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With the area opened, its many uses could include school winter recreation programs for small children consisting of group trips and including rides up the lift. This for children too small to hike into the area in winter. The fact that schools would also be able to initate winter sports programs, is one to consider. Proper development in their own area, and in a quality facility would enable southern California to field some top winter athletes in Olympic and international competition as they now do in all the other events.
This small percentage of land, situated in any area naturally adaptable to recreational activities including skiing, should be opened to the use of the vast number of people who could benefit from such an application.
I would like to respond to a comment made by Congressman Hosmer earlier in the day when it was suggested that it would be a luxury to expect to walk out of one's backyard into a ski area. This would be the situation for the people who live in my district, because they would be able to do precisely that I believe they should be permitted to do that.
If the Federal Government will permit, in effect, the loan of a certain small area of Mount San Gorgonio, that will be the case.
This natural resource should be available to the greatest number of people, just as the ocean is available to all the people of southern California. This would permit 8 million people to participate on a daily basis if they so desired in a healthy, recreational pursuit.
I wish to enthusiastically ask your support of the bill because of that, along with the other reasons I have set out.
Mr. BARING. Thank you, sir.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR DALE ALLISON, REPRESENTING VICTOR
VALLEY AND YUCCA VALLEY
Mr. ALLISON. I am Arthur Dale Allison, 50 years of age, born December 3, 1914, in Whittier, Calif. I now live in Apple Valley, Calif., and have resided here for the past 9 years.
I am a real estate broker and own my own company along with my partner, employing over 100 licensed salespeople. I am the secretary-treasurer, and owner of 50 percent of all stock in the Albe Land & Development Co., Inc.
I am president of the Apple Valley Chamber of Commerce and also the honorary mayor of Apple Valley.
Being in the real estate profession, I know the beneficial effect a project of this kind will have on cities, suburban districts, resorts, and the entire surrounding areas for miles in all directions.
Many of my friends love to ski even though I don't personally. I have heard their mournful words for years, wishing, crying, pleading for a place to ski. Now there is a chance for these people, and I feel they should have this ski lift.
Skiers traveling to and from the ski lift will be staying overnight in all towns even 50 to 75 miles from the lift. This will benefit merchants in all lines of endeavor.
From the time I was 8 years old until I was 19, every summer was spent with the Whittier YMCA camp, the first years as a camper, and the last 3 years as a leader. This camp is a few short miles from the exact area we are now discussing. I personally know the beauty and solitude of this area as I have hiked it and ridden horseback through it hundreds of times. Therefore, I am one who loves the great private outdoors. However, I also love my friends and know the crying need for a recreational area of this sort. This beauty and nature will be opened for the enjoyment of the hundreds of thousands of our citizens whose need will be satisfied by the ski lift.
In an article I read in the San Bernardino Sun, dated November 15, 1965, Mr. C. R. Merritt and his group of defenders point out that 53,900 people were in the area in 1964. This is a crime that this beautiful area be denied to millions that need it, and only a tiny handful actually get to enjoy it.
There are 35,000 acres in this entire area, and only one-tenth (3,500 acres) is needed to help millions of people. This leaves 31,500 of the original acreage for the wandering and meanderings of those people who wish to be alone and back to nature. This great area that now is almost entirely unused and enjoyed by only a few, and which is completely unproductive to our State, could become a productive instrument in the area of taxes, returning tremendous tax revenues to help in the growth and forward progress of this great State of ours.
It can be an instrument which could be attractive and interesting in the eyes of industry and I'm sure over the future years would certainly attract fine industries to areas within 25 to 100 miles within the mountain and desert areas.
Finally, the need for a training ground for our fine young Olympic potentials is one that has been written about, talked about, and pleaded for, for years. These young people represent our country in probably the greatest competitive contest between almost all of the world's countries and powers and attracts greater worldwide interest than any other one single action.
The worldwide political connotations that attach to the Olympic games and the importance of having outstanding representation in every area of the games is known by one and all.
