The draft of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan released by the U.S. Forest Service in August is long, and we’ve reviewed it to come up with recommendations on how it can be improved to best serve our communities.
In short, we believe the plan needs to include clear objectives and timelines to ensure accountability of the U.S. Forest Service, and to make its open, green space more accessible to all communities in LA County.
Specifically, we have suggestions for each section of the plan.
- Environmental Justice
Establish an ‘objective’ to develop a Cultural Awareness Plan for Engaging Diverse Communities in 3 – 5 years. This plan should emphasize best practices to provide:
- Cross-culturally trained staff (ie: bilingual staff) to connect people to recreational, cultural and natural wonders of the Monument
- Extensive public outreach, volunteer programs, diverse recreational opportunities to & for youth and communities of color
- Sustainable Recreation
Develop and implement a Master Recreation Plan and a Visitor Information, Education and Outreach Plan in 3 – 5 years. This plan should provide:
- High-quality facilities and services
- A comprehensive, well-maintained trail system with new interpretive trails
- Multi-lingual, culturally-sensitive interpretive materials
- Conservation and recreational information signage for main entrances and popular locations like the San Gabriel River
- Heritage Resources
Set a desired condition of increased partnerships to create and implement stewardship plans for heritage resource sites.
- Biological Resources
The Monument is home to rare plants and critters- the plan should provide a more comprehensive list and show how their restoration and protection will be ensured.
- Energy/ Designated Areas/ Suitability of Lands
List and map, in sufficient detail, the ‘Objects of Significance’ that need protection.
Develop and implement a Transportation Access Plan, and a multilingual road and trail wayfinding signage program, within 3 years that includes ways to increase access to the monument for underserved communities through public/active transportation options.