The White House
October 10, 2014
San Gabriel Mountains National Monument
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS NATIONAL MONUMENT
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Known as the crown to the Valley of Angels, the peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains frame the
Los Angeles skyline. Over 15 million people live within 90 minutes of this island of green,
which provides 70 percent of the open space for Angelenos and 30 percent of their drinking
water. Millions recreate and rejuvenate in the San Gabriels each year, seeking out their cool
streams and canyons during the hot summer months, their snowcapped mountains in the winter,
and their trail system and historic sites throughout the year.
The San Gabriels are some of the steepest and most rugged mountains in the United States.
Situated adjacent to the mighty San Andreas Fault, the mountains are geologically active,
migrating northwest at an average of 2 inches each year. Deep canyons, many with precious
perennial streams, score the mountain peaks — north toward the arid Mojave Desert and south to
the temperate San Gabriel Valley.
The rich cultural history of these mountains echoes their striking geologic features and
ecological diversity. Cultural resources represent successive layers of history, including that of
Native Americans, Spanish missionaries and colonialists, Mexican rancheros, and Euro-American settlers and prospectors. Native American history runs deep, at least 8,000 years,
exemplified by the Aliso-Arrastre Special Interest Area known for its heritage resource values,
including several rock art and cupules features, the concentration of which is unique to southern
California. Due to urban development and natural processes, this area also contains the best
preserved example of a Gabrielino pictograph that characterizes the California Tradition of rock
Early European explorers' use of the area consisted mainly of early explorers traveling through
the area. Over time, land grants, Spanish missions, and townsites surrounded the mountains,
relying heavily on them for water, building supplies, and game.
By the 1840s, gold prospectors poured into the mountains. Large placer and lode mining
operations were established in the San Gabriels, with mixed success. The historic mining town of
Eldoradoville, located along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River, had at its peak in 1861 a
population of over 500 miners, with general stores, saloons, and dance halls along with
numerous mining camps of tents, wooden shacks, and stone cabins along the river.
In the early 20th century, responding to the burgeoning interest of urban dwellers in backcountry
hiking and weekend rambling, a number of trails, lodges, and camps — many of which were
accessible only by horseback or on foot — were constructed throughout the mountains. Remnants
of these historic resorts, which attracted local residents and Hollywood stars alike, can still be
seen and are important aspects of the region's social and cultural history.
Enthusiasm for recreating in the mountains continues today. The San Gabriels offer hundreds of
miles of hiking, motorized, and equestrian trails, including several National Recreational Trails
and 87 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. In the footprint of the resorts of the Great
Hiking Era, many visitors partake of Forest Service campgrounds built on the foundations of
early 20th-century lodges and resorts. In a region with limited open space, the mountains are the
backyard for many highly urbanized and culturally diverse populations within Los Angeles,
underscoring the need for strong partnerships between this urban forest and neighboring
The mountains have hosted world-class scientists, studying the terra firma at their feet as well as
the distant galactic stars. Astronomer Edwin Hubble performed critical calculations from his
work at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, including his discovery that some nebulae were actually
galaxies outside our own Milky Way. Assisted by Milton Humason, he also discovered the
presence of the astronomical phenomenon of redshift that proved the universe is expanding. Also
on Mt. Wilson, Albert Michelson, America's first Nobel Prize winner in a science field,
conducted an experiment that provided the first modern and truly accurate measurement of the
speed of light. Closer to earth, the San Dimas Experimental Forest, established in 1933 as a
hydrologic laboratory, continues the study of some of our earliest and most comprehensively
monitored research watersheds, providing crucial scientific insights.
Although proximate to one of America's most urban areas, the region has untrammeled
wilderness lands of the highest quality, including four designated wilderness areas: San Gabriel,
Sheep Mountain, Pleasant View Ridge, and Magic Mountain. These lands provide invaluable
backcountry opportunities for the rapidly expanding nearby communities and also provide
habitat for iconic species including the endangered California condor and least Bells' vireo, and
the Forest Service Sensitive Nelson's bighorn sheep, bald eagle, and California spotted owl.
