San Gabriel Mountains’ Monument Status In Danger

By City News Service

Democratic elected officials and activists gathered Tuesday in support of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, expressing concern that the 346,000-acre expanse of land northeast of Los Angeles could be threatened under a pending review ordered by President Donald Trump.

“We want our San Gabriel Monument to stay as it is, and we want outdoor spaces, nature

At a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (center) called on the Trump administration to keep in place the monument status of 346,000-acres of the San Gabriel Mountains. Chu was joined at Los Angeles Historic Park by fellow Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez, and local activists who questioned the singling out of some monuments but not others. (Photo courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu)

At a news conference in Los Angeles Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Judy Chu (center) called on the Trump administration to keep in place the monument status of 346,000-acres of the San Gabriel Mountains. Chu was joined at Los Angeles Historic Park by fellow Congressmen Adam Schiff and Jimmy Gomez, and local activists who questioned the singling out of some monuments but not others. (Photo courtesy Office of U.S. Rep. Judy Chu)

and fresh air for the people of Los Angeles County,” Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, said at a news conference at Los Angeles Historic Park.

The monument is one of more than four dozen placed under scrutiny by Trump, who issued an executive order in April calling for a review of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants the president authority to declare federal lands of historic or scientific value as national monuments.

Trump said his executive order would “end another egregious abuse of federal power” and “give that power back to the states and to the people, where it belongs.”

He also said the Antiquities Act “unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control … eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land.”

The San Gabriel Mountains monument was created by President Barack Obama by executive order in 2014. Some Republican lawmakers criticized the move at the time, saying it would restrict access to public land and have a negative impact on water resources, flood control facilities and roads.

Chu was a major proponent of the monument designation. She had originally pushed to have 600,000 acres of the mountain range declared a national monument.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, also spoke in favor of maintaining the monument in its current form, and criticized Trump’s order mandating the review.

“We also don’t know why specific monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, were targeted and not others,” Schiff said. “Our guess is simple — President Trump, in his zeal to be against anything President Obama did, no matter what it is, is against this too.”

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is expected to announce the results of his review and any recommendations this week, no later than Thursday.

Zinke has already concluded his review of several other monuments, recommending no changes. Among those was the Sand to Snow National Monument, a 154,000-acre expanse in the San Gorgonio wilderness area of the San Bernardino National Forest, stretching into both Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

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August 23, 2017  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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