What is the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument?
In 2014, President Obama designated a portion of the San Gabriel Mountains region as a national monument. The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument includes 346,177 acres of land that is now protected by the Federal government and managed by the United States Forest Service.
Why is it important to protect the San Gabriel Mountains?
The region provides Los Angeles with 80 percent of our available open space and one-third of our drinking water.
Our work to protect our forests, foothills, watersheds, and rivers is to ensure that water quality and supply is maintained. This work also protects native fish, animals, and plants that call the San Gabriel Mountains home, including the California condor, California spotted owl, Nelson’s bighorn sheep, and limber pines.
Who is the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Coalition?
The San Gabriel Mountains Forever coalition is made up of the following organizations: A3PCON; Amigos de los Rios; BikeSGV; California Wilderness Coalition; The City Project; Climate Resolve; COFEM; Community Hiking Club; Friends of the River; National Parks Conservation Association; Sierra Club; Trout Unlimited; The Wilderness Society. The coalition was formed more than 10 years ago and is widely recognized as the group that worked to get the monument designation. In 2017, SGMF took a first step in our 2-3-year plan to transition to become a 501c3 nonprofit organization, by signing an agreement for Community Partners to be our fiscal sponsor.
What does San Gabriel Mountains Forever do?
Short answer: We work to protect and enhance the San Gabriel mountains, rivers, foothills, and parks—with access for all.
We founded our coalition to build support for protection of, and increased access to, our forests, rivers and parks, and develop a new, diverse generation of environmental stewards to care for our public lands.
We support projects that protect and improve our mountains, rivers, and parks and to preserve and enhance the natural, historic, and scenic resources of the San Gabriel Mountains and the valley.
We are also working to provide recreational and educational opportunities to fill a void for Angelenos; the shortage of parks and open space in nearby cities makes this an issue of environmental justice and health. By helping families gain access to healthy recreational opportunities, we can improve public health. We can also help the economy with increased tourism, job creation, and higher property values for adjacent communities.
How does San Gabriel Mountains Forever work?
Our work is achieved through collaboration with government agencies, elected officials, stakeholders, and community members.
The monument was designated in 2014. What kinds of improvements will we see?
We are working with the Forest Service and other stakeholders on the monument management plan. We have engaged the community with public meetings, provided thousands of public comments, letters, and postcards to help shape the coalition’s vision for the future of the San Gabriel Mountains and rivers—and we will continue to provide input and collaborate with others to make sure the monument plan serves the community.
We are working on improvements to:
- Increase facilities, services, and staffing in region, including more access to trails, interpretive signs, and multilingual rangers.
- Improve water quality and fishing by reducing trash, graffiti, and user-created dams on the San Gabriel River.
- Create and improve urban parks and open space and provide opportunities for residents to connect with nature and explore the mountains.
We are also working to expand Federal protection of the San Gabriel Mountains, foothills and river corridors, by seeking legislation for Wilderness and Wild and Scenic River designations; an expansion of the National Monument; and Urban National Recreation Area designations for the lands within the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests that were left out of the monument designation—the Upper Los Angeles River Watershed (the Western end) and the San Bernardino County portions of the San Gabriel Range. These special protections will permanently protect the mountain and rivers, and open up new revenue sources and partnership opportunities throughout the region.
We are also working on getting more public transit to trails and parks for people in Los Angeles region who see the mountains in the background but do not have means to visit and experience all that nature has to offer. San Gabriel Mountains Forever is a member of Los Angeles-based coalitions working on access to green, open space and parks: EnviroMetro coalition, which is working on green, equitable, and healthy transportation; and OurParks LA coalition, which is working on creating and refurbishing parks, ball fields, play areas, and walking trails.
How can I be involved?
Visit our Community Support page for opportunities to help. One of our goals is to developing a legacy of environmental stewards. Through the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy and other volunteer efforts, we find, educate and encourage environmental stewards to care for our public lands. Join us!