Inventoried roadless areas and lands recommended for designation as Wilderness also provide
important habitat, including a connectivity corridor important for wide ranging species, such as
the mountain lion.
The importance of the San Gabriels' watershed values was recognized early. As early as the late
1800s, local communities petitioned to protect the mountains for their watershed values. As a
result, President Benjamin Harrison established the San Gabriel Timberland Reserve in 1892, the
precursor to the Angeles National Forest.
Reflecting the needs of the nearby population centers, the San Gabriels host an array of flood
control and water storage, delivery, and diversion infrastructure, including six large retention
dams as well as numerous telecommunications and utility towers.
The San Gabriels' rivers not only provide drinking water but are also areas of high ecological
significance supporting rare populations of native fish, including the threatened Santa Ana
sucker. The San Gabriel River supports rare arroyo chub and Santa Ana speckled dace, a species
found only in the Los Angeles Basin. Little Rock Creek tumbles down from the northern
escarpment to the Mojave Desert below and supports important populations of the endangered
mountain yellow-legged frog and arroyo toad, as well as the threatened California red-legged
frog. On the slopes of Mt. San Antonio, San Antonio Creek rushes through an alpine canyon
studded with stalwart bigcone Douglas fir, and the magnificent 75-foot San Antonio Falls draw
thousands of visitors every year.
In addition to rivers, the San Gabriels contain two scenic lakes, both formed by the area's
remarkable geologic forces. The alpine Crystal Lake, found high in the mountains, was formed
from one of the largest landslides on record in southern California. Jackson Lake is a natural sag
pond, a type of pond formed between the strands of an active fault line — in this case, the San
Climatic contrasts in the San Gabriels range from the northern slope desert region, home to
Joshua trees and pinyon pines, to high-elevation white fir and a notable stand of 1,000-year-old
limber pines. Vegetation communities, including chaparral and oak woodland, represent a
portion of the rare Mediterranean ecosystem found in only 3 percent of the world. Mediterranean
climate zones have high numbers of species for their area.
The San Gabriels also provide suitable habitat for 52 Forest Service Sensitive Plants and as many
as 300 California-endemic species, including Pierson's lupine and San Gabriel bedstraw, that
occur only in the San Gabriel range.
The mountains harbor several of California's signature natural vegetation communities, including
the drought-tolerant and fire-adapted chaparral shrubland, which is the dominant community and
includes scrub oaks, chamise, manzanita, wild lilac, and western mountain-mahogany. Mixed
conifer forest is an associated vegetation community comprising Jeffrey pine, sugar pine, white
fir, and riparian woodlands including white alder, sycamore, and willow. These communities
provide habitat for numerous native wildlife and insect species, including agriculturally
important pollinators, the San Gabriel Mountains slender salamander, San Bernardino Mountain
kingsnake, song sparrow, Peregrine falcon, mule deer, and Pallid bat.
WHEREAS section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431) (the "Antiquities
Act"), authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic
landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest
situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be
national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all
cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of
the objects to be protected; and
WHEREAS it is in the public interest to preserve and protect the objects of scientific and historic
interest at the San Gabriel Mountains;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the
authority vested in me by section 2 of the Antiquities Act, hereby proclaim the objects identified
above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Government
of the United States to be the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument (monument) and, for
the purpose of preserving those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands
owned or controlled by the Government of the United States within the boundaries described on
the accompanying map entitled, "San Gabriel Mountains National Monument" and the
accompanying legal description, which are attached to and form a part of this proclamation.
These reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 346,177 acres,
which is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be
All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of the monument are hereby
appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, leasing, or other
disposition under the public land or other Federal laws, including location, entry, and patent
under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal
leasing, other than by exchange that furthers the protective purposes of the monument, or
disposition of materials under the Materials Act of 1947 in a manner that is consistent with the
proper care and management of the objects protected by this proclamation.
