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To Whom It May Concern:
LOS ANGELES, CALIF., November 15, 1965.
I have been skiing in Southern California for 27 years and have seen the sport grow here almost from the beginning. Skiing has become so popular with the youth of Southern California that something should be done to give all those who want to ski the opportunity to do so. This is the American way of doing things, but there is always a small group of people who are opposed to progress.
The young people who are in school or who are working cannot be heard here today, as they are unable to attend; but I have seven grandchildren who want me to represent them. They and all their friends like to ski, but can seldom do so as the ski areas in Southern California are not adequate.
Why should we not give the youth of Southern California the facilities to participate in outdoor winter sports and so help to eliminate juvenile delinquency. All the arguments of the opposition do not justify the keeping of the only large and dependable area in Southern California closed and I believe the welfare of our youth is important enough to deserve full consideration. Most sincerely yours,
Hon. WAYNE N. ASPINALL,
SAN BERNARDINO JUNIOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
Chairman, Interior and Insular Committee,
House Office Building,
DEAR SIR: I have enclosed for your information a copy of a resolution adopted by the San Bernardino Junior Chamber of Commerce on September 21, 1965, and pursuant to this resolution, we urge you to support H.R. 6891.
If you have any questions or comments concerning our resolution, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Very truly yours,
BRUCE D. VARNER, Secretary.
SAN GORGONIO RESOLUTION
Whereas Southern California is one of the fastest growing regions in this country, with a vast expansion expected in the future; and
Whereas there is a vast number of skiers and would-be skiers in this region;
Whereas San Gorgonio would provide one of the finest ski areas near to a large population center in the world; and
Whereas a heavily used ski area at San Gorgonio would be of great economic benefit to the surrounding area; and
Whereas the diminishing wilderness areas in this country must be protected, and the proposed bill (H.R. 6891) will protect to the fullest extent possible the wilderness advantages of the San Gorgonio area while providing needed family recreational entertainment for many thousands.
Therefore, be it resolved: That we, the San Bernardino Jaycees, in meeting assembled, support to the fullest extent the passage of H.R. 6891, to assist those who are urging its passage, and encourage others to support its passage.
CHAIRMAN, PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE,
DEAR SIR: Although I was not able to attend the recent field hearings of your Subcommittee in San Bernardino, I would like to make the accompanying statement, and respectfully request that it be made part of the record of those hearings.
Although an enthusiastic skier myself, making full and frequent use, with my family, of the many skiing facilities available in the Los Angeles-San Bernardino area, I am opposed to H.R. 6891 and the other related bills whose intent is to open the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for winter recreational use and for development of facilities for that purpose. Much more important than another developed recreation area is for this great population center to have, within easy reach, at least one primitive area, where highways and all they bring with them do not intrude. Having made many summer hiking and winter skiing trips into the Wilderness Area, I am certain that it is fulfilling an important role in providing the citizens of this congested area a place of "recreation" in the most fundamental sense of that term, and that this role will become ever more important as this metropolitan continues to develop. It is precisely the point of the Wilderness Bill to protect our few wild areas against the ever-increasing pressure of population growth, and it would be an unfortunate precedent indeed to have the principles of that Bill undermined by passage of H.R. 6891 or the related bills.
Public Lands Subcommittee,
Dr. ANATOL ROSHKO.
Hesperia, Calif., November 15, 1965.
House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee.
DEAR CONGRESSMAN BARING: Attached is a copy of our editorial expressing our position in support of the proposal under consideration to open a specified section of San Gorgonio Wilderness Area to skiing use.
We wish this letter and attached editorial to be entered as testimony in the hearings.
Valley Report is an 18,000-plus circulation weekly newspaper serving the Greater Victor Valley of San Bernardino County.
The editorial attached is the position of the editorial staff and may be considered to reflect widespread public opinion in Greater Victor Valley.
JACK PINARD, General Manager.
TO SKI ON SAN G
A proposal to open 3,500 acres of the 35,000 acre San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for winter skiing is drawing heated debate in Victor Valley and throughout Southern California. Center of the controversy is centered on whether Wilderness Areas should be preserved in their natural state or opened for wider use by wider segments of the population.
Hearings will be held in San Bernardino City Hall by the Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. Proponents will appear on November 16 and opponents on November 17.
