« PreviousContinue »
Chief's approval must be obtained for:
a. Insect or disease control measures which require roads.
b. Salvage of fire-killed, insect-infested, or diseased timber. Commercial salvage operations will be authorized by the Chief when the presence of dead, diseased, or infested timber in wilderness areas measurably endangers other lands and timber stands.
*8. Use of Motorized Equipment to Transport Snow Survey. Collection of snow data is an essential administrative job. Travel for snow surveys is costly and hazardous and the use of helicopters may save time and money and reduce the hazard of dangerous foot travel on skies or snowshoes. Forest supervisors may therefore authorize the use of helicopters for snow surveys within wilderness areas when such action is desirable.
When snow surveys are to be made by a cooperating agency, a cooperating agreement should be drawn up citing the importance of the data to be collected and the need for it, thereby establishing the project as an administrative need. A permit will be issued to each cooperating agency authorizing the use of a helicopter only for specific snow-survey trips to specific locations and during a specified period of time. No blanket authorization will be issued. The permit will state that the authority is in conformity with Regulation U-1 and will prohibit all activities except those necessary to make the snow survey.
Over the snow, mechanized travel is not authorized with snowmobiles or tractors in wilderness areas. *
2321.3 Establishment, Modification, or Elimination. When considering the establishment, modification, or elimination of wilderness and wild areas, forest officers will weigh all factors from the standpoint of public values. Wilderness and esthetic values will be given full consideration and the final decision must be based upon a careful appraisal of all public values, both immediate and potential. If an area is primarily valuable for wilderness purposes and is needed for that type of use, classification will be recommended. In marginal or doubtful cases, it will be prudent to delay developments which would conflict with wilderness policy until a final course of action is evident, since true wilderness qualities can rarely be restored once an area is invaded by conflicting uses,
Regional foresters will consider all proposals to establish, modify, or eliminate wilderness and wild areas. Their recommendations will be submitted to the Chief, who will take necessary action in conformity with Regulation U-1 or U-2.
2321.31 Criteria. To merit wilderness or wild classification, an area must satisfy the following conditions:
1. It must possess the inherent qualities of a wilderness.
2. It must be currently needed as a wilderness area, or the future need must be clearly evident.
3. Wilderness recreation must represent its highest and best public use over a long period of time.
4. Its tangible and intangible values as a wilderness area must fully offset the value of all resources which would be rendered inaccessible or otherwise unavailable, both within and adjacent to the proposed boundaries, as a result of the classification.
It is usually a fairly simple matter to determine whether an area possesses the inherent qualities of a wilderness. However, the need for a specific wilderness area and the number and size of wilderness areas necessary to satisfy reasonable public demands for such areas are not subject to precise analysis or accurate measurement. Neither is it easy to determine whether the wilderness values of an area exceed the value of other resources. Important and difficult land use decisions must be made in appraising wilderness values. The objective in each case is to determine the predominant public value of the area and to be guided by that determination.
The wilderness classification precludes many other types of use and it is necessary to consider all competing values. A majority of people who go to the forests for recreation do not have the ability or the desire to get away from the easy travel made possible by roads. They are interested in camping near their cars, picnicking, touring, and visiting summer homes or resorts. Many feel that the wilderness classification is discriminatory because it permanently excludes them from areas which might otherwise be developed for their enjoy. ment.
*Amended February 1959; Amendment No. 5.
All physical, psychological, and financial factors must be evaluated to resolve conflicting interests and arrive at, or recommend, an equitable decision. The volume of wilderness use is unpredictable and the value of such use cannot be expressed in dollars, yet the area's potential yield in terms of commodities, labor, and less-primitive forms of recreation must be appraised and compared with wilderness values. For this, there is no simple formula and no substitute for a thorough and unbiased analysis of all factors involved.
A few areas as yet uninvaded by roads are extremely hazardous from a fire standpoint, and road construction is essential for fire control purposes. Such roads constitute a continuous intrusion extending for many miles and seriously diminish wilderness values. Areas may have rich mineral deposits which will eventually be developed. Others have valuable timber stands which not only could supply the wood needs of the country but also maintain an annual crop of timber which will make possible a sustained life for adjacent forest communities.
1. Establishment of New Wilderness or Wild Areas. The district ranger will prepare a report following the standard outline (FSH 2321.33). Supple. mental information will be added as necessary. The forest supervisor will review the report, amend it as necessary, and forward it to the regional forester with recommendation for approval or disapproval.
The regional forester will decide whether the proposal should be rejected or forwarded to the Chief with recommendation for approval. The Chief will either reject or tentatively approve proposals submitted for his consideration.
