Napolitano Blasts President Trump’s Order Subjecting San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to Review

Apr 27, 2017 Issues: Environment

(WASHINGTON, DC)  Today, Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (D-El Monte) blasted President Donald Trump’s executive order subjecting the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument to review, after more than a decade of meetings with local stakeholders were held and multiple public comment periods were conducted prior to its creation, repudiating the President’s claim that designations are done without local input.

“Efforts to protect the San Gabriel Mountains have always and will continue to be transparent,” Napolitano said. “If the President is committed to going through with this futile review process, then I encourage him and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to meet with the local San Gabriel Valley stakeholders who spent more a decade pursuing President Obama’s designation which ultimately came in October 2014. Without their commitment to preserving recreation for future generations, there would be limited local input into the current management of the San Gabriels.”

The executive order, “Review of Designations Under the Antiquities Act,” conducts a review of all presidential monument designations since 1996 that cover more than 100,000 acres, which includes the 350,000-acre area protected by the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. President Trump justified issuing the order, stating incorrectly that monument designations are massive federal land grabs.

“It is a real shame that discussion on our natural treasures, like the San Gabriel Mountains, has now devolved into political bickering,” Napolitano continued. “Before designation the mountains were part of the federally-run Angeles National Forest. It is irresponsible and flat-out wrong to say national monument designations are massive federal land grabs.”

The San Gabriel Mountains attract millions of visitors each year and provide some of the only outdoor recreational options for the densely populated Los Angeles region. The monument designation aimed to preserve miles of streams and hiking trails for people to enjoy for decades. Increased federal funding and private donations are helping to clean up and restore green space.

“Monument designation has helped San Gabriel Valley communities leverage additional federal dollars for critically needed recreation, trail maintenance, trash collection, and fire prevention,” Napolitano added. “Seeing that three major fires—the 2009 Station Fire, the 2014 Colby Fire, and the 2015 Cabin Fire—have threatened our local communities, we sure hope President Trump does not cut funding.”
 

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