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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.


Riverside, Calif., November 18, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, 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,


December 5, 1965.
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. Sincerely,


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.


November 16, 1965. Hon. WALTER BARING, Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

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.

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. Sincerely,



Victorville, Calif., October 29, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, Chairman, Public Lands Subcommittee, House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

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. HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, 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,


Chicago, Ill., November 10, 1965.
National Orange Shovo 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. HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, 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. HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, 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. Sincerely,

T. W. EDISON, President.


Redlands, Calif., October 26, 1965. HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, 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 im. practical. 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,


President. Mrs. CHARLES HOWELL, Chairman of Public Affairs.

Mrs. D. DEV. DITWILER, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Concern Regarding Bills Altering

Wilderness Areas of San Gorgonio.


November 1, 1965. Hon. WALTER S. BARING, 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 biking. 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 Com. mittee 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.

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