What a great event today, with supporters rallying to protect the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, along with other public lands being threatened by the Trump administration.
Daniel Rossman (The Wilderness Society, SGMF) served as emcee for the event, and speakers included Congressmember Judy Chu, Congressmember Adam Schiff, Congressmember Jimmy Gomez, Congressmember Brad Sherman, El Monte Mayor Andre Quintero, Scott Ammons (REI), and San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy graduate Karen Gutierrez.
“These fights are not won overnight,” said Congressmember Jimmy Gomez of the hard work to get the national monument designated. “But now President Trump wants to roll back that designation. And it is a shame because this area is home to so much wildlife, to waterfalls to natural habitat that people get to enjoy. And this hard-fought fight that you all won, we have to continue it. We have make sure that President Trump and his administration know that there is no lack of public involvement in this area. That you guys had those meetings time and time again. We had those champions of this area making sure that everyone’s voice was heard….”
“We are here because our beloved San Gabriel Mountains national monument is being threatened,” said Congressmember Judy Chu, who pointed to the benefits of having national monument status, as well as the progress that’s been made since its designation in 2014. “Now Angelenos, especially minorities, will have more opportunities to experience this wonderful piece of nature. It’s easier to get to the mountains, rivers, and forests, with safer trails and more signs in more languages so everybody can benefit from this monument.”
Congressmember Adam Schiff stressed that “we need bipartisan support in Congress to protect this area even more,” adding “the urgency now is protection of our monuments, of our open space.”
“This is the direction in which must move — forward, not backward, protecting our public lands not exploiting them,” said Schiff. “Being good stewards of nature, not putting it at further risk…. This is a proud legacy of so many presidents. But like so many other actions, this current president would tear down what others have done, offering nothing constructive in its place. But we are gathered here in these numbers to say, ‘This, like everything else, we will resist.’ ”
San Gabriel Mountains Forever Leadership Academy graduate Karen Gutierrez shared her experience growing up in a park-poor community, adding that the national monument provides “the best option to experience fresh air, flowing rivers, and open spaces all in one area.”
“We cannot afford to lose the San Gabriel Mountains national monument,” she said. “Rather, we need to expand it and improve access… so that park-poor communities like my own can enjoy all the health and recreational benefits it has to offer.”
Coverage of the event: