On August 26 the U.S. Forest Service will host a panel of local user groups, youth corps, cultural preservation experts, land management specialists and selected officials who will explore opportunities to enhance access, recreational use and protection of scenic, cultural and historic areas in the Angeles National Forest and portions of the San Bernardino National Forest The public discussion will be held August 26 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Park Performing Arts Center at 4640 North Maine Avenue in Baldwin Park.
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 the scenic mountain backdrop for the Los Angeles basin and it includes over 70 percent of the open space for Los Angeles County and one-third of the county’s drinking water. It is also 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 continuous San Gabriel Mountains range and it 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 challenges of increasing recreational demands. At this meeting the Forest Service will invite the public to explore opportunities to achieve shared goals to enhance the protection of wildland and watershed values.
How much do you know about the 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, they provide assistance to state and private landowners and they maintain 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. Additionally, the agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the United States, of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.