Expected monument expansions spur calls for management, funding

By Jennifer Yachnin | 04/16/2024 01:30 PM EDT

President Joe Biden is reportedly planning to add a total of 113,000 acres to two heavily visited California national monuments.

The snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains.

The snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains look over Chinatown in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 12, 2016. Nick Ut/AP

Conservationists cheered reports that the White House could soon expand a Southern California national monument, but they acknowledge that funding remains a problem as public use of the existing areas has generated problems with trash and graffiti.

President Joe Biden is expected to soon sign proclamations under the Antiquities Act of 1906 to expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument near Los Angeles and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument north of Sacramento.

Backers of the expansions say adding a combined 113,000 acres across both monuments is necessary to protect areas of cultural significance to Native Americans as well as ensure continued public access to those tracts.


But with the potential expansion of those monuments, there are concerns about how to ensure the success of the San Gabriel Mountains monument, which is within 90 miles of more than 18 million Californians.