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Obama names new national monument

Obama names new national monument
© Getty Images

President Obama will designate 350,000 acres of the San Gabriel Mountains in California as a national monument on Friday, marking the 13th time he's named a new monument in his presidency.

The new protections are for a range in Los Angeles County, where Obama will make the announcement.

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The designation brings to an end a decades-long battle from environmentalists, Hispanics and others, who called for the mountain range to be declared a national monument.

The protections cover 30 percent of the drinking water for the 15 million people living in the surrounding area and 70 percent of the recreation space.

The White House noted in a fact sheet released Friday that Los Angeles County is one of the most disadvantaged in the country, when it comes to park access for minorities.

On top of the designation, Obama will announce that philanthropies will commit to jump-starting public involvement and restoration of conservation projects in Los Angeles County and the new San Gabriel National Monument.

The National Forest Foundation had pledged $3 million for the new San Gabriel monument fund to help restore trails, the visitor center and other areas, as well as to address community priorities.

Local officials, environmentalists and Hispanic groups cheered the news.

“The San Gabriel Mountains are a vital natural and cultural resource," said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

"Designating the area as a National Monument will ensure its resources are managed properly and protected for future generations to enjoy."

Friday's designation builds on the president's conservation commitments, to expand access to millions of acres for recreation, the White House said.