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 local and state elected officials in the Los Angeles Region. We urge you to move HR2215 and S.1109 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. We are deeply appreciative of your historical support for the San Gabriel Mountains. These mountains provide over 30% of the region’s water supply and serve as the “lungs” for the greater Los Angeles region in combating climate change. The fact that they are also 70% of the regions’ open space and the place where millions of people recreate makes them our national treasure.
Since the October 2014 proclamation by President Obama established the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument we have had tremendous success 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.
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was established in order to preserve our most treasured places in the San Gabriel Mountains and to improve visitor services. We have the opportunity with these bills 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.