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We of the area respectfully request the Committee's favorable consideration of the proposals to provide use and access to the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. To deny access and use of these lands would be a tragedy indeed to the families of the area and the State and Nation whose mountains and forests are here to be seen and enjoyed.

I urge your favorable consideration of the proposals to provide for family winter recreational use of a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area and your active and vigorous support of legislation which will make this area available for use and enjoyment.



Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee,

House Office Building,

Washington, D.C.


Victorville, Calif., October 29, 1965.

DEAR SIR: It is our sincere hope that you will see fit to support the proposed bill as introduced by Congressman Ken Dyal to make available to the public that small portion of the Mt. San Gorgonio area for winter sports.

The Victorville Chamber of Commerce has passed a resolution in full support of this measure and it is our wish that this letter be made a part of the official report of the hearings when that time arrives.

We believe that the opening of this small area would provide recreation for the many instead of so few as it now stands and would prove of great benefit to our Southern California area.

Thank you,

Yours very truly,

RUPERT F. TATUM, President.

Santee, Calif., November 12, 1965.

Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: The San Diego Audubon Society wishes to go on record as opposing the bills giving permission to commercial interests to establish a ski resort in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.

This is a sanctuary and should be kept as such. Any commercialization would soon destroy it. We are sympathetic with skiers, but feel it is more important to keep our dwindling wilderness areas intact insofar as possible. Sincerely yours,



ILLINOIS AUDUBON SOCIETY, Chicago, Ill., November 10, 1965.


National Orange Show Building,

San Bernardino, Calif.

DEAR SIR: Please enter our organization as opposed to bills that would seek to invade the San Gorgonio Wilderness with a commercial intrusion, such as a ski center, as now vociferously suggested by some advocates of wilderness destruction in the California area.

Our organization like many another, worked long and hard to educate the people of the middle west to the values of a true wilderness philospophy. We feel strongly that the small areas now in wilderness and primitive state, should remain that way for posterity to enjoy.

Many of our members enjoy the wilderness first hand. Others enjoy them thru films and color slides shown by their friends and professional photographers. We sponsor wildlife films to help educate city-bred people to the values of wilderness.

We are appalled that a few months after the wilderness bill was made into law, some commercial groups now seek to destroy it by piece-meal amendments and changes. California, with its huge population growing hourly, desperately

needs these wild areas. San Gorgonio was a key rallying point during discussions on the floor of the House during debate over the National Wilderness Bill. The attempt to exempt it at that time was soundly beaten. It should be again. We believe that San Gorgonio is the Alamo of the Wilderness Act. We do not intend to let it fall to commercial interests. Instead, it will be a rallying point for those who wish to preserve some of the great values of our primitive areas. Please enter this letter in the record. Please send us a copy.

Very truly,


Los Angeles, Calif., December 8, 1965.

Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: Women for Legislative Action, Day Chapter, with a membership of three hundred actively working for the preservation of human rights, are opposed to the introduction of skiing facilities into the 35,000 acre San Gorgonio Wild area of Southern California.

We need to preserve the diminishing forest areas of our country from further encroachment of so-called civilization or pleasure seekers.

We trust you will recognize the necessity of retaining the natural beauty of this mountain area, and keep it free from the commercialization that would follow the development of ski facilities there.

Let these few remaining areas continue unspoiled, for the enjoyment of future generations!

Sincerely yours,

ESTHER HURWITT, Legislative Vice President.

Missoula, Mont., December 14, 1965.

Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: Our Association strongly protests the establishment of a ski development or any other commercial activity in San Gorgonio Wilderness in California.

We realize there is a definite need for this type of recreation as well as many others; however, we feel there are many places available elsewhere. Any commercial developments in any wilderness are in direct violation of the intent of Wild Areas. Certainly commercialization is not compatible in lands set aside for the benefit of those people who enjoy only natural surroundings.

We can only hope that those responsible for the administration of these areas realize that all people must be served, including those who appreciate Wild Natural Areas.


T. W. EDISON, President.

Redlands, Calif., October 26, 1965.

City Hall,

San Bernardino, Calif.

DEAR SIRS: The members of the Board of Directors of the Redlands Young Women's Christian Association wish to make known to you their support of the stand of the Defenders of the Wilderness of the San Gorgonio Area in regard to the bill H.R. 6891. And further, we wish to state that we are against all bills that would bring to this area (or any other area set aside as Wild Area in the National Wilderness Act passed by the National Congress last year) a commercial project involving ski lifts and subsequent roads and probable concessions for the sale of food, liquor, cloths, etc.