The opening of ten per cent of San Gorgonio for skiing would be a recreation and business boost to San Bernardino County and Victor Valley would share certain benefits. It is a good ski area as proposed and would increase the Southern California ski season."
If strict controls and safeguards are placed on the development as proposed, the Wilderness Area's use by hikers and campers would not be infringed upon to any major degree.
The key point in the fight is preservation of wilderness for use and study by present and future generations. As California's population mushrooms, less undeveloped land remains for those who enjoy nature "in the raw". What we as individuals and as a nation must decide in this battle-and in future battles over wilderness areas-is whether we are willing to sacrifice a few acres of our wilderness to serve the growing need for recreation.
APPLE VALLEY NEWS,
Hon. WALTER S. BARING,
Public Lands Subcommittee,
Apple Valley, Calif., November 15, 1965.
DEAR SIR: I am herewith enclosing a copy of my editorial written for the issue of October 28th, 1965 of my newspaper.
I believe this editorial fully expresses my feelings on the subject of the San Gorgonio development issue and would like to have it submitted in the testimony for the current hearings.
Yours very truly,
EVA CONRAD, Editor.
NO VISUAL BEAUTY WITHOUT VISION
On November 15, 16 and 17, legislation to open a small portion of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area for family winter recreational uses will be heard. The proposed legislation includes opening an area now classified as “Wilderness," where no facilities for winter recreation can be developed.
A bill (H.R. 6891) introduced by Congressman Ken Dyal of San Bernardino County would authorize the use of 10% of the area (3,500 acres) for "family winter recreation" and the "installation of facilities necessary therefor." Also, the bill provides that 3,500 adjacent acres be added to the wild area so that the total area set aside for wilderness preservation within San Gorgonio would not be reduced.
A determined effort is being made to defeat this legislation, and we cannot help but feel that this is entirely selfish, as comparatively few people can enjoy the beauty of this area as things now stand. Hikers and campers are now enjoying the lower elevations, but in the winter the high and rugged area where skiing and winter sports would be enjoyed by thousands is virtually inaccessible. The greatest good for the greatest number would be served if winter recreation facilities were allowed on San Gorgonio.
Those who back the legislation attempting to open the area certainly have no desire to spoil it, and among their provisions are that any access road shall be east of the South Fork of the Santa Ana River and shall not be visible from nor pass through the areas now principally used for hiking and camping in the South Fork. They stipulate that no public overnight accommodations be permitted and that ski facilities shall not interfere with the watershed.
Because of its altitude and north facing slopes, San Gorgonio is the only place in Southern California with reliable snow for winter recreation. The proposed lift area would be above 9,000 feet. Many Southern California children have never seen snow. Presently thousands of families and many youth organizations visit our mountain areas for snow play and recreation only to be disappointed because of lack of snow. Skiers must drive approximately seven hours in order to find reliable snow. Many families in the lower income groups are denied this healthful recreation because of the expense of week-end trips and because of the long and dangerous drive.
Here is an opportunity to add to Southern California's attractions-to give many what is now being enjoyed only by an exceptionally hardy few. What is beauty if there is no one to see it? Lovely things are only worthwhile if they are appreciated. Still, this proposition is being vigorously opposed. You can help by writing to your Congressman, Ken Dyal in San Bernardino and telling him you support H.R. 6891.
REDLANDS FISH & GAME CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION,
Hon. WALTER S. BARING,
Chairman, House Subcommittee on Public Lands: Wilderness areas cannot be built by man, he may only save those areas that have been left in his care to be enjoyed by all generations that follow.
The San Gorgonio Wilderness is such an area, situated less than one hundred miles from the largest and fastest growing population center in California. The need for and the use of Wilderness Areas can only grow with the burgeoning population and as the supply of suitable area is limited in Southern California. Any commercial development would conflict with present recreational uses such as camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, photography, and snow-shoeing.
San Gorgonio, as the highest mountain in Southern California has the only Arctic-alpine zone with unique species of animals such as Bighorn sheep, and also rare forms of botanical life, all of which could be destroyed or damaged by commercialization.
We, therefore are opposed to Congressman Dyal's H.R. 6891 and all other similar bills requesting any form of commercial development.
Ross L. MOSSMAN, Secretary.
