San Gabriel Mountains expansion aims to improve access and environmental justice

A recent expansion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument is set to enhance green space accessibility for Los Angeles's communities of color.

Cora Cervantes and Raksha Vasudevan report for High Country News.


In short:

  • The monument's expansion by 105,919 acres aims to bring closer green spaces to nearly 464,000 nonwhite Angelenos.
  • New measures include increased staff, a shuttle service, and enhanced conservation efforts to address ongoing challenges of pollution and overcrowding.
  • Partnerships with local governments and nonprofits are expected to foster better stewardship and community engagement in managing the monument.

Key quote:

"The idea of stewardship is to be in a relationship with a place. If there’s no city park, going out into the wilderness, you know, people wild out."

— Brenda Kyle, program manager, Nature for All

Why this matters:

This expansion aims to provide more equitable access to natural areas, which have historically been less accessible to minority communities, often due to urban development and socio-economic disparities.

Protected areas also help preserve biodiversity, safeguard watersheds that provide drinking water, and store carbon, which is vital in the fight against climate change. This initiative will enhance life quality for local communities and contribute to the resilience and sustainability of the region.

Related: Giving Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante the protection they deserve.

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