By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
President Obama designated 346,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles as a National Monument. The land is located within the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests in Southern California. While the action does not immediately close any roads, it prohibits new roads or trails for motorized vehicles and will require drafting of a new land management plan. It is the 13th designation by President Obama, which includes two National Monuments in New Mexico of nearly 750,000 acres combined.
Under current law, the President has the authority to declare a parcel of public land with “historic or scientific interest” to be a National Monument. SEMA supports a bill (HR 1459) passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would place limits on that authority. Under the bill, the President could declare a monument less than 5,000 acres, but that declaration would need Congressional approval within three years. A larger parcel of land would require a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) study, thereby ensuring public input. The bill is pending consideration in the U.S. Senate.
For more information, contact Stuart Gosswein at firstname.lastname@example.org.