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Los Angeles, Calif., November 30, 1965.

Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: I wish to voice my opposition to House Bills 6891, 7490, 7654, 8033, 8176, and 8859, which are planned to set aside a sizable portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for commercial winter recreational development.

As Supervisor of Conservation Education in the Los Angeles City Schools, I am constantly viewing with alarm the relentless encroachment upon the already too few spots where our wilderness is preserved. If we are to maintain our nation's heritage and ideals, long range planning makes it imperative that these oases of nature be saved to meet present and future demands and needs.

It has been my pleasure to have been actively engaged with the Boy Scouts of America for the past thirty years. When one sees the joy, understanding, and appreciation that is registered by the youth of our nation when they visit areas such as San Gorgonio, their value is immediately apparent. This value will increase as future demands are met.

Please help to maintain the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for present and future posterity. Sincerely,


Supervisor, Thrift, Conservation, and School Savings Section.


Big Bear Lake, Calif., November 19, 1965.

Longworth House Office Building,

Washington, D.C.

DEAR SIRS: In regard to bills proposing the opening of a section of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, San Bernardino County, for the development of skiing facilities, I wish to go on record as being opposed to the removal of any land from this Wilderness Area.

As publisher of Big Bear's newspaper and a director of our Chamber of Commerce, I see no economic setback for Big Bear should ski lifts be erected in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. In fact, it probably would eventually prove to be a plus factor in our economy here. However, I do not believe economic factors should have any bearing on the decision of whether Gorgonio is to be opened up. Nor do I believe that the need for an Olympic ski training site or the need for more slopes and facilities for Southern California skiers deserve consideration. In my opinion, the only question to be decided is whether or not the people and the government of the United States intend to preserve for posterity all those areas of our country set aside and designated as Wilderness Areas. If we are and I think we should-then they must be protected against whatever special interest or political pressures are brought to bear to the contrary.

The needs and desires of our present generations are hardly important in this issue. What is important, though, is the kind of country we are going to leave behind for generations still to come.

Sincerely yours,


La Sierra, Calif., November 15, 1965.

Re San Gorgonio hearings, November 16 and 17, 1965.

Washington, D. C.

GENTLEMEN: La Sierra College is the owner of 620 acres in the San Gorgonio Mountains more fully described as Section Six, T. 1 S., R. 3 E., San Bernardino meridian.

La Sierra College purchased this land a year ago for the specific purpose of setting up a natural history reservation and biological station. Our Depart

ment of Biology will supervise and control this project, and we are most interested in having this area preserved in its natural state in order that scholarly research may be pursued without interference or disruption from commercial interests.

Further, we can report that access to this section of land has been arranged with the U. S. Forestry Service whereby La Sierra College will use existing Forestry Service roads. Roads developed by La Sierra College will be built according to Forestry Service specifications and will be available for Forestry Service use.

It may be readily seen how seriously commercial development would hamper the education program planned for Section Six. La Sierra College accordingly protests Bill HR 6891 and any similar bills requesting any form of commercial development in the San Gorgonio Wilderness area. We are most concerned that this area be preserved in its present status, remaining under the protection of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Should you desire more information we shall be happy to provide it.
Sincerely yours,


DAVID J. BIEBER, President.


Santa Ana, Calif., November 2, 1965.

Washington, D.C.

DEAR SIRS: The Conservation Committee of the Sea and Sage Audubon Society cannot be present at your hearing November 16; therefore, this letter is sent that it may be placed in the record against the advisability of H.R. 6981 and the similar bills that have been introduced.

San Gorgonio was first established as a primitive area in 1931. The question of its development for other uses, such as ski development and family winter recreation, was the subject of extensive public hearings by the Forest Service in 1947, after which the proposals were rejected. The reasons for preserving this most heavily used and widely accepted wilderness area in the country as a wilderness area are even more imperative than in 1947.

There are about 70,000 skiers in southern California seeking family winter recreation and, as their numbers increase, lands have been earmarked to double resort facilities for them without developing San Gorgonio.

San Gorgonio is the primary test case of our entire idea of wilderness preservation.

Sincerely yours,


Chairman, Conservation Committee.

Norco, Calif., November 16, 1965.


Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: The Tri-County Conservation League came into being for the purpose of saving the wilderness areas in the Santa Ana River flood plain, and we hope to restore the wilderness nature of the despoiled areas of the river bottom as much as possible.

However, our project is actually an extension of the San Gorgonio wilderness area. The only fitting climax to a wilderness type recreation way from the ocean to the mountains source is our beloved San Gorgonio wilderness area.

If future generations are to develop the hardihood and good tast to hike, ride bicycles, or ride horses out of the asphalt jungles of Orange and Riverside Counties, don't set up a disappointment for them by allowing the terminus of the journey to be marred by the introduction of honky tonk commercialism on the heights.

The future trip up river should be an adventure into frontier atmosphere. DAVID A. BUTLER, President.

NORCO, CALIF., November 11, 1965.


Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: We, as a non-organized group of back-packers, have as an objective: getting away from the noise, hustle and bustle of our modern day civilization. If you were to take a census of the number of back-packers who go into the wilderness areas, we believe you would find the number of people far exceeding any concept of those who do not follow the trend of "getting away from it all". Obviously then, to a census taker, becomes the fact that the wilderness areas available to us at this time are not adequate. We do not believe that this area should be taken over by modern day commercial interests which are not to the best interests of the general public who are already using this area. We feel that you would be making a great mistake in opening up one of the best and most popular wilderness areas for commercial-type development, namely skiing interests.

As citizens and users, we request that the few remaining Southern California wilderness areas continue as wilderness areas.

Very truly yours,


(And nine others).

Carlsbad, Calif., November 30, 1965.


Longworth House Building,

Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: As Chairman of Region VII, incorporating nine western states, of the American Camping Association, I address you for the Region, and particularly the Southern California section, concerning our opposing the opening of the San Gorgonio wilderness area.

Those of us interested in preserving such areas speak for the thousands of boys and girls, as well as their parents, who love nature as it exists as opposed to the few who might seek commercial ventures.

Thanking your deep consideration of this all-important matter, I remain,

W. C. ATKINSON, Chairman Seventh Region.

La Quinta, Calif., November 2, 1965.

HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS Longworth Building Washington, D.C. GENTLEMEN: Representing some 18,000 members in 400 clubs of this state federation, we respectfully request that this testimony be included in the record of hearing in opposition to HR 6891 by Mr. Dyal and to the companion bills of similar intent by Mr. Corman, Mr. Leggett, Mr. Hawkins and Mr. H. T. Johnson. This letter is but a supplement to similar correspondence with reference to maintenance of the integrity of this area, which principle was upheld by nearly a two to one vote of the Congress upon the enactment of the Wilderness Legislation.

Perhaps as serious as the violation of the wilderness principle, which the above bills would involve, is the questionable use of misleading title for said proposals. The halls of Congress of the United States should be no locale for the practice of trickery or misrepresentation by the elected representatives. The intent of these bills is additionally incongruous in the face of the high priority of the present administration given to the preservation of natural beauty.

With reference to the misleading title which proposes a "family winter recreation" area, it needs to be strongly emphasized that this wilderness area is already experiencing family recreational use on an expanding basis, much of which would be eliminated with the development of the complex mechanics of a ski slide.

We respectfully request that the Committee refuse this obvious violation of a wilderness area for exploitation to benefit a relatively small number of citizens, whose needs can be met elsewhere with complete satisfaction.



Commander, Medical Corps, USN (Retired), Conservation Chairman.


December 23, 1965.

Longworth House Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR SIR: Our Camp Committee, at its meeting on December 16, 1965, unanimously passed the following resolution with the request that it be forwarded to you, as well as to our Congressman.

Whereas the Long Beach Jewish Community Center and its Camp Committee has always been concerned with the preservation of the natural beauty, wildlife, and wilderness areas of our state and our area, therefore be it resolved that the Camp Committee of the Long Beach Jewish Community Center goes on record as being unalterably opposed to the opening of the San Gorgonio wilderness area. Our Committee shall appreciate your cooperation in bringing the resolution above to the attention of the entire Committee on Insular Affairs.

Sincerely yours,

Mrs. DAVID STEIN, Chairman, Camp Committee.


Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif., November 23, 1965.

Hon. WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN BARING: The general membership' of Ski Club Alpine would like to be on record as being in favor of the passage of H.R. 6891, which would permit the development of lift skiing in a portion of the San Gorgonio Wild Area.

