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Tuesday, Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) spoke at a U.S. Forest Service Town Hall in Baldwin Park in support of President Obama designating the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument. Rep. Chu joined Representatives from the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, LA County Supervisor-elect Hilda Solis, and a panel of local leaders and environmental experts for the meeting, which was attended by hundreds of interested local residents.
“Our forests, mountains, and rivers are a treasure for the L.A. area, attracting millions of visitors a year. But without funding for rangers, garbage collection, necessary signage, and new trails, many of our underserved areas are unable to take advantage of the mountains while others are finding it covered with trash and graffiti,” said Rep. Chu. “With over 3 million visitors a year, the San Gabriel Mountains are in urgent need of critical resources. This is of particular concern as we rely on this water supply. That is why I was proud to receive support from local water utilities for the bill I introduced in June to create a National Recreation Area and I have asked the Administration to use the NRA language I crafted in collaboration with the water agencies and other stakeholders as a foundation for a national monument.”
The panel discussion was facilitated by Oscar Gonzales, California State Executive Director, Farm Service Agency. In addition to Hilda Solis, panelists included Janice Rutherford, San Bernardino County Supervisor; Denis Bertone, Councilman from the City of San Dimas; Daniel Rossman, San Gabriel Mountains Forever; George Sanchez-Tello, Wilderness Society/San Gabriel Mountains Forever; Dr. Char Miller, Director of Environmental Analysis, Pomona College; Dr. Hugh Safford, Regional Ecologist, Forest Service; Malcolm Cade, Urban Conservation Corp; and Victor Diaz, REI – Friends of the Angeles Vice Chairman.
“This is an important conversation,” continued Chu. “It is vital that we continue to hear from and work with local stakeholders and residents to preserve property and water rights. To that end, I was pleased that we also received support from Cal Fire on behalf of Governor Brown, Senator Barbara Boxer, Rep. Grace Napolitano and Rep. Adam Schiff.”