Padilla Statement on Expansion of San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monuments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) issued the following statement after President Biden announced the expansion of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument by approximately 120,000 combined acres using his authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906:

“From the majestic peaks of the San Gabriel Mountains to the sacred woodlands of Berryessa Snow Mountain, our national monuments hold some of our greatest natural marvels. Protecting our public lands as National Monuments is essential to combating the climate crisis, preserving cultural and sacred history, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring access to green space for millions of low-income Americans.

“I am thrilled to see President Biden exercise his authority to permanently protect the entire San Gabriel Mountains and formally incorporate Molok Luyuk and its thousands of years of tribal origin stories into the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument. These monuments have fostered a lifelong connection to nature for millions of Californians, and their expansions will ensure future generations can experience and enjoy them as well. This announcement will also usher in an important new era of cooperative stewardship between our federal land management agencies and tribal governments, and marks a significant milestone following decades of local efforts to safeguard these natural landscapes.”

Senator Padilla has been a leader in calling on President Biden to expand the San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monuments and has previously introduced the PUBLIC Lands Act and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Expansion Act to permanently protect both areas.

Last year, Padilla and Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.-28) were joined by elected officials and community leaders to urge the Biden Administration to expand the boundary of California’s San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by nearly 110,000 acres by issuing a presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act of 1906. Padilla and Chu penned a letter to the Administration with the same proposal, which was based on Padilla’s PUBLIC Lands Act and Chu’s San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act that advanced out of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources last year.

For the past two Congresses, Senator Padilla and Representatives John Garamendi (D-Calif.-08) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.-04) previously introduced legislation to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to include adjacent Bureau of Land Management-administered public lands. Last October, Padilla, Garamendi, and Thompson led a letter to President Biden and Interior Department Secretary Deb Haaland urging the Administration to use its authority under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to expand the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument to protect the entirety of Molok Luyuk.

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