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STATEMENT OF MRS. THOMAS EDWARDS, RICHMOND, CALIF.
I am Mrs. Thomas Edwards, I live at 237 Bishop Ave. in Richmond, California, and I represent the Contra Costa Shoreline Parks Committee. As citizens of one of the Counties that comprise the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, we feel privileged that we have a right to voice our concern on this matter which is of such importance to all of us who live in this area.
Though we are across the Bay, we in West Contra Costa County are struggling in the very center of a predicament identical to the one the wider Bay Area will presently experience if this legislation is not passed. While there is still open land unspoiled and available, while there is still time to prevent a repetition of our sorry situation, we sadly present our experience as a horrible example. We hope that by so doing, we may add to the body of testimony that points to the urgent need for positive action and legislation, to insure the protection and preservation of the beautiful Headlands of the Golden Gate.
The City of Richmond was born at the turn of the century, initially as the western terminus of the Santa Fe Railroad. The next year the refinery that was later to become the Standard Oil Company of California was built near the railroad, and Richmond's future as an industrial city was established.
In those days, shipping was still in its hey-day, so it was natural that as satellite industries clustered around the refinery and the railroad, they bought up vacant shoreline properties, with the anticipation of future expansion involving docks and wharves and warehouses, and ready access to the water and the ships that would shuttle raw materials and finished products back and forth.
This pattern of industrial acquisition of waterfront land was repeated in the other cities along the Contra Costa County Shoreline. While much of this land has not been utilized for harbor and docking facilities, (due to changing modes of transportation and the silting of the Bay) while indeed it is undeveloped, it is still owned, monopolized, and isolated from public use by private industry.
It is ironic that while this land was preserved for the most selfish of motives, it is for this reason that the land is miraculously still virgin, intact and unsullied. It is however, tragic, in view of the critical need for parks in urban areas, that though the original reason for obtaining the land no longer exists, the waterfront land lies unused but unavailable to the people who need it.
Contra Costa County with a shoreline of 75 miles has approximately 31⁄2 miles that provide public access to the unique beauty and recreation potential of the waterfront. The City of Richmond, with 33 miles of that shoreline, until a few years ago had only 65 feet of boatlaunching ramp whereby people could get to the water. Today, thanks to the recognition that this was an outrageous situation, and the subsequent energetic efforts of numerous people, there is about a mile of public access to the water.
This situation is not unique to our City and County. It is sadly typical of the entire Bay.
But the situation in Richmond is dramatized by the needs of the City's people. Richmond is an industrial City and it has a population of industrial workers who are not members of the affluent society, who do not typically have second homes in the mountains or at the seashore. Indeed some of them are very poor, and live in crowded areas and lack transportation to take them to California's beautiful, if crowded, State and National Parks. Close at home, the choice acres of waterfront land, undeveloped but held captive by industry, and fenced so that access to the shoreline is impossible, seem a mockery to those who critically need the tension-relief of open space for rest and recreation.
The frustration attendant on prying even a little of this land away from the dog-in-the-manger industries is not to be believed. Industry says, "We bought this land and we have paid taxes on it. We are holding this land for future expansion which will benefit you and our national economy." What industry does not say is how little they paid for the land originally, or how minuscule are the taxes they pay. What industry does not seem to take into consideration is the fact that people are growing tired of the economic philosophy which pampers industrial whims at the expense of the urgent needs of human being. They do not as yet seem to recognize that there must be a reordering of priorities that will provide a little beauty and refreshment for the bodies and spirits of the people who live in crowded urban areas, even though it may necessitate a certain amount of relocation of industry and industrial land holdings.
There are 5 million people in the Bay Area now, and it is crowded. We are told that in 50 years there will be 15 million, which will mean a greatly increased population density. There will be a critical need for these people to be able to get away from the congested conditions of the cities in which they live, as today we know that the people in the crowded areas of Richmond need this opportunity. Land must be saved now, without strings attached to it, so that in 50 years time, the 15 million people will not find that the land that should have been the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is shut off from them by fences or appartment houses or military-industrial complexes.
CONTRA COSTA SHORELINE PARKS COMMITTEE
The Contra Costa Shoreline Parks Committee is an organization dedicated to the preservation of open space along the County's Bay periphery, to be used by the public for recreation, education, rest and refreshment. The Committee is simultaneously oriented to planning, action and "watch-dogging!"
