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I am particularly interested in what apparently is intended as a compromise in the current proposal. That is what I call the "God's Little Acre" principle (borrowing from Erskine Caldwell). Substituting a relatively worthless area, on an acre-for-acre basis, for a highly desirable area where the "gold" lies is not in my mind a fair exchange for the public as a whole. Carried to an extreme this same reasoning could result in a "wilderness" area consisting of thousands of acres of desert land while San Gorgonio is subdivided for vacation cabins.

In the end, it is the people of California and the Nation who will lose if the San Gorgonio wilderness is violated. Not only will this vestige of our natural frontiers be lost forever but it will serve as a precedent for commercial encroachment on other protected areas. We cannot, with clear conscience regarding our obligation to future generations, allow this to happen.

Thank you very much.


Mrs. READ. H.R. 6891 and companion bills to open the middle of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to commercial developments violates the intent of the recent Wilderness Act. If this is allowed other wilderness areas may also be whittled away until none is left.

At this time when the population of this southland is increasing so rapidly it would be more to the point to expand, rather than diminish, lands available for those who crave unmechanized enjoyment of the out of doors. There are many to whom a few hours or days away from present-day tensions are vital, and there must be places kept for those who need this wilderness type of recreation.

Although H.R. 6891 does not specifically mention ski lifts, should the 3,500 acres be withdrawn from the middle of this wilderness and made accessible by a road for "family winter recreational use," the installation of "necessary facilities" would surely include ski lifts as well as the usual honky-tonk joints with their hotdog stands, jukeboxes, souvenir shops and signs. Also the environs of the road (paid for by the taxpayers whether they want it or not) would smell of gasoline fumes accompanying the blasts of Tote Gotes, motorcycles, pickups, and cars. There are other places more suitable for this kind of entertainment.

Even more important is the threat by erosion to our watershed for, of necessity, to build ski lifts and parking facilities many trees would have to be felled. We cannot afford to lose even one tree in this or other watershed here in the southland.


As a native Californian (I wonder if Dyal, Corman, Leggett, Hawkins, Johnson, and Roosevelt are?) who lived near Redlands and later near Covina, I have visited the San Gorgonio area many times over a long period of years and am very much interested in its fate. It is the only fairly large wilderness in this region left untouched by commercial encroachments-a place where citybound people may escape to quietude.

The area has been used for years by youth groups, and as the number of youth organizations increases in the future, it will become even more important to have a place where they can benefit from the

educational experiences to be derived away from the asphalt jungles of their cities.

It has been said that American youth is soft. Perhaps this has partly been caused by intensive mechanization promoted by those who, understandably, want to sell their wares, and there are places where such mechanization is appropriate. However, there are those who relish the thrill of living with nature, who enjoy hiking, backpacking, riding, and cross-country skiing. There must be places kept available to them.

Much study is taking place on the problem of juvenile delinquency, perhaps acquaintance with open spaces in early youth might help, but regardless of whether or not that might be a factor, let us maintain a healthy outdoor area for the many fine young people who are and will be using the San Gorgonio wilderness for years to come.

Many people think that if any area is not used-meaning developed to make money-it is wasted. It is high time that man should learn that as a part of nature he should cooperate with her, the time for "conquering" is long since past, and the sooner we accept this fact the better for us and future generations.

I trust, gentlemen, that you will gravely consider all the implications of the precedent that would be set by this invasion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area and the long-term effect it would have in this country as well as here in California. H.R. 6891 and companion bills should not be approved.

Thank you, gentlemen.


Mr. YOUNT. We would hate to see any part of the primitive area of San Gorgonio lost, but to lose this particular acreage requested by the ski enthusiasts would be a disaster.

First, this acreage cuts the primitive area squarely in two, leaving two areas; each a little too small to be defined as "primitive," for they would each contain comparatively few acres where a person would be out of sight or sound of modern civilization.

Second, the proposed location contains all of the only high Sierra scenery in southern California. Here, instead of pine forests or brush, both of which can be beautiful but are common to our area, we have the great bare mountains as a backdrop to a forest of storm-battered hemlocks. I doubt that there are many localities, even in the high Sierra, with more rugged and picturesque scenery.

We are extremely fortunate in having this one scenic masterpiece here in southern California where it is in the reach of all those people, boys, girls, and adults, who cannot often, if ever, visit the high Sierra


To deface it no matter how slightly-and the scenic damage caused by ski activities is never slight as slopes must be cleared-would be a crime against both nature and the future generations that could never be corrected.

The total number of ski enthusiasts sounds rather impressive, but it actually is only a very small percentage of the population. Shall this comparatively small group be given all of the most scenic mountains of our southland?

Surely this one spot should be left for those who love the great mountain areas for what they are and not just because they afford the snow and the slopes necessary for hill skiing.

Skiing is a wonderful sport. One that should have, and does have, many lifts here in this end of the State, but in this day and age we also need a few places dedicated to the countless lovers of solitude and beauty.

Thank you, gentlemen.


Mr. KNUDSEN. I am speaking in the capacity of president of the Barton Flats Cabin Owners' Association. The association is composed of 98 families who have cabins in the Barton Flats locality, adjacent to the boundary of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. Cabins have been located in this area since the early 1920's. I personally have witnessed 39 years of both good and adverse activity by nature and man. Many of our members have similar or longer years of experience, and, as a group, we have a good knowledge of this area.

