Yellowstone in the Backyard: Time to Declare LA’s San Gabriel Mountains a National Monument

Huffington Post

San Gabriel Mountains
Flickr: Rennett Stowe

As we head into the final days of August, most Americans are looking for one last summer escape. Many people have to travel hundreds of miles to find a refuge from the crush of everyday life. But the 17 million people living in Greater Los Angeles can find wild beauty right in their backyards.

The San Gabriel Mountains rise like a rampart at the edge of the city, safeguarding more than 500,000 acres of mature forests, mountain streams, dramatic waterfalls, and towering peaks that reach over 9,000 feet. These untamed places attract bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and other threatened or endangered species.

That is why 80 percent of Los Angeles County voters support proposed protections. And that’s why so many local groups are calling for permanent protection of the San Gabriels. Supporters range from Amigos de los Rios to the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, former Congresswoman Hilda Solis, Congresswoman Judy Chu, and incoming State Senate Pro Tempore Kevin DeLeon. Xavier Morales, the executive director of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, said conserving the mountains is part of his group’s mission to address “inequities in the environmental conditions that contribute to health disparities among our communities.” 

read the full story at Huffington Post