President Barack Obama has designated national forest land in the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California as a national monument to protect the area for outdoor recreation.
More than 15 million people live within 90 minutes of the mountains. The monument encompasses 346,177 acres, including wilderness, hundreds of miles of trails, the Mt. Wilson Observatory and a watershed that provides 30 percent of the area’s drinking water. Trout Unlimited, the nation’s oldest sportsmen’s organization, said the designation will enhance fishing and hunting opportunities. The East and West Forks of the San Gabriel River provide one of the area’s few wild trout waters, with remnant populations linked to the native and endangered southern steelhead.