President Obama declares part of San Gabriel Mountains a national monument

SAN DIMAS, Calif. (KABC) -- President Barack Obama declared nearly 350,000 acres within the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument.

The president made the announcement on Friday at Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas.

Supporters say this allows extra federal resources to pour into the area to clean up the trash littering hiking trails and rivers.

The president said preserving the San Gabriel Mountains will provide much needed recreational space for Angelenos.

"We heard from the community, that for a lot of urban communities, this is their only big outdoor space. Too many children in L.A. County, especially children of color, don't have access to parks, where they can run free and breathe fresh air, experience nature and learn about their environment," Mr. Obama said.

The White House says Los Angeles County is one of the most disadvantaged areas in terms of access to open space.

Those who oppose the move worry about potential use restrictions, saying they want the federal government out of the lives of hikers, ATV rider and hunters. Also, some California lawmakers faulted Mr. Obama for acting without congressional input.

Mr. Obama has used his authority under the federal Antiquities Act to create or expand 12 other national monuments nationwide.

"As president, I've now preserved more than 3 million acres of public lands for future generations," the president said, adding, "and I'm not finished."

Mr. Obama said his administration is continuing to look for additional opportunities to preserve federal lands and waters, especially in areas with vocal communities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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