Congresswoman Judy Chu has posted the following FAQs on her website.
Why do we need a national recreation area to protect the San Gabriel Watershed and Mountains area?
San Gabriel Mountains – The San Gabriel Mountains are visited by over 3 million people each year. However, persistent trash, graffiti, and safety issues increase fire dangers, decrease water quality, and threaten the ecology and unique habitats of the mountains. Resources are needed to make sure people can still enjoy this open space while also maintaining it better.
River Corridors and Puente Hills – The river corridors and Puente Hills provide important ecological connections to the mountains. But parks in these urban areas are few and far between, and lack the resources to adequately provide opportunities for residents and to walk, jog, bike, picnic, or enjoy other outdoor recreational activities.
Economic Value and Resources – Numerous studies have shown that recreational spaces increase property value and increase revenues for local businesses. An NRA designation could bring the kind of resources and recognition that places like Santa Monica and the West Side already enjoy. Additionally, California is a donor state. For every $1 we send to the Federal Government, we only get around .78 cents back. That’s 20% of our tax dollars we are losing out on, while other states benefit. This NRA is one way to get some of our tax dollars back, and encourage more economic activity.
Public Health and Environmental Justice – Los Angeles is the most park-poor region in the United States. New York City has more park space than L.A. Lack of recreational opportunities – large or small – has severe impacts on urban populations struggling with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and chronic illness. Opportunities to enjoy outdoor activity are vital for public health and the well being of people of all ages and walks of life.
Read the rest of the Congresswoman’s FAQs here.