MWBA & the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

20140622-DSC00031 As a result of a newspaper article in the Pasadena Star News, the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument proposal has spurred many questions from our members.  The article inaccurately states Judy Chu met with MWBA after the recent Baldwin Park meeting. MWBA has yet to have a personal audience with Chu but we are hoping to do so in the near future.  However, IMBA has met on our behalf with multiple parties in Washington DC about the monument and indeed met with Chu’s staff in DC.

Following the public meeting in Baldwin Park, the MWBA Board collectively decided we needed to get into the mix and be a part of the discussions to preserve mountain biking access in the San Gabriel Mountains. We strongly believe that sitting at the discussion table is the best way to ensure continued mountain bike access in our beloved backyard.

Our board members have spent hours asking questions about the proposal to clear the fog about what a monument designation would actually mean. In collaboration with other local organizations, MWBA has written a FAQ and statement letter about the National Monument. MWBA support of the monument is conditional upon protection of mountain bike access.  After the proclamation, the Forest Service would need to develop a management plan which could include a trails strategy. Within a trails strategy there are often opportunities for new trails or substantial improvements and thoughtful system design. Those improvements often render existing routes superfluous thus needing restoration. The recent Fort Ord National Monument on the Central Coast (where the Sea Otter Classic races are held) was written in a manner to specifically protect bike access. IMBA was involved in the Ford Ord proposal and MWBA has rallied the same characters to assist in protecting our access to the San Gabriel Mountains.

Linked below is the FAQ jointly created with CORBA, IMBA, San Gabriel Mountains Forever, Conservation Lands Foundation, and The Wilderness Society.  The FAQ addresses the common questions buzzing around a National Monument designation and how it would effect our local lands. Most importantly, the FAQ addresses how a National Monument designation can be very flexible and tuned to local needs.

Click to view the FAQ pdf file:  Joint-SGMNM-FAQ