Obama declares San Gabriel Mt. Historical Landmark

Obama+declares+San+Gabriel+Mt.+Historical+Landmark

The San Gabriel Mountains, which can be seen from the Rio Hondo campus and surrounding communities, was recently established by the United States Government as a national monument on Oct. 10.

The new monument will be the 110 U.S. National Monument.

President Obama flew into Los Angeles on Oct. 9 to attend a town hall at Cross Campus [a business startup office space in Santa Monica], followed by a Democratic National Committee at the home of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

The next day on Oct. 10, Obama formally announced the establishment of a portion of the Mountains as a national monument during a ceremony at Bonelli Park in San Dimas.

At the ceremony, Obama signed the designation that will protect 346,000 acres of forestlands.

“The story of the San Gabriel Mountains is in many ways the story of America,” Obama said. “It is the story of communities exploring the Great West, of Native Americans, Spanish missionaries, colonialists and rancheros, merchants and landowners; the story of prospectors in search of gold, of settlers in search of a new life.”

The monument is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and includes parts of both the Angeles National Forest and the San Bernardino National Forest.

However; Mt. Baldy, Wrightwood, or Cucamonga Canyon will not be included due to the monument facing critical opposition from local residents throughout the San Bernardino County.

In an effort to avoid conflicts and diminish concerns, the monument does not cover most of the southern slopes and eliminates the towns in the region.

Obama has designated 12 national monuments throughout his term in office. His last was the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in south-central New Mexico.

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument could be the last one Obama designates before he leaves office in 2017.

The designation of the mountains came into place after much positive input from local and state officials, as well as environmental groups and residents of Southern California.

Many factors played a key role as well such as the fact the mountains provide one third of the regions clean water supply.

Many residents and officials also complained about pollution and vandalism throughout the forest and watersheds.

Endangered species and significant cultural resources were also factors cited by The Obama Administration.

At the designation ceremony in San Dimas, City Council member Denis Bertone stated such factors.

“I want to welcome President Obama to San Dimas as he prepares to officially declare the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument,” said San Dimas Council Member, Denis Bertone. “The mountains are a vital source of clean drinking water for our community. This designation will result in a renewed commitment from the Forest Service leading to better visitor services, improved water quality, educational programs, better access to trails and economic benefits for surrounding communities. I don’t see any downside. I see it all positive for local cities.”

Bertone’s statement certainly makes a valid argument as the new National Monument will allow for many recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and mountain biking.