PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — A Southern California lawmaker is set to protest what he says is a "federal land grab" by the Obama Administration.
KNX 1070's Bob Brill reports Assemblyman Tim Donnelly issued a warning ahead of a scheduled visit by President Obama to the San Gabriel Mountains, where he is expected to declare 600,000 acres of the land as a "national monument."
Hesperia Lawmaker To Protest San Gabriel Mountains 'Land Grab'
Any move by the White House to take control of a large swath of land adjacent to the Angeles National Forest and portions of the San Bernardino National Forest could force the closure of popular local attractions such as the Mount Baldy ski resort, the Burro Canyon shooting range and hiking and biking trails, according to Donnelly.
New permit, parking and access fees could be imposed and local mineral and water rights could also be affected by the designation, Donnelly said.
Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) will announce a planned protest at a Pasadena park where Mr. Obama is set to speak Friday, according to Donnelly's office.
HR 4858 (PDF), a bill authored by Pasadena Congresswoman Judy Chu to designate the land a National Recreation Area, is currently being reviewed by a Congressional committee.
But Donnelly alleges Chu is hoping to bypass Congressional oversight by having President Obama make the declaration using an executive order.
"What we see here is somebody trying to make a name for themselves, in this case Congresswoman Judy Chu, but she's doing it and ramrodding it over the objections of a huge portion of the community," said Donnelly.
Among those objectors: Glendora Mayor Judy Nelson, who has registered her opposition to the plan as a private citizen and not in her official capacity for the city of Glendora.
"The reason for [monument declarations] is to protect and preserve, which means restrict and regulate," said Nelson.
In addition to the planned protest, a number of citizens and elected officials were expected to deliver letters of opposition to Chu's office Monday.
The San Gabriel Mountains provide over 70 percent of open space in Los Angeles County and host over 3 million visitors a year, nearly as many visitors as major national parks like Yellowstone, according to Chu's office.
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