WASHINGTON, DC – Maite Arce, President and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement in response to Senator Kamala Harris’ introduction of the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act and San Gabriel Mountains, Foothills, and Rivers Protection Act. These two bills support responsible stewardship, as well as meaningful access for all communities to our public lands.
“We support Senator Harris’ continued work championing California’s green spaces as demonstrated by the legislation she has introduced in the Senate today mirroring Representative Judy Chu’s San Gabriel Mountains bills and Representative Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act.
“HAF was a supporter of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument designation because it creates a better quality of life for residents in Los Angeles, who lack adequate access to parks and open spaces. We believe in the shared vision of Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Harris in expanding the National Monument and adding a National Recreation Area. This will benefit residents and visitors alike as they can recreate and enjoy time with family and community in these places. It will also provide much needed resources to help protect the forestlands from fire threats and improve park maintenance.
“Rep. Huffman’s legislation aims to reduce fire danger near communities and along roads within our public lands, in addition to opening over 600 miles of new trails, create additional wilderness areas, and designate new wild and scenic rivers in northwest California.
“These bills and Senator Harris’ companion bills would not only improve access for Latino communities, but for all Californians, prioritizing California’s recreation and outdoor industries, bolstering local economies, and improving public health.”
Since its founding in 2010, HAF has made creating access for Latinos and all underserved groups to our public lands a priority through initiatives like, Latino Conservation Week.