Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited laud expansion of San Gabriel Mountains National Monument


May 2, 2024 


Sam Davidson, Trout Unlimited, [email protected], 831-235-2542 

Joel Weltzien, California BHA, [email protected], 406-925-3771 

Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, Trout Unlimited Laud Expansion of San Gabriel Mountains National Monument 

White House action “needed and welcome” to better protect habitat,  
water sources, and sporting opportunity in southern California 

ARLINGTON, VA—Today, President Biden issued a proclamation expanding the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, in the Angeles National Forest in southern California. Trout Unlimited (TU) and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) cheered this action, which has been strongly supported by conservation-focused angling and hunting organizations. 

This action adds over 109,000 acres to the monument and will help protect and sustain terrestrial and aquatic habitats, water sources, and sporting and recreational opportunities. In particular, the monument expansion will better protect tributary streams to the West Fork of San Gabriel River, a popular trout fishery, and a population of native rainbow trout with remnant genes of the southern steelhead, now one of California’s rarest native fishes. 

Joel Weltzien, California Coordinator for BHA, said, “As climate change and development continue to degrade, shrink or eliminate some of our most productive lands and waters for fish and wildlife, we must act to better protect these areas and the sporting opportunities they provide. For sportsmen and sportswomen, there is no substitute for good habitat. We salute President Biden for his commitment to keeping America’s fish and wildlife populations healthy, and our sporting heritage alive.” 

Twenty-two species of rare or endangered plants and animals are found in the San Gabriel Mountains. The monument is also home to game species such as mule deer and black bear, and supports a healthy population of bighorn sheep.  

Trevor Fagerskog, chair of TU’s California Council, said, “If we want future generations to be able to feel the wonder and thrill of a trout’s tug in streams such as the San Gabriel River, we must ensure the waters they need remain clear and cold and free-flowing. There is no time to lose. Trout are on the front lines of climate change. We have to better protect and manage our best remaining fish and wildlife habitats. For the millions of Americans for whom fishing and hunting are a primary way of connecting to the Great Outdoors, we thank President Biden for his action here, which is needed, timely, and most welcome.” 

The expansion of San Gabriel Mountains National Monument has been strongly supported by diverse interests, including Indigenous peoples, and for years has been proposed in legislation authored by U.S. Rep. Judy Chu and Sen. Alex Padilla – this bill, the San Gabriel Mountains Foothills and Rivers Protection Act, passed the House multiple times. While monument designation better protects areas with high habitat, cultural, historic, scientific, sporting and outdoor recreation values, it does not preclude or impede management actions that bolster forest and watershed health and resilience, nor does it preclude multiple-use activities such as development of valid existing mining claims, grazing and timber harvest.  

The vast majority of the best fishing and hunting opportunities in the western United States are found on federal public lands. TU and BHA are working with policymakers in Washington to ensure that the fish and wildlife values of these lands are permanently protected from degradation, and to improve funding for fish and wildlife management and habitat restoration. 

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Trout Unlimited is the nation’s oldest and largest coldwater fisheries conservation organization dedicated to caring for and recovering America’s rivers and streams so our children can experience the joy of wild and native trout and salmon. Across the country, TU brings to bear local, regional, and national grassroots organizing, durable partnerships, science-backed policy muscle, and legal firepower on behalf of trout and salmon fisheries, healthy waters, and vibrant communities. 

 Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands, waters, and wildlife. 

About Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

The Voice For Our Wild Public Lands, Waters & Wildlife.

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