Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) reintroduced the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, establish a National Recreation Area (NRA) in the foothills and along the San Gabriel River corridor, and designate over 30,000 acres of protected wilderness and 45.5 miles of wild and scenic rivers in Southern California.
This bill would expand the borders of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to include the western Angeles National Forest. It also establishes an NRA to enhance conservation, increases access for all communities by connecting park-poor areas to open space, and improves the management of the area through improved resources, education, and public engagement. The new wilderness areas will benefit from the highest form of protection of any federal wildland.
Last year, the House passed this legislation in bipartisan votes two separate times: first as part of the Protecting America’s Wilderness Act and again as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), but neither version was given a vote in the Senate. Rep. Chu released the following statement:
“A year into a pandemic that has forced social distancing and quarantines, access to outdoor areas and activity have never been more important. But for many Angelenos, access to green space is limited, despite our proximity to the beautiful mountains, forests, and rivers of the San Gabriel Mountains. President Obama’s National Monument designation was an historic step in improving access and protections for these wild lands, but there is still much more to be done. This legislation would complete the vision of mountains seamlessly connected to the communities below, providing access to recreation to more Americans and preserving these natural places for generations to come.
“I’m proud that last year, we came closer than ever to accomplishing this goal when this exact legislation passed the House of Representatives two separate times, both in bipartisan votes. This Congress, I am more optimistic that with the support of President Biden, Vice President Harris, and our House and Senate colleagues, we will work hard to finally make this law.”