1. Development of parks, trails, scenic drives and view points.
2. Public access to the waters of the Bay for water and land activities.
3. Prevention of destructive quarrying and leveling of hills.
4. Protection of ecologically vital swamps and marshlands, and the establishment of small ecological centers in or near them for educational purposes.
5. Preservation and maintenance of historical landmarks.
6. Relentless lobbying of those who are passive and non-committed due to misinformation or lack of information.
7. Slides and a movie shown to public and private groups.
8. Writing letters, appearing at City meetings, circulating petitions, publishing progress reports, keeping photographic records, publishing "Tiny Tennis Shoe Books", etc.
The Committee workers are entirely volunteer. Workers are used in respect to their special talents and in relation to the job or crisis that demands action. The small working nucleus is backed and supported by an on-call cross section of interested individuals and groups.
Mr. TAYLOR. Richard Burns.
STATEMENT OF RICHARD BURNS, REPUBLICAN COUNTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. BURNS. Chairman Taylor, members of the committee, I am Richard Burns, representing the San Francisco Republican County Central Committee. I would like to read a statement, a resolution, concerning the Golden Gate National Recreation Area:
Whereas, the splendid vistas, green fields, groves of trees, open beaches, natural flora and fauna, the moving streams of the headlands of the Golden Gate are essential parts of the beauty of the San Francisco Bay region as we know it, and an unparalleled resource for recreation for all, and
Whereas, current population projections indicate that the Bay Region's population of about 5 million may triple to 15 million within 50 years, and
Whereas, along this continuing population increase, there has been in the past and will be in the future, a continuing deterioration of the amount and quality of open space accessible to people of the Bay Region, and
Whereas, President Richard M. Nixon, in his 1971 State of the Union message, proposed a program, unprecedented in extent, "to expand the nation's parks, recreation areas and open spaces in a way that truly brings parks to the people where the people are," and
Whereas, the Congress of the United States is considering legislation for the establishment of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay Area, which would establish a recreation and open space system under the direction of the Department of the Interior, and
Now, Therefore, be it resolved that the Republican County Central Commit
tee of San Francisco endorses the immediate establishment of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area to preserve and assure use by the public of the headlands and shoreline lying between Fort Funston and the north waterfront of San Francisco and along the bay and ocean to Point Reyes in Marin County, and
Now, Therefore, be it further resolved that the Republican County Central Committee of San Francisco endorses H.R. 10220 by Congressman William S. Mailliard.
Mr. TAYLOR. It seems that this park proposal has nonpartisan support.
Mr. BURNS. I would say very much so.
Mr. TAYLOR. We have had the leaders of both parties speak and I might state on our committee when it comes to creating national parks and national recreation areas there are no party lines. Mr. BURNS. I would say so, sir. Thank you very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. Robert Fickson. He is not here.
Did Chester Rhodes testify?
I believe he did.
Mr. RHODES. No.
STATEMENT OF CHESTER RHODES, MARKETING MANAGER, SAN FRANCISCO CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. RHODES. Mr. Chairman, my name is Chester Rhodes, I am representing the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau. My statement will be very brief.
The board of directors of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau merely wants to state that they are heartily in approval of the establishment of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the manner as passed by our board of supervisors, in that such a recreational area will serve not only the residents of the area but will be a great tourist attraction for us and it will provide this recreational land, additional sightseeing-recreational area, a beautiful area to be preserved and used by not only residents but our visitors. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Rhodes.
I understand the gentleman from South Dakota has a plane that is leaving in a few minutes. Do you have anything you would like to say before you leave?
Mr. ABOUREZK. Yes, Mr. Chairman. First of all, I just want to say I would be surprised if the Convention and Visitors Bureau were opposed to this plan. So we expected what you were going to say, or anticipated it. But I believe now, and I just want to thank everybody for their interest and for their comments and testimony that they have provided, I think you all ought to realize how fortunate you are to have a chairman such as the Honorable Roy Taylor presiding over this meeting. I have never seen anybody squeeze 110 witnesses in such a short period of time and he has conducted the meeting with the proper amount of courtesy and firmness and I just wanted to brag about him a little bit before I leave.
Thank you once again for your interest and comments.
Mr. TAYLOR. I thank the gentleman for his comments. I am sorry we had to face this time limitation and I want to say to the witnesses that I for one appreciate very much your fine cooperation with regard to it.
Now, are there any other witnesses whose names are on the printed list who are here and who have not testified?
Mr. CLAUSEN. Mr. Chairman, this lady asked if she could testify. Mr. TAYLOR. Are you on the list?
