The U.S. Forest Service will host a panel of local user groups, youth corps, cultural preservation experts, land management specialists and elected officials to explore opportunities for enhancing access, recreational use and protection of scenic, cultural and historic areas of interest on the Angeles National Forest and portions of the San Bernardino National Forest.
The event will be held tomorrow (Aug. 26) at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center- 4640 N. Maine Ave., Baldwin Park. Sign in is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., followed by special-guest presentations and panel discussion from 4 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and conversation stations from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Elected officials attending will include Congresswoman Judy Chu, Los Angeles County Supervisor-elect Hilda Solis, and representatives for Senator Barbara Boxer, Congressman Adam Schiff, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, and Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. Other VIPs will include Robert Bonnie, USDA Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; Tom Tidwell, Chief of the Forest Service; and Randy Moore, Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional Forester. Oscar Gonzales, California State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, will serve as the panel facilitator.
The historic and cultural significance of the San Gabriel Mountains and the surrounding forests are recognized by forest users, the public at large and elected representatives. Over the past decade, studies have been conducted to assess the way some of the last remaining open space should be protected and managed in the future. The Angeles National Forest is surrounded by a patchwork of intense urban development. It is the scenic mountain backdrop for the Los Angeles basin; and includes over 70 percent of the open space for Los Angeles County and one third of the county’s drinking water; for one of the largest and most diverse population centers in the world. The portion of the San Bernardino National Forest west of Lytle Creek is part of the contiguous San Gabriel Mountains range and shares the same unique natural character and significant recreational use by forest visitors.
The managers of the most urban forest in the country must reassess how to remain committed to forest and watershed conservation while meeting the challenge of increasing recreational demands. The Forest Service will engage the public to explore opportunities to achieve our shared goals to enhance protection of wildland and watershed values.
About the U.S. Forest Service: The mission of the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.