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May I express my appreciation for this opportunity to appear today at the hearing. For identification, I have organizations I am connected with, but I am speaking for myself as a citizen of the East Bay.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you very much.
(Prepared statement of Arthur B. Emmes follows:)
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR B. EMMES, CASTRO VALLEY, CALIF.
Honorable Subcommittee Members: This proposed project for the creation of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area is essential for three basic reasons: First, there is a manifest need for it in view of the present and projected population of the San Francisco Bay area as well as of the State as a whole. Second, there is now public land available for such use which, if supplemented by private land purchases, will make the project feasible.
Third, the lands under consideration are eminently suitable for the purposes intended because of their convenient location and relatively undeveloped condition.
In addition to this there is a real element of urgency in setting aside this public land that is now available before some of it is diverted to other use and to acquire the private land that is needed before land values increase.
In connection with land suitability I had occasion one week ago to hike 12 miles along the Bolinas Ridge in Marin County which area is included in the proposed Recreation Area. It was a beautiful one-day excursion except for the evidence of recent logging operations on the privately-owned land immediately adjacent to the area included in the Marin Municipal Water District Boundaries. As the timber here is predominently second growth redwoods any widespread cutting can set back the area's usefulness for recreational purposes for many years aside from other concurrent ecological damage. From the evidence of earlier cuttings of 50 or more years ago on the Water District side of the trail it takes a long time for a forest to recover from such devastation.
In view of this alone we should proceed without delay to hold this precious land for open space and recreational use while it is still available.
May I express my appreciation for this opportunity to appear today at this hearing.
Mr. TAYLOR. Janet Addams; on deck, Dwight Steele. Is Janet Addams here?
All right, Dwight Steele; on deck, Gerald P. Flannery.
STATEMENT OF DWIGHT STEELE, MARIN COUNTY, CALIF.
Mr. STEELE. Congressman Taylor, members of the committee, I am Dwight Steele. I was born almost 60 years ago on an island in the bay and have lived here most of may life, now residing on the Marin shore.
In the days that I grew up, access to the shoreline of both the bay and the ocean was relatively simple and we used to swim and dig clams and build rafts and do a lot of things that are impossible now, either because of the encroachment of developments or because of the quality of the water.
I will not go over my written statement because you can see that and it will be part of the record. I would just like to speak briefly to three points:
First is the desirability of including in this project something for the minorities and underprivileged people, particularly in San Francisco in the Mission District, Hunter's Point-Bayview area. The area I am speaking about as a possible addition I will point out briefly on the map. It is the area here immediately south of the Bay
Bridge. There are areas of depressed economic status people and minorities, both blacks and Mexican-Americans, Latins, who are living very close to the water there but have no recreational use of the shoreline. Much of this area will be used for maritime developmentit is owned by the city-through the port commission, but the port commission and the city are proceeding to set aside certain areas for access to the waters and public recreational facilities and in my statement I have suggested that your staff get in touch with the San Francisco City Planning Department and see what the areas might be included in this legislation because obviously local government cannot resist pressures to develop some of this area and they have already recently had plans to put such things as a 50-story office building on the waterfront, and it will be much easier to protect these areas so that the poor, underprivileged parts of our community will have easy access to the waters of the bay.
We are frequently criticized because parks and recreational areas are set up for the convenience of the middleclass white people and I think to some extent that is true of this proposal. There is no easy access for the poor, underprivileged people in San Francisco to get to the areas which are already included in the bill and I would urge you to give consideration to something that is in their backyard, that they can get to, at least see the water, when we clean up the water the board would go along with releasing some of that area, I
The other two points I want to briefly make, and I think they have been made before, one is the need to include in this some transportation facilities so we won't have to rely on automobiles; and the third is to have a citizens advisory committee work with the Department of the Interior so that the public will have an input in their planning.
Thank you very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. Of course, the city will perhaps operate buses, streetcars, out to the park.
