San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area Idea Moves Ahead!

San Gabriel River California 

Department of Public Works

Living in Los Angeles, the outdoors play a big role in improving my quality of life. I’m usually surrounded by traffic on freeways and crowded city streets, so a nearby escape to the San Gabriel Mountains is a chance to see peaceful forest views and breathe some fresh air.

In Southern California, we are very fortunate to have the incredible San Gabriel Mountains. This is where millions of Southland residents like me go to picnic, hike, camp, fish and hunt.

Unfortunately when one reaches the forest, there aren’t adequate trail signs, safe access to the river, or enough trash containers, restrooms, and rangers. A National Recreation Area would help improve these visitor services and also protect our public wild lands.

I recently saw firsthand how a national recreation area could improve the visitor experience. On a trip to the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, I helped a family that was having a hard time getting down to the river.

The steps leading down to the riverbank, which only went halfway, were broken. The parents were carrying food and beverages, while also trying to get their young kids down these broken steps. I carried the two kids because I could see that the parents were struggling, and I feared that without my help these kids would fall and get seriously hurt.

To address this lack of adequate facilities and services, San Gabriel Mountains Forever (SGMF), of which TWS is a founding member, has been working to create a National Recreation Area that would include the mountains and a portion of the San Gabriel River watershed that stretches down to some cities in Los Angeles County.

In 2009, SGMF helped organize thousands of supporters to submit comments to the National Park Service and attend hearings in Los Angeles County. We also worked on a July 2010 America’s Great Outdoors listening session in El Monte, Calif. attended by Obama Administration cabinet members.

Fast forward to October 2011, and the latest great news is the National Park Service (NPS) released a draft report about the National Recreation Area proposal. They responded to our concerns and public comments and included Alternative D, which calls for the creation of a San Gabriel Region National Recreation Area!  This will protect our public lands, rivers and healthy outdoor recreation.

To help move Alternative D forward, we need Los Angeles County residents to attend the hearings across the county; the dates and locations are listed below.

El Monte (Kick-Off Meeting)
Saturday, October 29

1pm – 3 pm
City of El Monte Senior Center
3120 N. Tyler Avenue
El Monte, CA 91731

Palmdale
Monday, November 14

7pm - 9pm
Larry Chimbole Cultural Center,
Joshua Room
38350 Sierra Highway
Palmdale, CA 93550

Pomona
Tuesday, November 15th

7pm - 9pm
Agriscapes Center, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona)
4102 S. University Drive
(South of Temple Avenue/ From Highway 57, exit Temple Avenue and go west towards Cal Poly Pomona. Turn left on South Campus Drive, Agriscapes is the building adjacent to the Farm Store).
Pomona, CA 91768

Santa Clarita
Wednesday, November 16th

7pm - 9pm
George A. Caravalho Activities Center
Santa Clarita Room A
20880 Centre Point Parkway      
Santa Clarita, CA 91351

Tujunga
Thursday, November 17th

7pm - 9pm
Northeast Valley City Hall Auditorium
7747 Foothill Blvd
Tujunga, CA 91042

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