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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. Sincerely,
HENRY M. WEBER, MD-FACS, Commander, Medical Corps, USN (Retired), Conservation Chairman.
LONG BEACH JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER,
December 23, 1965. CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE ON INSULAR AFFAIRS, 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.
SKI CLUB ALPINE,
Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif., November 23, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, House Interior and Insular Affairs Com
mittee, 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. Sincerely,
BETTY WRIGHT, President, Ski Club Alpine.
LA CRESCENTA, CALIF., December 5, 1965. Hon. WAYNE N. ASPINALL, 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,
JACK E. DAVIS,
LA CRESCENTA, CALIF., November 17, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, 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
derness system, this case will profoundly affect future assaults by either encouraging or discouraging such efforts. We respectfully urge this committee to reject H.R. 6891 and all similar bills. Sincerely yours,
JACK and ADA J. DAVIS.
COUNTY OF SAN BERNARDINO,
November 30, 1965.
DEAR SIR: Enclosed is a copy of a Resolution of the San Bernardino County Board of Trade in support of an Amended Wilderness Bill. This letter is a confirmation of our previous stand in support of this action. Very truly yours,
ARTHUR B. GROSS, Director.
RESOLUTION BY SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY BOARD OF TRADE WHEREAS, the San Gorgonio Wild Area, located in San Bernardino County, consists of 35,000 acres of which less than 10%, or approximately 3500 acres all above the 9000 foot level, is a unique snow area with superb ski slopes and the only reliable natural snow in Southern California ; and
WHEREAS, during the past year there has been a tremendous increase in interest and demand by the public in favor of limited entry in the San Gorgonio Wild Area upon this 3500-acre unique snow area above 9000 feet for development of skiing and outdoor recreation facilities; and
WHEREAS, in the course of recent Hearings conducted by the Public Lands Subcommittee of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, all interested persons and organizations were given full opportunity to present testimony and evidence on both sides of this issues; and
WHEREAS, based on all the data developed at these Hearings, the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs has approved the comprehensive Wilderness System Bill, HR 9070, as amended to permit recreational skiing development on 3500 acres in the San Gorgonio Area,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Congress of the United States and the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs be advised that by action on this date we wholeheartedly support and urge the enactment of this wilderness legislation which permits limited entry on 3500 acres of the San Gorgonio Area for skiing and outdoor recreational development. Dated : July 10, 1964.
EARL S. REYNOLDS. OLIN C. HOLSTEAD. W. O. MULLIGAN. JOHN R. COOPER.
GRANADA HILLS, CALIF.,
November 25, 1965. PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE, HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIRS : Enclosed are the signed statements of many of my neighbors and associates protesting the proposed development of 3500 acres in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area.1 While we are aware that your hearings were held specifically to determine if a "family winter recreation" resort is compatible with the remaining Wilderness Area, we do feel that our attitude towards such a development is pertinent.
It is my own view that this particular Wilderness Area is a wonderful and irreplaceable part of our Southern California environment. Tens of thousands of our young people hike into this last relic forest each year. The San Gorgonio
1 In committee files.
Wilderness is almost unique among primitive areas in that it is relatively safe for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Campfire Girls, and other youth groups to hike into and camp.
The water from the streams is drinkable and since there are no roads the fire hazard is minimized. It is an experience of inestimable value for people to be able to get totally away from the trappings of civilization for a period of time. A resort in the very heart of the San Gorgonio Wilderness would destroy this for our children and ourselves.
To my way of thinking to ask the question, "Is a family winter recreation resort compatible with a Wilderness Area?” is like asking the question, “Is Los Angeles smog compatible with human existence?” We still survive somehow but not as well as we would if smog didn't exist. The similarity is striking because in both cases it is the distructiveness of mechanized people that causes the incompatibleness. We have an opportunity to prevent such a blight in San Gorgonio by leaving it in its natural state. Those of us who have lived in California for any length of time know that large concentrations of people at the higher altitudes will pollute the streams below. We know that the construction of roads causes the vegetation next to the road to be drier than the surrounding forest; thus increasing the fire hazard and placing the entire Wilderness in danger of total destruction. We know that because of the large crowds that will frequent the area the probability that a fire will be started either accidentally or on purpose is quite high. We know that some of the near extinct wildlife that live at the higher elevations will become totally extinct. I believe these to be irrefutable facts and I assert they make a “family winter recreation" resort completely incompatible with the Wilderness Area.