We hold as our particular concern and responsibility the wholesome and intelligent development of teenaged young people, young adults and their leaders.


Many of this group find part of such development in the experiences of camping and hiking in the Wild Area of San Gorgonio. In these days of growing materialism, extension of urbanization and resultant shrinkage of truly natural environment, we feel it is of great importance that our government preserve large areas of wilderness for both pleasurable and educational reasons-as well as for the protection of our natural resources of forest and water and beauty.

In Southern California, we have no natural parks and our vast desert areas are inaccessible because of heat much of the year. We particularly need mountain areas where the young and others may watch evolving nature and where individuals will learn to take upon themselves the responsibility of keeping the flora and fauna for the enjoyment of all who seek to observe and appreciate them.

From a purely economic point of view the proposed plans for the lifts seem impractical. Those of us who come from other parts of the country and world have fund that seldom is the quantity or quality of the snow on San Gorgonio Mountain excellent for skiing.

We are aware through correspondence with Congressman Ken Dyal that he believes that bill H.R. 6891 does not involve a road to ski lifts that will be built above the 8,500 foot level. Is the plan to fly skiers in to this spot? He also indicates that he does not condone concessions of a commercial nature. Will people travel long distances to ski and not demand food and drink? We think both of these circumstances unlikely.

Therefore we ask that all bills that propose commercial encroachment upon the areas and in this instance that of San Gorgonio-already set aside as wild areas by Congress, be abandoned and that these areas be under the control of the Forestry Service, as is presently the case, so that the wilderness may endure as sanctuary for both man and nature.

Sincerely yours,




Chairman of Public Affairs.

Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Concern Regarding Bills Altering Wilderness Areas of San Gorgonio.


November 1, 1965.


Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

DEAR CONGRESSMAN BARING: Recently the Victorville Chamber of Commerce joined the "San Bernardino County Citizens for San Gorgonio" in supporting legislation (H.R. 6891) that would allow a portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to be opened for the purpose of family winter recreation.

I heartily agree with their action and would like to add my individual voice to theirs in favoring this legislation introduced by your colleague, Congressman Ken W. Dyal.

It is my belief that the creation of winter recreational facilities in the area is compatible with the surrounding wilderness now utilized for camping and hiking. I see no disturbance to the present values providing the safeguards proposed by the "San Bernardino County Citizens for San Gorgonio" are included into the legislation in question.

I am convinced that if the bill is passed, there would be many benefits. First of all, a small portion will be utilized by thousands who otherwise would not be able to visit existing ski areas far to the North. In other words, where a large area is being used by a few, a small portion of the same region can be used by a great majority. The economic benefit cannot be accurately measured. However, when one considers various things such as the potential tax revenues, trade dollars spent in the area, the increase in value of properties and attractiveness of the area to potential residents and industries, due to a winter recreational facility of the quality possible at San Gorgonio, one can't help but believe that it would be of tremendous value to San Bernardino County.

For these many reasons, I urge the Public Lands Subcommittee of the Committee of Interior and Insular Affairs to favorably consider House Bill H.R. 6891 introduced by the congressman from my district, the Honorable Ken W. Dyal.

Unfortunately how

It is my wish to testify in person before your group. ever, I will not be able to be present on the date of the hearings. Therefore, I respectfully request this letter be included in the official report of your subcommittee hearings.

Yours very truly,


November 27, 1965.

Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: Please make the following comments a part of the record for the field hearings on H.R. 6891 and related bills, held recently in San Bernardino, California.

The San Gorgonio Wild Area should be preserved in its present state or expanded (taking in area to the SE in the Whitewater River drainage preferably)-certainly not decreased, altered, or sacrificed in any way to any kind of man-made developments, for the following reasons:

1. As a hiker and camper, YMCA group leader and photographer quite familiar with the San Gorgonio Wild Area, and with the few other southern California wilderness areas, I can easily testify to the fact that the area in question is the finest such remaining area for wilderness camping experiences. If this area is developed in any way (non-wilderness way), thousands upon thousands of children and adult campers will lose this nearby opportunity for a wilderness experience nearly as rewarding as trips in the Sierra Nevada (such as in our great National Parks), Rockies, etc. In addition, cross-country skiers who enjoy wilderness skiing on uncrowded slopes would also suffer a great loss.

