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eventually, under population pressure from misuse and overuse. ACR is now strictly zoned so that its wild areas are protected against human intrusion. Human activities are restricted to hiking on established trails and to nature education and observation within specified areas. No vehicles are allowed on the ranch-no fires, no smoking, no camping. This protects and preserves for the future the precious wildness which is becoming more and more rare under the expanding pressures of society.
Thousands of people from the bay area and elsewhere have contributed almost $1 million to create a wild and inviolate sanctuary. As a private corporation dedicated to conservation and education, we will always be able to protect this land and the plants, birds, and animals, which inhabit it.
It is, therefore, vital that ACR not be included in the GGNRA, but that our lands be preserved for the special types of re-creation and education which only quiet and unspoiled wildness can provide. We will always encourage the public to use our lands for their pleasure without charge, within our frame of reference. We feel that by remaining free of governmental jurisdiction and exploitation we will be able actually to add to the recreational and educational potentialities of the proposed recreation area.
Our plea is to our friends: In your enthusiasm for this great concept of a regional park, do not allow to be sacrificed what we have all worked so hard and so long to preserve. I am sure that no true conservationist, scientist, or educator associated with the numerous groups which are supporting GGNRA would differ with this statement. I hope that those of you who follow me will indicate your
I should add that in the event of our dissolution, all our assets. will go to the National Audubon Society which is our legal heir.
Mr. TAYLOR. I was going to ask you what connection there is between your ranch and the National Audubon Society.
Mr. PICHER. The three branches of the National Audubon Society in the bay area appoint our board of directors but we are a separate corporation, a separate, independent corporation.
Mr. TAYLOR. Do you operate as a nonprofit corporation?
Mr. PICHER. As a nonprofit California corporation; yes, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. And the property is used as a wildlife sanctuary?
Mr. PICHER. Yes, and we have a very large educational program there in education, conservation, and ecology.
Mr. SKUBITZ. Mr. Chairman
Mr. TAYLOR. The gentleman from Kansas?
Mr. SKUBITZ. We have had no witnesses who represent any of the private landowners whose lands are recommended for taking under this bill: Witter Ranch, Slide Ranch, Green Gulch Ranch, Gaddell Banducci. I am wondering if there is anyone here who represents these landowners who desires to testify? I think we should hear from them.
Mr. TAYLOR. How many property owners do we have here who are going to testify? Now, we should get to all of you without any difficulty. We will make sure we do.
STATEMENT OF STERLING S. CRAMER, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF. Mr. CRAMER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Sterling S. Cramer. I am representing myself as an individual.
I spent 35 years of my life in Yosemite National Park and 7 years on the California State Park Commission. I am now a resident of San Francisco and I live at the foot of Van Ness Street right next to Fort Mason.
I wish to heartily endorse this concept. During the period I was on the State park commission we had such a concept but we could not put it together. Only the Federal Government can undertake something that is as massive and as farflung as this.
Our efforts produced some enlargement of the Tamalpais, the Hyde Street pier, small things like that, but only the Federal Government can put it together and I believe that only the Department of the Interior can be the one to administer it. This divided responsibility will not work.
I am very glad that we had a representative from Hunter's Point here. I am glad that this committee is feeling that it brings parks to the people.
I have one very strong stipulation when and if this all develops. I am not worried about transportation. They will work out ways to do that. But this area must be as available to people as Golden Gate Park is so that they can walk into it and not be pricing themselves out of the market the way the national parks are.
Now, in Yosemite today it costs you $7 a day to camp from your car on the floor of the valley and I submit that that exludes all the people that Mr. Brooks was talking about this morning, and that until these areas are opened and there is some way for a person to get from where he is in his slum or ghetto area to the park, you're not serving the people and you are not meeting squarely the problem of the cities.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you very much.
(Prepared statement of Sterling S. Cramer follows:)
STATEMENT OF STERLING S. CRAMER, SAN FRANCISCO
Statement in Favor of the Proposed GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA before the Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation, Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, House of Representatives, meeting in San Francisco, California, August 9, 1971.
My name is Sterling S. Cramer. I am appearing as an individual. I am a resident in San Francisco adjoining the area under consideration. My professional experience includes 35 years in Yosemite National Park, during most of which I was chief accounting officer of Yosemite Park and Curry Co., principal concessionaire in the Park, retiring in 1969 as Vice President Finance. I also served two terms as a member of the California State Park Commission, mostly during the administrations of Governor Edmund G. Brown.
