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Gentlemen, I feel that I am well paid in my present capacity as division chairman of physical education and coordinator of athletics at San Bernardino Valley College. Let me assure you my family, as an entity, can afford the free summer and winter recreation our present wilderness area provides each weekend. We could afford very few trips to a commercial ski resort. If actually polled, you will find that families do not support these commercial ventures except in rare instances. The commercial ski resorts are most often supported by single members of families and most often by the very youth who need the physical experience of ski touring.

In concluding, I would like to recommend that as a part of the national fitness effort, we encourage and promote the sport of ski touring through explanatory films, booklets, and slides and promote the free, healthful potential in family winter recreational use that exists in the great natural area of the San Gorgonio wilderness.

This issue of whether a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness should be set aside for commercial interests is not new and it will come up again in the future because as long as any one thinks that there is a “buck” to be made, they will try and try again. Havelock Ellis made the point in his "A Dance of Life” when he said, “The moon, the sun, and the stars would have disappeared long ago were they within reach of predatory human hands." I ask the committee's support in maintaining the San Gorgonio Wilderness area inviolate.

I believe the position I am representing is that of concern for national fitness and particularly fitness locally in the southern California

I was pleased and honored to be allowed to speak before you, gentlemen, and very appreciative of the time and consideration which you are giving to hearing the points that are, I think, cogent to the issues at large.

We have heard some of the people present positions heretofore, their positions on physical fitness and physical education, and I am concerned that we have a very strong and wonderful national fitness program going. I think it is completely incongruous to take an area which represents, I think, the finest of the developmental areas and aspects of rugged mountaineering, cross-country skiing, ski-touring, and converting this into a downhill-type of skiing program. I think it is completely incongruous and I think that it should be emphasized that this is a point that should be clarified.

Now, we have heard from gentlemen such as people of the stature of Mr. Merritt and others, and I think those of us in California who have put in the years which we have here appreciate those names in our athletic past in this area.

Now, I get concerned when people who come to us say, "I have, in my youth, climbed those mountains; I have skied these areas; now,

I am interested in having it established in a downhill pattern for recreation to simplify and make it easier for more people to ski.

I am concerned with a program that will identify, publicize, broadcast, and give forth the forest of cross-country skiing, of ski-touring, of mountaineering, in the winter, as well as that kind of a program that we see developed in the summer. I think this can very well happen.

We heard the arguments relative to the fact that there are problems in traveling 4 hours to these areas. I say, gentlemen, that all of south

ern California, is having a travel problem, and I do not see this as the answer to opening up this area. I think that we have in Japan developed trains that can travel at a hundred and a hundred and twenty miles an hour with electricity and we can do the same in this country by moving our population to good recreational areas. I do not see Disney putting in a tremendously large amount of money in the Mineral King area which is based on a survey indicating that he could open it up and draw heavily from the Los Angeles population, and supply his populous there with the people from the Los Angeles area. At this particular time, I don't think the need is here.

I think until such time as we achieve the effects of the Mineral King area, until such time as the chambers of commerce of Big Bear cities do not come in in opposition because they know they will lose their ski traffic to the area, I think

Mr. BARING. Just a moment. Let me interrupt you.

Who did you mean when you indicated that you thought a mass transit or rapid transit system could be put in?

Mr. HEINBERG. I am concerned with the entirety of southern California which is involved. I know this is a national problem; this is a matter of congressional concern; transportation is a major congressional concern and will be for the next 20 years. I am concerned also that private enterprise as well as Government support be concerned in the future in this particular direction.

Mr. BARING. You do not mean, though, that the Government should put in a rapid or mass transit in southern California for either group, did you?

Mr. HEINBERG. No, I am not saying that this should be done; I say only that the potential exists. I am very pleased that you have asked this question, because I think that we recognize these are growing problems that growing populations demand; and, the southern California area is probably the one that is going to need it before any other major area of the country.

Mr. HOSMER. They say the difference between mass transit and mess transit is about 50 years.

Mr. HEINBERG. Well, I would say that is correct; I can agree, having grown up in the southern Californå area.

Well, now continuing this particular area; on the way in which the bill is written, I am concerned from the standpoint of family recreation.

