Target: Doc Hastings, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources
Goal: Preserve California’s majestic and popular San Gabriel Mountains as a National Recreation Area
The immense beauty of California’s San Gabriel Mountains draws over three million visitors each year. Unfortunately this is putting undue stress on the mountain ecosystems. Without federal protection as a National Recreation Area the San Gabriel Mountains lack the staff and resources necessary to accommodate heavy tourism without degrading the natural environment.
The Angeles National Forest’s 650,000 acres are home to the beautiful San Gabriel Mountains. Neighboring Los Angeles, one of America’s most populous cities, these mountains maintain diverse habitats and are home to mountain lions, bighorn sheep and the California condor among other threatened species. Three to five million people also visit this park each year, yet the Forest Service–whose main purpose is to fight fires–is ill equipped to minimize the environmental damage caused by millions of tourists. Trash, graffiti, safety concerns, poor trails, inadequate bathrooms and decreased water quality all are persistent problems in the Angeles National Forest, threatening the unique habitats of the mountains.
The San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act would grant the park federal protection, thus adding the expertise and resources of the National Park Service to those of the Forest Service, local and state governments working to preserve the area. Together they could more easily build sufficient facilities and provide staff to manage the millions of visitors and their impact on the park. The proposed bill would also increase the size of the park by one third protecting, important habitats and waterways while creating new parks, bike and walking paths near underserved urban communities. Some regions of the park would be labeled as “wilderness” and some sections of river as “wild and scenic,” granting them even stronger protections.
Please help preserve this majestic mountain range and tell Doc Hastings, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, to support this bill when it is sent to his committee.
Dear Chairman Hastings,
The San Gabriel Mountains stretch across two of the nation’s most popular national forests and is the nearest outdoors recreational area for over 17 million people. Unfortunately it does not have the facilities and resources necessary to accommodate the millions of visitors who want to enjoy this natural wonder. I urge you to support the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act which would turn the San Gabriel Mountains into a National Recreation Area and provide it with the staff and resources needed to maintain the integrity of the area in the face of heavy tourism.
The Park Service has agreed the region meets the criteria of ecological and historic significance for designation as a National Recreation Area. Representative Chu has worked hard with all stakeholders to ensure no one’s rights or property are infringed upon by this bill. This bill would improve the experience of millions who visit the San Gabriel Mountains each year, stimulating the local economy and helping keep the mountains clean and healthy for many years to come
Please support the passage of the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act to ensure that future generations of Americans can enjoy the majesty of these iconic mountains.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Rennett Stone via Flickr