logistics problem.

“More and more people are saying ‘Hey, I want to help out,’ said Daniel Rossman, a senior regional representative for The Wilderness Society and a member of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever. “I have so many I can’t handle them all.”

Pushback against President Donald Trump’s review of the almost 3-year-old San Gabriel Mountains monument — one of 27 national monuments that could see their designation eliminated or boundaries shrunk — has grown beyond environmental groups.

Last week, the governing board of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments passed a resolution in support of the San Gabriel Mountains “maintaining its national monument designation as it is currently configured.”

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.



The snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains provide a backdrop for a couple walking atop the Santa Fe Dam in Irwindale, Calif. Dec. 22, 2014. (Photo by Leo Jarzomb/San Gabriel Valley Tribune)
Voting in favor were county Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger, water districts and the vast majority of cities in the group, 24 total.

Here’s the entire list of San Gabriel Valley cities that voted in favor of supporting the national monument: Pasadena, Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, Glendora, La Verne, La Canada Flintridge, Montebello, Monterey Park, Monrovia, Pasadena, Pomona, Rosemead, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, South El Monte, South Pasadena, Temple City, Walnut and West Covina.

There were no “no” votes. Absent from the COG vote were: Bradbury, El Monte, City of Industry, Irwindale, La Puente, San Marino, San Gabriel and the fourth county supervisorial district.

On Oct. 10, 2014, President Obama designated 346,177 acres of mostly Angeles National Forest wilderness areas and a small portion of the San Bernardino National Forest from Santa Clarita to Mt. Baldy as the eighth national monument under the auspices of the U.S. Forest Service.

In Trump’s executive order of April 26, the president said he wanted to examine if all parties had a voice in the designations and whether they blocked economic opportunities, specifically oil and gas exploration.

The Collaborative’s five-page letter says the San Gabriel Mountains monument meets all the criteria of the Antiquities Act used by eight Democrat and eight Republican presidents to preserve existing federal land as national monuments.

“The letter clearly lays out the factual case that the San Gabriel Mountains monument should remain untouched by any follow-up action by the president,” said Rossman, a Collaborative member.

The Collaborative letters states it has not seen any evidence of an adverse effect on economic development.

To the contrary, the monument designation has precipitated $900,000 in donations from Coca-Cola to supplement federal budget dollars spent by the U.S. Forest Service to maintain the monument, according to the letter signed by Joseph Lyons, steering committee chairman and Claremont councilman.

“It is an appropriate use of Federal lands; and it clearly benefits many surrounding land uses and communities,” the letter concluded.

The Collaborative also invited Zinke and President Trump to personally visit the monument and interact with their group, “to experience how groups with widely diverse viewpoints are able to work together cooperatively to provide informed recommendations regarding our Federal lands.”

Rossman said the Collaborative can be a deliberate process, but one that is helping the Forest Service shape the monument into a better resource by writing a management plan. “Yeah I think it is worth showing off what we are doing here in the San Gabriels,” he said, adding:

“The best advocate for the mountains is always the mountains. You see the rugged peaks, smell the pine trees and native sage and you fall in love with the place,” he said.

Comments on the monument review are accepted through July 10 online at www.regulations.gov or by mailing a letter to: Monument Review, MS-1530 U.S. Department of the Interior 1849 C St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20240.

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