To the editor: I have spent countless hours hiking and taking photographs in our magnificent San Gabriel Mountains. Each time I marvel at what an incredible resource we have that is visited by millions of people each year. ("Obama to declare national monument in San Gabriels," Oct. 8)
I have always wished our backyard mountain range would receive the recognition and funding it deserves. I am thrilled that President Obama will be helping make this happen by using his executive authority to protect the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument, as he has for other areas across the country.
Visitor programs and facilities are currently woefully underfunded and understaffed. National monument status will give us a better shot at changing that. This certainly wouldn't happen under the status quo.
Here is to improved access, hiking, hunting, skiing, fishing, mountain biking and habitat protection — and much more — in our new San Gabriel Mountains National Monument!
John Monsen, Pasadena
To the editor: It is thrilling to see Obama take note of some of the natural treasures in the Los Angeles area.
That said, I sure wish the president would move this San Gabriel National Monument to the National Park Service, where the Organic Act governs. It makes no sense to have "multiple use" mandates that allow for degradation of these lands when the president makes such a decree.
Bill Clinton's designated national monuments were a mistake. For example, the Carrizo Plain National Monument remained under the management of the Bureau of Land Management, and hunting is allowed in the same space as numerous endangered species. In the Giant Sequoia National Monument, the National Forest Service can still allow subsidized logging for private profit.
Surely Ken Burns' fantastic documentary series on the National Park Service has not fallen on deaf ears. This agency's oversight would equal better and more genuine protection for the San Gabriel Mountains, and this agency is one of America's best ideas.
Marcia Hanscom, Playa del Rey
The writer served on the Sierra Club board of directors from 2002 to 2005.