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May 13
1825 - Town founder Henry Mayo Newhall born in Saugus, Mass. [read/watch]
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The USDA Forest Service has completed portions of an Environmental Assessment for the proposed San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan. The portions of the document available for public review are Chapter 1, Introduction, and Chapter 2, Proposed Action and Alternatives.

This document is available for public review, but the Forest Service will not respond to any comments on the document at this time. The document is provided in advance of a formal public comment period schedule for July and August 2016, to give the public additional time to review and understand the proposed plan before submitting official comments.

[Download the document here]

[See the project website here]

 

sgmnm051716

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5 Comments

  1. jim says:

    Based on past precedent, I don’t expect this particular news tidbit to get many readers. Most people in the SCV don’t even know how close they are to the SGMNM (San Gabriel Mountains National Monument). Most people don’t go there and don’t care (or only go by paved road). Even more people do not know that the restrictions set by the Angeles National Forest have already severely limited access to this multi-thousand acre area.

    I’ll keep it short; this land is your land (and “this land is my land”) but most of us will only be allowed to access very small parts of it. The Forest Service, given full control of the area by the President’s proclamation will limit access and impact by American citizens based on it’s budget. The President’s proclamation did not increase funding for managing these mountain/forest/desert areas. The Angeles National Forest has been closing roads and limiting access for years due to budget cuts by Congress. It is not going to get any better in the future.

    So, take heart that the SGMNM will be protected in the future. And realize that the main thing the Forest Service will be protecting the National Monument from is you – and your kids. Except of course from the handy lookout points and kiosks that will provide you with virtual reality presentations on how the Forest Service is protecting the National Monument for you.

  2. Hardin Rich says:

    Well said Jim

  3. “The Forest Service, given full control of the area by the President’s proclamation will limit access and impact by American citizens based on it’s budget.”

    None of that is even remotely correct. The ANF was created formally in 1908, President Obama did *not* alter “control” or adversely impact access to our property in any way.

    The reverse is true: Public access of our public lands has *increased* thanks to the National Monument designation, and access to any of it has *not* decreased nor will it decrease in the slightest.

    Maybe if you had read the actual document you’re commenting upon and examined the news reports of shuttle service and financial donations already made to the National Monument which have improved access and trash processing, you would not have made such outrageous and obviously-false claims.

    Overwhelmingly the Forest Service has ensured that the watershed and recreation has not been adversely impacted by outrageous behavior by bad actors who visit the forest and think they can do anything they want. At the same time the Forest Service has been working with all of the groups and organizations which speak up and get involved in improving things.

    If you think there’s something wrong being done to the public lands, GET INVOLVED! Read the plans, examine the documents, send emails, send letters, make telephone calls, JOIN VOLUNTEER GROUPS, get hands-on and get involved in maintaining your public property.

    But don’t sit there and make claims about things which you know are false, and don’t sit there and complain about things you *think* are happening when you can get involved, get informed, and make a difference.

  4. jim says:

    Mr. Rice,

    I didn’t go into the full impact of the National Monument issue any more than I brought into the discussion the issues regarding the Rim of the Valley Corridor Study due to space and time. It was a brief comment. And you completely misunderstood that quote from said comment.

    The budgets for the National Forest Service have been cut by Congress so often over the years that staff reductions and service limitations are the only way they can survive. Why do you think that they created the Adventure Pass? That money isn’t going to last either since the recent court case found that only “improved” facilities can have special fees attached. Unless of course they only allow access to those improved facilities.

    I did not say that President Obama cut the budget. Again, our elected Congress did that.

    The NFS is the agency that will have to carry out the changes in status due to the creation of the “National Monument”. Given that there will be no budget increase to provide new services for the Monument, any new programs or services will come out of the existing budget. Your mention of donations doesn’t change that.

    Historically, in the Angeles National Forest the Service has been closing roads and limiting access to back country areas for years due to budget cuts and changes in policy. Sometimes that has been due to fire and subsequent flood damage. Other times (based on conversations with ANF personnel) it has been done to reduce the costs of maintenance and management. That includes closing and locking gates on access roads that are miles away from where fire/flood damage has occurred. Why is that? Again, from those discussions with ANF employees – it’s because gates are expensive and so is increased patrolling.

    I think that we are not going to agree on much regarding this issue. I’ve been going up into the San Gabriel Mountains (largely within the Forest) since the 1950’s. Hiking, camping, backpacking and occasionally hunting with family and friends although I gave up the hunting part a long time ago. I wish I could still go hiking, but age and physical infirmity limit that to short distances.

    Yes, I read about the SGMNM, just like I read and commented on the study for the Rim of the Valley Corridor. I think it’s great that there are plans to bring people by shuttle and bus to selected areas, and that there will be programs and volunteers to provide help and information.

    But I want to do what I used to do – drive up the Francisquito Motorway and see Bouquet Canyon Reservoir on one side and the Tehachpis on the other. I want to walk along the road (up to maybe a 1/4 mile) and see bear and mountain lion tracks. I want to drive up to Mount Pacifico, lean against the giant granite boulders and see Catalina Island. I want to drive up Alimony Ridge and see the San Andreas Fault’s pressure ridges diving northwest to southeast in front of my family’s old homestead.

    It would be interesting to know how much that public “access” to the ANF has increased since the President’s proclamation a year and a half ago. Unless of course you are referring to all of the National Monuments over the years. And access is one of those terms that can mean much, but really means little without qualification. If you just count heads/cars as they enter “the Monument” and are shuttled to the prepared specific locations you get a nice number. Of course that number doesn’t quantify the amount of access for each person, or the quality of it.

    Since I don’t live inside the borders of the ANF, I can only get to the parts I can drive to. Since most of the areas I used to visit have been closed to any vehicle use for numerous reasons (campgrounds closed, roads turned into trails, endangered species litigation, and of course budget cuts) I guess I’m stuck.

    Unless you invite me up to your place.

    • Jim H says:

      I think what Fred objected to is the tone that implied that the USFS has been decreasing access for some nefarious reason or due to some overarching plan. Also it seems that your objection is about how the horrendous budget cuts they have endured have affected access to roads. As a hiker not a driver there are very few areas that are inaccessible to me other than fire zones. Existing facilities are adequately maintained. I understand the frustration of not being able to drive in areas that would be open if there were sufficient funding. This is not their “plan”, and access is mostly limited by budget constraints, which are out of their hands and are due to a gross failure of political will at the national level. I wouldn’t blame the victims.

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