I heartily support the concept of a major recreation area embracing both sides of the Golden Gate and extending, so far as is practical, along the shores of San Francisco Bay.
The Park Commission of which I was a member had this concept as one of is long term goals. However, since almost all of the area in question was in the ownership of the United States, our approach could be only piecemeal as Federal lands became surplus and as state funds became available.
How much more appropriate it is for the Federal government, itself, to set aside these lands for the use of the people, then to depend upon the limited re
sources of state and local jurisdictions. The United States owns most of the free land in California. In general, local government is limited for park and recreation purposes to the private land it can afford to purchase and to retire from private use.
The need of the great urban masses, in California as elsewhere, is for open space and green space, for an opportunity to escape from the concrete jungles which our cities have become. The underprivileged, the minority groups, the ghetto dwellers, the aged, all lack the resources and the mobility to take advantage of the great National Parks hundreds of miles away in the Sierra. Yet, their need is much greater than that of the affluent upper middle class families who now enjoy these superb public "pleasuring grounds". There are children at Hunters Point on San Francisco Bay who have never seen the Pacific Ocean. If the people cannot go to the Parks, the Parks must be brought to the people.
I have only one restrictive stipulation. Present National Park Service policies and fee schedules effectively restrict the use of the major National Parks to that affluent upper middle class and the physically fit. Policies and fee schedules in an urban situation such as the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area must be established in such a way that access and facilities are within the reach of all the people, regardless of financial or physical ability. Mr. TAYLOR. Curt J. Baldwin; on deck, Leslie Smith.
STATEMENT OF MRS. F. S. BLOXAM ON BEHALF OF CURT J. BALDWIN, PRESIDENT, TELEGRAPH HILL DWELLERS, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mrs. BLOXAM. Mr. Chairman, I represent Mr. Baldwin of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers who cannot be here today.
Telegraph Hill is that small hill surrounding Coit Tower. It is quite densely populated but not nearly as densely populated as Chinatown which adjoins it. It is when you get into Chinatown that you really understand what urban density is about.
One of the things I mention most is a city planning commission hearing in which a Chinatown schoolteacher got up and said, "There are children in my class who have never set foot on earth, only concrete and asphalt. And when I asked them to name a bird, they can name a pigeon."
This teacher wanted Fort Mason because that hearing was about Fort Mason being turned into a luxury housing project by some complicated swap with the GSA. That teacher wanted Fort Mason to be a park, a park so that the people of Chinatown could go there.
You know there are only two squares in Chinatown which haven't been turned into parking lots and then there is concrete. There are no children's playgrounds. I am very glad-I think that it was Mr. Woods who was here from Hunter's Point. He was talking for the crowded minorities and whereas I think the people from Chinatown can get to Fort Mason and to the Presidio and they fish on the municipal pier, and you know all the abandoned piers in the Presidio are covered with fishermen on Saturdays and Sundays, very often they are from minority groups. The Chinese are passionate fishermen. But down in Hunter's Point, that gentleman had something to tell us. He said you are making a park out of what is possible and good. Perhaps for our sake you should make something possible and good where we need the park.
I hadn't got that in my remarks but I felt that he had something there.
I believe that because of this need of the crowded city we should— this matter of transportation is vital really. It really is and I am not going to suggest to you how it be done but these people have to have a way of getting there without three bus transfers. Even Golden Gate Park is not possible for a lot of people. And I think we should make the emphasis on day use because this is an urban park and if it is an urban park for these people, then the emphasis should be on day use.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you very much. I thought you were making some statements that were very worth while.
(Prepared statement of Curt J. Baldwin follows:)
STATEMENT OF THE TELEGRAPH HILL DWELLERS, SUBMITTED BY
The Telegraph Hill Dwellers, one of the oldest and largest neighborhood groups in San Francisco, wishes to go on record as supporting the establishment of a Golden Gate Recreation Area.
For those of you unfamiliar with San Francisco, Telegraph Hill is the small hill on the northeast waterfront surmounted by Coit Tower. Our five hundred or so members live on the slopes of this hill, which at its western base merges into North Beach and Chinatown.
