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place. However, when you finally do reach that glorious summit, you maybe decide it was worth the sense of accomplishment and the magnificent view of the city far below and nature untouched by man in the valleys and mountains around you. You see the smog down in the city and are thankful that this one wilderness area remains to which one can escape and enjoy nature unharmed by man's commercial intentions—yet.
To put a ski lift in San Gorgonio would be to deprive the thousands of youngsters and adults who enjoy the wilderness areas every summer. I know there are thousands. Why, during the half-hour period we remained on the summit there were four college boys who preceded our group of six girls. After us came two groups of fifth-toeighth-grade Camp Fire Girls. Each group numbering about 20. Then there came a whole troop of at least 35 vigorous YMCA boys ranging from about 9 to 13 years. Besides this, there was a man who was the head of a reform school for boys. Every weekend during the summer he brings about 10 of his boys to Slushy Meadows for a weekend in this lush area of bubbling streams.
Why ruin the one remaining wilderness area for the thousands of city children who desperately need to escape the smog-filled basin of Los Angeles? They see enough neon signs and motels all year round, without having their 1 week of education and enjoyment with nature mutilated by the addition of a commercial ski resort.
Mr. BARING. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF DR. JOHN D. GOODMAN, PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY,
UNIVERSITY OF REDLANDS; FORMERLY CHAIRMAN, DESERT BIGHORN COUNCIL; PAST PRESIDENT, DESERT PROTECTIVE COUNCIL; VICE PRESIDENT, SAN BERNARDINO VALLEY AUDUBON SOCIETY; COMMISSIONER, SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY MUSEUM; AND MEMBER OF CONSERVATION GROUPS
Dr. GOODMAN. Arguments, pro and con, for opening up the heart of the San Gorgonio wild area to commercialized development, principally skiing, have gone on for years and in all probability will continue long after this hearing. The conflict of interest between those appreciating primitive unspoiled wild country and those who prefer their pleasure in a more artificial and refined form is totally unresolvable.
The San Gorgonio wild area constitutes a continuous source of immense enjoyment for people with many and diverse interests. Hunters recreate in its montane fastness in the golden fall, while climbers test their skill and stamina in the heights. Ski mountaineers flock to it in winter and on into late May, finding magnificent slopes on which to test their kind of skill. Hikers thrill to a new and fascinating adventure around every bend of the trail, while naturalists and nature lovers of all ages spend countless hours studying and enjoying the wild plant and animal life to be discovered within its boundaries.
The proponents of downhill skiing ask us what of this will be changed if they are allowed to build a series of ski tows in the heart of this wilderness. Will the hiking trails be destroyed, they ask? Will all of the wildlife disappear? Will there be no opportunity to climb and explore?
The answers are obvious: There will still be hiking trails, the wildlife will not immediately disappear not for some time to come, and climbers can continue to search for difficult and new ascent routes to the top. Then, they say, what is all the fuss about? Naturally, deep in their hearts they know, but their question nevertheless does deserve an answer.
Essentially, it is this: Much has been spoken and written about the heart of the San Gorgonio wild area which both factions wish to control-one to preserve, the other to develop. Today, I wish to speak briefly about another kind of heart, mainly because I feel that this is also a kind a heart that will be most profoundly affected. It is the heart of wonder, of challenge, and of adventure.
What about the skier who now laboriously climbs 3,000 feet or more in 3 or 4 hours in order to experience the delirious thrill of skiing down again in as many minutes? The horseman and backpacker who can no longer find any back country left to pack into? The climber who sees no incentive or challenge in locating new and thrilling ascents when the fast easy route to the top is to catch the nearest ski tow—yes, even the naturalist, who would prefer seeking his kind of beauty in a relatively wild and uncongested atmosphere, or, lacking that, at least finding it filled with young people and adults thrilled at the prospect of also seeking adventure in the out of doors. Almost without exception all of these people mentioned will be affected.
When the ski promoters succeed in destroying the heart of the San Gorgonio wild area physically this is another far more widespread kind of destruction that needs to be taken into account.