Mr. STEELE. Our public transportation system is undergoing change all the time and some strides are being made, but I think it would be important for your committee to take a look at getting people by public transportation facilities to the parks as well as travel within the parks. We have had some difficulty over at Point Reyes recently because of what we think is perhaps overuse of automobiles and getting there and driving down to the national seashore. Mr. TAYLOR. This involves an additional responsibility which the Park Service hasn't assumed.
Mr. STEELE. I realize that.
Mr. TAYLOR. If you provide that for one city you have got the same responsibility to cities all over the Nation.
Mr. STEELE. I realize that and perhaps all that can be done is coordination with the local and other agencies. We now have a metropolitan transportation commission just getting started. Perhaps some input from your committee to them would be helpful.
Mr. TAYLOR. We are trying to bring the park closer to the city. In fact, here we are proposing to put one in the city. And perhaps the city can be of assistance in finding a way, through public transportation to get the people to it.
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Mr. STEELE. I am sure that they will. Thank you.
(Prepared Statement of Mr. Dwight Steele follows:)
STATEMENT OF DWIGHT STEELE
1. The Golden Gate is the Western Gateway to our continent and combined with the surrounding area is one of the great natural assets of the nation and should be protected for future generations of citizens and visitors.
2. Unified federal control and administration is the best way to assure protection and availability for all of the public-not just those who live nearby. 3. H.R. 9498 should be supported with the following modifications and additions:
a. In addition to the immediate transfer of the 550 acres described in the bill, automatic transfer of Presidio lands to the Department of the Interior as they are declared excess to military needs should be provided for.
b. Alcatraz Island should be included in the legislation.
c. Consideration should be given to including areas of the San Francisco waterfront which are not needed for shipping facilities, particularly in the Central and Southern waterfront. It is difficult for local government to resist pressure for commercial development of these areas which are close to the homes of minority and economically underprivileged groups. Federal acquisition would guarantee public access to the waterfront within walking distance of these depressed areas. These waterfront areas are held by the City of San Francisco, through its Port Commission, and public recreation plans are being developed by the City Planning Department. It is suggested that the Subcommittee's staff consult with the San Francisco Planning Department to determine which areas might be included in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
4. Essential to any park is accessibility. In an urban area, public transportation is a dire necessity. Not just to the "gates" of a park, but transportation within the park-negating the need for private automobile transportation which takes open space and detracts from the experience of the park visitor. The master plan as called for by H.R. 9498 should be supplemented by provisions for a comprehensive transportation study to serve these needs.
5. I endorse the proposal made in other statements to you that a citizens advisory committee be provided for in the legislation so that the Department of the Interior will have some continuing and direct input from the public in the park planning. Such committee might be selected by the Boards of Supervisors of San Francisco and Marin Counties.
An important criteria in the creation of any park is its usefulness to those who would use it. Urban residents especially those of the inner city are especially conscious of the need for open space and easily accessible opportunities. On the bay front of San Francisco, in the Central and Southern portions are shoreline areas and unused piers where young children and adults could enjoy the open air and the Bay and engage in fishing and even swimming, as the water quality is improved. Some of these areas are available for acquisition and we recommend their inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Mr. TAYLOR. Gerald Flannery; Nina Eloesser, on deck.
STATEMENT OF NINA HELEN ELOESSER, CITIZEN OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mrs. ELOESSER. My name is Nina Helen Eloesser. I speak as an individual from San Francisco.
I ardently advocate the establishment of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area because it will benefit literally millions of people in many ways. Even now tourism is San Francisco's biggest business; the attraction of a magnificient recreation area will increase this business. Large buildings require more in public services than they
earn in taxes, so communities save money by leaving the area in its natural state. For these reasons the economy benefits.
Open space will mean less pollution from sewage, from noise, from industry, and other sources. It will help relieve overcrowding and provide habitat for wildlife. Thus the ecology benefits. Also, retaining the coastline in its natural state will benefit the environment.