It is also an irrefutable fact that if such a resort is developed in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area extremely large numbers of people will frequent it. But this should not be interpreted as the fulfillment of the desires of the people of Southern California. It simply means that it would be forced upon us. And since it would be financed by public funds and is on public land, we shall use it whether we had really wanted it or not. I believe that many of our public officials confuse this fact. It is also my belief after talking to a large number of my fellow citizens that an overwhelming majority of the people in Southern California are opposed to any development in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. In addition to what I believe to be the distruction of the most important part of this magnificent place the commercialization of public lands is most disagreeable to me. Indeed, this was one of the most common comments made to me during my conversations with others concerning San Gorgonio. Another frequent comment was to the effect that we need more Wilderness Areas. If the San Rafaels are set aside as our second Southern California Wilderness Area can we expect that this is just a temporary holding of land until some future developer can find some commercial value in the land? I sincerely hope not. I hope that the spirit of the Wilderness Act of 1964 is upheld.
For the reasons given above I urge you to recommend that the San Gorgonio
EDMOND S. GILLESPIE,
San Fernando Valley State College.
To: Public Lands Subcommittee, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee.
We the undersigned do hereby state our opposition to the following bills: HR6891, HR7490, HR7654, HR8033, HR8176, HR8859.
It is our desire that the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area shall remain in its primitive state. The area that these bills designate for development represents the very heart of this Wild Area. Since this is the only primitive area set aside in Southern California it is our belief that to destroy it would be a tragedy especially for the tens of thousands of young people who backpack into the region each year.
(And 125 others).
CALIFORNIA GARDEN CLUBS, INC.,
Vista, Calif., November 12, 1965. CHAIRMAN OF PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIR: Attached is copy of a Resolution which was unanimously adopted by Palomar District, Ca ifornia Garden Clubs, Inc. on October 27, 1965. Palomar District has nineteen garden clubs and floral societies with a membership of, over one thousand.
It is requested that this Resolution be considered at the hearings in San Ber. nardino on Representative Dyal's Bill (HR6891) and related Bills, November 16 and 17. Sincerely yours
Mrs. F. E. GILLETTE, Director, Palomar District.
RESOLUTION WHEREAS: the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area has been set aside for perpetuity where citizens can enjoy the last vestiges of primitive life, and
WHEREAS: wilderness areas are important to mankind and should be preserved so that our biologists and ecologists can continue their study of life in all its aspects, and
WHEREAS: the expanding population of the United States and especially California makes it increasingly important to preserve the diminishing wilderness areas as the loss of even one such area may mean the loss of many undiscovered keys to life which remain in the natural plant and animal associations found in wilderness areas alone, and
WHEREAS: the speed with which technology is wiping out the world's organic wealth and variety of living organisms built up through aeons since life began is cause for great concern as these interrelated living plants and animals are essential to the continuation of life as we know it, and
WHEREAS: the proposed bill to carve land from the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to be used for development of a ski resort and/or family winter recreation constitutes an invasion of that wilderness which would alter the character of nearby areas as well and set a precedent for all other wilderness areas, and
WHEREAS: existing areas sufficiently close to Los Angeles and other populated centers provide better terrain and longer season for skiers: therefore,
Be It Resolved, that the Palomar District, California Garden Clubs, Inc. at a meeting in Ramona, California, on October 27, 1965, support the integrity of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area and resist the encroachment of any and all road and commercial developments that would violate the intent of the Wilderness Act, and
Be It Further Resolved, that a copy of this Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States in support of his program for the conservation and protection of America's natural beauty and that a copy also be transmitted to the Members of Congress and other interested parties.
STATEMENT OF ERIC G. AND AUDRA B. ADELBERGER
We strongly oppose removing wilderness classification of parts of the present San Gorgonio Wilderness Area in order to permit commercial skiing.
Among the reasons for our opposition are:
1. We and many of our friends and colleagues find hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and camping in real wilderness to be among the most satisfying recreations—and find San Gorgonio an ideal place to indulge in these activities.
2. San Gorgonio is by far the best high-mountain wilderness area in California south of the Sierra and the most heavily used wild area in the United