The White House is sending a top-level cabinet member who oversees the U.S. Forest Service to the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles to hear public comments on the proposed expansion the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is a National Monument managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which encompasses parts of the Angeles National Forest and the San Bernardino National Forest in California. On October 10, 2014, President Barack Obama used his authority under the Antiquities Act to create the new monument, protecting 346,177 acres of public lands in the San Gabriel Mountains of the Transverse Ranges.
Twin bills from Rep. Judy Chu, (D-Pasadena) and Sen. Alex Padilla, (D-Calif.) introduced in May this year propose adding 109,167 acres of Angeles National Forest land to the 346,179-acre San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The monument includes 342,177 acres of the Angeles National Forest and 4,002 acres of neighboring San Bernardino National Forest. The bills would also designate more than 30,000 acres of protected wilderness and add 45.5 miles to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
In this article, Steve Scauzillo reports that Homer Wilkes, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for natural resources and environment, will be in the San Gabriel Valley to hear from the public on November 7, 2023 as to whether President Joe Biden should expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Biden nominated Wilkes as under secretary in 2021 and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on February 8, 2022. Wilkes has a history of working on conservation and restoration of public lands.
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