Our club, one of the largest in the Los Angeles area, is very active in sponsoring both junior and senior ski races and training camps. We feel the San Gorgonio area would afford an excellent training ground for racers, as well as providing recreational skiers with a place to ski without equal in California.



BETTY WRIGHT, President, Ski Club Alpine.

LA CRESCENTA, CALIF., December 5, 1965.

Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Attached is a copy of a letter prepared as testimony for the hearings held by the Public Lands Subcommittee in San Bernardino on November 16-17. The great number of witnesses and the massive amount of testimony exhausted the Committee's time and we had no opportunity to read our short statement. All in all, the testimony in opposition to the proposed ski development in the San Gorgonio Wilderness thoroughly and competently said what we wished to say.

But aspects of the hearing troubled us because of their possible far-reaching consequences. Members of the sub-committee appeared hostile toward witnesses who were appearing for the express purpose of supporting the Wilderness Act of 1964. The implication is, then, that this act, designed to to preserve wilderness areas in their natural state, actually means nothing at all; that any

1 List in committee files.

wilderness area deemed by any group suitable for its own limited interest is fair game and up for grabs. Such was clearly implied when one congressman challenged a witness to suggest an alternative solution for the ski interests, although the witness represented a conservation group interested only in protecting the wilderness. Again, a witness was accused of standing in the path of "progress", and finally was questioned in such manner that hinted strongly that he was opposed to private enterprise.

Most conservation associations are not primarily pressure groups and most members would rather direct their time and energy toward pursuits other than lobbying. But a series of exploits such as this will necessarily force them into the role of constant defense. One can easily think of a score of interests, each equally or more deserving than the ski enthusiasts, who would like to exploit the wilderness areas.

We shall be grateful if you can offer assurance that our apprehensions are unfounded.

Sincerely yours,



LA CRESCENTA, CALIF., November 17, 1965.

Chairman, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Washington, D.C.

DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is a statement in opposition to H.R. 6891 and it is requested that it become part of the record of this hearing.

The Wilderness Bill of 1964 can be regarded as the moment in history that this nation acknowledged its responsibility to the future and to the land. It represents a significant point in our maturity, where our appreciation of the vast natural blessing that is America converged with the realization that only immediate preservation could afford our posterity their rights to the same blessings. The affirmation came none too soon, and the efforts to destroy the Wilderness Bill such as the one now before you-illustrate how near it came to being too late.

One need not be antagonistic toward the sport of skiing (or boating, hunting, motorcycling, surfing or free enterprise) to object to such an establishment as is here proposed in the heart of San Gorgonio or any other-Wilderness. It is necessary only to recognize (1) that the integrity of a wilderness is destroyed by such a development, and (2) that if skiing enthusiasts are entitled to such violation, so are all other interests.

We emphatically deny that the proposed development is compatable with the wilderness concept. Dispassionate appraisal of the monuments, parks and forests of the Federal system will convince the most skeptical that where Man goes he leaves his mark. Access roads, accommodations, utilities and supplies spawn machines, noise, beer cans, tissue paper and destruction. The highest original motives cannot guarantee the contrary. Once invaded, the wilderness is no more; where once Man was an intruder, he has become instead a conqueror, and tolerates no threat to his comfort from Nature's austerity. The wild country succumbs easily to technology, but when it is vanished forever it may be man who realizes-too late that he himself is the tragic victim.

To conservationists who have spent long years in embattled, often futile, defense of the wilderness the struggle here taking place is an old story. Each fresh assault is launched by an enthusiastic group that is unaware that other groups, similarly enthusiastic over their special interest, have mounted, are mounting or will mount a vigorous campaign of their own against the wilderness. And while the skiier or entrepreneur will undoubtedly regard the conservatinoist who opposes the San Gorgonio "development" an obstructionist old fogey in the present instance, he will likely sympathize with the conservationist when it comes to, say, the opposition to motorcycling on primitive trials.

When, in passing the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Congress reserved unto itself the authority for approval, it also assumed, we believe, the responsibility for fulfilling the law's intent. It is evident, however, that this procedure is viewed by self-interested pressure groups as invitation to advocate violation of the wilderness-for their particular purpose. What makes your present task, then, particularly important-even vital-is that, as one of the initial challenges to the wil

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