By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Following recent meetings with federal officials on a proposed National Monument in the San Gabriel Mountains, First District Robert Lovingood said Tuesday he is hopeful that recent talks will convince the administration to exclude San Bernardino County from the monument proposal.
“I have spoken face-to-face with the senior administration official handling the San Gabriel Mountains proposal,” Lovingood said. “I believe the administration is seriously considering San Bernardino County’s objections, and I am cautiously optimistic that if the President signs the National Monument into law, that the boundaries will not include San Bernardino County.”
In September, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution opposing the designation of a National Monument in the San Bernardino County portion of the San Gabriel Mountain range.
In June of this year, Congresswoman Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, proposed creating a National Recreation Area for the expansive range, which runs from Pasadena to the Cajon Pass. When the idea did not move forward in Congress, the President reportedly indicated he was willing to bypass Congress and sign an order under the Antiquities Act designating the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.
“I firmly support protecting public lands,” Lovingood said. “While discussions have taken place in Los Angeles County, no such public sessions have been held in San Bernardino County. The National Monument proposal has bypassed public input from San Bernardino County residents, skirts Congress, and has failed to answer even the most basic questions on how this will impact the public.”
National Monument designation could interfere with property rights, recreational activities as well as economic development, especially around Wrightwood, which would be encircled by the national monument designation. There is no written plan yet outlining how the National Monument status would impact recreation in the lands currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service.