Council To Continue Discussing Possible National Monument Expansion

The red boundaries show the proposed Monument expansion. The blue boundaries show the proposed National Recreation Area. The green boundaries show the existing National Monument. Google Maps

Congresswoman Judy Chu (D-27) is seeking to protect more of the forest lands in the western end of the Angeles National Forest, raising concerns again by the Glendora City Council.

Chu’s bill, H.R. 3820, known as the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, would add 109,492 acres to the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, while also establishing a new National Recreation Area along the foothills and San Gabriel Valley River corridor to the south.

Chu’s bill was introduced October 23, 2015.

The proposed Monument expansion to the west would go as far as Elsmere Canyon in Sylmar, while the proposed NRA would go as far south as Santa Fe Springs.

The Council expressed concern over certain language in the original bill in 2014 and have similar concerns with H.R. 3820. Chu’s Office responded to the city’s concerns:

Monument Questions

City Staff said in reviewing H.R. 3820 and the answers provided by Chu’s staff, as well as comparing the current and old boundary maps, they concluded H.R. 3820 is consistent with previous city council review and dialog regarding the NRA.

In 2014, Chu publicized three pieces of legislation: one that would have created the National Recreation Area designation, a Wilderness designation and a Wild and Scenic Rivers designation.

Chu formally introduced only the NRA legislation that did not move through Washington as fast as she would have liked. Chu reached out to the President who, in October of 2014, used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate 345,150 acres of federal forest land into the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Most of the land Chu sought for the National Recreation Area.

As of November 5, H.R. 3820 has been referred to the Subcommittee on Federal Lands.

Further Reading: Progress Is Slow, But Steady On National Monument Planning

If the bill is not acted upon by December 31 of this year, it will die and a new bill will have to be introduced.

The City Council will discuss this item at the January 26 Council meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the council chambers, 116 E. Foothill Blvd.