WASHINGTON, October 10, 2014 — U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today made the following statements:
Statement by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack
"President Obama's designation of this newest National Monument ensures that millions of Americans, many of them children with limited access to places where they can play and explore the natural world, can continue to enjoy the rich history and striking beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains.
With this designation, President Obama has now protected more than 260 million acres of land and water—a strong commitment to conservation that is part of our daily work at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This designation brings expanded support for our partnerships with local communities to strengthen restoration efforts and increased priority for financial resources in the future. It allows communities to continue to use the open space for the activities they love, including hiking, fishing, skiing and snowmobiling, and outdoor recreation businesses that operate within the San Gabriels can continue to do so freely. It helps to preserve clean water resources during a time when millions of Californians face record drought. Perhaps most importantly, today's designation ensures that the abundant natural resources and verdant beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains will endure to inspire future generations."
Statement by Chief Tom Tidwell
"Today, the Forest Service once again welcomes the opportunity to be part of a historic national monument declaration, as we celebrate an area that represents significant cultural, historical, geologic and scientific heritage for California and the nation. Based on the popularity of the San Gabriel Mountains, as well as the American cultural treasures unique to the region, I believe this is a great choice for National Monument status. The Forest Service has already successfully managed this area for years, but I am heartened to know that from here on out we will continue forward with the higher status and level of protection that national monument status conveys. The Forest Service will continue to protect the region while safeguarding the benefits it already provides to surrounding communities, such as existing power, water and other infrastructure and services, as well as expanding opportunities for local citizens to enjoy great outdoors just on the doorstep of the expansive, surrounding urban areas. I look forward to what the future holds for this newly designated national monument and the millions of visitors who will continue to benefit from all it has to offer."
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