Existing highway facilities through the Barton Flats area are entirely inadequate to handle the volume of traffic which proponents of opening the Wilderness area suggest will be created. We believe the type of traffic which may be created would be a "pass through" rush to get there and rush to get away. This would not be a healthy situation for the existing narrow cliff-hanging road where drops of hundreds of feet exist at the edge of the shoulder. There has been a history of tragic accidents on the Mill Creek to Barton Flats road. All of us have seen a freeway driver throw a burning cigarette out of his window. If such habits persist on a "pass through" drive in a forest tinder box, the results could be disastrous.

We believe that in order to make an adequate profit, commercial attractions permitted in the wilderness area will find it necessary to remain open all year and not just the few months when snow might be available. Thus, there could be a year-round attraction for the "pass through" traffic, all of which may not have had the opportunity to realize its responsibility to nature.

If Congress changes its previous action and does open a portion of the wilderness area for commercial development, we strongly urge establishment and enforcement of a rigid set of regulations designed to protect this magnificent area.

We urge establishment of a single access road from the eastern desert site at Yucca Valley. The route would be through desert lands which have less timber and brush growth and which are, therefore, less susceptible to fire damage. The road should, as much as possible, avoid areas draining toward the watersheds which are the life blood of the population below. A wide natural buffer zone, not open to

vehicular traffic, should be made to completely separate the cabins, youth camps, and public campgrounds from "pass through" fast-in and fast-out traffic. It must be recognized that such traffic is incompatible and dangerous to those families who are hiking and leisurely enjoying the natural beauty.

Yesterday's testimony brought out the fact that parking spaces for 5,000 cars was contemplated for the ski parking area. Because no lodging is to be provided, many of these cars will be leaving the parking lot at nearly the same time. Let's see what happens

Assume the average car length is 18 feet.

5,000 cars 18 feet per car=17 miles bumper-to-bumper

5,280 feet per mile

Assume a driving distance of 102 feet between cars which says one car per 120 feet, and this may not be the safest distance.

5,000 cars × 120 feet per car= 115 miles cars would stretch out on the 5,280 feet per mile road.

At 30 miles per hour, it would take 3 hours and 52 minutes for all cars to pass a given point. Can you imagine any driver on a side road from a cabin, public campground or youth camp breaking into a steady stream of traffic like that?

Now assume estimates are high and there are only 4,000 cars.

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4,000 × 120 91 miles stretched out along the highway


At 30 miles per hour it would take 3 hours for all these cars to pass a point.

Usual factors the California State Division of Highways use for noncongested traffic are 800 to 900 cars per hour for a two-lane highway and 1,800 cars per hour for one lane of a multilane freeway. To move 5,000 cars out of a ski parking lot within 1 hour would require 3 freeway lanes in that direction. To move that many cars in the morning would require three lanes on the other side of the highway which makes a six-lane freeway. Now, if there is congestion, which seems likely for mountain traffic, highway capacities reduce greatly and this lengthens the time or increases the number of required lanes. If highways are to be built to handle this traffic, who is to рау. their cost?

Throughout yesterday's testimony there was a ringing that all the people who possibly can should be attracted to the wilderness area. We believe this is not proper for the preservation of that area. As a farmer finds a safe planting program and plants only a given amount of seed per acre or thins out the apples on his trees, so that remaining apples grow bigger and better-we believe there is a safe yield to the use of forest and wilderness lands. That safe yield point in number of persons may have already been exceeded.

Thank you, gentlemen.


Mr. JOHNSON. My name is Chester Johnson. I submit my testimony against all present proposals to mar the San Gorgonio Wild Area with man-made artifacts: I offer you the lyrics to three of my songs.

San Gorgonio, wilderness for us all,

Where midnight winds blow over the waterfall,
San Gorgonio, you heap big medicine mound,

Formed ages ago, and full of primeval sound,

Many a mile we have walked across your grey back so bare,
Many a time we have talked to ancient spirits up there,

Peak of Wilderness, so far from cities below,

Let no traffic mar this land of San Gorgonio.

For future youngsters who want to camp out

In wilds of long ago,

All scouters, campers, and hikers shout,

"Save San Gorgonio!"

Ski-lift, better go north,

Where the snow conditions always can be counted on.

Ski-lift, go farther north,

We don't dig blacktop traffic forever scaring our fawn.

For future youngsters who want to camp out

In wilds of long ago,

All scouters, campers, and hikers shout,
"Save San Gorgonio!"

Gonna save a mountain from the black-top road,

Gonna save a mountain from the ski-lift load,

Gonna save a mountain for the trails up high

Don't know how we're gonna do it, only know we're gonna try.

Gonna save a mountain from the motor car,

Gonna save a mountain from the cocktail bar,

If we save that mountain for all kids to climb

Then the good Lord up in heaven will bless 'em with that view sublime.

(Music to third song not original.)

Gentlemen, the testimony of a songwriter continues:

Gonna save a mountain for the world to see,

Gonna save a mountain through eternity,

Gonna save that mountain for the good of mankind—

Don't know how we're gonna do it, but we have a plan in mind.

Gonna make that mountain into a National Park,

Gonna write to Congress and set off the spark,

If we save that mountain for all kids to climb

Then those future generations will bless us till the end of time,

And may the good Lord up in heaven greet us on that mountain climb. Gentlemen, must I reiterate that San Gorgonio is our last chance in this part of the world to do the right thing by Mother Nature? Are we going to prostitute Mother Nature for the last filthy dollar we can squeeze out of her? If we do, the future generations will remember us that way-"sold-American." The hucksters have already commercialized two of our three mountains in southern California. Save San Gorgonio.

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