Dear President Biden,
I am writing to urge you to advance a decades-long vision to protect the San Gabriel Mountains and use the Antiquities Act to add 109,000 acres to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. These lands are the gateway to the Angeles National Forest and welcome millions of visitors each year.
In 2014, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate approximately 346,177 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument. This was a critical step towards permanently protecting the mountains. Since then, community support has continued to grow for safeguarding public lands in the western Angeles National Forest that were not included in the original monument designation. This includes the spectacular Arroyo Seco and other treasures of the San Gabriel Mountains.
The San Gabriel Mountains are the backyard for many urban and culturally diverse communities in and around Los Angeles. Over 18 million people live within a 90-mile radius of the proposed national monument expansion. Protecting these public lands will help increase equitable access to nature, improve public health, conserve a critical drinking water source for local residents, and address the climate and biodiversity crisis.
Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Judy Chu are championing this effort and have urged your administration to expand the existing San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. I add my voice to theirs and ask you to use the Antiquities Act to build on your conservation legacy and permanently protect these important public lands.