When a proposal has received the Chief's tentative approval, the regional forester will cause a notice of the proposed action to be published and publicly posted for a period of at least 90 days and usually for 6 months. The notice will include a statement to the effect that a public hearing will be called if there is reasonable demand for such. The regional forester will see that the notice of contemplated action is brought to the attention of all groups known to be interested in wilderness and wild areas. If there is demand for a public hearing, he will call one and conduct it along prescribed lines (FSH 2321.33).
Following the public hearing, if any, and after the notification period has expired, a final report will be furnished the Chief who will then (a) approve or reject wild area proposals or (b) submit a complete report on wilderness area proposals to the Secretary, for final action.
2. Modification or Elimination of Wilderness and Wild Areas. The establishment of wilderness and wild areas should carry with it a high probability of permanency. Alteration of wilderness or wild area boundaries inevitably involves the risk of losing the public's confidence. Nevertheless, circumstances may arise under which the modification or elimination of classified areas is necessary or desirable in the public interest. In such cases, reports will be prepared and other action will be taken in the same order and with the same authority and responsibilities outlined for the establishment of new areas. This includes an advisory hearing if requested.
Senator KUCHEL. So there may be no misunderstanding as to the question which was propounded by the junior Senator from Idaho, if under the provisions of the bill Congress were to refuse to accede to a Presidential determination to add certain public lands to the wilderness system which theretofore, prior to the passage of the bill, had been primitive, for example, it is true, is it not, that the lands would revert to their previous status as primitive, such status being defined by your regulations!
Mr. CRAFTS. No, Senator Kuchel. That isn't true.
Mr. CRAFTS. If the primitive areas are recommended by the President for permanent inclusion in the system and the Congress rejects that, then the primitive areas covered by the recommendation become ordinary national forest land. They lose their primitive area status.
Senator KUCHEL. Where do we cover that in the bill ? Mr. CRAFTS. You don't cover it specifically. As I said to Senator Church, the language in the bill is not clear on this point. It simply skips this question, but earlier in the hearing we recommended that this point be made clear and Senator Church asked if we would give him language which would do this.
Senator KUCHEL. What would flow from the result of that situation where they would cease to be primitive!
Mr. CRAFTS. They would cease to be primitive areas. They would again become subject to entry under the mining laws. They would be subject to timber harvesting. They would be open to permanent roads. They would not have restrictions on reservoir or other water development. They would be subject to all the uses to which national forest lands not in special categories are now subject.
Senator KUCHEL. Also, there apparently is some question as to whether the President and the Congress get one bite on a given piece of public land. My own view is, Mr. Chairman, that the bill ought to be crystal clear, and this is a matter of policy, that the right or the duty of the President is not exhausted when he submits to the Congress his decision and where the Congress rejects it.
It seems to me that with a new Congress and with a new President there ought to be an equal, honorable opportunity for a second decision which might parallel the first decision of the President's predecessor. I think that ought to be spelled out, but what is your view about that?
Mr. Crafts. I agree with you and it is not spelled out now. That also is a point that we discussed with Senator Church a few moments ago, that in the event of refusal, which has to be total refusal, but if the reasons are given and the objection goes to only the inclusion of part of the area, we think that it would be permissible now for the President to resubmit if he elects to do so. We see nothing in the present language that would preclude him from doing that. By the same token there is nothing in the language of the bill that specifically says
do it. Senator KUCHEL. I thank you, sir; and I think that is a problem for the committee to pass judgment on. But to go back to this question of whether land which is deemed primitive under present regulations is placed in the system by the President, but Congress rejects that placement, is it your statement to the committee that this bill would repeal the language under which the classification is made by the Department today
Mr. CRAFTS. Some change in the secretarial regulations would be necessary in my judgment, Senator, if this bill passes.
Senator KUCHEL. And you recommend this legislation ? Mr. CRAFTS. Yes, sir. Senator KUCHEL. So that you recommend that the classification which you now are authorized to make of primitive be eliminated after the Congress registers its objection?
Mr. CRAFTS. Yes. Let me explain that a little bit. The primitive areas were established between 1930 and 1940, roughly, a 10-year period, under an old regulation. That regulation has since been superseded. There are no primitive areas being established now. There haven't been for a long time. The only areas that are now being established are the wilderness and wild. This is a device to speed up the review of the primitive areas, so there are no primitive areas being established and there haven't been for many years in that particular category.
Senator KUCHEL. However, with the primitive areas representing today the largest category in your table, do you have the authority today to reclassify primitive areas?
