|Looking west from Cow Canyon Saddle into San Gabriel Canyon, the heart of the new monument.|
This is a big day for me, in the personal sense. The mountains I explored in my youth, the mountains where I learned to love the outdoors, are today being declared a National Monument. The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument designation is a long overdue recognition that the Los Angeles basin is surrounded by an extraordinary series of mountain ranges with unique and stunning geology, inspiring scenery, and unexpectedly pristine wilderness. For far too many years, the mountains have been abused, by both vandals and arsonists, but also by bureaucrats who never quite recognized the treasure they neglected.
I will have much to say in coming posts about the incredible geology that is part of the story of the San Gabriel Mountains. For now I simply want to say congratulations to those who labored long and hard for this day to happen. And thank you to President Obama for recognizing the value of these precious mountains.