Page images

So, the number of Southern California skiers should have increased by 67.7 percent between 1958 and 1965. The actual number, then, is estimated as: 42,172X1.677=70,700

(1) United States Weather Bureau, Los Angeles, Responded to a question. (2) State of California, California Public Outdoor Recreation Plan, Part 1, 1960, p. 64.

(3) Ibid., p. 65.

The information is taken from the map. Because of a print

ing error, captions for the maps on Pages 64 and 65 were reversed.

(4) Ibid, p. 64.

(5) Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, ORRRC Study Report No. 3, Wilderness and Recreation-A Report on Resources, Values, and Problems, 1962, p. 236. This report has been republished as Wilderness and Recreation, Sierra Club, 1963.

(6) State of California, California Public Outdoor Recreation Plan, Part II, 1960, p. 66. Compare to the table on Page 64 of Part II for increase ratios. Thank you very much.

Mr. BARING. Thank you, Mr. Marshall.

Our next speaker will be Mr. John Palladino.


Mr. PALLADINO. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen, my name is John Palladino, an attorney from Riverside, Calif., and chairman of the Riverside-San Bernardino Chapter of the Sierra Club, consisting of 750 members and I speak on their behalf.

As I mentioned, I am also an attorney from Riverside and a member of the Riverside Civic League; I am also a member of the Regional Planning Association of California; I am a member of the Tri-County Conservation League; I am a member of the Wilderness Society; and, I have been recently appointed to a committee in the city of Riverside to study good planning and orderly growth of the city of Riverside, Calif.

I believe I have some background and experience as to what constitutes good zoning and planning. If my remarks are or, if my remarks reflect my legal background, I think it is appropriate because a group proposing commercial development in San Bernardino, of whom Mr. Wilson is the president and he is a very able trial attorney, we are dealing with a law and you gentlemen are certainly sitting in somewhat the capacity of a quasijudicial body.

Therefore, I would like to make my remarks addressed to the wilderness legislation.

I do not think we have to discuss the question of whether or not there is any need for wilderness. Last year in Congress in the House of Representatives, by a vote of 373 to 1, you gentlemen decided that wilderness was an important, valuable, and irreplaceable national resource. The only vote against it was from a gentleman from Texas and I do not believe any of you gentlemen here today voted against the Wilderness Act. So, I do not think we need to discuss whether or not wilderness is important.

When I first learned about congressional hearings to be held today and yesterday, the first thought I had was, "Did we forget to say some

thing last year; did the proponents of commercial development forget to say something last year?""

The Congressional Record of July 30, 1964, contains many facts, arguments, and many eloquent statements made by Members of Congress with regard to the San Gorgonio controversy. Of particular interest to me, was a statement by the Honorable Congressman Aspinall, who stated (p. 16845) that all sides of the San Gorgonio question had been aired thoroughly by the Public Lands Subcommittee at Las Vegas on January 13 and 14, 1964, where numerous witnesses were heard and statements were received. Similarly, Congressman Fogarty (p. 16863) stated that

The areas which are now classified as wild or wilderness were established after due study and public hearings. Once established, nothing should alter their status except a national emergency.

After reading the Congressional Record and the testimony and written statements submitted at Las Vegas hearings, I concur wholeheartedly with the views of Congressmen Aspinall and Fogarty that the San Gorgonio controversy has been given thorough and fair consideration to both sides, and I want to take this opportunity to thank Chairman Baring for the manner in which he conducted the Las Vegas hearings.

I personally feel that there is very little of substance, true substance, that anyone can add to what was said last year concerning San Gorgonio, and to emphasize this point, I would like to refer to and incorporate by reference as a part of this statement, each and every statement made in the Congressional Record and those of the Las Vegas hearings. This will illustrate the fact that the proponents of commercial development will have nothing new and really significant to add to what was said last year, although undoubtedly there will be some new faces, names, charts, and exhibits, but with the basic facts and issues remaining the same. To cite one small example of this, Chandler P. North, of the Far West Ski Association (p. 804 of the transcript of the Las Vegas hearings) stated that the land removed from the wild area could be replaced by other on the south side of San Gorgonio Peak, and an almost identical proposal is contained in the bills submitted this year proposing commercial develop


An analysis of these bills also reveals that the location of the development would be of approximately the same size, type, and location as the proposal submitted last year. Since these proposals were rejected last year by a large majority, California Congressmen voting 28 to 7 against commercial development, it seems only logical and fair that the burden of proof is now on the proponents of commercial development to prove some substantial and material change of circumstances to justify any modifications of our existing law. The vote in the House of Representatives was something like 73 to 39 against the San Gorgonio amendment.