RESOLUTION No. 809
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF EAST SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY WATER DISTRICT
Whereas it has been called to the attention of the said Board of Directors that hearings have been called and will be called for the purpose of considering changes in the San Gorgonio Recreational Area from undeveloped wilderness to classified and planned public ski recreational and allied commercial uses and purposes; and,
Whereas the area in question in its present state as an undeveloped wilderness serves as a natural water shed and conservation area tributary to the Santa Ana River River drainage area; and,
Whereas the proposed classified and planned development of said area will deteriorate the natural water shed and conservation area, in that it will provide additional fire hazard, probable pollution of natural water supply and will diminish the area of natural water percolation: Now, therefore, it is hereby resolved:
1. That the Board of Directors of East San Bernardino County Water District be on record as voicing their protest and opposition to the proposed plan to open the undeveloped wilderness to classified and planned recreational and commercial uses and purposes.
2. That the Secretary of the Board of Directors of said East San Bernardino County Water District be authorized and directed to forward certified copies of the within resolution to Congressman Kenneth Dyal, Upper Santa Ana River Water Coordinating Council and other appropriate agencies and interested parties.
Unanimously adopted at San Bernardino, California, this 26th day of October, JOHN W. LITTLETON, President, East San Bernardino County Water District.
HAROLD G. RICKERT, Secretary.
I, Harold G. Rickert, Secretary to the Board of Directors of East San Bernardino County Water District, do hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of a resoultion which was, on motion duly made and seconded, unanimously adopted and entered in the Minutes of the Board of Directors of said District at a regular meeting of said Board held on October 26, 1965, at San Bernardino, California.
Dated October 26, 1965.
HAROLD G. RICKERT,
Secretary, East San Bernardino County Water District.
BIG BEAR LAKE VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, Big Bear Lake, Calif., November 15, 1965. DEFENDERS OF SAN GORGONIO WILDERNESS, San Bernardino, Calif.
GENTLEMEN: At the November 13th meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear Lake Valley Chamber of Commerce, a second vote was taken on the stand the Chamber wished to take on the San Gorgonio issue, the first having been taken in 1964.
Again, therefore, we wish to go on record, by a majority vote, as opposing the opening of the area, and lend our support to your cause.
DONALD C. ANDERSON, President.
HIGHLAND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH,
Highland, Calif., November 12, 1965.
PUBLIC LANDS SUBCOMMITTEE,
HOUSE INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS COMMITTEE,
GENTLEMEN: At the October 31, 1965, meeting of the Church Council of the Highland Congregational Church, a motion was passed by a vote of 12 to 2 that the Council, which consists of the elected officers of the church, go on record in defense of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area in regard to the Bill H.R. 6891. And further the Council wishes to state that we are against all bills that would bring to this area a commercial project such as that which is being advocated for the development of ski lift facilities.
The position taken is based on the sincere belief that the spiritual values of the area in its wilderness state will be of much greater benefit to the people of surrounding, heavily populated communities than the advantages offered by a ski facility.
We ask that all bills that propose commercial encroachment upon areas set aside as Wild Areas in the National Wilderness Act passed by the National Congress last year-and in this instance that of San Gorgonio-be abandoned so that the wilderness may endure as sanctuary for both man and nature.
PAUL B. POLAND, Moderator.
RANCHO MIRAGE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RESOLUTION ON THE SAN GORGONIO WILDERNESS AREA
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, Rancho Mirage, Calif., November 3, 1965. Whereas at a meeting held on November 3, 1965, the Executive Committee of the Ranchero Mirage Chamber of Commerce has discussed and considered the issue of whether or not commercial development should be allowed in the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area, and
Whereas the following reasons were presented in support of the belief that San Gorgonio should remain within the full protection of the Wilderness Act of 1964:
1. The United States Forest Service has determined for more than thirty years that it is in the public interest to preserve San Gorgonio in its present status as a wilderness area, a decision based on the following considerations:
(a) The entire San Gorgonio Wilderness Area comprises only 4.3 per cent of the entire San Bernardino National Forest, and is the only true wilderness area in Southern California;
(b) San Gorgonio is unique as the highest mountain in Southern California and has the only arctic-alpine zone, unique species of animals such as Bighorn Sheep, trees that are centuries old, and rare forms of botanical life, all of which would be ecologically damaged or destroyed by commercialization;
(c) San Gorgonio is the origin of the Santa Ana River and commercial development would very likely cause erosion and pollution of our existing watershed;