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Rancho Mirage Chamber of Commerce, resolution dated November 3,
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors dated December 30,
SAN GORGONIO WILDERNESS AREA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 1965
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON PUBLIC LANDS OF THE
COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS,
San Bernardino, Calif.
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m., in the Empire Room, National Orange Show Building, San Bernardino, Calif., Hon. Walter S. Baring (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Mr. BARING. The Public Lands Subcommittee will come to order. I am Congressman Baring, chairman of the Public Lands Subcommittee. To my left is Harold "Biz" Johnson, Congressman from California; to my right is Bill Shafer, the committee counsel; sitting next to Mr. Shafer is Congressman Craig Hosmer, of California.
I would like to introduce, although not necessary, your own Congressman, Ken Dyal, from the San Bernardino area, who will make the opening remarks and welcoming.
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN KENNETH DYAL, U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 33D CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
Mr. DYAL. Thank you, Congressman Baring.
I am very pleased that these gentlemen could leave their districts at a time when we have had a long session of the Congress. I know every one of them are anxious to be in their district. We very much appreciate their being here in our county to hold these field hearings for the purpose of discussing the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area.
This is unfinished business that was left from the previous act and it is important that they be here and I am highly gratified that Congressman Baring, Congressman Johnson, and Congressman Hosmer would take time off from their busy schedules to be with us.
I would like to announce, Congressman Baring, that Mr. Goldberg, who operates this building, has consented to set aside a cafeteria line in the building.
As you probably know, Mr. Chairman, a number of the people who are here today for the hearing as well as for tomorrow, come from many miles distance, some of them as far as 100 miles away. In order to have luncheon facilities, he wants you to know, if you desire, that there will be a cafeteria line.
It might be helpful to the management if we could have a show of hands so he may plan accordingly. [Show of hands.]
Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, the opportunity that you have given our people who might not be able to go to Washington for formal hearings later is
greatly appreciated. An opportunity is being given here to our young people and others who are interested in this program to have an opportunity to have their say. It is hopeful that out of this hearing can come some technical information and other types of information to see if joint use is possible and still maintain the integrity of the wildlife area.
I am extremely pleased, as Congressman of the 33d District to have all of you present today and to participate in these hearings.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. [Applause.]
Mr. BARING. Thank you very much, Ken.
I would like to introduce from the audience, Mrs. Nancy Smith, the only woman Presidential appointee to the Public Land Law Review Commission.
Mrs. Smith, will you stand, please? [Applause.]
I would also like to introduce Miss Ann Dunbar, who is secretary to Congressman John Saylor, of Pennsylvania, who was not able to make the trip but sent Miss Dunbar as his representative.
Miss Dunbar, please stand. [Applause.]
As previously announced, this is a hearing before the Subcommittee on Public Lands of the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.
The purpose of the hearing here today is to receive testimony concerning H.R. 6891, and related proposals, to provide for family winter recreational use of a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, San Bernardino National Forest, Calif.
Subsequent hearings will be held in Washington, D.C., at which governmental agencies and national organizations will testify.
This hearing in San Bernardino is being primarily to give local people and those not able to appear in Washington the opportunity to state their views. Accordingly, we would encourage those who intend to appear in Washington to defer offering testimony at this time. There are 232 witnesses who have asked to present testimony. Previously, we asked everyone to file statements. With the number of witnesses which we have, your verbal testimony should be a brief summary of your written statements. We would hope the testimony would not repeat points previously covered.
We have met with the leaders of both groups and with them have worked out a list of key witnesses and have worked out schedules. The time will be divided equally between proponents and opponents. This morning, we will first hear from State and county officials. Then, proponents will present their testimony and will have about 3 or 311⁄2 hours to do so.
The last hour of today's meeting will be reserved for the opponents whose witnesses could not appear tomorrow.
Wednesday, the opponents of the bill will have an equal amount of time to present their testimony. Again, the last hour will be reserved for the witnesses of the proponents who could not testify today.
We hope to give everyone an opportunity to speak. However, I am sure you realize that some may be limited to brief statements not exceeding 1 minute.
The hearings will recess at 12 o'clock and will start again at 1:30 p.m.
The afternoon session will adjourn about 5 p.m.
As I announced, we will hear many officials of the State and county; we will hear them first.
All witnesses of the State and county please come forward and be seated so that we may proceed.
STATEMENT OF WESLEY BREAK, SUPERVISOR OF THE THIRD DISTRICT BOARD OF SUPERVISORS, STATE OF CALIFORNIA, SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF.