San Gorgonio and its wild area are a prize-better to say, they are priceless. If this is so, it constitutes a value beyond human reckoning now and this value will increase as time goes on. One hundred or more years from now people will, I suspect, not thank us for building one more ski resort, but I can confidently predict that almost to a man they will admire our foresight and thank us for saving for them this parklike patch of wilderness in a sea of civilization.
I would also like to read the resolution of the Desert Bighorn Council which they have asked me to put into the record.
Resolution adopted by the Desert Bighorn Council at the annual business meeting, April 9, 1965, Redlands, Calif.:
Be it resolved, That the Desert Bighorn Council oppose any change in the present boundaries of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area as proclaimed by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964; since the introduction of commercial enterprises would conflict with key areas upon which a remnant population of desert bighorn depend for its continued well being and even, perhaps, existence.
Now, appended to this is a letter which Desert Bighorn Council sent to the Subcommittee on Interior and Insular Affairs and a map indicating the past and present distribution of the desert bighorn sheep which does, I think, well bear out the fact that one of the remaining areas in the United States is in southern California. This, we feel, is an important and strategic area, particularly the San Gorgonio wild area in the San Bernardino Mountains for this rare and vanishing animal.
I will submit that.
Mr. BARING. That will be, without objection, included as a part of the file.
Dr. GOODMAN. Thank you very much. That completes my presentation. Mr. BARING. Thank you,
sir. Now, the next speaker. That will be Mrs. Henry H. Hoddle.
STATEMENT OF MRS. HENRY H. HODDLE, CHAIRMAN, CONSERVA
TION DEPARTMENT, CALIFORNIA FEDERATION OF WOMEN'S CLUBS
Mrs. HODDLE. Mr. Chairman and committee, this organization is opposed to substituting other acreage for the precious heart of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. If this encroachment by commercial interests is allowed, other interests will seek remuneration in other wilderness areas—soon all will be defaced. Future children will never experience the benefits of natural wilderness recreation. This gift of nature will be tainted by the unreal. The Federation of Women's Clubs have for 75 years worked to help Mother Nature keep in balance all her natural resources. We have preserved many heritage spots from destruction. We resolved to support the Wilderness Act made law September 3, 1964.
Incidentally, we have a total membership of 61,189 members.
I would also like to include, on behalf of the Izaak Walton League of America, a statement of their position. I am their legislative chairman.
The Izaak Walton League of America is an organization of citizens dedicated to the wise use of our natural resources. This includes the safeguarding of special reservations such as parks, wildlife refuges, and national forest wilderness areas such as the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. These areas have been set aside by legislation to preserve a specific feature of our wonderful out of doors so that future generations may also be able to see and appreciate the glorious heritage which is ours.
The wilderness areas were not set aside to suit the desires and needs of assorted groups and individuals at their will, but were given this distinction in order to preserve the primitive conditions which still exist within their boundaries and to stop encroachment for designs other than the primary purpose.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, renowned for its Arctic-Alpine forest life zone and its outstanding examples of Ice Age geology, is also known for the ideal wildlife habitat which may be observed in its natural environment which extends from 7,000 to 11,500 feet in elevation.
Because of its close proximity to large population centers, this area is used by a great many organizational groups, including Boy and Girl Scouts, Young Men's Christian Association, various church and private groups, as well as innumerable individuals during all seasons of the year. The use of this area by these individuals is principally to experience wilderness recreation, but a great many persons also travel in and through the area just to observe the natural state specific to this locale.
The president of California State Division of Izaak Walton League of America has spent many hours as a youth and an adult in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, hiking, camping, and skiing, and recognizes the benefits derived from this 35,000 acres of forest land. It is also known personally that the acreage which is being considered for removal from wilderness classification is the very heart of the area most heavily used because of its primitiveness.
The above testimony points out why the Izaak Walton League of America is opposed to the placement of a commercial ski area or resort within the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, and why we feel that such reclassification of this land would be an act which would remove forever the opportunity for youth and adults to observe this truly primitive forest area as nature produced it. This would destroy a part of the rightful heritage which belongs to this and all future generations.
Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF MISS GERTRUDE AGNES HAGUM, CONSERVATION
CHAIRMAN, SAN BERNARDINO VALLEY DISTRICT, CALIFORNIA GARDEN CLUBS, INC.