2. As of January 1, 1965 there were only 4 National Forest Wilderness areas and just 1 Primitive Area adjacent to the Los Angeles Metropolitan area, in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges. In the same ranges, a recent map provided by the Ski Tow and Lift Operators of southern California shows 13 lifts and tows operating. Yet recent national surveys show that walking and hiking are enjoyed by far more participants than skiing! Now just why should another wilderness region be destroyed in order to put up another ski lift for the downhill skiers?

3. The reasons for preservation of the S. G. Wild Area, as stated in the accompanying letter of January 4, 1964, are as valid today as they were then. Please include these statements also in the records of the hearing.

Very sincerely,


ORANGE Y'S MEN'S CLUB, Orange, Calif., January 4, 1964.


Interior and Insular Affairs Committee,
Congress of the United States of America.

GENTLEMEN: WHEREAS, hiking, camping, and other recreational uses of our nation's wilderness areas is constantly increasing; whereas such use of wilderness areas is a major part of the outdoor programs of the YMCA, Boy & Girl Scouts of America, and many other youth groups; and whereas the individual's contact with the natural world is constanly diminishing in this technological age;

It is hereby resolved by the Y's Men's Club of Orange, California that the Congress of the United States of America, and all the appropriate committees thereof, be urged to expedite the passage of one of the several forms of a wilderness bill now in Congress, preferably S. 4 or H.R. 930. It is also earnestly recommended that NO areas be excluded from the protection of the final law. In our geographical area, we are particularly anxious that the San Gorgonio Wild Area be preserved in its present state for the general welfare of the rapidly increasing southern California population, and particularly for the benefit of the many fine youth camps in the Barton Flats area of the San Bernardino mountains.

The Orange Y's Men's club currently has an active membership of 33. It is a chartered club of the International Association of Y's Men's Clubs.




Longworth House Building,
Washington, D.C.

Anaheim, Calif., December 6, 1965.

GENTLEMEN: We have recently learned of the Congressional Hearing to be held related to the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area in California and desire to express our firm opposition to the opening of this wilderness area. This is one of the few remaining areas in the country in which boys can completely get away from civilization and to spoil this opportunity for a small commercial group would be most shortsighted.

Literally thousands of Scouts and Explorers from our area use the trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area every year, and I am sure that the program of high adventure which they receive as a result of these treks is a major facet in the development of character and training in citizenship which is a part of the total Boy Scouting program.

Sincerely and cordially,

F. L. HINES, Scout Executive.

November 5, 1965.

Longworth House Office Building,
Washington, D.C.

GENTLEMEN: I am writing you in regard to the review of the status of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area necessitated by the placement of six essentially identical bills by California Congressmen to open up the area known as Dry Lake for "family winter recreation."

Based on a

Sucht considerations for San Gorgonio are certainly not new. public hearing in San Bernardino, California, in 1947, to decide whether skiing or wilderness use was the highest public value; wilderness was decided as being the predominant value. Most recently the issue was vigorously debated in the 1964 deliberations pursuant to passage of the Wilderness Act.

During debate in process of formation of the Wilderness Act at an interim point, I believe action favoring the exclusion of 3,500 acres from wilderness status was favorably acted upon by the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. Subsequently, the provision excluding 3,500 acres of San Gorgonio (the same 3,500 acres currently being sought) from wilderness status was deleted and a wholesome Wilderness Act was enacted that provided for a whole San Gorgonio.

The passage of the Wilderness Act was regarded as of such import that our president sent forth a message to the Congress; the first paragraph of which read as follows:

"To the Congress of the United States: The wonder of nature is the treasure of America. What we have in woods and forest, valley and stream, in the gorges and the mountains and the hills, we must not destroy. The precious legacy of preservation of beauty will be our gift to posterity."

Soon the Congress shall consider further action to be taken on the six bills placed for consideration that would, if affirmatively acted on, remove from our National Wilderness System the heart of the San Gorgonio Wilderness. The basic question is not whether the area of concern shall be wilderness or developed for "family winter recreation." The real issue at stake is shall it be retained as wilderness or shall it be otherwise used.

Gentlemen, if you should decide that the area of concern shall be used for other than wilderness then and only then can we legitimately enter into land use considerations. The considerations to be passed on then are many and when entering into such considerations there arises the necessity for for evaluating the impact on the residual of the once upon a time San Gorgonio Wilderness. San Gorgonio Wilderness as it is now constituted, though small and burdened with intense human traffic, is a joy to hike into. The range of scenery, smell and feel is extreme. This wilderness affords as much solitude as man can hope for these days; it presents pleasant physical challenge; it provides cool high retreats.

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