ARCADIA (CBSLA.com) — A Monrovia city official Tuesday voiced his opposition to a plan to declare the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument.
In June, Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena) introduced H.R. 4858, known as the San Gabriel National Recreations Act, which would designate the area a National Recreation Area in response to local calls to protect the area adjacent to the Angeles National Forest and portions of the San Bernardino National Forest.
Chu also wrote a letter Aug. 20 addressed to Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, which called for investments in sustainable recreation, new parking areas and trails to expand park access, and multi-language signage.
Chu along with Los Angeles County Supervisor-elect Hilda Solis and representatives for Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano were scheduled Tuesday afternoon to host a panel on the topic at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center in Arcadia.
But opponents like Monrovia City Councilman Tom Adams told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the legislation would amount to little more than a land grab.
“The National Recreation Area…encroaches not only on the city-owned land, but encroaches onto people’s homes and yards, which creates a multitude of issues that no one has bothered to address,” Adams said.
But Adams added that if a national monument was created, it would be unclear whether the City Council would take an official position on the plan.
Daniel Rossman of the Wilderness Society and spokesman for the coalition group San Gabriel Mountains Forever said he supports greater federal control over the Angeles National Forest, which provides drinking water to about one-third of Los Angeles County.
“Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking will all remain, but what will happen is they’ll be protected for future generations,” said Rossman.
The San Gabriel Mountains also include over 70 percent of the total open space for Los Angeles County, according to the U.S. Forest Service.