President Obama has established 11 national monuments thus far, and if a California lawmaker has her way, the San Gabriel Mountains would be the next to earn the distinction.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), who introduced a bill this year to designate the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument, sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week pushing for new upgrades at the 655,00-acre park.
Currently, the US Forest Service manages the mountains, but budgetary issues have lead to maintenance concerns. The designation could mean more funding for park maintenance and cleanup and more protection for wildlife.
Opponents, the LA Times reports, fear that the designation would negatively impact firefighting and water quality and other things in the mountains.
Daniel Rossman, Chairman, San Gabriel Mountains Forever - a coalition that includes the Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club
Mary Ann Lutz, Mayor of Monrovia