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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.
Hon. WALTER S. BARING,
Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee,
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.
PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE,
HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE,
EARL S. REYNOLDS. OLIN C. HOLSTEAD. W. O. MULLIGAN. JOHN R. COOPER.
GRANADA HILLS, CALIF.,
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 Wilderness Area be left in its primitive state so that future generations can study it and enjoy it. Sincerely,
EDMOND S. GILLESPIE,
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.,
CHAIRMAN OF PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE,
DEAR SIR: Attached is copy of a Resolution which was unanimously adopted by the Palomar District, California 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 Bernardino on Representative Dyal's Bill (HR6891) and related Bills, November 16 and 17.
Mrs. F. E. GILLETTE, Director, Palomar District.
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
States. Removal of a central portion of it from wilderness classification would be an irreparable loss.
3. Removing a sizable part from the heart of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area does more than destroy the wilderness qualities of the section removed. It affects the integrity of the whole area and removes from the effective wilderness area-the area in which one can actually experience the pleasures of wilderness-a considerably greater amount of land than has been removed from the legal wilderness area.
4. We visit the area approximately four times a year and have met a great variety of people there whose only common quality seems to be a love of wilderness. Enjoyment of wilderness is not restricted to a few especially hardy and athletic individuals as is sometimes charged. We have seen whole families including young children at San Gorgonio-and even a one-legged scoutmaster who was slowly but with great pride and enjoyment walking on crutches up to High Creek Camp.
5. The fact that wilderness is disappearing so rapidly in the United States makes it especially important that such a fine area so close to major population centers be preserved intact or even enlarged.
Hon. WALTER S. BARING,
Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee,
GLENWOOD MEDICAL GROUP, Riverside, Calif., November 18, 1965.
Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.
MY DEAR MR. BARING: We would like to add our testimony and opinion to the record of your Subcommitte hearing on the bills that propose the opening of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for skiing development.
Unfortunately, no reasonable compromise seems feasible, as the desirable area for ski lift development is the very heart of the region so widely used by youth groups and adults for camping, hiking, and other wilderness experiences. If roads and ski lifts are placed in this area, it ceases to be wilderness.
The preservation of such a high quality mountain and wilderness area for this generation and future generations-an area of peace and solitude, of seclusion from the increasing congestion of cities-seems vital. San Gorgonio's proximity to a huge metropolis makes it a priceless resource of wilderness.
Another skiing development, even with the promise of a longer snow season, added to Southern California's already extensive development of mountain and ski resorts is not, in our opinion, the highest and best use for San Gorgonio. To weigh the value of this region as a potential “Olympic training site” against the value of wilderness hiking and camping experiences of thousands of our children is foolish. The snow conditions for skiing on San Gorgonio do not approach those in the Sierra Nevada, which is within increasingly easy reach of Southern Californians. Extensive development at Mineral King in the nearby southern end of the Sierra is currently under way.
We feel it is important that the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area be preserved. Sincerely yours,
Hon. WALTER S. BARING,
DAVID A. CUBBERLEY, M.D.
LOS ANGELES TIMES,
Chairman of the Subcommittee, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. BARING: I understand that an attempt to introduce the attached Los Angeles Times editorial into the official record of proceedings during the San Gorgonio hearings was not successful because the rules of the committee necessitate the author's signature on a newspaper editorial.
The attached editorial is a direct expression of the Los Angeles Times and directly reflects my personal opinion.
I trust that my signature below will be sufficient to permit the introduction of the editorial into the official records.
SAN GORGONIO: FOR THE MANY OF THE FEW?
The long and emotional battle over the use of Mt. San Gorgonio is wrongly described as a fight between conservationists and anti-conservationists.
At issue is simply whether a small portion-10%-of 35,000-acre San Gorgonio Wild Area should be made available for skiing and other "family winter recreational use."
Anything other than hiking or birdwatching, of course, would seem to some as an improper use of wilderness area. They argue that the mountains should be preserved for the rugged pleasure of the few and denied to the many who are also entitled to other recreational use.
Conservation by definition however is the protecting of the natural resources from "loss or waste." And to deprive tens of thousands of Southern California skiers of the use of a small part of San Gorgonio surely qualifies as waste.
A House Interior subcommittee has just completed hearings on a bill that would open 3,500 acres of the mountain to winter recreational use and would replace at least that much acreage in the San Gorgonio Wild Area within two years after passage of the legislation.
The congressmen again heard testimony that local skiers must now drive 350 miles to reach the closest dependable snow because San Gorgonio remains off limits. Again they were told that four national forests are now located in Southern California that each has wild or primitive areas.
The Times strongly supports the preservation of basic natural resources for the use of this and future generations. We also believe that skiing and other family winter recreation is a proper use of a limited amount of those resources in a population-booming area like the Southland.
Stringent regulation of the operations of the skiing and recreation area must be maintained by the federal government. But we would remind opponents
of the bill that the nation's resources cannot be made the preserve of a small minority.
The "off limits" sign on San Gorgonio should be removed at the next session of Congress.
CITY OF PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.,
November 16, 1965.
Hon. WALTER BARING,
Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee,
House Office Building,
DEAR MR. BARING: With regard to the development of a winter sports area on the Mount San Gorgonio area, I, as Mayor of the City of Palm Springs, California, am delighted to testify in favor of legislative provisions which will make it possible for the citizens of California and the many visitors to our State and area to visit and enjoy the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area.
The population growth of California and the Riverside-San Bernardino County inland communities, plus the increasing leisure time available and the need for winter recreational facilities, demand that we make possible the opening of the subject area which will include 3,500 acres above the 9,000 foot elevation and equal wilderness lands surrounding.
For many years the people of my community have advocated and worked strenuously for the increase of recreational opportunities and lands which would make it possible for them, their families and the hundreds of thousands of visitors to this area to utilize and enjoy.
We believe that opening the subject area and its natural beauty and facilities to be absolutely compatible with the mountain, desert and wilderness area surrounding. We want to see the wilderness area protected, as it will be by opening the area above the 9,000 foot elevation, and the restriction which will be imposed in limiting the area merely to access roads for daytime use and excluding housing accommodations and unsightly structures.
I bring to the attention of the Committee the recently completed Palm Springs Aerial Tramway which is located in the Mount San Jacinto Wilderness Area which now makes possible use of this beautiful area with pleasing effect and to the great enjoyment of many thousands of visitors thus far. Your visit and inspection of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway and the area surrounding is cordially invited and urged. The Committee will be assured of an attractive and purposeful use of a wilderness area which is owned by the citizens and hence rightfully available for their enjoyment.