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Mr. HOSMER. This is a dues-paying membership organization?
Mr. HOSMER. Mr. Ely, what is your business?
Mr. ELY. I am in the real estate business, sir. Also, I am secretarymanager of the chamber of commerce.
Mr. HOSMER. And Mr. Hubbs, what is your business?
Mr. WILSON. Mr. Chairman, may I make a comment?
Mr. WILSON. Mr. Hosmer, referring back to the thing you and I were discussing a little while ago
Mr. HOSMER. By the way, are you a lawyer for the real estate board?
Mr. WILSON. No, sir; I am not.
Mr. HOSMER. All right, go ahead.
Mr. WILSON. I told you at the beginning I have no ax to grind in this thing, I do not expect to get a dime out of it. The only thing that I would like to bring to your attention, sir, is this. Do you ski, sir?
Mr. HOSMER. I had the good sense, I think, to stop when I got old. Mr. WILSON. I am not going to tell you about how nice it is because the ski lift lines are too long already, we have too many people there But, here is the thing I am trying to get across to you, sir. Skiing is fine but it takes time and we have been talking about this other area, or areas, 4 hours away. As a practical matter, for a fellow who does not have a lot of money, as a recreational outlet, it is not something he can do.
Going to Mammoth and going to June Lake and going to areas in northern California requires money, as far as an overnight stay and a long trip. This is the difference. You can have people in the metropolitan area come to San Gorgonio on a day basis without the necessity of spending a lot of money, which I think is a very important difference on the recreational standpoint.
Mr. HOSMER. Let me make my position clear. I have every sympathy in the world with the people who want to use this property, irrespective of what they want to use it for. But there has been a historic use here dedicated to use of the property in its natural state. This bill attempts the Solomonizing process of cutting the baby in half without destroying any of the parts.
Thus far, despite the assurances that the road will not be visible from here and there and that it will not be a lot of other things, I think the proponents have not yet made their case.
If this can be done and that separate use, if logical and in the best interest of everyone, I hope it can be made; but, thus far, the case has not been made.
Mr. BARING. Thank you, very much, gentlemen.
The next group of witnesses will be that of the U.S. Ski Association and the Far West Ski Association-Mr. Len Speicher, president of the Far West Ski Association.
STATEMENT OF LEN SPEICHER, PRESIDENT, FAR WEST SKI ASSOCIATION, DIVISION OF U.S. SKI ASSOCIATION
Mr. SPEICHER. Mr. Chairman, I hope this group will be allowed at least 20 or 25 minutes in order to present its case properly. A few of us will speak and we will all be available for questioning so that we may be sure the rest of our witnesses may testify later.
May I also request, Mr. Chairman, that, if it is appropriate to request that the proceedings of the 88th Congress regarding the wilderness bill, that portion referring to San Gorgonio, be noted as reference for this hearing. There were several of these reports, H.R. 9070, H.R. 1538, and H.R. 1829.
Mr. BARING. Do you have any specific references?
Mr. SPEICHER. Yes; I have these here and will be glad to turn them in to your clerk, and if it is agreeable with you, I would like these included so that I do not take the time to read these passages.
Mr. HOSMER. I make a point of order on that request, Mr. Chairman, that it is not in order and that this is an 89th Congress committee and has the jurisdiction and power to move what it wants into the hearings at the appropriate time. That time is not at the moment.
Mr. BARING. You may proceed, sir.
Mr. SPEICHER. Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee. The primary reason for the existence of the ski association is to provide direction and coordination for the many facets of the sport. One of these efforts is a continuing attempt to increase the growth of skiing. This requires ski areas and hence the Far West Ski Association has been involved in efforts to provide skiing on San Gorgonio since 1947.
These efforts have been supported by the last three annual conventions at which representatives of our 18,000 members were in attendance. About 10,000 of these members reside in southern California. During the last 3 years, the turnover of membership of southern California has been about 15,000 individuals, so that considering current and members no longer active during the past 3 years, I believe we have represented some 25,000 southern California skiers.
It is our hope to provide you with testimony during these hearings to establish (a) that a demand exists for a winter sports area at San Gorgonio, (b) that the area has the potential for being an excellent sports area, and (c) that the multiple-use concept will not detract from the current use of the wilderness area.
