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The new loop trail will enable hikers to hike directly from Dry Lake to the top of San Gorgonio.
Use of Dry Lake and the Lodgepole Springs and North Fork Meadows primitive campsites, which are reached via Dry Lake, will be increasingly popular when this trail is completed—thereby relieving already overcrowded conditions at the small Dollar Lake campsite by hikers to the top of San Gorgonio.
With installation of a ski lift resort facilities, Dry Lake would cease to exist as a primitive campsite. Access to Lodgepole Springs and North Fork Meadows primitive campsites would be obstructed by traffic and facilities across the trail from Dry Lake. E. Harmful effects on cross-country skiing use
Parking lot with thousands of cars, a road with traffic, buildings, ski lifts, and thousands of people would seriously damage the area's unique present use as the finest for cross-country skiing in southern California.
Mrs. Jack L. (Barbara) Doyle (Redlands housewife) writes:
"Skiing is one of the most popular sports in the United States today; it is healthful and invigorating, and certainly should be encouraged. But has it ever occurred to those advocating opening the wilderness area, that San Gorgonio can be utilized for skiing without ski lifts and their accompaniment of traffic jams, slushy, dirty snow, long waits for tows, noise, and abandoned paper plates?
“Twenty-five years ago I skied in the wilderness area with a group of young people every weekend. Sure we went up the slopes the hard way, and if we wanted a cup of coffee we carried it with us. But the memory is unforgettable deep peace and beauty, unmarked expanses of purest white and a vast silence when we stopped for a breather, unbroken except for the wind in the pines, the tinkle of a tiny stream under its icy crust and the plop of snow falling off a limb.
“Once any part of this treasure is gone, it is gone forever; and once any part of it is given away, more will be asked. We hold this heritage in trust, not only for our own children and grandchildren, but for all the children of the future, whose need for such a refuge of the spirit will be even greater than ours."
Miss Hagum. I would like to take just a moment to point out on the map a couple of features. This map has been loaned to us and is not available for the subcommittee to keep; but, it was loaned to us by Bud White of Redlands, who is a program manager at Lockheed Propulsion and also a Boy Scout leader.
I would just like to point out about two features; then I will be finished, really, with my testimony.
The skiers contend that there would be no damage to this area because it is completely above the area now used by hikers. Mr. Whitewell, I might point out that here is Dry Lake (indicating!; and, here is Poopout Hill [indicating]; that is the starting point.
The trail to Dry Lake is considered a mean trail in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. It begins at Poopout Hill [indicating] and it goes to Slushy Meadows (indicating]; and, from there, the trail continues to Dry Lake, which is the site of a ski resort and primitive campsite [indicating] Dry Lake, the trail branches, one branch going to another primitive campground at Lodgepole Springs [indicating]; and, the very
fine and beautiful trail down to the lovely primitive campsite at North Fork Meadows [indicating].
If a ski resort is put in at Dry Lake, this will be in the very middle of this very major trail. Mr. White took his Boy Scout troop camping and they did stay at North Fork Meadows and he said it is a lovely, primitive campsite. They do not want to have to go right through next summer a major ski resort in order to get to that campsite.
Secondly, there is a trail now from Dry Lake, a roughed-out trail, to the top of San Gorgonio [indicating], as you can see by the dotted red line [indicating). This trail is not now in a completed state but it is being worked on by the Forest Service and it is called Poop Trail, so it would be possible to go from Poopout Hill to Slushy Meadows and go around and camp overnight at Dry Lake, make the ascent of San Gorgonio; then, come back down the other way and you could go all the way back down to Slushy Meadows and back out. It is the only way we could have a loop to go around and Dry Lake is right in the middle of that loop, and it is the heart of the wilderness [indicating).
Mr. White, I think, had a very good comment. Mr. White feels very strongly about the preservation of this area and is sorry that he cannot be here today, but one of his main reasons is because, as a program manager at Lockheed Propulsion, he himself is under a lot of tension and strain and so are the members of his staff, all the people who work there. He said that we need this wilderness area, and the men that work with him are for it; they need it as a place for some solitude and quiet. As he said, “Where else can the little guy find 5 minutes of peace and quiet?"
