news releases

02 May 2024

Hispanic Access Celebrates San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Expansion

Category: News Releases

On May 2, President Biden answered the call of Senators Alex Padilla and Laphonza Butler, and Representative Judy Chu, elected officials, community and tribal leaders, and local residents in the Los Angeles region, and expanded the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument designation to include 109,000 additional acres of public land.

“Los Angeles is one of the top cities in the country with the highest concentration of Latinos,” said Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation. “The San Gabriel Mountains make up 70% of Los Angeles County's open space and are the backyard for many Latino and culturally diverse communities in the area that have limited access to green spaces in their neighborhoods. The designation expansion ensures permanent protection of the San Gabriels, which are critical for the health and wellbeing of millions of people and future generations.”

The San Gabriel Mountains are an interconnected landscape and a refuge for native wildlife. The newly expanded area safeguards wildlife corridors and habitat for species such as black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and mule deer, and helps address the climate and biodiversity crises by protecting important habitat and wildlife corridors and contributing to state and federal goals to conserve 30% of public lands and waters by 2030.

“I am delighted that the San Gabriel Mountain National Monument has been expanded,” said Pastor Mike Gomez, Hispanic Access Foundation Por la Creación Faith-based Alliance member. “This expansion will bring more access to my community, and our children and children's children will be able to enjoy these beautiful places for years to come, as they're just minutes away from our homes.”

In 2014, President Obama designated approximately 346,177 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument. Since then, community support has continued to grow for safeguarding important public lands that were not included in the original monument designation. The newly designated area is considered the “gateway” to the Angeles National Forest and, as a result, is one of the most visited parts of the forest. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest received 4.6 million visitors in 2021--more than the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park received in the same year.

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