Demand: The number of skiers in southern California is not well established and estimates range from a low of about 50,000 to a high of 800,000. I tend to agree with the Sports Illustrated article of February 1, 1965, wherein a figure between 100,000 and 300,000 is cited. Perhaps statistics from the "Outdoor Recreation in the National Forests" report issued as Agriculture Information Bulletin 301 in October 1965 will provide additional evidence of the demand for winter sports areas.
Winter sports usage increased from about 1.5 million to 7.8 million visits between 1946 and 1964 (p. 26). In California, visits to various
sites within national forests are given as: 2,697,000 visits to campgrounds (p. 36); 2,410,000 visits to picnic sites (p. 37); 2,391,000 visits to winter sports sites (p. 38); 288,000 visits to primitive and wilderness sites (p. 53).
This indicates clearly to me that the demand for sites for camping, picnics, and winter sports does exceed the demand for wilderness sites by almost 10 to 1.
Further evidence that a great number of skiers reside in southern California is indicated by a statement from Mr. R. A. Des Roches, executive director of Ski Industries of America. He states:
The southern California area is one of our most important marketing areas and has the potential of becoming the largest concentrated market in the country. Further evidence still of the interest among southern California skiers are the 14,000 names on petitions requesting an opportunity for ski area development at San Gorgonio. Attached is a copy of my letter dated July 25, 1964, addressed to Hon. Wayne N. Aspinall, which accompanied the petitions. At that time, H.R. 9070 was under consideration.
One personal experience which illustrates this demand, as well as any of the above statistics. On January 27, 1964, an article in the Los Angeles Times was headed "200,000 Cause Traffic Jams in Mountains." I went up to Mountain Baldy early that morning with a group to ski. When a new storm blew in we decided that the snow level would drop resulting in heavy traffic in to and out of the mountains. We left the ski area about 2:30 p.m., and what is a normal 30- to 45-minute drive required 21/2 hours to reach Foothill Boulevard. The impatience of thousands to get up to the snow resulted in cars coming up the mountains in both lanes resulting in an impossible traffic jam.
I request permission to submit with my testimony 1 copy of each of 20 letters directed to your subcommittee which I have received. These are all in favor of H.R. 6891 and include those from Mr. Sigi Engel, director, Sun Valley Ski School; Mr. James Arness, actor and skier; and Mr. Gordon Fields, prominent San Bernardino resident.
As to the feasibility, attached also is a copy of the four-page article which I wrote in March 1964 which I submit as part of my testimony. The photographs on the first and last pages are worth noting. The cover photo [indicating] taken May 1963 clearly shows why the higher altitude on San Gorgonio means snow when existing areas such as Big Bear (in the foreground) do not have snow. The photo on the last page [indicating] shows skiers earlier in the year and illustrates that adequate snow cover exists and that the area desired for skiing is almost without trees or other vegetation.
Mr. Willy Schaffler, ski coach at the University of Denver, made many surveys of the entire mountain range in preparing material for the Economic Research Associations report on San Gorgonio. Willy was Chief of Course for the 1960 Olympic winter games at Squaw Valley and is current Chief of Course for the U.S. ski team. As such he is most qualified to judge potential ski areas and has been the technical representative of one of the groups bidding for the Mineral King ski area development. His report and the attached letter from Mr. Schaffler, which I have included with my testimony, states that the Big Draw area on the east end of the range would make an ideal winter recreations area.
Mr. Schaffler's attachment to his letter reads:
Excerpt from "The Need and Potential For Expanded Utilization of Mount San Gorgonio-1963":
"The potential for skiing use of Mount San Gorgonio is outstanding. The mountain rises 3,000 feet above the minimum reliable snow elevation of 8,500 feet, thereby insuring adequate snowfall. The predominant exposure is northerly with sufficient exposure variation to permit the skier to exercise choice under varying weather conditions. The terrain is ideally varied and properly structured; that is, not inverted. The Big Draw, Lower North Face, Little Draw, and the east face of Charlton Peak provides excellent slopes for the advanced and intermediate skier. Below Big Draw and Little Draw are ideal concave slopes in wind-protected gulleys which are excellent for less advanced participants. This upper basin is so vast and varied that separation of noncompatible snow sports (skiing, tobogganing, and snow play) is feasible. "This outstanding skiing potential is unique for two reasons:
"1. It is the only area of such stature within a reasonable distance of a major metropolitan area.