Now, apparently my concern for family recreation is something that the family can do regularly and at a reasonable rate, so that the majority of families can afford it.

I think I am in a very fine financial position, I am very happy in my position, but I know that I cannot afford for four members of my family a $6 ski ticket or to go to Mammoth when my friends tell me that the ski lift ticket there is going up to $7 this year; that would be $28 for a weekend just for the ski lifts alone. If I could, I may make it just once or twice a year, but this does not represent, in my judgment, family recreation at these prices for the majority of the southern California people.

Again, as I have indicated, I do not think that this is an answer for the ski proponents from the standpoint of juvenile delinquency. From the standpoint of one who has worked in physical education and recreation for a great many years in southern California, I think it is utterly and completely wrong to take young people who cannot afford this kind of equipment and impose it upon them in a very short period of time. I think there are kinds of recreation for free that are present in our mountain areas, and that we could do a great deal in introducing these people into a form of recreation and tobagganing and the precise things that would be of no cost to them. I think we do irreparable harm when we introduce young people to things they will never be able to afford. I think it is fine to see them from the standpoint of seeing this kind of activity and making it available to them. But from a standpoint of trying to introduce something that is as expensive as skiing, I think we are way out of line as a deterrent to delinquency.

I thank you, gentlemen, very much, for hearing me today.
Mr. BARING. Thank you, sir.
The next witness, please.



Mr. Post. My name is Francis L. Post. I am currently chairman of the ski mountaineering committee for both the United States Ski Association and the Far West Ski Association. I am also the national mountaineering adviser for the National Ski Patrol System and the mountaineering adviser for the Far West division of the National Ski Patrol System. Today I speak as an individual.

Both proponents and opponents of commercialized skiing on San Gorgonio realize that San Gorgonio Peak itself is the true heart of the wilderness area. It is the ultimate goal of the skier who dreams of the Big Draw and the young camper who looks forward with great anticipation to his first major mountain ascent. The very reason for the existence of the complex of youth camps on the wilderness area perimeter is the great unspoiled peak open to any with the ambition to climb it. In my youth I served as a cabin leader in the old camp SanY-Ca and by far the greatest experience for the majority of the boys was their climb to the summit of San Gorgonio; for them, it was an experience not to be forgotten.

If this area is commercially developed the annual usage will probably run to one half million skier days. I don't think anyone can hide the evidences or the mechanical and structural devices necessary to this amount of usage. Wilderness and commercial skiing are not compatible.

We have heard much testimony relating to teenage morals and I submit that the young people involved in the camping programs which already exist and the young people who ski-tour in the undeveloped mountains of California are every bit as moral as the youths who ski in the commercial resort environment.

Regardless of the amount of snow deposited, normal temperature variations in late spring on San Gorgonío create snow surface conditions which make skiing unenjoyable during most of the daylight hours because of ice, slush, and rotten snow. At present in its wilderness state the problem is mostly rotten snow. If lifts are built and thousands of skiers pack the runs, the problem will be mostly in the form of ice and slush. Many skiers recognize this and for this and other reasons hang up their skies near the end of March and prepare for other spring and summer activities. I would point out that one of the oldest and best-established ski areas in California, Badger Pass in Yosemite National Park, closes after Easter Sunday regardless of snow conditions because of lack of interest in their clientele.

In regard to the conflict of interest between downhill skiers and wilderness usage by the general public I can only offer a personal opinion. I feel that we will lose much more in general public wilderness usage than we will gain in downhill skier usage if we allow commercial development of the very heart of the present wild area. Thank

you very much. I also have a letter from Robert J. Schenek, past president of the National Ski Association, now known as the United States Ski Association, which Bob has asked me to read into the record: PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: I am deeply concerned by the efforts of private enterprise to take over part of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area of Southern California.

In order to give my views some weight, and my observations some qualification, I should like to tell you of my skiing background.