Miss HAGUM. I am Miss Gertrude Hagum, of Redlands, representing 500 members of the San Bernardino Valley District, California Garden Clubs, Inc. I have also been asked by Dr. Paul Allen to present a letter in behalf of the San Bernardino County Historical Society, the City of Redlands Park Commission, of which he is chairman, and the Fortnightly Club of Redlands, an organization established in 1895 for the purpose of scholarly research. All of these organizations are unanimously opposed to H.R. 6891.
However, my testimony is based on study and research during the past 2 years, correspondence, and questionnaires which I have sent to more than 150 groups and individuals who oppose or support H.R. 6891.
I should like to present a brief résumé of my most important findings as the result of this original research.
H.R. 6891 states “with adequate access thereto north of the portion of the said wilderness area.
How would this access be achieved? To discover what methods of access to ski resorts are presently in use, I wrote letters of inquiry to the Forest Service regional offices of the California region, Southwestern region, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountain regions. My statements are based upon replies from these regional forest offices.
(1) There is no ski lift resorts accessible by foot or horseback only.
(2) The only ski lift resort accessible by gondola lift is found at the Sugar Bowl resort on old Highway 40 in California, which is reached by a gondola lift of about 1/2-mile distance. Because of its wealthy clientele and corporate structure, the Sugar Bowl is unique as a ski resort.
(3) All ski lift resorts, except Sugar Bowl, are accessible by road.
(4) There are no ski lift resorts where the access roads are closed in the summer. Unless the intent of H.R. 6891 is to limit use of the ski lifts to the above average family who could save $50 on a weekend by going to Dry Lake instead of Mammoth, gondola lift transportation for family winter recreation. Then, too, the distance of such a gondola lift would have to be considerably longer than the 12-mile lift going into Sugar Bowl if it were to start at the edge of the wilderness area, a distance of more than 21/2 miles, as the crow flies, from the Dry Lake site. The usual length of an access road has been estimated as about 6 miles. To transport families in great numbers in below freezing temperature over this distance is possible but not too practical.
Ken W. Dyal, our Congressman, author of H.R. 6891, has said, "I do not want any access roads into that area nor parking” (letter of May 6, 1965).
We conservationists agree with Congressman Dyal on this important issue. However, I do not find exclusion of access by road mentioned in H.R. 6891. Therefore, access by road would be permitted by H.R. 6891. Since access by road is the only practical possibility, it is only logical to assume that a road would be built. And if there is a road. there will have to be a parking lot or lots somewhere within the 3,500 acres withdrawn from the wilderness area.
There are those who contend that the road could be closed in the summer. It is of interest to note that there are no ski lift resorts in the California, Southwestern, Pacific Northwest or Rocky Mountain regions where access by road is closed during the summer.
"More and more of the larger ski resorts are striving for increased summer business or considering the start of a summer trade,” according to a letter received last week from the California regional office.
So we must logically conclude that there would be access by road to a Dry Lake ski resort and that the road would be opened in the summer.
Mount San Gorgonio has been referred to as our Snow Queen, who sleeps under an ermine cloak of snow all winter.
Yesterday someone suggested that it might be possible to pull up a drawbridge to prevent invasion of the Snow Queen's castle during the summer. This is not a practical possibility because no moat encircles the area.
People would be using the road during the summer—the same type of people who now compose 75 percent of the business in the Mount Baldy ski lift area, according to a witness yesterday. These people are nonskiers who will ride to the end of any road, or up any lift just to say they have been there. There is nothing wrong with riding up a lift just to look at the view if you are unable or unwilling to hike to the top. However, is this the purpose of H.R. 6891–family winter recreation ?
If the ski lodge and ski lifts can operate at a profit during the summer, they will keep open all summer.
And the thousands of casual tourists-estimated to be one-half million at Mount Baldy—will not be parking on a layer of snow during the summer.
My second basic research is in regard to overnight accomodations. True, there is no word about overnight accommodations in H.R. 6891. But neither are ski lifts mentioned. And I think all the lift skiers