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Mr. SMITH. Mr. Chairman, I am Heber Smith of Grace, Idaho. I am attending this hearing as representative of the Idaho Wildlife Organization. This organization is made up of approximately 85 local groups, sportsmen and conservation societies. The State membership is approximately 22,000. The Idaho Wildlife Federation has for several years favored passage of a wilderness bill to give stature to the preservation of our dwindling wilderness.
At our last State convention held in Boise we unanimously reaffirmed this stand and favored wilderness protection. We believe in setting aside and protection of certain wilderness areas, the least we can do for future generations.
As our population expands at an unprecedented rate the need to protect test areas becomes more imperative. Wilderness once lost is lost forever, and its need in the future will be even greater.
Our organization is in favor of the multiple-use doctrine of public land management. We feel that this does not mean each acre of public land necessarily must be used for all purposes. Those areas best adapted to wilderness stature should be so used. There are many other areas suited for other activities and they should be used and they should be so managed. We believe that any proposed legislation which would at the outset make possible the deletion or exclusion of land now classified as wild, primitive or wilderness, should be resisted. We do not wish to increase present wilderness and primitive areas. boundaries, nor do we wish to see them reduced.
I wish to thank you for the opportunity of appearing here and presenting briefly our opinion in Idaho. We would like to see some type of wilderness to protect what we have today.
Senator ALLOTT. I have just one short question. On page 2 of your statement in the third paragraph you say
Under the mining laws, which incidentally perhaps need some revision, a miner now for his own profit could establish a mine and demand a road. Can you tell me what law would entitle a miner to demand a road to his place?
Mr. SMITH. I don't know the present laws.
Senator DWORSHAK. I would like to say, Mr. Smith, that I share your pride in the fact that in Idaho we have three primitive areas with total acreage of about 3 million. While I enjoy the outdoors as much as anyone, I have very limited time to penetrate those areas. But in your judgment we have been able to utilize fully the recreational facilities of these primitive areas in Idaho, is that true?
Mr. Smith. I think perhaps, yes, limited to the people who have wanted to go there. I think it has been pretty much that way, yes.
Senator DWORSHAK. How would you make those facilities more available to a larger number of people, whether they come from our State or from other States?
Mr. SMITH. I think the facilities are there now for them to use, if more people would desire to use them. We would like to have more people use them.
Senator DWORSHAK. Of course, we would have to have more roads before we could get into some of those areas. I have been a very ardent supporter of our access roads program under the U.S. Forest Service, because each fall during the congressional recess I try to make a trip into some area, remote area, in Idaho, and I find that where these access roads are built primarily to make available timber to be logged, that subsequent to that operation these roads are used extensively by people who enjoy recreation and want to get into these more remote areas. So sometimes it is difficult for me to reconcile the theory that if we prevent the building of roads in primitive and wilderness areas we are making available to a larger number of people the utilization of those recreational advantages.
Mr. SMITH. That would be true probably, Senator, to the extent that an unlimited amount of damage was not done after those roads were built in there. That would be my only objection to it. You know, only a small percentage of people have the facilities to think to protect other peoples' property, and lots of damage is done, when no proper consideration is given.
Senator DWORSHAK. I think the Forest Service officials in those areas do a lot of policing and do very effective work in trying to preserve the largest potential use of those facilities for the largest number of people.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you, Mr. Smith, very much. (The formal statement of Mr. Smith follows:)
STATEMENT OF HEBER SMITH, GRACE, IDAHO, REPRESENTING THE IDAHO
Mr. Chairman, I am Heber Smith of Grace, Idaho. I am the past president of the Idaho Wildlife Federation. I am now serving as representative of the Idaho Wildlife Federation at the annual meeting of the National Wildlife Federation which will be held here in Washington, D.C., during the next 4 days.
Before leaving Idaho I was asked by Mr. Ernest Day, president of the Idaho Wildlife Federation, to appear at this hearing and to inform this committee of the Idaho Wildlife Federation's support of S. 174. We urge that this measure be enacted without further delay or weakening amendments.
Sportsmen in Idaho realize the great value of wilderness. We see that if this measure is not enacted soon, some of our best areas of primitive country will be destroyed.
Our national forest primitive areas offer some of the very best fishing and big game hunting in primitive country that's to be had anywhere in the Nation. We are proud of this fact and we don't want these areas to be cut up.
The opportunity we in Idaho now enjoy in being able to hunt and to fish and to camp in some of the Nation's finest wilderness country, is something we don't want to lose. Neither do those thousands of people who come from all corners of the Nation to visit our Selway-Bitterroot Primitive Area, the Idaho Primitive Area, and the Sawtooth Primitive Area. When they return from a wilderness trip in one of these areas they know they have had an unforgettable experience whether it's been a hunt for some of our fine elk or other big game, fishing in our wilderness streams for chinook salmon or steelhead trout, or just a pack trip through some of our rugged mountains to soak up the scenery and to get “the feeling of the back country.”
Mr. Chairman, the Idaho areas involved in the wilderness bill are already set aside for protection as primitive areas or part of our national park system. All told less than 6 percent of the State's land areas is involved. No new additional areas of public land would be classified as wilderness. These areas are rugged and mountainous and they never have been open for lumbering, or similar uses. Where grazing has been allowed on the national forest primitive areas it would be allowed to continue as it has in the past under Forest Service regulation.
This wilderness bill would give some much-needed added protection to national forest areas of wilderness where mining could under present rules needlessly as far as the public is concerned destroy the wilderness. Under the mining laws (which incidentally perhaps need some revision) a miner now for his own profit could establish a mine and then demand a road. In other words he could destroy a large area of wilderness just for his own profit—and do this on land that belongs to all of us. S. 174 would help in this respect, but even here it would not be at all severe, for it does provide for mining if the President finds it to be in the national interest. We think this little bit of mild reform would be a good thing.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Hillard.
