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FOR Logo Friends of the River
 The voice of California's rivers

San Gabriel Wild & Scenic Campaign

Middle Fork LytleSan Gabriel StreamSan Gabriel Angler


Steve EvansFor more information about FOR's work to protect Wild & Scenic Rivers contact Steve Evans by email at

Support the San Gabriel Mountians National Recreation Area



To view the campaigns official website, click here.

San Gabriel Mountains And Rivers Protection Bill Introduced In Congress!

In the first week of 2011, Representative David Dreier (R-San Dimas) introduced the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests Protection Act (H.R. 113). The bill proposes to protect 18,276 acres of public land as additions to the existing Sheep Mountain and Cucamonga Wilderness areas in the San Gabriel Mountains of southern California. In addition, H.R. 113 proposes to complete Wild & Scenic Studies for the San Gabriel River (North, West, and East Forks), San Antonio Creek, and the Middle Fork Lytle Creek. To read a copy of H.R. 113 click here.

Friends of the River and its conservation allies hailed introduction of the bill, although it has technical language that remains a work in progress. In addition, there are more wild lands and rivers that could be protected in the bill.  Conservationists vowed to work with Rep. Dreier to increase the amount of wilderness acreage protected, as well as advocate for outright designation of the Wild & Scenic Rivers. For a copy of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever media release, <click here>.

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San Gabriel River Wild and Scenic Map

Click the San Gabriel River map above to open a larger version.  Click here to learn more about the San Gabriel River.

San Antonio Creek Wild & Scenic Map

Click the San Antonio Creek map above to open a larger version.  Click here to learn more about the San Antonio Creek.

Lytle Creek Wild & Scenic Map

Click the Lytle Creek map above to open a larger version.  Click here to learn more about the Lytle Creek.

Southern California Voters Support Wild Rivers

A recent poll of 400 likely voters in the San Gabriel Valley of southern California demonstrates strong support for the protection of wild places in the adjacent San Gabriel Mountains. Approximately 72% of those polled supported Wild & Scenic River protection for the mountain range’s waterways, while 67% supported wilderness protection.

More than 75% of the people polled supported the specific proposal developed by Friends of the River and its allies to protect 46 miles of wild and scenic rivers and more than 34,500 acres of wilderness in the southern San Gabriel Mountains. The proposal includes segments of the upper San Gabriel River, San Antonio Creek, and Middle Fork Lytle Creek on the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests. It also includes important additions to the existing Sheep Mountain, Cucamonga, and San Gabriel Wilderness area.

The poll of likely voters in the 26th Congressional District was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies in late July. The support for wild rivers and wilderness protection crossed party, gender, ethnic, and geographic lines and 55% of those polled said that they would be more likely to vote for the local member of Congress if he were to support such a proposal.

Representative David Dreier (R-San Dimas), who represents the communities of Pasadena, Monrovia, Glendora, San Dimas, Claremont, Upland, and Rancho Cucamonga in the 26th Congressional District responded favorably to the poll. In January 2011, he introduced H.R. 113, to add 18,000 acres to the existing Sheep Mountian and Cucamonga Wildernessareas and to study the San Gabriel River, San Antonio Creek, and the Middle Fork Lytle Creek as Wild & Scenic Rivers. 

Friends of the River is an active member of the San Gabriel Mountains Forever Campaign. Made up of a number of conservation organizations, this campaign focuses on protecting wild rivers and wilderness on public lands in the 26th congressional district in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties (including the communities of Pasadena, Montclair, Glendora, Claremont, and Rancho Cucamonga) The focus of Friends of the River in the campaign is the protection of several potential Wild & Scenic Rivers, including the East, North, and West Forks of the San Gabriel River, San Antonio Creek, and the Middle Fork Lytle Creek. The campaign is also working to protect new wilderness and wilderness additions in the region.

More than three million people visit the San Gabriel Mountains every year to hike, fish, ride horses, camp, ski, snowboard, hunt, picnic, pan for gold, and simply enjoy the remarkable natural beauty of these majestic mountains. The National Forest lands that encompass the range are some of the most heavily visited public lands in the United States. Comprising 70% of Los Angeles County’s open space, the San Gabriel Mountains provide 35% of the region’s drinking water, while generating clean air for local communities. The mountains also offer critical habitat and biological corridors for Nelson’s big horn sheep, California condor, mountain lion, spotted owl, native frogs and fish, and many other endangered, threatened, and sensitive species. San Gabriel Mountains Forever is a coalition of local business owners, residents, faith and community leaders, recreation groups, health and social service organizations, and conservation groups who have come together to protect this magnificent mountain range’s wild places.

San Gabriel Wild & Scenic River
44 miles of stream in the Angeles National Forest

The West, North and East Forks of the San Gabriel River drain the largest watershed in the mountain range and provide thirsty downstream residents with clean drinking water. The West Fork National Scenic Bikeway Trail provides easy access to one of the few catch and release trout streams in the region, while the upper West Fork is traversed by the Gabrieleno National Recreation Trail. The East Fork provides trail access to the Sheep Mountain Wilderness. All three forks are popular destinations for thousands of visitors who picnic, wade, camp, hike, and fish. The forks are also “Areas of High Ecological Significance” because they support rare populations of native fish, including the endangered Santa Ana Sucker.