Mrs. MEANS. No, I am not on the list.
Mr. TAYLOR. We will give you your turn in just a minute. I want to finish with those whose names are on the list. I won't forget you. Will those who missed hearing their names please come forward. I am speaking of those persons who sent their names in according to the committee regulations that were sent out. Please state your name. Mr. KEEGIN. Stafford W. Keegin, and I am representing the Committee for Green Foothills.
STATEMENT OF STAFFORD W. KEEGIN, COMMITTEE FOR GREEN FOOTHILLS AND PENINSULA REGIONAL GROUP OF THE SIERRA CLUB, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. KEEGIN. My name is Stafford Keegin and I am representing the Committee for Green Foothills, a 2,500-member conservation organization principally interested in open space problems in San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. I am also representing the peninsula regional group of the Sierra Club. Six thousand members of the Sierra Club are affiliated with the regional group. Our comments on the legislation before the subcommittee are twofold.
First, we would like to strongly endorse the approach taken in H.R. 9498. We think that the inclusion of certain of the military properties is far superior to the concept of negotiation between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior. Even if the Secretaries were to negotiate from positions of equal strength, which we do not believe would be the case, we feel the boundaries of the area are of sufficient importance to warrant congressional mandate rather than administrative determination.
Our main purpose in appearing before you today, however, is to point out a missing link in this magnificent new park complex, a link that will provide not only significant open-space continuity, but will add to the recreation area a site of great historic importance and beauty.
The counties of Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and San Mateo are working together to preserve some of the finest open space on the California coast. These efforts include the maintenance of a string of impressive and accessible public beaches along the San Mateo coast. In the hills, these counties are acquiring meadows, woodlands, and redwood groves for inclusion in their respective parklands.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area could easily be linked to this regional park complex, without including it within the area's boundaries, thereby effectively extending the open-space strip created by the recreation area by nearly 25 miles.
The connecting link is already predominantly publicly owned. It
starts at Thornton Beach on the San Francisco-San Mateo border and extends southward along Pacifica to Sharp Park, a park owned by the city and county of San Francisco. Along this route there would be two rather wide strips extending easterly to the hills. These would be Sharp Park itself at the southerly terminus of the recreation area's beachfront and to its north the Milagra Military Reservation.
The Milagra Reservation comes to within 2,000 feet of a Coast Guard Reservation, which is adjacent to the easterly end of Sharp Park. Thus, the two strips form a narrow "V" pointing eastward. It is proposed that the Skyline National Scenic Parkway will wind down through the Milagra Reservation.
At the point of the "V" created by the Milagra Reservation and Sharp Park is the previously mentioned Coast Guard Reservation. Adjacent to this Federal installation is the Portola discovery site, from which Portola first spotted the broad expanses of San Francisco Bay. This is the first time that European civilization discovered the bay. This mountaintop affords a 360° view of the entire peninsula, and because of its historic significance to the Golden Gate region, its inclusion in the national recreation area takes added significance.
But the Portola site is important to the national recreational area for more than its magnificent vistas and historical values. It is located next to the San Francisco watershed properties down the spine of the peninsula. These properties will ultimately
Mr. TAYLOR. You can finish that sentence.
Mr. KEEGIN. (continuing). be comparable to the Marin watershed to the north.
Mr. Chairman, I would like if I may to submit to the subcommittee and its staff an inventory of the properties to which I was making reference for their staff consideration because this proposal is complex.
Mr. TAYLOR. Speak to the counsel with regard to that and send it to him and it will be placed in the record or the file, whichever seems appropriate.
Mr. KEEGIN. Fine. And I have a prepared statement which I was reading from.
Mr. TAYLOR. It will all be placed in the record.
STATEMENT OF STAFFORD W. KEEGIN, SAN FRANCISCO ON BEHALF OF COMMITTEE FOR GREEN FOOTHILLS AND PENINSULA REGIONAL GROUP OF THE SIERRA CLUB Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: My name is Stafford Keegin and I am representing the Committee for Green Foothills, a 2500 member conservation organization principally interested in open space problems in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. I am also representing the Peninsula Regional Group of the Sierra Club. 6000 members of the Sierra Club are affiliated with the Regional Group. Our comments on the legislation before the Subcommittee are two-fold:
First, we would like to strongly endorse the approach taken in H.R. 9498. We think that the inclusion of certain of the military properties is far superior to the concept of negotiation between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Interior. Even if the Secretaries were to negotiate from positions of equal strength, which we do not believe would be the case, we feel the