The Honorable Joe Manchin Ranking Member Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 304 Dirksen Senate Office BuildingWashington, DC 20510
The Honorable Raul Grijalva Chairman House Natural Resources Committee 1329 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Rob Bishop Ranking Member House Natural Resources Committee 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington, DC 20515
RE: HR2215 & S.1009 - Request for Committee Hearing
Dear Chair Murkowski, Ranking Member Manchin, Chair Grijalva and Ranking Member Bishop:
We represent over NGOs/CBOs in the Los Angeles Region. The San Gabriel Mountains are the iconic visual of Los Angeles in magazines and sporting events, however more importantly they are our local treasure for access to nearby nature and home to many special species and ecosystems. We urge you to move HR2215 and S.1009 forward to committee hearings so that we can ensure that our precious remaining natural resources remain vibrant and a healthy ecosystem for plants, animals and the people who live in our region. In a park poor county such as Los Angeles they provide several critical functions and resources for our people.
Most of us have worked with Nature for All, an organization that has been the lead advocate for the preservation of the San Gabriels. We stand with them in requesting that you hold hearings as soon as possible on these bills. Since the October 2014 proclamation by President Obama established the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument there has been progress made in the preservation of the objects of interest protected by the designation, improved visitor services and investments in new jobs for a diverse and younger workforce within the US Forest Service. The positive impacts of the designation are significant.
However, the Upper Los Angeles River watershed, an important area of the San Gabriel Mountains in the Angeles National Forest was left out of the monument designation and the last remaining wild places deserve wilderness and wild river need special designations to ensure the strongest protections for the watershed. Further, throughout the foothills outside of the Forest in the San Gabriel Valley, the Rio Hondo and the San Gabriel River corridors and the Puente Chino Hills there is an opportunity to connect, protect and create open spaces for our community by establishing a National Recreation Area. Realization of the vision and goals for these designations is critically important particularly for the people of color in low income communities. The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was established in order to protect critical objects of interest and improve visitor services, now we have an opportunity to take that action a step farther so that our children will be able to enjoy all the benefits, mental and physical that nature can provide. We urge you to schedule this matter for a hearing as soon as possible.