News Releases

Hispanic Access’ Statement on Listening Session Hispanic Access’ Statement on Listening Session
08 November 2023

Hispanic Access’ Statement on Listening Session for the Expansion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Category: News Releases

On November 7, the USDA Forest Service is holding a listening session to hear from the local community on their thoughts behind the legislative proposal to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, adding 109,000 acres of public land. In response to the public meetings, Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement:

"Los Angeles County is one of the most densely populated and polluted areas in the nation, with Latinos being the largest ethnic group, making up 49 percent of the population. About five million people (half of LA County’s population) live in neighborhoods without any nearby parks. Expanding the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument will help increase equitable access to nature, improve public health, and ensure historically underserved communities can enjoy this beloved region now and for generations to come.”

“Senator Alex Padilla and Representative Judy Chu have led the effort to call on President Biden and join the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians, and over 27,000 community members that have signed a petition, Los Angeles County and the Cities of Alhambra, Baldwin Park, Monterey Park, Santa Clarita, and South Pasadena, in expressing our support for the expansion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. Local and regional residents have also shared in public meetings their full support of the initiative.

“The proposed expansion area would also safeguard wildlife corridors and habitats for species such as black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and mule deer; it will help address the climate and biodiversity crises by protecting important habitats, sources of water, and wildlife corridors and contributing to state and federal goals to conserve 30 percent of public lands and waters by 2030.”

The proposed expansion area is considered the “gateway” to the Angeles National Forest and, as a result, is one of the most visited parts of the forest. According to the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest received 4.6 million visitors in 2021—more than the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park received in the same year.

MANO Project
is an initiative of Hispanic 
Access Foundation.

P: (202) 640-4342