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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 accessable public beaches along the San Mateo Coast. In the hills, these Counties are acquiring meadows, woodlands and redwood groves for inclusion in their respective park lands.
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 twenty-five 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 beach front, and to its north, the Milagra Military Reservation.
The Milagra Reservation comes to within 2000 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 mountain top affords a 360 degree 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 signifi
But the Portola site is important to the National Recreation 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 provide more recreational uses than those of the comparable Marin Watershed to the north.
The Peninsula Regional Group and the Committee for Green Foothills urges your consideration of the foregoing properties, most of which are already in public ownership, for inclusion in the National Recreation Area. and in this regard respectfully requests to supplementally submit to the Subcommittee a more detailed inventory of these properties involved.
In closing, we wish to bring to the Subcommittee's attention the fact that the Bay Area population center is located quite to the south of San Francisco. By linking up with the Peninsula's park system, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area will be able to provide a continuous chain of foot trails, bike paths and other recreation facilities at less of a distance to the people who will be using them.
COTTON, SELIGMAN & RAY,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS AND RECREATION
OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
Gentlemen: On August 9, 1971, I had the pleasure of appearing before the Committee on behalf of the Committee for Green Foothills and the Peninsula Regional Group of the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club in connection with H.R. 9498 and H.R. 10220.
Being No. 102 on your list of witnesses and because of the short period of time necessarily allowed each witness, I requested of the Chairman leave to file supplemental maps and an inventory of certain lands which the Committee
and the Peninsula Regional Group strongly feel should be included within the boundaries of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Accordingly, I have enclosed for your information and review such maps and inventory.
Without repeating our testimony on the subject, I think it is safe to say that the logic of including the properties indicated on the map within the National Recreation Area is patent. The addition of these lands to the project will add little in cost but much in scope and availability of the Area to those people from the Bay Area and around the United States who will be using it. I sincerely urge the Committee to give these lands its closest consideration. A project of the magnitude of the National Recreation Area requires and receives thorough professional analysis. We believe that such an examination of the lands set forth in the enclosed maps and inventory will mandate the inclusion of the properties within the Area.
Yours very truly,
STAFFORD W. KEEGIN.
[Ed. Note: The maps submitted will be found in the files of the committee.]
PARCELS IN SAN MATEO COUNTY RECOMMENDED FOR INCLUSION IN THE
The Pacific beaches of San Mateo County represent a unique and limited resource. They are heavily used. Thornton Beach is bounded by dramatic cliffs. Pacifica and Sharp Park Beaches lie in level areas where the sand extends inland.
The Milagra Ridge is an open swarth rising from the ocean to eventually join Sweeney Ridge. It provides views of the Pacific Ocean to north and south, and is good terrain for hiking and picknicking. Unfortunately 27 acres of the Federal land has been sold to private interests and is being developed.
Sweeney Ridge rises to 1200 feet and provides magnificent views of San Francisco, the Pacific Ocean, and San Francisco Bay. Also on the ridge is the Portola Discovery Site where on November 4, 1769, Captain Gasper de Portola first saw the San Francisco Bay. The ridge is ideally suited for walking, picnicking, and horseback riding.
OTHER CONTIGUOUS AREAS
Two other areas are shown for possible future inclusion. The San Francisco watershed provides the largest open space in single ownership in San Mateo County. As a result of the agreement reached during the route hearings on Highway 280 portions of the watershed are now being developed for public recreation. Also shown is the new park on the Middle Fork of San Pedro Creek. Two other county parks are shown on the large scale map which are contiguous to the watershed. They are North Park near Millbrae and Huddard Park near Woodside.
Mr. TAYLOR. This seems to finish the list. We have some others who wish to testify briefly. Is Lee Soto here?
Richard C. Hunt; his name was sent up.
STATEMENT OF REX RATHBUN, RANCHER
Mr. RATHBUN. I am an operating partner in a ranch.
Mr. RATHBUN. Yes, sir, I am an operating partner in a ranch along with the owner of the ranch, 1,300 acres, and my wife's family owned this ranch for over 100 years and we feel that the ranch is a good part of this.
We are concerned about several things. One is the difficulty of the hardship that occurs when you have such a long gap between enabling legislation and purchase because the taxes go on in spite of the good intentions of the owner. He may be forced to sell to others. So this is one of the points.
The other thing that we are very concerned about is possible leaseback and the conditions of leaseback. Presently the ranch is being used for organic gardening, grazing, and horse-boarding. This has just been developed, which is all compatible with the uses that we are talking about, but we have a much larger piece of land and it is over 100 years of this, about 300 acres were used for dairying and the rest of it was left very natural, including approximately 40,000 redwood trees.
So we feel that it would be ideally part of this area but that as much of it could be kept in there under a leaseback situation as possible because when you open too much of it to public use, it is very hard to opperate it as a ranch.
Another matter which I noticed Representative Clausen was interested in was in relation to transportation and this is really the time to come to grips with the real problem of bringing heavy amounts
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of cars in there. I came down that road this morning along the lagoon and people are parking all along there as a camping area. So that any kind of a revoluntionary or an innovative study which would tend to bring people in in large groups there, that you get off and use cars, you use bicycles, come by boat, horse carriages, or trains Disney knows this.