Mr. BREAK. Honorable Congressmen, I welcome this opportunity to be heard this morning. I am S. Wesley Break and I am supervisor of the third district, the area for which San Gorgonio is entirely within; it is located entirely within my district.
My board of supervisors have taken action on numerous occasions unanimously opposing the opening of any portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for anything but to be a wilderness as it is today.
I, myself, am very strongly against opening any part of this area. There are different opinions on this but particularly, right now, on the State level, the acquiring of adjacent lands for park purposes, if this is going to be used in this way, we have almost been spinning our wheels to get the State to come in and purchase land adjacent to this so that we could have all of these facilities.
I am going to speak primarily because I am an agriculturalist and we have a water problem in this part of the State which is very important to us. This area is made entirely of decomposed granite. I am awfully sorry you gentlemen could not see it, personally, on the ground on a clear day and before there was any rain or snow so that you could see the type of soil and terrain that you are dealing with.
But, this is going to be very difficult to take care of the affluence from 1,000 to 5,000 and they talk about as many as 20,000 people in 1 day being in this area.
Gentlemen, they cannot be taken care of there. Then, they talk about hauling it out by trucks or tanks. This is going to be almost an impossibility.
We have areas within the county, in the mountain areas, they are having problems with far less people and with far better terrain to take care of the affluence.
So, primarily, we have got a watershed and the only stream that I know of in San Bernardino County where you can lie down and take a drink out of that stream and know that you are drinking good, cold, clear water; and, I think today, the most important thing to San Bernardino and to all of southern California is the water and the water supply, without being polluted. Once it is started to be polluted at the upper levels, then this is going to continue farther and the water at the lower levels of the Santa Ana River of which this is a tributary is suffering today from the intrusion of salt water. The dissolved salt that is in this stream today is one of the alarming factors.
I am not going to touch on many other things because there are several people here who will do that.
Our board is unanimously against opening this area and if you want, I can leave the records of that with you before the meeting is
Mr. HOSMER. Mr. Chairman, I have a question.
Mr. HOSMER. What is the nature of these records?
Mr. BREAK. These are resolutions of our board of supervisors ask-
Mr. HOSMER. What is the latest?
Mr. BREAK. Well, the latest one, I think, was just before election time, I think about June 8.
Yes, June 8, sir.
Mr. HOSMER. Mr. Chairman, I ask that the last of these be accepted for the record, with the unanimous consent of the subcommittee, and that the remainder be accepted for the file with due reference thereto in the record.
Mr. BARING. Without objection, it is so ordered.
(Minute record of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, Calif., dated June 8, 1964; and, resolution, dated December 30, 1963, are as follows:)
MINUTE RECORD OF THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS OF SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY,
At this time, Mr. Harry Krueper is present and comments upon proposed House of Representatives bill 9070 which would exclude the San Gorgonio wild area from the Wilderness Bill and would further set aside the use of a portion or all of the San Gorgonio Wild Area for skiing and other resort type purposes. behalf of various organizations, he requests that the Board of Supervisors reaffirm its previous stand taken in objecting to any type of commercial development within the boundaries of the present San Gorgonio Wilderness area. Whereupon, the Board on motion of Supervisor Break, duly seconded by Supervisor Young, and carried unanimously, adopts the following resolution, to-with: Whereas, there has been presented to and under consideration by the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, H.R. 9070, wilderness bill: Now, therefore, be it hereby
Resolved by the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Bernardino, State of California, That it does hereby affirm its previous actions concerning the San Gorgonio wild area, and further states that, due to its unique characteristics, use by many thousands of persons annually and the large number of children's camps in the area, the Board of Supervisors strongly opposes provisions in Section 3 and Section 5 of H.R. 9070 excluding the San Gorgonio wild area and possible future reclassification of the area, and respectfully recommends and further requests that any reclassification of the San Gorgonio wild area occur only after public hearing conducted by the Secretary of Agriculture in this local
STATE OF CALIFORNIA,
County of San Bernardino, ss:
I, V. DENNIS WARDLE, County Clerk and ex-officio Clerk of the Board of Supervisors of San Bernardino County, California, hereby certify the foregoing to be a full, true and correct copy of the record of the action taken by said Board of Supervisors, by vote of the members present, as the same appears in the Official Minutes of said Board of its meeting of June 8, 1964.
Dated: June 11, 1964..
V. DENNIS WARDLE,
County Clerk and ex officio Clerk of Said Board.
By R. T. NEWELL,