The Fund will respond to community priorities and support restoration and stewardship. It will focus on improving visitor experiences on the new National Monument that is within 90 minutes of 17 million residents of greater Los Angeles.
UPDATED DECEMBER 19 - The National Forest Foundation’s (NFF) Board of Directors has approved a $3 million San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Fund (SGMNMF) for high priority work on the new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument. The SGMNMF will jump start critical restoration and stewardship projects on the National Monument, designated by President Barack Obama on October 10th.
The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument will include roughly 350,000 acres of the rugged San Gabriel Mountains that rise from the Angeles National Forest. The Angeles National Forest represents 70 percent of the open space in Los Angeles County and provides more than one-third of the County’s drinking water. The NFF has been working to address restoration needs on the Angeles National Forest since 2010 as part of its national Treasured Landscapes, Unforgettable Experiences conservation campaign.
“This designation provides an exciting opportunity for the Forest Service and Los Angeles’ business and civic communities to provide residents and visitors with improved conditions to enjoy their public lands. The SGMNMF deepens our commitment to long-term stewardship with community-based partners and to connecting Los Angeles County’s diverse residents to the National Monument,” said NFF president, Bill Possiel.
“The NFF has a proven track record of working with the Los Angeles community. Since 2010, we have raised and invested $1.4 million for post-fire restoration work on the Angeles National Forest. We have supported a number of community organizations that connect young people to fantastic outdoor experiences,” he added.
“We are thrilled that the NFF is stepping up and pledging $3 million towards this new National Monument,” said Wendy Butts, Chief Executive Officer of the LA Conservation Corps – a long-time NFF partner and local nonprofit that provides at-risk and underserved youth with job skills and training through conservation and restoration projects.
The NFF has generated $2.1 million towards the goal of $3 million for the SGMNMF and is already engaging stakeholders as well as underserved communities in this initiative. The NFF is also working with a coalition of conservation groups, including the Resources Legacy Fund, which with funding from the Hewlett, Wyss, Annenberg, Packard, and California Communities Foundations, and the California Endowment, is working to establish a $500,000 San Gabriel Partnership Fund to support recreation and habitat improvement projects in the Monument and surrounding communities.
“This designation validates more than a decade of work that local groups have devoted to protecting the San Gabriel Mountains. We are committed to continuing our work with stakeholders, meeting our goal of $3 million and connecting underserved communities in Los Angeles with the treasured landscape out their back door,” said Possiel.
The NFF works across the country to connect Americans to the 193-million-acre National Forest System and to improve the health and public enjoyment of these remarkable natural areas. The NFF’s multi-year restoration initiative on the Angeles National Forest has been supported by the Walt Disney Company, Boeing Corporation, Coca-Cola, Edison International, Alcoa and a number of individuals and foundations.
“The NFF has been instrumental in helping to restore the Big Tujunga Canyon and other areas of the Angeles National Forest following the 2009 Station Fire, and we are pleased to be working with them to involve new stakeholder groups, identify high priority initiatives, raise funds and continue important restoration work on the National Monument,” noted Bruce Saito, LA Conservation Corps’ Executive Director Emeritus and Sr. Advisor.
Businesses and individuals interested in supporting the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Fund are encouraged to contact the National Forest Foundation to learn more about the Fund and the NFF’s restoration campaign in the Angeles National Forest.