Poor people with little other possibility of entertainment can have easy access to healthful recreation and education here. Both sides of the Golden Gate are highly scenic; viewpoints already afford pleasure and relaxation to residents and nonresidents alike. Thus the recreation area has esthetic benefit. The poor, the rich, the citizen, the tourist, the old, the young, every nationality, race, creed-in short, everyone can benefit from this Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
In closing, I would appreciate it if the contents of this statement could be entered in the hearing record and brought forth at all appropriate future discussions. Again, for the benefit of all, I ardently advocate the establishment of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mrs. Eloesser.
Patrick Hefferman, on deck, Marc Monaghan.
STATEMENT OF JEAN SEMINARIO ON BEHALF OF PATRICK HEFFERMAN, MARIN ECOLOGY CENTER
Mrs. SEMINARIO. I am Jean Seminario. I was asked to speak for Mr. Hefferman who is on the board of directors of the Marin Ecology Center.
Mr. TAYLOR. Are you speaking for an organization or is he just listed as an individual?
Mrs. SEMINARIO. He is listed as an individual. That was to our surprise. He wished to speak for the Marin Ecology Center and he was unable to be here, so he asked would I speak for him, which I am prepared to do.
Mr. TAYLOR. Our general policy has been through the years to permit a shift from one officer of an organization to another in order to present the organization's position, but if an individual has to speak, we require the individual to do his own talking.
Mrs. SEMINARIO. He is on the board of directors. I know it is not so listed on the agenda. I cannot account for that.
Mr. TAYLOR. Go ahead. You made a pretty good case.
Mrs. SEMINARIO. Thank you. I would like to direct the committee's attention particularly to the headlands from Stinson Beach along Highway 1 to Olema. We believe the continuity possible bringing this headland area to form a large inland park near such a big vacation city is like having a Maine coast next to Manhattan. Incredibly, some of the most beautiful land in the world is still located adjacent to this large metropolitan area. This recreation area we feel most assuredly will attract visitors, both nationally and internationally, and year round.
If accessible, this could be a single day part of a family's week's vacation in San Francisco that would add immeasurably to so many lives. We urge accessibility via a railway network. A railway network would eliminate parking lots and crowded roads and all the other undesirable features that we are faced with using our automobiles.
This railway network could reach all the areas. It could transport visitors to the Point Reyes beach areas as well. Clearly, the park, the whole scope of the park, has the potential of being an outstanding park area of the world and allowing all involved to make his
I might add we are prepared to do a study regarding our proposed railway network to be completed coinciding with a study we understand the Secretary of the Interior will make regarding use of this land area.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, ma'am.
Marc Monaghan; John C. La Boyteaux on deck. Stafford W. Keegin?
STATEMENT OF TED SHANER ON BEHALF OF LAWRENCE MERCER, ASSOCIATED STUDENTS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. SHANER. Unfortunately, Mr. Mercer will not be here, so I am taking his place.
My name is Ted Shaner and I serve as executive board member of the George Washington High School, so I am speaking for the Associated Students of George Washington High School.
George Washington High School has been long involved in ecology. Just this year we managed to form a public service group Public Recycling Center. And we also managed to fight a successful battle against high rises in the Richmond district. When I lived in northern California up on the coast, you could go outside, go everywhere you pleased. There were a lot of open spaces. When I moved to San Francisco and looked aroung the bay area I was really sort of shocked to find there was very little open space for anyone around here to go anywhere and just sort of wander and look around. It is a great feeling to go outside and just sort of wander around in nature and find out the wonders of the area. But unfortunately San Francisco has really none of that and going out to the Golden Gate Park is very unsafe nowadays, especially at night and even during the daytime.
So we do need some sort of area that people can go to, can be safe, can go and really have a good time.
The Presidio is one of those areas and we heartily support the concept of the Burton bill which would provide not only space in San Francisco but Marin County which is for the good of the people.
When I moved down here I observed many students have never really been out in open space and the wilderness, never even been camping. So we do wish that you would support this bill and get it through.