The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was formally designated by President Obama last Friday at Bonelli Park. Today, the actual proclamation was released to the public and the San Gabriel National Monument is official.
MWBA is proud to have actively participated in the National Monument discussions and we are happy to see mountain biking mentioned (& pictured) in Friday’s White House press release.
The National Monument is a good thing for our local mountains and has already gathered additional resources and publicity to the needs of our forest and watershed. However, the actual proclamation of the National Monument and its map boundaries were not entirely what we expected. As many have noticed, the front side of Mt. Wilson, where many mountain bikers ride, is outside the National Monument boundary. Also, bicycling is not specifically mentioned in the proclamation, as we had hoped for.
IMBA, MWBA and CORBA will continue to push for specific language protecting mountain bike access within the National Monument as the management plan is developed by the USFS. We have been invited to sit on the management plan committee to represent the mountain biking community and we will work to ensure we not only have continued access to our beloved trails, but we will work to establish new programs that educate and employ trail etiquette and advocacy.
MWBA has had many positive conversations over the last week with the USFS, President Obama’s staff, and Judy Chu’s staff about the National Monument. Our Vice President, Jenny Johnson spoke with many officials in person at the “Celebration” event hosted by San Gabriel Mountains Forever. All of whom have welcomed the participation of the mountain bike community in the management plan process. Mountain bikers must continue to speak up and show our numbers during the management plan process to ensure the protection of mountain bike access.