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The council was the principal organizer of the drive to secure support for a national seashore on Padre Island. We obtained the support of 12,000 Texans that signed our petitions and through organizations the support of 15,000 other citizens. This support came to us from over 355 Texas cities and towns. We believe the council represents a good cross section of public sentiment on conservation matters. Yours,
ARMAND YRAMATEGUI, President.
DUPAGE AUDUBON SOCIETY,
Wheaton, II., February 28, 1961. Senator CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Senate Office Building
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : Our club is very much in favor the wilderness bill, S. 174, and as founder and president of this branch of the National Audubon I would like to express my personal interest in this bill also. Sincerely,
LEROY TUNSTALL, President.
SEATTLE, WASH., February 24, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Chairman, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : Many of us have watched, listened, and spoken in the last 5 years on behalf of wilderness preservation in our Federal lands.
Those of us who have enjoyed and known wilderness areas are deeply appreciative of the opportunity that has been given us for this privilege. We are thankful to the Forest Service who in the past years had the foresight and courage to set aside these primitive lands. We in turn want those following us to have this same privilege.
The educational, ecological, and esthetic values have proven and will prove beyond our comprehension the need they will fill in future years. Tomorrow may bring, with a growing population, a purpose vastly superior to that of today and only preservation of these areas can fill it.
Temporary commercial gain may destroy forever something that can never be replaced. Science has proved time and again that new methods and means can be used to supplant changes that must be made in man's living without the sacrifice of irreplaceable areas.
The young people of yesterday who have had the opportunity to participate and enjoy an atmosphere of wilderness contributed a finer perception of human values in their relationships with all mankind. We the adults of this generation should not deny this opportunity to those who will follow:
May this last plea for wilderness preservation be given a favorable response by your honorable and representative committee by making 1961 the historic year of wilderness bill action. Sincerely,
Mrs. NEIL HAIG, Conservationist.
SEATTLE, WASH., February 24, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, U.S. Senate, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.O.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : We are extremely appreciative that you introduced S. 174, the wilderness bill, and feel very deeply that it must be enacted. We would like to have this expression in support of the bill entered into the record of the hearings February 27 and 28, 1961.
Realizing that you are well aware of the need for this legislation, we shall not go into any details of why it should give legal sanction to wilderness. You know that fully. However, we believe the following quote is indicative of how fast we have moved through our natural resources and how precious the little wilderness now remaining is. This is taken from the book, "The Triumph of the Tree,”' by John Stewart Collis, published as one of a series of Explorer Books in the field of science.
“At the moment that U.S. civilization is still holding up large portions of Europe as well as itself, let us see just what it has to stand upon now. In 1630 the land offered 820 million acres of forest, 600 million acres of grassland, and 430 million acres of open woodland. Today it is calculated that not more than one-tenth of the forest remains and that the annual loss exceeds the annual growth by over 50 percent; and it is calculated with regard to the soil that one-half of the fertility of the continent has been dissipated. That is to say that though there has been great loss of soil there is still a gr acreage remaining. For we must recognize that a continent of that size whose soil has been built up through millennia cannot be utterly destroyed for some time, however enlightened and progressively mechanical the attackers may be. Nevertheless, what has happened is sufficiently impressive.
"The first thing, as we have seen, was the attack on the trees. They came down. They were very valuable when alive and standing, for, again as I have shown in proper place, they were grips, they were stakes, they were spongesthe twigs, leaves, rotting logs, pebbles, and stones at their feet serving as a filter and retarder of floods. They were mowed down and the ground was plowed-that is loosened-where they had stood. Then the tiny trees came down. I mean the grasses, for in relation to the soil they might be called little trees, as they also keep it in place by their root grips and wind-cushioning stems. They also were attacked, mowed down, and ripped up by speedy mechan. ical means, and prairie fires were lit that rivaled the conflagrations of the woods. Those were the two main movements in the subduing of the wilderness."
