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Williams, Hon. Harrison A., a U.S. Senator from New Jersey -.
Forest Preserve in Danger, editorial in the New York Times.
national forest land in wilderness, wild, primitive, and canoe areas. 210
Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, progress report, Jan-
Solicitor's letter on basis for past multiple-use policies -
Chairman Moses,” letter to the editor of the New York Times, by
THE WILDERNESS ACT
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1961
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in room 3110, New Senate Office Building, Senator Clinton P. Anderson, chairman of the committee, presiding.
Present: Senators Clinton P. Anderson, New Mexico; John A. Carroll, Colorado; Frank Church, Idaho; Ernest Gruening, Alaska; Frank E. Moss, Utah; Oren E. Long, Hawaii; Quenton N. Burdick, North Dakota; J. J. Hickey, Wyoming; Henry Dworshak, Idaho; Thomas H. Kuchel, California; and Barry Goldwater, Arizona.
Also present: Benton J. Stong, professional staff member; Stewart French, chief counsel; and Jerry T. Verkler, clerk.
The CHAIRMAN. I appreciate the very fine attendance we have here this morning. I have discussed this bill with various conservation groups and representatives of the cattle growers association, American Forestry Association, American Lumbermen's Association, the Farm Bureau, and numerous individuals. The proponents are pretty well satisfied with the bill as drafted. They feel they have come a long way from their original position, but that they have given up some of the things in the bill that they consider important to their purposes.
The opposition consists of the Farm Bureau, lumbermen, oil people, mining people who have opposed the idea of wilderness all along. However, most of them now believe the wilderness bill is inevitable, but urge that it be much more limited than S. 174. The opponents
also insist we should wait until the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission views are reported before any action is taken. They recommend the following:
1. Primitive areas they say should not be included.
2. The concurrent resolution in section 3(f) should be a joint resolution.
I outline these things in the beginning because I want people who are opposed to the legislation to speak up and express themselves on it.
During the 4 years or more of discussion of wilderness legislation, there has been almost unanimous support of the basic purpose of a wilderness bill—to set aside some of our spectacular scenic, geologic, and primitive areas to be maintained in their natural condition.
The debate has been about how this should be done, how much land area should be committed to wilderness and, once committed, how rigidly we should require its preservation in its natural state.
During the 4 years of debate and discussion the advocates of a national wilderness system have accepted a number of compromises. Considerable of the opposition to the measure has been withdrawn as the measure has been modified and as its provisions have become better understood.
The bill before the committee today, S. 174, was prepared in my office. An effort was made to use the desirable concepts of the Humphrey and Murray bills, to incorporate excellent suggestions in the O'Mahoney substitute bill and ideas given to the committee by some of the 500 witnesses who have appeared on the matter—and then to write a bill as clearly and simply as possible.
There may be further desirable changes. One or two modifications for greater clarity have been suggested. On the whole, however, I believe that we are close to a draft of wilderness legislation which can and should be reported to the Senate by the committee.
ANALYSIS OF THE BILL
The following is a section by section analysis of the bill:
Section 2(a) is a statement of congressional policy to preserve for present and future generations of Americans a part of our wilderness resources, unimpaired, for future use and enjoyment as wilderness.
Section 2(b) contains two definitions of wilderness. The first sentence is a definition of pure wilderness areas, where "the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man ***.” It states the ideal.
The second sentence defines the meaning or nature of an area of wilderness as used in the proposed act: A substantial area retaining its primeval character, without permanent improvements, which is to be protected and managed so man's works are "substantially unnoticeable.”
The second of these definitions of the term, giving the meaning used in the act, is somewhat less "severe" or "pure” than the first. As a practical matter it has been determined that some economic activities, such as grazing and motorboating where they are established practices, should be permitted to continue and some temporary trails, roads and other facilities should be allowed to permit fire, insect, and disease control when it is necessary.
The differences in these two definitions—the "pure” wilderness "untrammeled by man" and the somewhat more practical definition for the purposes of the act-characterize fairly accurately some of the concessions which have been made by the proponents of wilderness during our 4-year discussions, concessions which seem to me to meet the valid objections which have been made in the past to this proposal.
Section 3 of the act sets out what areas of federally owned lands are to be included in the wilderness system, and how they shall be included. It is intended to provide that every area, before finally confirmed as a part of the national wilderness preservation system, shall have been thrice reviewed: once by the agency having direct'jurisdiction
over it, once by the President, and a third time here in Congress. Section 3(b) (1) deals with areas already classified as wild, wilderness, canoe, and primitive in the national forests. They contain 14,661,416 acres.
The wild, wilderness and canoe areas have been carefully studied by the Forest Service and their boundaries carefully defined. The Forest Service has determined that the best use of the land within their boundaries is preservation in its primitive state. This bill declares them to be a part of the national wilderness system. In enacting the bill, Congress will complete action as to 14 wild and 28 wilderness areas, comprising 5,867,000 acres, and one canoe area, in Minnesota, which contains 979,154 acres.
There also are 40"primitive" areas in the national forests containing 7,907,416 acres of land. These tracts are temporarily designated as “primitive” to protect them from exploitation while the Forest Service surveys and studies them carefully, defines boundaries, and determines whether they should be finally designated “wild” or “wilderness."
S. 174 gives the Secretary of Agriculture 15 years to complete his review and recommend to the President whether or not each of these areas should be finally included in the wilderness system. The President then reviews these recommendations and sends his recommendations to Congress. Congress then has a full session in which to review the proposed areas and, if it does not agree with the President's recommendations, reject them by concurrent resolution.
The 15-year period is designated because the Forest Service has advised us that such a period will be needed to review the primitive areas with present staff.
Section 3(b) (2) declares that the purposes of S. 174 supplement but do not interfere with the purposes of the National Forest Act of 1897 or the Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act which we passed last yearPublic Law 517 of the 86th Congress.
Section 3 (c) deals with the designation of certain park areas as wilderness. The Secretary of the Interior is given 10 years to designate areas within each of the national parks, monuments, and other units which will be required for roads and service facilities for public enjoyment. He is then to report his recommendations to the President and the President to Congress, in relation to inclusion in the wilderness system of park system tracts of 5,000 acres or more which will be without roads.
The section provides for public hearings in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act after at least 90 days notice, on proposed reservations for roads or service facilities. It contains a further provision that nothing in the act we are considering shall lower the standards contained in the National Park Service Act of 1916, the individual acts creating various parks and monuments, or in other park legislation.
The provision does modify park legislation in one particular; it provides that "accommodations and installations” in the parks shall be "incident to the conservation and use and enjoyment of the scenery and the natural and historical objects and flora and fauna of the park or monument in its natural condition.”
This is intended to bar from the parks movie theaters, dance halls, and other types of amusement which have no relationship to the type of recreation intended to be provided by a national park area.
Section 3(d) deals with wildlife ranges and refuges. It authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to recommend to Congress areas within