"2. It is the only area which is so critical to the ski recreation need but which is not available for use by the general public (except under the most rigorous conditions)."
Bob Beattie, head coach, U.S. ski team, following a trip into San Gorgonio on November 9, 1965, stated:
I don't think I've ever seen an area that looks more like it was made for winter sports.
Reports of the Forest Service snow depth studies and those made by ski patrolmen all testify to the adequacy of the area above the 8,600foot elevation for winter recreation.
Now, regarding multiple use. One of the most unfortunate facts regarding San Gorgonio is that the majority of the area suitable for skiing is above tree line and doesn't fit my description of wilderness. As a matter of fact, Bob Beattie, after his trip into the area, via Slushy Meadows, stated:
I saw more signs along the trails than I've seen at ski areas such as Aspen, Colo.
Use of the area above the approximate 8,600-feet elevation is known to be small. I've heard figures of 3,500 people per year and my personal experience has been when there are up to say 100 visitors in Slushy Meadows and lower elevations, that about 10 to 15 would be in the upper elevations.
The "Outdoor Recreation" report cited earlier has a few other statistics worthy of note. The 19 national forests in California comprise some 19.3 million acres with about 673,926 acres classified as wilderness or primitive land. It is difficult to see how by reclassifying 3,500 acres or less and replacing this acreage by other land in the wilderness area of San Gorgonio, anyone would be deprived of his enjoyment of wilderness area. We skiers enjoy hiking and camping also, and believe that 100 feet or so away from a chair lift the wilderness is as wild as it was before the ski lift was installed.
We feel so strongly about preserving the majority of San Gorgonio that it is a safe assurance to state that if the one area most suited for winter sports is opened, we as an association would join the Sierra Club or others in limiting any developments to this one area.
I hope that the above information will provide a perspective on this issue which will result in a favorable report to the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee concerning H.R. 6891 and other bills currently referred to your committee.
May I make one more request of the committee and that is that during the hearing, you consider the U.S. geological map as an official document so that there is no question about the elevation, area, locations, et cetera; and, further that this Forest Service may not be considered because this portion of this map is not to scale. Therefore, I think it is a little misleading as to the locations of the campsites.
For your information, and during the hearings, I will present you this map which is an approximation of the area that skiers and recreation people are looking for. These are available for your use if you like.
Mr. BARING. Thank you very much.
They may be made a part of the file, not the record, but the file.
Mr. SPEICHER. That is the end of my testimony, sir.
Mr. BARING. You have other speakers, do you not?
Mr. SPEICHER. Yes; we have.
Mr. Stan Mullin would be our next speaker, sir, with your permission.
Mr. BARING. Very well, Mr. Mullin, you may present your state
STATEMENT OF J. STANLEY MULLIN, ATTORNEY AT LAW
Mr. MULLIN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Congressmen Hosmer, Dyal and Johnson, and Mr. Shafer.
My name is J. Stanley Mullin. I am an attorney at law and I reside at 12828 Marboro, Los Angeles, Calif.
My personal acquaintance with the northerly slopes of Mount San Gorgonio includes two ascents of this mountain in winter on skis, as well as having made visits to the lower slopes both in winter and summer. Having skied actively since 1931 (in California since 1934), it has been my pleasure to be on skis in the mountains of California, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, New England, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, France, Norway, Finland, and Poland.
My official affiliation with the ski sport include vice president, International Ski Federation; director, United States Ski Association (past vice president); member, organizing committee, winter Olympic games, Squaw Valley, 1960; member, organizing committee, world ski championships, Aspen, Colo., 1950.
Eighteen years ago in this city, I appeared before the representatives of the U.S. Forest Service to speak in favor of the multiple use of Mount San Gorgonio. At that time, predictions were made as to the grave consequences that would befall an area desecrated by skiing facilities. The record does not bear out those predictions. I again appear before you, at this time, to make the same plea that I made 18 years ago.
San Gorgonio is an unusual mountain. It is reasonably close to one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, and at the same time, almost 3,000 feet higher than its surrounding mountain ranges. I know of no area in the world so conveniently located to such a large population mass.
Every analyst, including those employed by banks and utilities, as well as chambers of commerce, predict a continuation of southern California's rapid population increase. This population includes its