Later Mr. Collis also writes: “Once more, think of the inheritance of the new people in the New World. They came to 2 billion acres, half in forest; 40 percent in strong grasses; only 2 percent in desert. From the Atlantic to well beyond the Mississippi stretched unbroken primeval forest. That was the wealth they took over, the deposit they found in the earthly bank. They broke into the chest and rifled its contents, calling their action 'sturdy individualism' or 'ameliorative improvements,' or simply “the enterprise of capitalism. What is the opposite to that kind of capitalism? It is not socialism. It is not communism. It is conservatism. The opposite to capitalism is conservatism. But up till this century the idea of conserving anything never entered the American mind. The fantastic towers of the speediest growth in history rested upon the swift plundering of Nature's hoarded wealth. That was the foundation upon which they built their house. Was it built on sand? And is it writ in water?"
Later, Mr. Collis seems to feel that there may be hope of repairing some of the damage to the American Continent. But we have some of the American Continent still undamaged, still its wilderness self. Surely it is not asking Congress too much to leave this small inheritance to America of the future. Sincerely yours,
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT,
Olympia, Wash., February 24, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON: Due to the urgency of the current session of the Washington State Legislature, it will not be possible for me to appear before your committee February 27 and 28.
This department wishes to go on record in opposition to S. 174 or similar wilderness proposals at this time. The U.S. Forest Service has been doing an excellent job of making the maximum and highest use of land under its jurisdiction. Their program is satisfactorily filling present needs. It seems injudicious and, even, capricious to make commitments for the future until the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission has had an opportunity to prepare and present its findings and recommendations.
There is substantial public opposition to S. 174. Some of those opposing this and similar wilderness proposals are:
Washington State Grange.
Society of American Foresters.
Railway companies. Much of this opposition comes from the seriously adverse effects of superabundant wilderness areas on the economy of the State.
The Washington State Legislature is presently considering Senate Joint Memorial 17, a copy of which is attached. (See resolution previously included, pp. 376-377.)
I urge you to consider these factors before reaching a decision on S. 174 or any similar wilderness proposals. Sincerely,
SAM BODDY, Jr., Acting Director.
STATE OF ALASKA,
Juneau, February 24, 1961.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : The pending measure is contrary to the expressed intent of Congress in a number of acts passed in recent years for the multiple use of public lands wherever possible. Mineral production need not destroy wilderness values, and will not under proper safeguards. Even though the proposed act may specify that the circumstances under which an area to be included will not be interfered with, we have found through actual experience that governmental restrictions have destroyed the multiple use concept and will continue to do so under the administration of measures such as the proposal.
In Alaska, where we are particularly desperate for the establishment of industry to support an economy which Federal defense spending has largely created and is now apparently leaving, we stand to lose much by such legislation. Over 80 million acres are presently withdrawn or highly restricted to the development of mineral resources in our State already. This legislation would tighten the restrictions in these areas and add more areas to the same category, not even allowing for prior evaluation of the areas to learn if mineral possibilities exist. It is not in the public interest to close off areas for a single use before an effort is made to determine what uses might be most beneficial and compatible. I have personally worked in one mining camp in a wild area that contributed large amounts of copper to the World War II effort, and that camp did not affect the wilderness values of the surrounding country.
For the good of the Nation and of the State of Alaska, we urge that this bill be not enacted or else amended to provide for true multiple use after a study of each area by all interested persons or a representative commission or other body established for that purpose. Sincerely,
JAMES A. WILLIAMS, Director.
SMOKY MOUNTAINS HIKING CLUB,
Knowville, Tenn., February 25, 1961. Hon. CLINTON P. ANDERSON, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON : We welcome the opportunity to make a statement in support of S. 174 (the Wilderness Act) and of the principles of wilderness use and protection which it embodies.
The Smoky Mountains Hiking Club (Knoxville, Tenn.) is a voluntary, nonprofit organization, composed of men and women who enjoy outdoor recreation, principally in the form of hiking and camping in the mountains of the southeastern United States, and who believe in the human values to our Nation and to the individual of our forests and other wild lands. The club was founded in October 1924 and has 225 dues-paying members. In addition to hiking and camping, an important part of the club's program is directed to informing itself on questions involving conservation of natural resources and public land use and to supporting what we conceive to be the public interest in such matters.