San Antonio Creek Wild & Scenic River
4 miles of stream in the Angeles National Forest

On the slopes of Mount San Antonio, San Antonio Creek flows through a spectacular alpine canyon studded with large big cone Douglas fir. Clear days offer visitors to its upper watershed outstanding views all the way to Catalina Island. The magnificent 75 foot‐high San Antonio Falls draws many hikers, as do the access trails to the Sheep Mountain and Cucamonga Wilderness. The creek corridor is also popular destination for families escaping the summer heat as well as for winter sports activities, including cross‐country skiing.

Middle Fork Lytle Creek Wild & Scenic River
6 miles of stream in the San Bernardino National Forest

The Middle Fork Lytle Creek supports a naturally reproducing rainbow trout population prized by anglers and its canyon is home to regionally significant populations of Nelson’s bighorn sheep and yellow warbler. The Middle Fork Trail provides scenic access to the Cucamonga Wilderness and the creek is a popular water play and angling destination for thousands of summer visitors.

Sheep Mountain Wilderness Additions
17, 550 acres in the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests

The Sheep Mountain Wilderness Additions include several tributary canyons of the San Gabriel River, a portion of the San Gabriel Mountains crest between Mt. Baden Powell and Mt. Hawkins, and the upper slopes of Mt. San Antonio. The additions include a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail and the popular East Fork Trail, described in the definitive guidebook Trails of the Angeles as providing “nature in its grandest proportions.” This is an “Area of High Ecological Significance,” with important habitat for the endangered mountain yellow‐legged frog, Nelson’s big horn sheep, and California spotted owl. Anglers enjoy the many streams in the area that support resident trout.

Cucamonga Wilderness Additions
10,714 acres in the Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests

The Cucamonga Wilderness Additions include the upper portions of the Lytle Creek watershed. The rugged slopes and canyons of this magnificent canyon country support some of Southern California’s largest sugar pine trees, Nelson’s big horn sheep, and the sensitive lemon lily. The Middle Fork Lytle Creek trail provides access to this relatively little visited portion of the wilderness, described in Trails of the Angeles as “one of the few islands of subalpine wilderness left in Southern California.” The trail is popular with anglers and others wishing to explore this uniquely‐named wilderness.

San Gabriel Wilderness
Addition 2,250 acres in the Angeles National Forest

The San Gabriel Wilderness Addition encompasses a portion of the West Fork San Gabriel River and its watershed, which is an important source of clean drinking water. The area’s north‐facing slopes support one of the largest forests of big cone Douglas fir and live oaks in the region. An “Area of High Ecological Significance,” the addition provides critical habitat for Nelson’s big horn sheep, San Gabriel mountain salamander, Santa Ana speckled dace, and California spotted owl. Outstanding recreational opportunities include hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Condor Peak Wilderness
15,488 acres in the Angeles National Forest

The endangered California condor has returned to Condor Peak, which looms over the rugged and perennially flowing Trail Canyon Creek. John Robinson’s “Trails of the Angeles” describes this “delicate ribbon” as “a lush and verdant oasis in the semi‐arid front country of the San Gabriels.” The stream is lined with magnificent alders and sycamores and the trail along the creek leads hikers to the 30 foot‐high Trail Canyon Falls. East of Condor Peak, the trail‐less Fox Creek offers its own secret waterfalls. The entire area is an important contributor of fresh water to Big Tujunga Canyon, which supports several threatened and endangered species.

Castaic Wilderness
55,000 acres in the Angeles National Forest

In the far northwestern corner of the Angeles Forest, the San Andreas Fault thrusts Liebre Mountain and Sawmill Mountain into a long, high ridge. On this ridge grow the southern‐most groves of black oaks in California, big cone Douglas fir stands that provide nesting habitat for the California spotted owl, and several rare plants. Castaic and Fish Creeks have carved rugged canyons into the south‐facing slope of the ridge and around the dramatic brick‐red outcrop of Redrock Mountain. The perennially flowing creeks are home to a significant population of endangered arroyo toad and the sensitive pond turtle. This is an important ecological transition zone between the San Gabriel Mountains to the south, the Tehachapi Mountains to the north, the Mojave Desert to the east, and the Topatopa Mountains to the west. The unmaintained trail system in this remote area offers a true wilderness experience.

Little Rock Creek Wild & Scenic River
18 miles in the Angeles National Forest

Rising from the sub‐alpine slopes of Mount Williamson, Little Rock Creek tumbles down the northern escarpment of the San Gabriel Mountains into the Mojave Desert. The upper segment of the creek is located in the newly designated Pleasant View Ridge Wilderness and supports an important population of endangered mountain yellow‐legged frog, while the lower segment supports one of three known populations of the endangered arroyo toad on the Angeles Forest.


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