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motels, ski-lift operators, service stations, and so forth. Are there not some things we value above economic gains? I am certain that it is economically more feasible to dump our sewage and industrial wastes into our rivers and streams than it is to build expensive treatment and processing plants; to exhaust hydrocarbons and other pollutants into the atmosphere rather than to develop expensive devices and processes for their control. At least it appears to be more economical in the short-range view. But these short-range gains-like the opening of the wilderness area-can be deceiving and undesirable.
Today, let us have the courage to say, "Even though it isn't making us any money, let's keep this one small remaining wilderness as near primitive as possible, to be enjoyed in perpetuity."
Ours is the last generation that can make this decision.
STATEMENT OF THELMA HEDLUND, INDIVIDUAL, PASADENA,
Miss HEDLUND. Sirs, my name is Thelma Hedlund. Many a day the reading of the newspaper has me crying when I read of another plan to take what is left of our wild areas and commercialize them. I think what must I do? Take a year or more from my job to see all that is left of our natural beauty, our natural heritage, before it is all gone. I am of the working class, have minor income and vacation to spend on a trip. So I ask, How do I satisfy this panic feeling, which one will I see first, which one will fall victim to commercialism?
What will I tell the children that come after me? What will you tell them, when the wilderness is gone? What is happening to the coastal redwoods, the sequoias, the Grand Canyon, the San Rafael, the Everglades, and our own San Gorgonios?
At the feet of these beautiful mountains are the trails of the early pioneers, the wilderness they saw we will never see again.
Our country and our forefathers were created out of the wilderness, like a diamond to become a thing of beauty and strength this world has yet to replace. Strange as it may seem, many of us return to the wilderness when we find ourselves lost in the troubles of the world. Even the Son of God sought the wilderness when he needed help.
I ask that this statement be put on record, for the hearing of San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, for November 16 and 17, 1965.
I ask that the San Gorgonio wilderness remain as it is, and has been since 1931, as a wilderness state, and ask that it be put into the national wilderness system, to be protected by law from any member commercial or private use.
In 1931, the Forest Service put the San Gorgonio, known to the older citizens around here as Old Grayback, in law to preserve it from any manner of commercials, roads, buildings, or ski lifts. In 1938, 1942, in 1947, and 1964, they tried and failed to open this area for commercial use.
Yet there were 54,000 visitors to this area last year, used by the Scouts, youth groups, churches, and all manner of individuals.
Why would 54,000 people visit this area, without modern conveniences, roads, or buildings?
Could it be they found the little wilderness of their own, free from city traffic, concrete, noises, congestion. No beer parlors, motels, restrictions, where children are free, and can enjoy life in its natural simple beauty.
Let's not take away the last natural beauty, the last wilderness in southern California. Let's not take away the last sanctuary where many find peace of mind and soul from the worries of this unpredictable world, and the problems of everyday living.
There are about 10 major ski resorts in this area, and those a good day's ride from here in the Sierras. As for this area, there is about 4 months out of 8 that has enough snow for skiing, if we are lucky. It seems to me that most of the places rely more on this manmade snow as it is, even the places up north.
The mountains, including the Gorgonio, are used nearly all year around by people who enjoy camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and snow sports without the modern conveniences, which seems to disturb the very few.
Would it be worth the price of this unreplaceable wilderness to allow it to be destroyed for the pleasures of the few, to see only the commercial value and the skiers that do not ski. For a ski resort you must build buildings, hotels, cocktail lounges, gas stations, motels, parking lots, and, for the rest of the snowless months, who would care for what is left? More often you will see our mountains used with or without snow. It is used by people who only need a barrel slat or garbage can lid to enjoy the snow. If at any time you don't see them in the mountains it is because the weather is too bad, and any time you see a skier, he must be very foolish.
The requirements of the 3,500 acres, does that include that which is damaged, beyond the border of these acres?
In building the road to Lake Tenaya in the Yosemite a masterful bit of damage and destruction was left. Yet I have not heard one good remark on this costly road, not from those who knew this place before it was done, nor from those who see it now and say it was a great waste. A grand highway was built and Squaw Valley was created, with all the modern conveniences, yet I understand that it is never filled to the maximum, and look at the destruction of the trees and country for this place.
