Legislation more than 10 years in the making that places 615,245 acres of Angeles National Forest land, foothills, the San Gabriel and Rio Hondo rivers and the Puente-Chino Hills into a new National Recreation Area was sent to Congress on Thursday.
If approved, the proposal would bring about the most significant change in governance to the forest - often referred to as Los Angeles County's backyard - since 1892, when President Benjamin Harrison established the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve that later became the Angeles National Forest.
As leaders of three San Gabriel Valley cities, we strongly support permanently protecting the San Gabriel Mountains. These mountains are the backdrop of our cities; they welcome locals and visitors for hiking and enjoying the outdoors, help keep our water and air clean, and add to our local economy. We want to ensure that the forests, rivers, and parks of the San Gabriel Mountains are here for generations to visit and enjoy.
That's why we support the community-driven effort to protect the San Gabriel Mountains.
A proposal to convert the San Gabriel Mountains, foothills, rivers and half of the Puente Hills into a National Recreation Area managed by the U.S. National Park Service took a major step forward this week when local water companies and a court-appointed overseer voted to support the bill.