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Biden Expands California Monuments, Protects 120,000 Acres

President Biden has taken action to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument in California. This move will protect nearly 120,000 acres of land. A White House official mentioned that this step would help to preserve an area rich in history and ecological significance within an hour’s drive of 18 million people.

The expansion of the monuments would increase the San Gabriel Monument’s boundaries, incorporating neighborhoods like Sylmar, Santa Clarita, and Pacoima. It would also provide the U.S. Forest Service with enhanced abilities to safeguard natural resources in areas that were not included in the previous monument designation by President Obama in 2014.

President Biden’s proclamation aims to add and protect over 105,000 acres of land in the San Gabriel Monument and close to 14,000 acres in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. Vice President Kamala Harris expressed that these expansions will improve access to nature, support the outdoor economy, and recognize areas important to Tribal Nations and Indigenous peoples as the administration continues to ensure the protection of public lands for all Americans and future generations.

The expansion also ensures the protection of an 11-mile-long ridgeline considered sacred to the Patwin tribe and home to a variety of rare natural features. Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Alex Padilla, both California Democrats, had urged President Biden to take this action, citing the Antiquities Act of 1906 as the legal authority for such a proclamation, as conservation bills in Congress had been delayed.

President Biden’s move has drawn attention and triggered discussions about the future conservation efforts and the role of executive action in shaping environmental policy.

Written by Staff Reports

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