Therefore, I hereby, as a representative of Apple Valley, implore this body to give only one-tenth of this wilderness to the citizens of this land of ours who need it so desperately.
STATEMENT OF MEL GERRARD, REPRESENTING VICTOR VALLEY
AND YUCCA VALLEY
Mr. GERRARD. I am Mel Gerrard, member of the board of directors, Yucca Valley Board of Realtors, in Yucca Valley. The Yucca Valley Board of Realtors is composed of 135 active members. The San Gorgonio legislation was brought before our board at our regular meeting last month, and our board voted unanimously to support the conversion of 10 percent of the area to a ski area.
Here are our reasons for supporting the legislation:
1. San Gorgonio is close to Yucca Valley. We want this area to open for recreation for the benefit of our Yucca Valley residents; approximately 7,000 people live in Yucca Valley alone.
2. There are approximately one quarter of a million skiers in southern California. Now there are only 3,000 to 4,000 use-days by hikers, bird lovers, and others in the site proposed for winter recreation. We feel it is only fair to abide by the desires of the majority.
3. Southern California needs a ski area with a longer season. Skiers spend millions of dollars on ski equipment that can only be enjoyed a very small part of the year here in southern California.
4. Contrary to what the opposition to this legislation has stated, the skiers I know use the local snow until it is completely gone, and for ski purposes. We would welcome a longer snow season.
5. Recreational facilities in southern California are crowded beyond the enjoyment limit because of the population explosion and tremendous influx of people into our State. We need more recreational facilities.
6. A ski lift at San Gorgonio would induce more younger people to move into our
area, because the ski area would be close. We need more young people in Yucca Valley, which is presently very heavy on the retirement end of the scale.
7. Money that is now being spent at Mammoth Mountain, Aspen, Colo., and other areas will be spent here, in the Mount San Gorgonio area, which is sparsely populated (compared to other areas) and will help develop and build up this area, which is ready, willing, and able for development.
Thank you, gentlemen.
Mr. BARING. All right, are there any questions by any member of the subcommittee?
Mr. HOSMER. Yes; I would like to ask Judge Johnstone, in the combating of juvenile delinquency, are there any higher priority activities than the opening up of San Gorgonio for skiing ?
Judge JOHNSTONE. Probably; it is just one. Who can measure these things?
How do we know why a boy goes wrong? I could tell you a story, maybe later on-I will not take the time of this committee now to do it--but it is a story about a young athlete who was performing a week ago, and he is the last boy I ever expected to see in that courtroom, but it happened to him.
I do not know why.
Mr. HOSMER. Mr. Tatum, you brought this up, and I think we ought to get some order of magnitude and concept as to just what this might mean; you said that this would be valuable to Victorville's economy and, as president of Tatum Construction Co., you were looking forward with anxious anticipation to it.
What it would mean to Tatum Construction Co. in terms of increased annual income and profit?
Mr. TATUM. I would say that this is rather difficult to give you an answer of just what it would mean.
I feel that the opening of this area will bring people into this area from other areas and, while they are coming in
Mr. HOSMER. Now, specifically, do you have any figure in your mind of what it would do for your company, or are you just estimating that it wouldn't hurt anything and it would probably do a lot of good?
Mr. Tatum. I could not have any definite figures; that would be a physical impossibility, I would say.
Mr. HOSMER. Well, you used it as an argument, and I am hoping to get some kind of a figure from you.
Mr. TATUM. All right, then I would say that it would probably mean $50,000 to $100,000 a year.
That is just approximate. Mr. HOSMER. You mean profit, or what? Mr. TATUM. In economy, in increased volume of business. Mr. HOSMER. Maybe $10,000 to $20,000 more profit for your firm ? Mr. TATUM. It could be. Mr. HOSMER. Now, Mr. Allison, Apple Valley also alleges that it will be a boost to the economy. In terms of GAVP—that is, the gross Apple Valley production—what would it mean?
Mr. ALLISON. There would be many people traveling through the towns staying there overnight, to and from the ski lift. As I understand it, the facilities for living will not be up there.