Mr. TAYLOR. Or walk.
Mr. RATHBUN. Or walk, yes. You know, Mr. Disney knows this. If you come by train you can go a lot of places.
Mr. TAYLOR. Well, thank you, Mr. Rathbun.
Mr. Ed Royce?
STATEMENT OF EDWIN ROYCE, REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT FOR CALIFORNIA, THE SIERRA CLUB, ON BEHALF OF SONYA THOMPSON (WITNESS NO. 76)
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, members of the committee. I am Ed Royce. I am the regional vice president of the Sierra Club for California. I certainly appreciate the opportunity to speak very briefly this afternoon.
Various representatives from the groups of the Sierra Club have already testified and they have spoken of the lands that we think are appropriate to incorporate into this recreation area. Others have talked about the kind of management they would like to see for the lands, the protection of the natural values, this sort of thing.
I would like to just reiterate that the entire club used this as a major priority, this business of bringing parks close into the city and this Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the finest proposals of this sort that we think we have seen and we hope you will act very favorably on it, very quickly.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Mr. Chairman, may I just ask one question?
There has been some discussion relating to the importance of having a sort of bridge between the Golden Gate headlands and the Point Reyes Seashore and, of course, a lot of those lands are up in the Olema area. Are you inclined to support the fact that those lands would be sort of a bridge between the Golden Gate lands and the Point Reyes National Seashore?
Mr. ROYCE. Yes, we support that concept. We think ultimately that there is a natural corridor that goes all the way up from the Golden Gate to Point Reyes and we have the opportunity for a really major, spectacular recreational complex here, a great variety of kinds of recreation, et cetera. We also think with regard to the Olema Valley, certainly there is the opportunity to leave much of that land in the present agricultural use for some period of time and gradually go into public use as the pressures for increased use of such lands will increase.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Thank you.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
Mr. ROYCE. Thank you for the opportunity.
(Prepared statement of Mr. Royce follows:)
STATEMENT OF EDWIN ROYCE, REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT FOR CALIFORNIA,
THE SIERRA CLUB
Mr. Chairman, and members of the Committee. I am Ed Royce, Regional Vice President of the Sierra Club for California. Mrs. Sonya Thompson has kindly allowed me to take her place on the program.
The creation of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area will significantly enhance the quality of life enjoyed by all residents of the Bay Area. The pastoral lands of Marin County and the often rugged shoreline areas of San Francisco will provide a virtually needed contrast to the intensely urban scene immediately nearby. The proposed Recreation Area is really a park for the people close enough to be easily enjoyed, yet offering relief from the pressures of city life-an easily accessible place to recreate.
The Sierra Club is concerned that the lands acquired be managed to best provide for this kind of use. If people are to have the greatest and most appropriate enjoyment of the Recreation Area, these lands should be managed to preserve the natural setting-protected from uses or development that would impair their scenic beauty and natural character. This should be called for in the legislation.
The preparation of a master plan with maximum public participation is also important and will contribute to the proper management of the lands in their natural condition.
The Sierra Club believes that careful planning for public transportation into and within the Recreation Area is absolutely essential as a part of the master plan. Such public transportation is needed not only so that all residents of the Bay Area will have the opportunity to enjoy the Recreation Area, but also that the Recreation Area itself will not become a gigantic weekend parking lot. The newly released Yosemite Master Plan recognizes the incompatibility of masses of automobiles with the enjoyment of the natural scene and proposes closing major portions of the park to automobiles. We hope that the Recreation Area, too, will be a park for people rather than a park for cars. This, too, should be called for in the legislation.
We would hope, also, that the transportation system serving the Golden Gate National Recreation Area would serve Point Reyes National Seashore as well, and that the master planning for these two national recreation areas could be fully integrated. We are already seeing the adverse impact of the automobile at Pt. Reyes, and it is clear to us that an integrated system of public transportation is needed in West Marin and that this will become increasingly important as recreational use of this area increases.
Additionally, we would like to see a continuing citizens advisory committee, to assure that plans become reality. Planning for the Recreation Area should not drop from public view after the first year.
With regard to the acquisition of private land for the Recreation Area, we consider the immediate taking of land to be extremely important. Only with this procedure will the government be saved the added expense that would result from land speculation if this is not done. Our experience with Point Reyes demonstrated the folly of proceeding otherwise.
We similarly favor the immediate transfer of all federal lands to the Recreation Area. There are many threats to the values these lands have for recreation, and their protection is needed now.
We recognize that many private lands to be acquired will not be needed for public use immediately. This allows the very important opportunity to save money by leasing back or selling back lands with conditions to protect their natural values. This also will minimize the initial impact on the local economy. Such provisions in the legislation can result in considerable savings to the taxpayer, yet will allow the recreation area ultimately to become what we all want to see.
Finally, let me speak briefly of water, because much of the scenic value of the lands proposed for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area lies in the fact that they are places where the land meets the sea. We believe that offshore areas too should be included, so that the vital biological activity in shallow, shoreline areas can be adequately protected. Both the land and water should be maintained as far as practicable in a healthy natural state. We urge the acquisition of an offshore strip around all Recreation Area lands, and the inclusion of Bolinas Lagoon for these reasons.