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Give the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument more time

To the editor: It's true that, after decades of neglect, many areas within the newly designated San Gabriel Mountains National Monument need improvement. But the president gave the U.S. Forest Service three years to create a new management plan. ("In the San Gabriel Mountains, they're asking: What monument?," Aug. 18)

Why belittle the great achievement of permanent protection, won less than a year ago when our backyard mountain range became a national monument? This is a source of drinking water, wildlife habitat and much-needed recreational opportunities, especially for those with little access to parks.

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Only the first round of public comments is complete. We urge the Forest Service to listen to the many voices calling for a better management plan, one that includes cleanup of trash and graffiti, improves trails and offers education programs. We must keep watch on the Forest Service's progress.

Daniel Rossman, Los Angeles

The writer is senior regional representative for California at the Wilderness Society.

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