If the people are going to build a ski resort in the Dry Lake areait was mentioned there were three other sites, San Bernardino Peak, Anderson Peak, and Shields Peak-Mr. White and his family took a family trip for 1 week last summer along these trails and slept out in a primitive campsite. During that week they did not happen to see one other human being; they actually had solitude and quiet. This is so difficult of access that the average person does not even bother to get up there. If there were ski lift resorts, however, built at San Bernardino Peak, Anderson Peak, Shields Peak, and Dry Lake, and if these were all connected by a network of vista roads, the whole thing would turn into one vast ski resort and I do not think that is what even the skiers would like to see if they want to preserve wilderness values.
I would like to close with just one last thing. This is a quotation from Dr. Went, distinguished professor of botany at the Desert Research Institute at the University of Nevada. This is what he said in a letter which he wrote to me.
San Gorgonio Wilderness Area is of very great importance for study of the origin of the mountain flora to the West and is the highest peak in North America.
If you will study the map, you will realize there is no peak which is either south or west of San Gorgonio in North America that is any higher.
In connection with the study of the alpine flora in Nevada, which I have started in a publication to give the details of, I must be able to study the alpine fiora in Nevada. I must be able to study the undisturbed flora of San Gorgonio as well, which I have visited several times in the past.
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
The Chair has an announcement to make. The opponents have just about 50 minutes left.
The porponents have an hour and 20 minutes left, and, after this next group, this next panel, we are cutting the testimony down to the bare minimum so that we can hear from as many as possible.
I am going to get one more panel in at this time and then we will have to abide by the time in order to close at 5 o'clock.
All of you can submit your statements as if read. You will submit it to the court reporter and it will be incorporated in the record as if read; however, we may have to cut you off from a personal appearance.
Now the next panel is Harold Arnold; Richard Minnich; and Robbin Schellhous.
First, we will hear from Mr. Arnold.
STATEMENT OF HAROLD W. ARNOLD, SCOUT EXECUTIVE, LONG
BEACH AREA COUNCIL, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
Mr. ARNOLD. I am Harold W. Arnold representing the Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, was officially organized in 1918 for the purpose of bringing together boys of our community in a program of character building, citizenship training, and selfreliance.
The program of scouting which has been functioning in the United States since 1910 uses as an important part of its program camping and outdoor activities as we develop self-reliance in these future citizens.
In 1925, the council secured property in the Idyllwild area where we could hike in the back country on the slopes of San Jacinto in order to give our boys the opportunity to have a taste of the wilderness and to develop Scouting skills and self-reliance.
The wilderness area of San Jacinto was taken away with the construction of a tram lift from Palm Springs which carries sightseers high up the mountain and gives them an opportunity for an easy walk into what used to be wilderness area.
Because of the fact that the wilderness of San Jacinto was taken away from us, the Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, purchased 640 acres of land in the Barton Flats area in order that we might have the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area as hiking country.
We are one of the many youth organizations that take advantage of this hiking country on the north slopes of San Gorgonio. This is the last wilderness area available in southern California and if it is open for easy access and ski lift operation, our boys will have had taken from them, the last place in which they can hike without seeing cars and mechanical equipment. The joy of hiking into wilderness areas is lost when you are constantly confronted with an automobile in which someone has ridden in, or with a ski lift with its mechanical operation.
The Long Beach Area Council has a membership of nearly 18,000 boys and leaders and we are hopeful that our last wilderness area in southern California can be preserved.
During the course of our existence, we have had over 100,000 boys in scouting, we have had 1,217 boys who have attained their eagle rank, and we have furnished innumerable young men who, because of their background of training in self-reliance and love of country, have become officers in our Armed Forces with credit to themselves, our country, and our organization.
With this background on the Long Beach Area Council, I would like to present the following answers relative to questions raised by proponents of H.R. 6891:
We would agree that in order for the people of southern California to lead full, well-rounded lives, it is very desirable that recreational areas and facilities be available to the greatest possible number. With our 7 million people in southern California now and an anticipation that this will increase to 28 million in a comparatively short number of years, it is most important that the best possible use be made of all lands. Winter sports are most expensive and only a small percentage of our people can enjoy them. Skiing is even more expensive with a less number of people participating.
