Big Tujunga Canyon in the Angeles National Forest will receive a $1.245 million injection for restoration work.
The California Wildlife Conservation Board is giving the money to the National Forest Foundation, which announced a $3 million fund for the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument after President Obama declared the monument status.
The money will go towards removing invasive plants, putting in native ones and improving streams to protect threatened fish species in Big Tujunga Canyon.
Parts of the canyon lie within the monument’s boundaries. Other parts don’t. Edward Belden of the National Forest Foundation says the money will be used to help the entire canyon – not just what falls within the monument.
“There is the Angeles National Forest still there and the opportunity to make sure that there’s ways to restore those lands as well. They haven’t been forgotten,” Belden said.
The grant arrives weeks after concerns were raised that areas outside the monument would receive less priority. Belden says the $3 million-dollar fund was conceived before the final lines were drawn.
“The boundary line just kind of came out in October. We’ve been working on this grant for a little longer than that. I think the goal here was just that we see a need in terms of areas that have some potential for restoration needs and also working with the community in these efforts. And that is the same effort we see in the monument as well. This is an opportunity to address both at the same time,” Belden said.
He said his organization expects to raise the remaining $900-thousand dollars soon.
“We’re really looking to reach out to the community at large to reach that $3 million goal within a year," Belden said.