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San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Plan with access for all – young and old, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American!

Diverse organizations committed to equal justice, democracy, public health, and environmental quality have submitted the public comments below to the U.S. Forest Service (“USFS”) on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Management Plan Draft Environmental Assessment (“Management Plan”).

The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in the Angeles National Forest presents an opportunity to develop a final Plan to serve as a best practice for engaging diverse communities and ensuring they have access to all the benefits of the nation’s public lands while protecting forest resources. Within a day’s drive of 20 million residents and adjacent to one of the most diverse communities in the country, the Monument can inspire and engage a new generation of stewards for the earth and its people.

The draft Plan provides useful information on many aspects of environmental justice and health. USFS has also included diverse community participation at every step of the way in the planning process. We commend USFS for the magnitude of its work to date.

At the same time, progress toward environmental justice requires stronger civil rights compliance and enforcement by USFS, and by state and local agencies and private entities that receive USFS financial assistance. The draft Plan does not go far enough in providing clearly defined, data-based standards for to ensure equity, progress, and accountability.

The recommendations in these public comments will help strengthen the final Management Plan to serve the compelling public interests in environmental justice and health through. We look forward to working with USFS to improve the final Management Plan, and more importantly to implement the Plan.

In short, the message to the people should be: Visit the San Gabriels. Have fun. Be healthy. Learn about the people and place. Save the earth and its people and protect against climate change. Get a job as a ranger.

“This is an issue of social justice. Because it’s not enough to have this awesome natural wonder within your sight -– you have to be able to access it [–] young and old, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American.” President Barack Obama, dedicating the Monument in 2014.

Sincerely,

Amigos de los Rios * Azul * Bike San Gabriel Valley * California Wilderness Coalition * Center for Biological Diversity * The City Project * Diverse Environmental Leaders Speakers Bureau * EarthJustice * Earthwise Productions, Inc. * GreenLatinos * Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society * Jesus People Against Pollution * Kingdom Living Temple * Latino Coalition for a Healthy California * League of Conservation Voters * Los Angeles Conservation Corps * Mujeres de la Tierra * National Parks Conservation Association * Natural Resources Defense Council * New Alpha Community Development Corporation * The Whitney M. Slater Foundation * The Wilderness Society * TreePeople * Voces Verdes * Watts Labor Community Action Committee * WE ACT for Environmental Justice * West End Revitalization Association

Extraordinarily diverse allies are reflected in comments above and below:

Click for the public comments by the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Campaign.

Click for the public comments by San Gabriel Mountains Community Collaborative.

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