I know it’s tough to think about protecting the future of the San Gabriel Mountains when they’re pretty much entirely engulfed in flames, but planning for future use and management may help to prevent out-of-control infernos like the Station Fire.

San Gabriel Mountains Forever, a coalition of local and national groups, is urging citizens to attend the local “Public Comment” meetings on the potential formation of a San Gabriel Mountains National Recreation Area, which I wrote about a few weeks ago. This group is urging for the protection of the maximum amount of land in the San Gabriel Mountains to be given National Recreation Area status, as well as a chain of local parks along the San Gabriel watershed.

A few interesting facts from their last press release:

– The Angeles National Forest is one of the top three most heavily used National Forests in the nation, and is located next to the country’s second largest urban population
– The ANF spends about a dollar per visitor on law enforcement, education, interpretation services, and visitor center management. Most of its operating budget goes toward firefighting efforts
– The nearby Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area spends 15 times that amount per visitor on education and recreation
– A San Gabriel Mountains NRA would leave the Forest Service in charge of the land, but with the added resources and support of the National Park Service

The remaining public comment meetings are as follows:

Diamond Bar
Wednesday, September 2
7pm – 9pm Arrive at 6:30 p.m.
Diamond Bar Center Ballroom
1600 S. Grand Avenue
Directions: From CA-60 east exit Grand Ave. toward Diamond Bar. Turn right onto Grand Ave.

Santa Clarita
Thursday, September 3
7pm – 9pm Arrive at 6:30 p.m.
George A. Caravalho Activities Center
Santa Clarita Room A
20880 Centre Point Parkway
Directions: From the CA-14 Freeway exit Placerita Canyon Rd. to Sierra Hwy. Turn left on Golden Valley Road and right on Center Point Pkwy.

Monday, September 14
7pm – 9pm Arrive at 6:30 p.m.
Glendora Public Library
140 South Glendora Avenue

Tuesday, September 15
7pm – 9pm Arrive at 6:30 p.m.
Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, Lilac Room
38350 Sierra Highway

You can also download a PDF of the comment form, to return via mail or email. The comment period ends October 30th.

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