Legislators, over a million Americans voice concern over monuments executive order

Snow caps the San Gabriel Mountains east of Santa Clarita last December. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Over 1.4 million Americans voiced their opinions on President Donald Trump’s executive order to review select national monuments by the end of the public comment period on Monday.

Among the seven monuments Trump ordered the secretary of the interior to evaluate was the San Gabriel Mountains. If the mountain range was no longer considered a national monument, it would allow mining there.

Additionally, 56 California State Assembly members wrote a letter to Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, showing their support for the monuments.

Among the legislators who signed the letter was Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita), who said national parks and monuments are important to California.

“Here in our own backyard, monuments and parks enrich our community,” Acosta said to The Signal in a statement. “Furthermore, maintaining the protected status of key monuments, such as the Angeles National Monument, affects how we live our lives, connect with nature around us and even helps keep our air and water clean. To be responsible stewards of our state and country, we should all band together to protect key monuments.”

The letter cited the 730,000 jobs, $85 billion in consumer spending and about $6.7 billion in state and local tax revenue spurred by the monuments.

California legislators also approved Assembly Joint Resolution 15, garnering bipartisan support in favor of protecting national monuments.

To Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale), national monuments are an important part of historical preservation.

“These monuments stand as reminders of the past and how we grow and learn from them,” Knight said in a statement to The Signal. “A main responsibility of our government is to protect these lands and monuments that provide unlimited opportunities for families and communities to enjoy. I am concerned with these possible actions and how they will affect the San Gabriel Mountains.”

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