By way of analogy, this is the rule that is applied in a domestic relations case when custody of a child is awarded to one parent, and soon thereafter the other parent requests the court to reconsider its decision. In this situation, the party proposing a change must make a very strong showing of a material change of circumstances to justify a reversal of the previous decision. The rule is fair and just because it prevents an abuse of the court system and the congestion of the

court calendar, and discourages meaningless attempts to reverse a sound decision, solely because the losing party is dissatisfied. I submit the burden is on the proponents of commercial development to prove some substantial and material change of circumstances to justify any modification of our existing law.

I think this is a good analogy because to many of us, San Gorgonio is somewhat like an unprotected child always facing the menace of profit-motivated individuals, with their bulldozers and so-called improvements. San Gorgonio is also truly like a child in that it is a symbol of the youth presently using the area, and those of present and future generations who cannot be heard in this controversy because of their age, and it is therefore up to us to be their guardians, and to speak for them in this matter. The child custody situation is certainly not a happy one, because both parents may truly love their child, but there is no way to divide a child as there is no way to divide San Gorgonio. God created only one unique area such as this in southern California, and with the question of competing interests having been decisively resolved last year, the decision should remain as it is.

Mr. HOSMER. Mr. Chairman, at this point, I think it should be pointed out, and would only be fair to point out, that this controversy was not in last time around.

It was the understanding of the committee that it would not wish to hold up the entire wilderness bill to solve any issues over San Gorgonio. So, it is not exactly in the category of a trial de novo on a dead issue. The committee reserved jurisdiction in this area until further study could be made.

Mr. JOHNSON. I would like to make just one comment at this point. I was a member of the conference committee on the wilderness legislation and in the conference itself the matter of San Gorgonio was thoroughly discussed. At the conclusion of this consideration, the understanding on the wilderness bill among Mr. Aspinall, the chairman of our committee, and Mr. Anderson, the chairman acting for Mr. Jackson on the Senate side, and all of those present, was an agreement that if legislation was introduced to the new Congress, they would see to it that these hearings would be held.

And, as the legislation was introduced to the new Congress-one Congress cannot bind the other-all of these matters were given consideration, and the chairman of our full committee, Mr. Aspinall, authorized the subcommittee to come out here and hold these hearings. So, I think it was in keeping with good faith with the people of the conference committee that these hearings are being held here in San Bernardino yesterday and today.

Mr. PALLADINO. Yes, sir; I am sorry if my point was not made clearly that there is nothing of substance that is new to be said this year. I certainly do not challenge the fact that the committee has the right to hear testimony; I also know that Congress has the right to change the law.

I was merely pointing out that, after a thorough examination of all the testimony on both sides and after a study of the Congressional Record and the Las Vegas hearings, that it would appear that there was very little of substance to be added to what was said last year.

Have there been any "substantial" or "material" change of circumstances since July 30, 1964?

The only significant change since the nationwide study, debate, and public hearings over San Gorgonio of last year, and for over 30 years before then, is the fact-or, for the first time in the history of our Nation we have national wilderness legislation protecting San Gorgonio from roads or commercial enterprise of any type, any form of which would violate the national policy as stated in section 2(a) and the definition of wilderness as contained in section 2(b) of the Wilderness Act.