If San Gorgonio were developed with one ski lift, it would seem probable that not more than 1,200 people could use this lift on any one skiing day. In addition to this, it would seem according to best records, that we would be most fortunate to have 100 skiing days in the course of a year. This would limit skiing, if maximum facilities were used, to not more than 120,000 people or a rather small select percentage of those residing in southern California.
Summer recreation in this area, which is now guaranteed by the wilderness bill, would be able to accommodate many times this number of people as the cost is comparatively small. The 30 youth camps in the immediate area of San Gorgonio would have at least 50,000 of our young people using this back country in a given summer, in addition to millions of other people who might have an opportunity to visit it.
If San Gorgonio area remains a part of the wilderness, it is still available to the rugged skiers; it is available to those who would like to get into the back country away from civilization and would be used by many of these groups. The lack of a ski lift only makes it unavailable to the downhill skiers, who presently are served by 10 other ski lifts in southern California. Skiing in San Gorgonio is certainly compatible with other uses of the area, but this is rugged skiing and not the skiing established by lifts with a high concentration of use.
The suggestion that one ski lift would serve the San Gorgonio area if this change in the wilderness bill were effected, does not seem realistic as the plans that have been prepared and circulated by the group interested in building ski lifts are shown including nine lifts covering the entire north slope of the mountain. So, apparently, we are not talking about whether we set aside 3,500 acres for family recreation but whether we open the entire wilderness area to a commercial venture. The question of opening 10 percent of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area does not seem to be valid as, if you take the heart out of an area, you have in fact taken the entire section. Necessary roads for access and other necessary facilities needed would require that much more than this area be opened and used.
The statement has been made that skiing would be at a much higher elevation than that used by hikers. One of the best back country hikes is to the top of San Gorgonio where the opportunity to write your name in the book and look over the total countryside is prized by all of our young people who camp in this area.
The greatest good for the greatest number would certainly be served by maintaining the wilderness area and keeping it available for those willing to hike in.
It has been stated that the total number of acres in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area would not be reduced because land would be provided adjacent to this area. If there is adjacent land available, it would seem that it should be secured and added to the total area to provide additional land for the millions of people still coming into southern California.
With 10 ski lifts presently available in southern California, the small percentage of our people who are avid skiers are certainly being served well. What we need is to preserve areas for the millions of other residents who cannot afford this type of sport.
The Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America, would like to petition this special committee of Congress to use their influence in preserving the integrity of the wilderness bill as established by retaining the total San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for the people of southern California.
STATEMENT OF ROBBIN SCHELLHOUS, LONG BRANCH AREA COUN
CIL, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, LONG BRANCH, CALIF. Mr. SCHELLHOUS. My name is Robbin Schellhous and this testimony is presented on behalf of the Tribe of Tahquitz, an honorary camping organization of the Long Beach Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. The Tribe of Tahquitz was organized in 1925 at Camp Tahquitz in Idyllwild, Calif., with the purpose of promoting Scout camping through service and example. Its primary service to the Long Beach Area Council since 1925 has been to provide personnel qualified to serve on the summer camp staff for Camp Tahquitz. When Camp Tahquitz moved from Idyllwild to Barton Flats in 1959, the Tribe of Tahquitz became vitally interested in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. Camp Tahquitz is located on the northern edge of the wilderness area, immediately north of San Bernardino Peak.
My qualifications for speaking on behalf of the Tribe of Tahquitz include 4 years of camp staff experience. For the past 3 years I have been an officer for the Tribe of Tahquitz. Last summer, as chief of the tribe, I was in charge of the entire camp staff and director of the overall summer camp back country, or overnight pack trip, program. Thus, this testimony reflects the views of the Tribe of Tahquitz, and more specifically, the view of the members of the camp staff of Camp Tahquitz.
The heart of the entire program of the Boy Scouts of America is based on camping and outdoor living. Therefore, one of the most essential elements of the summer program of Camp Tahquitz is the back-country program. Back-country camping gives boys a chance to put into practice the many skills of cooking, first aid, stalking, pioneering, nature lore, and wilderness survival which characterize all Boy Scout advancement requirements. Most all skills related to camping can be practiced at the city park or even in your own backyard; but