STATEMENT OF ED HILLARD, PRESIDENT, CONSERVATION COUNCIL
OF COLORADO, DENVER, COLO. Mr. HILLARD. Mr. Chairman, I do not have a written statement but I appreciate a chance for a couple of minutes. I will try to hold it under your quota of 5 minutes. I am Edward Hillard from Denver, Englewood, Colo., president of the Conservation Council of Colorado.
I am authorized to represent the Colorado Wildlife Federation, also the Izaak Walton League of Colorado, and the Colorado Mountain Club, all obviously recreational interests, and they have passed resolutions urging you to vote S. 174 out of the committee.
We note with great satisfaction that nearly, or virtually everyone here today has accepted the wilderness principle, to indicate that they are not against wilderness. They see a need for it. The usage of wilderness, while it is small as measured by numbers, according to Mr. Crafts only 2 percent of the forest is used, we think it is significant that the growth of wilderness usage in this period when we are all supposed to be getting softer and riding in plushier cars to the very scene of our recreation, that the usage of wilderness is growing at the same rate as the usage of the forest in general.
To further that point the superintendent of Rocky Mountain Park told me that the off road usage there, the wilderness portions of the park, is growing at a great deal more rapid rate than the general visitations to the park. So we can foresee in possibly 50 years wilderness will be a great attraction and that the actual number will have increased substantially.
A number of the people who have opposed wilderness express a concern over local economy. If the use of wildernesses does grow as we think it will, and as there are indications that it will, are not the local economists going to be stimulated by the attraction to the fringes of wilderness of many, many tourists. Would there not be people in 1900 who would say Yellowstone Park is a waste of asset, locking it up. Yet can anyone deny that Gardner and Cody and a few other surrounding towns have a lot more economic stimulus than they would if the logging and mining that might exist in Yellowstone had been developed. We think the same would be true of wilderness in general in another 50 years. So we are gratified that your committee is devoting the time to preserve it.
The other point is that, I think, taking the wilderness consideration to a national level is extremely significant and worthwhile. I don't have a confidence in the administrative people based on local hearings to withstand the pressures for local commercial development.
I feel I own part of the public land in Idaho, let us say, I want to be able through my representatives to have a little say on how it is
used. I think the man in New York or California should have some say on how the Federal land in Colorado is used.
I don't see that local administrative people in a local hearing can withstand the pressures of well organized business groups, particularly mining, timbering, livestock and so forth. So taking it to the national level for review by Congress is wholly sound. We urge that this be voted out to the floor.
Senator METCALF. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Sykes is an old friend of mine. We have been members of the Montana bar together. He is a constituent of mine both when I was in Congress and now that I am over here on this side. I certainly welcome him to the committee and I am glad to hear his testimony.
The CHAIRMAN. I am going to cut you right down to 5 minutes, Mr. Sykes.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT C. SYKES, PRESIDENT, MONTANA
Mr. SYKES. Senator Anderson, I would like to say that Senator Metcalf, a stanch Democrat, makes those kind remarks about me, a stanch Republican, I appreciate the remarks just that much more.
We in the Federation, regardless of politics, recognize Senator Metcalf as an outstanding conservationist. We appreciate his efforts in the past on conservation. I have with me today approximately 40 letters from my friends and neighbors in Calypso who asked me to act as post office and present them to you. They are addressed to you.
The CHAIRMAN. They will be received and become a part of the record, if you desire. (The letters referred to follow :)
KALISPELL, Mont., February 24, 1961. Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SIR: Your efforts in wilderness legislation are sincerely appreciated. Only the future can tell how valuable these areas ar Yours truly,
KALISPELL, MONT. SENATOR CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR CLINTON ANDERSON : I like wilderness areas as they have provided me with great outdoor recreational experience. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area of which I am most familiar has been the scene of several terrific hunting trips on horses-next summer we plan a 5-day back packing trip to this area mostly for the scenery and solitude afforded by the area.
I have an 8-year-old boy who is a bit too young yet for these trips—but it is nice to know that through your efforts on behalf of the wilderness bill that they will also have this excellent experience in store for them when the time comes.
Please then accept my deep gratitude for your past and future efforts in the conservation field—this you should be most proud of. Very sincerely,
LOREN L. KRECK.
KALISPELL, MONT., February 23, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : I would like to express my approval of the wilderness bill (S. 174). I believe that it is essential to protect our present wilderness areas with this legislation so that in the future we and our children may enjoy these resources. Yours sincerely,
ROBERT F. MULLER, M.D.
KALISPELL, MONT., February 23, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : I believe it is important for all of the people of Montana that the wilderness bill be passed in this session of Congress.
We have appreciated your efforts for this bill and know that it will have your continued support. Yours sincerely.
KALISPELL, MONT., February 23, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : It is important to us here in Montana that favorable action be taken on the wilderness bill. It is one of our greatest assets from both a recreational and economic standpoint. Thank you for your support. Yours sincerely,
CHAUNCEY M. SMITH.
WHITEFISH, MONT., February 24, 1961. Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR: I wish to express my support of your bill (S. 174) because I feel that it is far less costly to preserve our natural resources than to replace them after they have once been destroyed. Sincerely,
G. I. BURK.
WHITEFISH, MONT., February 24, 1961. Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR: I wish to express my support of your bill (S. 174) because it is a sound program in preserving what natural resources that we have left. Sincerely,
L. S. RUTHERFORD.
WHITEFISH, MONT., February 24, 1961. Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR : I wish to express my support of your bill, S. 174, because our natural resources provide healthful outdoor recreation for the public.
I would like to see this privilege remain free to the people instead of falling in the hands of a few individuals who would commercialize on our lost wilderness. Sincerely,