Mr. HOSMER. Let us take the present Apple Valley economic activity and place it at 100; then, I would like to get you to guess what it would be, if this place was open for skiing; would it be 150 or 120 ?
Mr. ALLISON. Are you speaking of the year?
Mr. ALLISON. I would say that probably it could mean 1,000 people staying throughout a period of a year, easily.
Mr. HOSMER. I mean, how much would that boost your economy, 20 percent or 100 percent or 4 percent or what?
Mr. ALLISON. I could not put it into a percentage, but it would affect a great many businesses in the place.
But I am not expert enough to put it into a percentage.
Mr. HOSMER. Well, I know that it could be argued, but I think you ought to be able to give us a range of what it would do.
How about Yucca Valley production. Do you have any figures for that?
Mr. GERRARD. My estimate would be that it would possibly boost our local economy by maybe 10 percent.
Mr. HOSMER. 10 percent?
Mr. HOSMER. Is that based on any studies and evaluations made up by economists, or is that a guess also ? Mr. GERRARD. No, sir; that is strictly an estimate on my part.
Mr. HOSMER. Now, what would you say would be up there, or did you put a figure on it?
Mr. GERRARD. I would say about 250,000 skiers would be there.
Mr. HOSMER. Now, where did you get that figure, where did that come from?
Mr. GERRARD. This is a figure that I have sort of come by in reading articles about it.
Mr. HOSMER. Is that on 1 weekend or what?
Mr. GERRARD. My understanding is that that is the number of skiers that there are in the southern California area.
Mr. HOSMER. You figure they will all get up there at least once a year?
Mr. GERRARD. Maybe 75 percent of them.
Mr. HOSMER. Well, that is the first one we have heard, and I guess it is as good as nothing.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The next panel will consist of Bob Bergstrom, Howard More, Herb
Mr. Chairman? Mr. BARING. The designation of this group is Ski Area Operators in the Industry and the Ski Writers.
STATEMENT OF BOB BERGSTROM
Mr. BERGSTROM. Mr. Chairman, gentlemen, I represent the Ski Industry of America, which is an organization comprised of 175 major companies in the United States which includes companies such as MacGregor, which is the world's largest manufacturer of sportswear, and White Stag, and many others too numerous to mention.
So, I am member of the Professional Ski Instructors Association of America. I also own and operate a retail sporting goods store in Woodland Hills, Calif.
I might mention that we specialize in three sports in this store : skiing, mountain climbing, and tennis. These sports are compatible. San Gorgonio can be put to a multiple-use project.
I would like to direct one question to Mr. Craig Hosmer. Mr. HOSMER. You know, we are supposed to be asking the questions. Mr. BERGSTROM. Well, I would like to direct a statement, then. Mr. HOSMER. All right, sir. Mr. BERGSTROM. In a previous statement I am under the impression, Mr. Congressman, that you believe that Mount San Gorgonio would not be developed in the multiple-use concept.
If the area were opened up on a winter-use basis only, and the day area ski use only, I do not believe that the summer value would change or that the wilderness aspects would be affected.
If the U.S. Forest Service was directed, which they can be, to include adequate safeguards in a prospectus they would have to submit for development, this could be controlled. This prospectus could then direct a route to be used by a road going into the area if a road is deemed necessary. The method of transportation to be used, which in many areas is now chair lifts and aerial tramways and monorails, and how it would be financed; this can be spelled out to the U.S. Forest Service by the legislators.
Mr. HÖSMER. Now, you are are you talking about an amendment to the bill?
Mr. BERGSTROM. No, sir. All the bill will do is open up the area. A prospectus has to be submitted by the Forest Service for developers.
I am very surprised that the
Mr. HOSMER. That is the problem now. You have really brought out two problems. One of them is that once this bill is passed, it is outside the hands of Congress and we can scream and holler and snort and storm, but they can do almost anything they want. Some of us would like to see, if this thing goes ahead, that it goes ahead in some kind of a fashion that has been delineated and restricted.