I started skiing during the winter of 1929 and retired from active participation in the ski sport in 1963, a period of 34 years. During this time I have skied most of Central Europe and the United States. I have held the following offices in organized skiing: Vice-President and Director of the National Ski Association, which is now known as the United States Ski Association ; Trustee of the National Ski Patrol System; and I am a National Ski Patrolman #1570. I have been chairman of several National Ski Committees, director and president of the Far West Ski Association (a Division of the United States Ski Association) ; Chairman of the Southern District of the Far West Ski Association ; co-founder and life member of the Penguin Ski Club of Los Angeles; former member of the Big Pines Ski Club ski-jumping and cross-country ski teams and formerly an early member of the Ski Mountaineering section of the Sierra Club of California. In addition to the above, I am a Life Member of the Trailfinders and a member of their Advisory Board ; (The Trailfinders is a boys' organization devoted to good citizenship and the conservation of our wilderness areas.)

Last, but not least, it was my great pleasure to serve for four years as ViceChairman of the United States Olympic Ski Games Committee for the Winter Olympic Ski Games at Cortina, Italy, in 1956.

With this background I feel qualified to express, most respectfully, my views regarding the present San Gorgonio situation.

I was greatly distressed to view on television a ski coach, of our present Olympic Committee, espouse the commercial development of the San Gorgonio Area. In my opinion this man should be directing all his energies to coaching the present Olympic ski team and not promoting dollar interests in the name of the Olympics. It is regrettable that his information regarding the use of the area is incorrect and his knowledge of the area so very meager. He implied that the area would be excellent for the training of Olympic Skiers if ski lifts were permitted in the area. May I point out that the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, as it now is, without a ski-lift complex, is a fine training area. If our Olympic skiers were required to climb up for every foot of terrain they skied down, they would be in magnificent physical condition and they would be able to compete with foreign skiers on equal terms. With skiing legs developed and strengthened by climbing the term “spiral fracture” would be eliminated from the skiing vocabulary. Without physical conditioning one can never become a winning skier. Ski lifts do not help physical conditioning.

Some skiers would like us to believe that this area is used only by a very few people during the winter and early spring ski season. Please be assured that this is simply not the case. I have skied the north slope of Mt. San Gorgonio during the winter and springtime for 24 years and I can truthfully say there were always skiers in the area during the time I was there.

This is the only location near the Los Angeles and San Bernardino areas where the art of Ski Mountaineering, Ski Touring, and winter camping can be accomplished under true alpine conditions. It is also the only area near these centers of population where the conditions permit the holding of Ski Mountaineering proficiency tests required by organized skiing.

Private ski area developers try to sell the skier on the idea that by moving into the San Gorgonio area, they will be giving the skier something. Well, they are giving the skier something, a place to spend his money at the expense of his heritage. The ski area operator gets rich and America is poorer. Let us not be naive.

The greatest value of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area is not to the skier, but to our children. This is the only area near the large urban centers of Southern California where the youngsters of our communities have the opportunity to camp and hike in a real wilderness. If the San Gorgonio area is commercialized it will be necessary for them to travel about 300 miles to the High Sierra. This is a long trip and most youngsters cannot afford to make it. I believe we owe our children the right to become acquainted with the unspoiled out of doors, to learn the art of wilderness survival and to become acquainted with the flora and fauna of the region. Once concessions are granted to profitmaking groups our wilderness area will be lost forever. I believe the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to be a priceless heritage and it must be saved for those who come after us.

I pray the Public Lands Subcommittee will take all necessary steps to save this Wilderness Area from any form of commercial exploitation, now and forever. I most respectfully request this letter be made a part of the hearing record. Sincerely,

ROBERT J. SCHENEK. Thank you very much for the opportunity of appearing here today. Mr. BARING. Thank you, sir. The next speaker, please.



Mr. MERRITT. I am Clifton Merritt, director of field services for the Wilderness Society. The Wilderness Society is a national conservation organization of some 32,000 members who are actively concerned with the preservation of wilderness.

The Wilderness Society is opposed to legislation that would remove 3,500 acres from the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, since it believes that development of a commercial ski lift in this area is totally incompatible with preservation of the area for present and future generations to use and enjoy as wilderness.

I wish to defer further testimony and comment for subsequent hearings, should they be held, in Washington, D.C., on H.R. 6891 and related measures.

Thank you for the privilege of appearing here today.

Mr. BARING. Thank you, gentlemen. Are there any questions by the subcommittee?

Mr. JOHNSON. I have a question or two.

There is one general question which I think all you gentlemen spoke about, and that is that you fear a private development in there and commercialization of the area.

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