Roads, buildings, modern equipment will be needed, ski lifts and all the trimmings that go with these resorts.
Who pays for all this? Who will benefit most from this project, the people?
Will the committee tell the 50,000 visitors they must pay or be taxed for the payment of the wilderness area, they already enjoy the way it is. Half of these are children.
A ski resort was being considered for the Mineral King Area. What happened to that project that was so badly needed, was it turned down because it could not meet its cost, and not enough support?
Now I understand that it is to be a grand amusement park. Once an area like this is opened up to one project, it becomes vulnerable to others. Look at Arrowhead and Big Bear once small ski and lake resort towns, now mass housing projects.
Easy access seems to make these places vulnerable to fires and careless vandals and tin can litterbugs.
I don't know if the Los Angeles forestry service and the San Bernardino forest service get their allowances from the same benefactors, but I do know that our forestry service cannot complete the jobs they have now because of a poor budget.
If this project goes under the care of the national forestry who pays for it and the upkeep and the care for it?
Taxes? Bonds? Private parties? In a national park? People are being taxed to death now, in order to keep their homes, schools, and public projects.
This wilderness area is used now and enjoyed, with little or no cost to anyone, except for the usual fire patrol.
Let's remember that the San Gorgonio is the last wilderness in southern California, a wilderness that gives us renewed strength and peace of mind and reminds us of our heritage, and the will of our forefathers had, and the simple way of life.
Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF THOMAS L. DANIELSEN, INDIVIDUAL, RIVERSIDE, CALIF.
Mr. DANIELSEN. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am Thomas L. Danielsen, from Riverside, Calif.
My feelings concerning the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area are strong. The area is heavily used by people of all ages from infants to people in their twilight years. Most people whom I have talked to regard the area as being both very beautiful and inspirational and should be left as it is. They do not want the development of the area for skiing.
When the promoters of mechanized skiing on San Gorgonio speak of the skiers of southern California they do not speak for all of the skiers. Some of the strongest opponents to the proposed mechanized ski area are themselves skiers. Some of the people who are testifying here at these hearings against the proposed ski area are skiers. Even as skiers these people feel that in the congested areas of southern California there is more need for preserving the unique character of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area than for commercial development. Skiers have said in past testimony that they would rather drive the distance now necessary to an operating mechanized ski area than ruin this wilderness. Therefore, I cannot help but feel that the proponents of mechanized skiing in the San Gorgonio wilderness are primarily interested in the monetary gains and not the skiers. Recently I was talking to one of the main proponents of the development of the area and he told me that 3 weekends of peak operation would pay for the entire expenses of the season and that from then on it would be, in his words, "gravy, pure gravy." Wilderness is so scarce that it should not be turned into gravy.
Gentlemen, since my return to Riverside this past September, I have been up in the San Gorgonio wilderness several times. I have met scores of people on the trails. The most impressive thing about the usage of this area is the number of boys and girls who are using this area for a wilderness experience. They need unique areas such as
the San Gorgonio wilderness to get away from the congested areas of southern California.
To take 3,500 acres for skiing from the heart of the San Gorgonio wilderness would destroy the natural beauty and seclusion necessary for the integrity of the area.
RIVERSIDE, CALIF., November 23, 1965.
Members of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, U.S., Washington, D.C.
GENTLEMEN: This letter is a supplement to my original statement and I wish it to be made part of the record for the San Bernardino Field Hearing.
For two days I sat through the San Gorgonio Wilderness hearing waiting for my turn to offer my testimony verbally. Even though my testimony has been entered into the record as if read, it is not the same. I was not represented by any group since I am not a member of any of the groups. I had quoted a proponent for the use of the area for mechanized skiing but did not name him in the hopes the committee might be interested enough to cross-examine me to find out who the man was.
Mr. Robert Marshall said that the entrance into the record those statements which could not be given orally because of the lack of time would be equitable. I disagree with this since it did not allow the cross-examination of persons offering testimony for the elucidation of facts.
Although equal time was to be given to both sides it turned out that Mr. Johnson, a bill sponsor for opening the area up for skiing, took large chunks of the opponents time to restate what he had said time after time. I am not so sure that I agree with this equal time mandate. A hearing is analogous to a trial which does not, under any circumstances, limit the time of the prosecution nor the defense. However, what is guaranteed is that all evidence to be offered is given the time to be presented.