It is true that Congress has the power to change the law, and I know of no national emergency or any change in overall public opinion or congressional sentiment on this issue. On the contrary, President and Mrs. Johnson and leading public officials have made increasingly strong statements on the need to preserve our American heritage of wilderness and natural beauty. Congressmen Dyal and Tunney are newly elected this year, and are from the San Gorgonio area, but they made unequivocal and unqualified statements last year urging preservation of the entire San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, but I have no reason to believe their opinions have changed. Congressman Dyal has repeatedly stated to his constituents that the introduction of this bill was not meant to be interpreted as support for commercial development at San Gorgonio.

The various proposals submitted this year may have somewhat different wording, but the inescapable fact is that all these proposals require access roads and commercial facilities, which would clearly violate the spirit and any literal reading of the Wilderness Act.


Before the Wilderness Act was passed, many individuals, organizations, newspapers, and Congressmen stated that excluding San Gorgonio would establish a dangerous and unreasonable precedent. This argument is all the more compelling after the passage of the Wilderness Act, because it was intended to provide for the American people of present and future generations an enduring resource of wilderness, for the permanent good of the whole people. If we do not take the word "permanent" seriously, this will be an open invitation for piecemeal attacks on the Wilderness Act all over the Nation, leaving no area inviolate.

The proponents of commercial development argue that there can be protective measures to preserve the wilderness character of San Gorgonio. Roads and commercial enterprise by definition preclude the existence of wilderness, and if the Wilderness Act itself is not sufficient protection, with an established national policy and legislation, it would be a ridiculous act of self-deception to think that there could be guarantees against further commercial development, a process aptly called creeping encroachments.

I have observed developers present beautiful drawings of a gas station they propose to put in the residential section near schools and churches, arguing that this lovely establishment will pump many gallons of gas and that it is vital to the economy of the city. Once the rezoning is granted, the beautiful plans are thrown away, and the rezoning-I mean, shortly thereafter, the requests start coming

in for bowling alleys, restaurants, bars, and every other form of commercial enterprise. We have seen this process of "creeping encroachment" everywhere in the State of California, and more particularly on the slopes of Mount San Jacinto and the slopes of Squaw Valley, where liquor licenses were requested and granted after commercial development had once established a foothold. At San Gorgonio, provisions against overnight accommodations and similar "protective' devices against bars, restaurants, et cetera, would simply mean, until the next application is filed.

Removing 3,500 acres in the heart of San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, would therefore inevitably result in the removal of the entire San Gorgonio wild area from the protection of the Wilderness Act, because it could then no longer meet the definitions and requirements of "wilderness" as stated in the act, and because the proposed commercial intrusion would make it difficult, if not impossible to resist further pressure for development once the foothold or enclave has been established. Those who know and love this area would have little will to resist further development, having lost the best and most irreplaceable portion of the entire area.

Last year the commercial developers argued that opening San Gorgonio to commercial skiing was needed to provide additional ski facilities to those already in existence. They also argued that development to those already in existence, that the development of San Gorgonio would result in an increase in the number of skiers, and that other resort developments in this area would benefit thereby. They are therefore asking additional facilities to relieve the crowded conditions they allege to exist, and at the same time creating a situation where skiing facilities at San Gorgonio would still be inadequate to meet the demand, with the inevitable pressure to make use of every slope in the entire wilderness area.

San Gorgonio is unique in many ways, but most important it is the only true wilderness in southern California. It is not just the trees, vegetation, and animal life, with year-round streams, but it is the composite of all this away from roads or commercial enterprise that makes it a wilderness. Some people suggest that we should have a four-lane highway and a large parking lot so that we can get in and "see" the wilderness, but this is like playing a 33-revolution-perminute Beethoven record at 78 revolutions-per-minute, and wondering why the sounds are not pleasant to the ears.


There are probably more skiers opposed to commercial development at San Gorgonio than those favoring it. Those opposing it do so after objective consideration of all the relevant factors, and base their decisions on a true understanding and appreciation of wilderness values, with particular respect for the use being made of the area by the boys and girls of southern California.

My first skiing experience occurred 7 years before I ever hiked, camped, or knew of the existence of the Sierra Club. Last year, and years before that, I used and enjoyed the commercial ski facilities in our southern California mountains, and I intend to use them again in

« PreviousContinue »