Lawmakers fight to keep San Gabriel Mountains a national monument

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The White House may soon reduce the number of official national monuments, including some in Southern California, but lawmakers and social activists are saying - not so fast.

Of the more than 100 national monuments in the U.S., 27 of them were placed on a short list to be under review by the Trump administration.

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is on that short list.

Tuesday morning, local members of Congress showed their support to preserve our local wilderness at a press conference held at the Los Angeles State Historic Park.

More than 346,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains were designated by former President Barack Obama in 2014. Since then, it has received $6.5 million in additional federal funding.

Activists and lawmakers fear the monument status could be rescinded or reduced, allowing for mining development as well as other environmental concerns.

"We want our San Gabriel Monument to stay as it is, and we want outdoor spaces, nature and fresh air for the people of Los Angeles County," said Rep. Judy Chu, D-California, 27th District.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, 28th District, said the Trump administration may have zeroed in on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument for a very specific reason.

"We also don't know why specific monuments, including the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, were targeted and not others. Our guess is simple. President Trump, in his zeal against anything President Obama did no matter what it is, is against this, too," Schiff said.

Schiff added that he believes it's important to move forward, not backward, in preserving nature

However, being on the "under review" list has not led to immediate changes elsewhere. The U.S. Department of the Interior has already recommended no changes for at least four of the monuments that were under review.

A decision on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is expected to be released on Thursday.
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