The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing rights. Lands and interests in
lands within the monument's boundaries not owned or controlled by the United States shall be
reserved as part of the monument upon acquisition of ownership or control by the United States.
To the extent allowed by applicable law, the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior shall
manage valid Federal mineral rights existing within the monument as of the date of this
proclamation in a manner consistent with the proper care and management of the objects
protected by this proclamation.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to alter the valid existing water rights of any
party, including the United States.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to interfere with the operation or maintenance,
nor with the replacement or modification within the existing authorization boundary, of existing
water resource, flood control, utility, pipeline, or telecommunications facilities that are located
within the monument, subject to the Secretary of Agriculture's special uses authorities and other
applicable laws. Existing water resource, flood control, utility, pipeline, or telecommunications
facilities located within the monument may be expanded, and new facilities may be constructed
within the monument, to the extent consistent with the proper care and management of the
objects protected by this proclamation, subject to the Secretary of Agriculture's special uses
authorities and other applicable law.
The Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) shall manage the monument through the Forest Service,
pursuant to applicable legal authorities, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this
proclamation. The Secretary shall prepare, within 3 years of the date of this proclamation and in
consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, a management plan for the monument and shall
promulgate such regulations for its management as deemed appropriate. The Secretary shall
provide for maximum public involvement in the development of that plan, including, but not
limited to, consultation with tribal, State, and local government, as well as community
environmental conservation, health, and justice organizations. The plan shall provide for
protection and interpretation of the scientific and historic objects identified above and for
continued public access to those objects, consistent with their protection. To the maximum extent
permitted by other applicable law and consistent with the purposes of the monument, the plan
shall protect and preserve Indian sacred sites, as defined in section 1(b) of Executive Order
13007 of May 24, 1996, and access by Indian tribal members for traditional cultural, spiritual,
and tree and forest product-, food-, and medicine-gathering purposes.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to enlarge or diminish the rights of any Indian
tribe as defined in section 1(b) of Executive Order 13007.
The Secretary shall prepare a transportation plan that specifies and implements such actions
necessary to protect the objects identified in this proclamation, including road closures and travel
restrictions. For the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, except for emergency or
authorized administrative purposes, the Secretary shall limit all motor vehicle use to designated
roads, trails, and, in the Secretary's discretion, those authorized off-highway vehicular use areas
existing as of the date of this proclamation.
The Secretary shall, in developing any management plans and any management rules and
regulations governing the monument, consult with the Secretary of the Interior. The final
decision to issue any management plans and any management rules and regulations rests with the
Secretary of Agriculture. Management plans or rules and regulations developed by the Secretary
of the Interior governing uses within national parks or other national monuments administered by
the Secretary of the Interior shall not apply within the monument.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to enlarge or diminish the jurisdiction of the
State of California with respect to fish and wildlife management.
Laws, regulations, and policies followed by the United States Forest Service in issuing and
administering grazing permits or leases on all lands under its jurisdiction shall continue to apply
with regard to the lands in the monument in a manner consistent with the proper care and
management of the objects protected by this proclamation.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to alter the authority or responsibility of any
party with respect to emergency response activities within the monument, including wildland fire
response. The Secretary may carry out vegetative management treatments within the monument,
except that timber harvest and prescribed fire may only be used when the Secretary determines it
appropriate to address the risk of wildfire, insect infestation, or disease that would endanger the
objects identified above or imperil public safety.
Recognizing the proximity of the monument to Class B airspace and that a military training route
is over the monument, nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to restrict general aviation,
commercial, or military aircraft operations, nor the designation of new units of special use
airspace or the establishment of military flight training routes, over the monument.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or
appropriation; however, the monument shall be the dominant reservation.
Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to appropriate, injure, destroy, or
remove any feature of the monument and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of October, in the year of
our Lord two thousand fourteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the
two hundred and thirty-ninth.