We have long advocated the passage of such legislation as that embodied in S. 174. We believe it essential that some portion of our national land be preserved in its natural condition, untouched by the works of man. The Forest Service has done excellent work under its regulations U-1 and U-2 in setting aside areas of national forest land to be retained in their primeval state. Likewise, within the boundaries of our national parks are contained areas of essentially unviolated wilderness. But the Forest Service wilderness designations can be upset simply by action of the bureau itself; and in the case of wilderness areas within the national parks there does not appear to be any effective legal provision to restrict the Park Service from developing any wilderness by constructing highways, buildings, etc., therein. Phrased another way, we have no national wilderness policy as law to protect what wilderness we have succeeded in saving to date. A fundamental value of S. 174 is that it gives legal recognition to the fact that times have changed and that it is in the national interest to conserve as unaltered wilderness the primeval land and shore areas remaining to us.
May we offer one criticism of S. 174 as now drafted. Only national forest lands, lands under jurisdiction of the National Park Service, and national wildlife refuges and game ranges are covered by the provisions of S. 174. Section 2(h), addition or elimination not provided for in this act, specifically states that no other Federal lands may be added to the wilderness system except by separate, new legislation. We strongly recommend that section 2(h) be redrafted to permit the inclusion within the wilderness system of any federally owned lands or shoreline (whether controlled by the Bureau of Land Manage ment, Department of Defense, Bureau of Reclamation, independent agency, etc.), on the initiative of the chief administrator of the controlling department or agency and in accordance with the procedures provided in section 2 (e) and (f), modification of boundaries.' S. 174 declares a wilderness use and preservation policy. Let us allow admission into the wilderness system of any Federal lands which are found to qualify under the terms of the bill's executive review and congressional resolution procedures.
Thank you for this opportunity to express our support of S. 174 (the Wilderness Act) and to urge its enactment into law. Very truly yours,
Miss JESSIE DEMPSTER, President.
ADVANCE IDAHO MEMBERS,
Lewiston, Idaho, February 23, 1961. Hon. CLINTON ANDERSON, Chairman, Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 0.8. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR SENATOR ANDERSON: As members of Advance Idaho, our aim is to promote Idaho industrially, economically, historically, and as a vacation land. We are particularly interested in the five north central counties, namely, Nez Perce, Clearwater, Latah, Lewis, and Idaho.
It is because much of the public domain, included in Senate bill 174 for withdrawal, lies within the confines of this area that we write you to register our protest. It is our opinion that to withdraw this area from multiple use would be in direct violation of everything we stand for and work toward.
Therefore, we stand opposed to Senate bill 174, and in support of the multipleuse concept as presented by the Inland Empire Multiple Use Committee.
It is our desire that our protest be made a part of the official hearing.
VERNON E. ARBOGAST,
CALIFORNIA STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE,
San Francisco, February 27, 1961. SENATE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS, Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.
GENTLEMEN: We understand that S. 174 will be heard by your committee on February 27 and 28, and respectfully request that our opposition to this proposal for a Wilderness Act be made part of the hearing record.
The California State Chamber of Commerce has long supported the establishment of wilderness areas in national forests and parks and their administration under the present policies and management directive. Testimony to this effect has been presented in earlier hearings on similar wilderness bills. We feel enactment of S. 174 to be undesirable for at least several reasons:
1. The bill would give immediate classified wilderness status to some 1,190,491 additional acres of national forest land in California, where we already have 458,173 acres so classified. These lands, now under custodial management as "primitive" areas, are under study for their potential highest
Many of the boundaries were arbitrarily established in the 1930's without detailed study and on the basis of inadequate maps. A number of these “primitive" areas that were set aside at that time for review and further classification contain large acreages of private, holdings. While we favor the gradual acquisition of those in-holdings by the U.S. Forest Service where private management is not feasible, we are of the opinion that S. 174 would eliminate present flexibility in such acquisitions or land exchanges and in needed boundary adjustments.
Until studies to evaluate all the resources involved, including mass recreation, are completed, blanket inclusion of these more than 1 million acres in California into the proposed wilderness preservation system is certainly premature and unjustified.
2. Since Congress authorized the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review to obtain long-range planning data as an aid in determining future recreational needs, premature action on any wilderness bill prior to the report of the Commission early next year would be inadvisable.
3. The bill proposes a single national wilderness system from lands now administered by three different Federal agencies with different management objectives, and would certainly encourage the creation of another Federal bureau at a time when we should be concerned with economy and efficiency in government.