New National Monument Designations: Great News for America and the Outdoor Industry

October 29, 2014

Within the past month President Obama designated the largest marine sanctuary in the world, and created the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, which is within 90 minutes of one of the largest urban populations in the country. In a letter sent last week, OIA thanked the president for his leadership on these designations, and encouraged the administration to provide adequate resources and staff for recreation access and infrastructure in and around the San Gabriel Mountains.

The administration recognized that 15 million people live within 90 minutes of San Gabriel Mountains in the Los Angeles area, and yet few young people and families have the opportunity to enjoy it. As the United State’s population grows, and participation in outdoor recreation increases, so does the responsibility to protect public lands in close proximity to places where Americans live, work and play. This National Monument designation, establishing 346,177 acres of national forest land in southern California, is a celebration of the areas that support outdoor recreation for all citizens. 

In the president’s speech on Friday, October 10, he highlighted the urban proximity, stating, “It’s not enough to have this awesome natural wonder within your sight – you have to be able to access it.”

Outdoor industry executive Kenji Haroutunian explained, “The San Gabriel Mountains are an amazing resource to millions of Angelenos and needs to be a higher profile public recreation resource. This will help our specialty retailers in the region as well as move the needle on putting more people on trails in southern California. The recreation economy stands to improve if the new designation provides meaningful improvements to infrastructure, staffing and management techniques.”

The outdoor industry, which relies in part on public lands and waters for its success, is excited to partner with the United States Forest Service to ensure this area continues to be a popular outdoor recreation destination and is accessible to the diverse populations that view this area not just as backcountry, but as their backyard. To learn more about America’s newest national monument, please click here.