Despite its picturesque character, the Hill is densely populated. Our houses and apartments, built on small lots, are packed together. But it is when you descend the Hill into Chinatown and North Beach that the realities of urban population density become overwhelming. There is no open place but the streets, which are narrow and crowded with traffic. The two original squares or parks of Chinatown have been turned into underground parking garages topped with the arid type of "park" which results. There is one children's playground.
A schoolteacher from Chinatown once made a memorable comment before the San Francisco Planning Commission. Significantly enough, at issue was a proposal to rezone Fort Mason in order to facilitate a complicated deal whereby the Army was to declare thirty-eight acres of Fort Mason surplus, General Services Administration was to do some kind of swap for an office building, and luxury housing was to be built on the Fort land. There was considerable public indignation. The teacher wanted Fort Mason to be a park. She said, "There are children in my class who have never set foot on earth, only on asphalt or concrete, and the only bird they can recognize is a pigeon."
There will be no new parks in Chinatown. In any city, it is almost impossible to obtain a new park. Parks do not pay taxes. And the old parks, the little parks of the city, are nibbled away for parking garages and other automotive amenities. The conditions we see in Chinatown are duplicated in other densely populated areas around the Bay, and it is of course the poor who suffer, those who cannot get into their camper-trailers and run away for weekends in the mountains.
To us, it is this urban overcrowding that is the basic justification for the creation of a National Recreation Area in an urban setting. We are urging the possible, because in the Bay headlands we still have the matchless open spaces not yet paved over. We believe that the move to acquire the land for this purpose should be made now, before further development, public or private, takes place.
Our sense of urgency stems from the fact that development of some kind is always going on. When it happens here we have lost, and the loss is permanent. Had the Fort Mason deal gone through, for instance, we could not have undeveloped Fort Mason again. We cannot flatten out the Presidio's housing tracts. The best we can do now is to make sure that the NEXT five hundred housing units are not built, and it is for this reason that open Presidio land should be included in the Golden Gate Recreation Area.
Further, in future planning for the area, we urge:
1. That preservation of open space, natural areas and beaches be of paramount concern.
2. That in keeping with the character of an urban recreation area, the emphasis should be on day and evening use, including day camps for children, but that overnight tenting or camping not be encouraged
3. That in order to best serve those who most need the park, particularly ghetto children and the elderly, public transportation be provided to day-use
4. That on the Marin side particularly, access to wilder and more natural places be restricted to hikers, bikers, or horsemen, and that motorized traffic be kept to a minimum. CURT J. BALDWIN, President.
Mr. TAYLOR. Leslie Smith; on deck, Jack Murphy.
STATEMENT OF LESLIE SMITH, MUIR BEACH IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION
Mr. SMITH. My name is Leslie Smith and I represent the little community of Muir Beach. I would like to point it out to you on the map. It is right here.
Our message is a little bit different from the testimony you have been hearing. Our message is primarily one of concern. Until this morning I did not know for sure officially whether or not our community was included within the boundaries of your proposal. I find out happily now that it is not.
We are concerned about the impact of the formation of this national recreation area on our way of life necessarily.
Our statement I will not read. It covers in some detail the history of our community and I think the prime paragraph goes as follows, and I will read this as a summary of our statement:
We who now live at Muir Beach and those who have lived at Muir Beach before us have been the custodians of our natural rural environment for many, many years. We live where we do out of choice. We are natural conservationists. We would naturally be in favor of the establishment of a national recreation area in our region if we could be assured of two requirements: (1) that the Muir Beach community continue in existence as a viable private sector and (2) that the impact of the formation of a national recreation area would not seriously alter our natural, rural way of life.
And I do hope that in your planning, in your master planning efforts and the implementation of your facilities, that you will consider those of us who live here not only at Muir Beach but in the communities of Stinson Beach, Bolinas and Olema.
One other point. I am somewhat puzzled by the precise delineation of the boundaries in the area of Muir Beach. I have lived there for over 20 years myself. I am intimately familiar with the land and I do have some questions as to just how come. I don't know to whom I should address myself to further this inquiry, and I would appreciate some comment in that regard.
Mr. TAYLOR. You might want to write a letter to one of the local congressmen who introduced the bills.
Mr. SMITH. Well, I have written to Congressman Burton and frankly I didn't get a very satisfactory reply to my questions. Now, perhaps I should pursue this further.
Mr. TAYLOR. So far the Department of the Interior has not made
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