Mr. CRAFTS. The Secretary of Agriculture does.
Mr. CRAFTS. Into wilderness areas, or into wild areas, or into normal national forest land.
Senator KUCHEL. The fact that you have not done that we are to draw no conclusions from?
Mr. CRAFTS. The only conclusion you might draw from that, Senator, is that the reclassification process is a long and time-consuming process. It is very controversial. We have moved pretty slowly. We need to move faster.
Senator HICKEY. Would the Senator yield on that point?
Senator HICKEY. Do I understand it, then, that if this bill is passed those areas which are now in that category by virtue of the act would immediately become part of the wilderness areas?
Mr. Crafts. Yes, sir; that is right. The primitive areas are incorporated in the wilderness system with the passage of this act, but with the further instruction for the Secretary of Agriculture to restudy those.
Senator HICKEY. For a period of 15 years?
Mr. CRAFTS. Any time up to 15 years, to see what portion of those meets the standards that are now in effect for the wilderness areas.
Senator HICKEY. However, the categories you have discussed would be eliminated upon the passage of this act and all the areas would become primitive or become wilderness? Is that correct?
Mr. CRAFTS. The substantive aspects of the categories would be eliminated. By that I mean that the treatment of the areas would be the same, pending the resubmission of the primitive areas. The names themselves would not be specifically eliminated by any language in the bill.
I think we would elect to do so, however, in order to eliminate some of the confusion that now exists between these various categories. I might say that is another point that was in one of the earlier bills that is not present in this bill, in that the names of these areas were all changed to wilderness areas with passage of the act and that is something that you might want to do.
The CHAIRMAN. I just want to stop long enough to recognize the presence of the Secretary of Agriculture.
Secretary Freeman, we appreciate your arrival here. We know the demands upon you and we are very happy you have taken time to come here and give us a word on the wilderness bill. I appreciate it very much. We would be happy to have any statement you care to make. We are very pleased to have you present. STATEMENT OF HON ORVILLE L. FREEMAN, SECRETARY OF THE
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Secretary FREEMAN. Thank you very much, Senator Anderson and members of the committee.
I can see that you have gotten into some of the specifics in connection with this and the gentlemen who sit to my left are much more informed, as is the chairman, and the members of this committee.
I came here primarily, sir, to indicate that the Department supports this bill and may I say personally I feel that it is very important. You as Secretary of Agriculture signed the order that established some of these areas in the State from whence I come, and although it has not been without its controversies, some of which I experienced as Governor of Minnesota, I think that it is important and I would only say that I am here to indicate that support and say I hope that the bill will be passed with, of course, whatever modifications this committee in its wisdom feels will add to it.
Mr. Crafts, do you think in further compliance with the suggestions that we had from Senator Church, and you offered to submit language, that it might be desirable to clear up this question that Senator Kuchel points up again, that we might put something into the bill or into the report which would clearly indicate that the President might resubmit within a certain period of time provided that certain things happen. I don't know how you are going to tie it down, but it does seem to me it might be possible to say that if he submits it and it is rejected by the Congress, so many years shall elapse before the area becomes ordinary forest land again. We might provide that it shall revert to primitive status for a period of 2 years, or something of that nature, to give Congress and the President a chance to do something.
If it occurs to you that a provision of the nature is desirable or possible, you might submit that language to us along with the other language. We would appreciate it very much.
Senator GOLDWATER. I just want to take advantage of these gentlemen being here to inquire why more of these areas have not been established in the East and in the South. I notice only three States outside of the Far West that have wilderness and primitive areas.
Mr. McARDLE. That is correct, Senator Goldwater, and the reason is I think obvious, because all of the national forests in the East, with the exception of small acreages, were purchased. Those in the West were created from the public domain and there was not the opportunity in the East to set up large areas having essentially primitive conditions.
The two areas that we have established as wild areas are of course small. The Boundary Waters Canoe area in Minnesota is almost 900,000 acres. We do, however, have a substantial number of rather small areas which we have established as botanical areas, natural areas, scenic areas, and things of that kind.
Within the possibilities available to us we have done essentially this same thing in the East. Those very small areas are not included within the provisions of this bill.
Senator GOLDWATER. One other question: Did I understand you to say that the passage of this legislation would give you control over the waters in the areas?
Mr. McARDLE. No, sir. I am glad you brought that up because I think we would want to make our position, and I am sure the committee would want to make its position, completely clear on that point.
In section 6, subsection (c), paragraph (6), there is this language: Nothing in this act shall constitute an expressed or implied claim or denial on the part of the Federal Government as to exemption from State water laws.