What is really upsetting is that a proponent, Mr. Chandler P. North, had the opportunity to testify verbally twice. His second testimony dealt with the flora of the San Gorgonio Wilderness and was presented as if he were giving expert opinion and facts on the flora of the area. I am a biologist and would rely on more of what two eminent botanists had said in testimony, as presented in letters for the record, than on the opinions of a man who is not working directly on a field problem of the distribution of floras in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
The second portion of my letter deals with the camp situation on the edge of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. During the summer of 1960 I was the camp director at the Lake Arrowhead Woodcraft Ranger Camp. The camp is surrounded by civilization: bounded by motels, an American Legion Building, a road, and the Lake Arrowhead Village within a mile of the camp. There are really no close areas where the children could get away from the major structural influences of civilization. A good many of the children at the Lake Arrowhead Camp were from underprivileged groups. I believe that most of the children were cheated in a sense, since they really could never get into the wilds because the cost of transportation would have been prohibitive. The 24 youth camps which are located on the edge of the San Gorgonio Wildnerness are in a position to offer their young campers a really wonderful experiencea trip to real wilderness. A place where they can go on their own steam without the aid of contrivances. To put in a mechanized ski area would destroy the wilderness, even if closed in the summer, the presence of a road, a parking lot, ski lifts, etc. would not constitute a wilderness but the antithesis of wilderness.
I firmly believe that to put a ski lift area in at San Gorgonio would be an injustice to the many children who use the area and those who would like to use it in the future. Yes, we need ski lifts, but we need wilderness more, especially the San Gorgonio Wilderness.
THOMAS L. DANIELSEN.
STATEMENT OF MRS. ALICE M. TERVIS, INDIVIDUAL, LOS ANGELES, CALIF.
Mrs. TERVIS. I am a native of California, having lived in southern California for over 50 years, a resident of Los Angeles, and a taxpayer in San Bernardino County, I am a Democrat and strongly opposed to any moneymaking scheme to demolish the wild country; especially the San Gorgonio area.
This group of developers who are trying to commercialize this area are not thinking of the dear children that they speak of, saying that they have not touched snow, and so forth. There are no children in southern California that cannot or have not touched snow if they so care to. There are many areas within 50 miles of all southern California: Mount Baldy, Big Pines, Mount Waterman, and many more, including Mount Wilson.
Contrary to their statement, a ski lift is not all that will have to be built; cocktail lounges, restaurants, housing, and so forth, which means beer cans, garbage, and what have you, littering the wild country. Is this the way to keep California beautiful? Have these moneymongers signed papers to prove that they will build a road out of sight of the hundreds of boys and girls camps in this area to accommodate the ski bums, potential juvenile delinquents, who will be driving at high speeds on the scenic drive leading up to this beautiful area that I have traveled for over 35 years? I speak for thousands of other natives.
If the land is for sale, why is it not offered and sold to the people who have been in the area for many years? The leases are being taken away and people are offered pittance for their homes. Why Thank you.
STATEMENT OF JOSEPHINE JONES, INDIVIDUAL, SAN
Mrs. JONES. Gentlemen, my name is Josephine Jones. I am opposed to any form of action that would alter the present status of the San Gorgonio Wilderness area. I'm opposed for many reasons. I don't feel this area that's now designated "wilderness" can remain wilderness if a commercial ski development is allowed within the boundaries. Having camped, hiked, and skied with my family in the San Gorgonio mountains for the past 5 years I feel very much at home there. I learned to ski in those mountains and my first ski tour experience was to the "Little Draw" which is located high on the north face of Mount Jepson. I like to ski downhill as well as ski tour. I'm not opposed to ski resorts, but I am opposed to one being built within the San Gorgonio Wilderness area. This area is and can be used for ski touring. What a wonderful area for training potential Olympic crosscountry skiers. I don't consider myself an athlete, but with my husband and 13-year-old son I've ski toured and made winter snow camps in the area many times.
Part of the "wilderness area" is being proposed as a "family winter recreational area." Families are now using this area for just that purpose. My husband and I have never been in this area that we didn't see other families doing the same thing we were. Once during mid