Good news for the San Gabriel Mountains and California nature lovers! In October, President Obama declared that a large portion of the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California is now officially a national monument. He made the announcement at a signing ceremony in downtown Los Angeles.

The area that became a national monument, from Santa Clarita to San Bernadino, covers roughly 350,000 acres. Obama described the mountains as “magnificent” and an important part of the nation’s history.

“There haven’t been enough resources to manage and maintain this area the way it deserves,” Obama said. “We have a responsibility to be good stewards of those landscapes for future generations.”

San Gabriel Mountains

The beautiful San Gabriel Mountains.

The mountain range is also home to many archeological and culturally significant sites, including the Mount Wilson Observatory and a great deal of rock art.

“Within these hills lies millennia of history including the ancient rock art of native peoples, the first Americans,” Obama continued. “It was here at the Mount Wilson Observatory that Edwin P. Hubble showed the universe to be ever expanding, and it’s where astronomers still explore the mysteries of space.”

However, there is a vocal minority that opposes this decision. There was a proposed Congressional bill to turn the area into a national recreation area, but it gained any sort of traction.

Obama has been exercising his authority under the federal Antiquities Act to create or expand more than 12 national monuments during his presidency. Most recently, he expanded the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific.

What do you think about the decision to make the San Gabriel Mountains a national monument? Let us know in the comments section below!