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ing from Alcatraz to the eastern shore. This was their first sight of San Francisco Bay. And the Presidio has meant a good deal to us.
Now, our relations with the Army are not good; they are excellent. We have signed a memorandum of agreement with the Army under which the Army agrees to do its planning together with our planning commission. It has been stated as a matter of public policy that the ratio of open space to development will always be maintained, that there will never be additional development that isn't compensated for in approval with our planning commission by making more open space.
In addition to that, I am pleased to put into the record this morning, Mr. Chairman, with your leave, a letter dated July 29, 1971, from John L. Fellows, Jr., the colonel, with the authorization of General Surles, in which he says:
"In accordance with our memorandum of understanding,"-and incidentally, we executed this memorandum approximately a year ago, before there was any talk at all about the Golden Gate Recreation Area, not something that was done in contemplation of this at all-this is in confirmation of our earlier telephone conversation concerning the siting of future family housing on the Presidio of San Francisco.
With your leave, Mr. Chairman, I would like to enter this letter into the record of these proceedings. [Ed note: The mayor read the text of the following letter to the subcommittee.]
Mr. ALLAN B. JACOBS,
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif.
DEAR MR. JACOBS: In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, this is in confirmation of our earlier telephone conversation concerning the siting of future family housing on the Presidio of San Francisco.
The Department of the Army has approved the recommendation of the Commanding General, Sixth U.S. Army, to delete all future family housing from the Master Plan for the Presidio of San Francisco. To indicate clearly the implications of this decision, I am enclosing the General Site Plan, 1 September 1970, which was previously submitted to the Department of the Army for approval of the removal of all future family housing from the plan. This is now a fact and, as the site plan shows, no additional housing is planned for the Presidio now or in the future.
Previous Master Plans of the Presidio which are in your possession showing possible areas for future family housing are now obsolete and should be destroyed.
JOHN L. FELLOWS, JR., Colonel, Armor Commanding.
Mayor ALIOTO. Let me say another thing. Just south of the border of San Francisco there are 23,000 acres of our watershed properties, our Crystal Lakes property. San Francisco in agreement with its neighbors approximately 2 years ago, after we defeated an attempt to put a freeway right by the lake-you wouldn't have believed it, the people wanted to put a freeway in-after we defeated that attempt, we dedicated that 23,000 acres in close proximity to the area you are talking about, dedicated that in perpetuity for open space and recreation, and there aren't in this country 23,000 more
beautiful acres so close to 4.5 million people, and this we did a few years ago. So we had the beginning of the concept you are talking of now. That 23.000 acres plus Golden Gate Park, plus the Presidio, plus the many other parks and many parks that have been built in the last 3 years, give San Francisco, I think, a recreation area that is unique and if you complete this total plan now, it will be one of the finest things in the entire world. So we are very, very enthusiastic about it.
I simply point out again that since you are going to make joint arrangements, you are already going to do that with the State, the city, private parties, it seems to me there can be some kind of a joint understanding between the Defense Department and the Department of the Interior where the Presidio while lending itself to this total plan continues to remain within the jurisdiction of the Army.
One of my fears was perhaps noted by you. That is, the first time San Francisco says it doesn't really care whether or not certain portions of the Presidio are surrendered to somebody else and taken from the Army, somebody else is going to say very shortly after that, we really ought not to have a military establishment on such expensive land, and this is one of my great fears. It really is.
Now, I happen to know, because I was privy to certain conversations in Washington at the highest levels of the Defense Department, that there are those in the Defense Department who in scrounging around for additional funds are looking upon highpriced lands that are presently being used by military and wondering whether you couldn't carry on those same military duties somewhere else on lower priced lands. Before anybody gets any ideas like that about the Presidio, we want to make it clear at least I do that we like it the way it is and there isn't anything at all that would prevent the Army from collaborating either with the Department of the Interior or with us as it is now doing to make even a better park of what is now a very, very fine park.
Now, let me tell you something about our relations with the Army. They are the very best. They are cognizant of the fact that we want this great open space to remain as it is and yet this great historical tradition, for it is a great historical tradition with us, to remain as it is, too. They have planted more trees in the Army than all of the city programs put together for the entire bay area. That is just the starter. they are very, very conscious of the elements of beauty that are inherent in the Presidio, and it is not just a military establishment at all. It is part of San Francisco and it is part of our history. And so this is where we are taking the rather strong view that you can accomplish what you are talking about without disturbing this great historical tradition in San Francisco.
There is a danger that once you give up any part of it somebody is going to talk about putting them somewhere else and it would be a tragic loss for San Francisco when that happens.
We think that we can, even before this concept is finalized-w understand that this is not going to be done tomorrow morning-we think that even before this concept is finalized that we could make voluntary agreements. continued agreements, with the Army that would make Crissey Field-and the beach area in front of Crissy
Field-that would turn it into a park which would extend the Marina Green and yacht harbor to the area of Crissy Field and as you pointed out, Congressman Clausen, Baker Beach is already a public beach. You have unlimited access to Baker Beach for all practical purposes.
Now, as you have indicated, we have had conversations with both the Defense Department and I talked to the Secretary of the Interior last week in Washington, and I am confident that for the two areas I talked about, that is, Baker Beach and that area immediately in front of the airstrip at Crissy Field, including the airstrip itself, that something on that can be worked out on a voluntary basis long before you finalize this great park concept that you are speaking of here.
As you know, the Army and the city have already worked out an arrangement of many, many years standing where they turned over to our park and recreation department under lease a very significant playground, the Julius Kahn Playground, which is located on the Presidio itself, and we think we can achieve the same thing for Crissy Field long before this magnificent concept is finally completed.
In my conversations with Secretary Morton, I am satisfied that the Army and the Interior can come to an agreement that can be quite practical for all of us but it is for them to announce the details of that agreement. I think it would be a breach of protocol if I talked about what went on in the Secretary's office.
I do want to say one other thing. I think Alcatraz ought to be in this plan. I don't think we ought to have this recreation area without Alcatraz. This could very well be the focal point. There is incredible interest in this great island. This is probably the most famous island in all the world. If you talk to people about the islands of the world this is one they would probably know first by name. It has great interest. It has just kind of a jewel location as you look at it from the air particularly in this whole concept and we would hope that Alcatraz would be included in this park and recreation area.
So I do want to thank you for your very, very kind attention and emphasize again that we are all for this. We are very, very strongly for this and we will work very hard to bring it about. It would only supplement what we have already done on our Crystal Lake area in turning that over in perpetuity for open space and for recreation. But we want to do it with a joint agreement between the Defense Department and the Interior Department, rather than turn it over, rather than turn the Presidio over to the Interior Department.
The other military lands we are not concerned about. The lands on the northern side can well be taken over by the Department of the Interior. So I thank you very, very much for listening to me this morning, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Obviously your testimony represents a great amount of study and we are glad to hear your views.
Now, you recommend taking Alcatraz as part of the proposal. What type of development would you recommend? What type of use do you think would be appropriate for Alcatraz?
Mayor ALIOTO. We already have a commercial proposal-and the commercial elements were objectionable to too many of our citizens -that contemplated setting up of a monument to the Nation's space program and then 85 percent of it for open space and recreation, people simply go on over there, be able to have lunch, walk around, come back, nice boat rides, combination boat ride on this lovely bay and just something to do when you got there.
The proposal at that time was that there might even be a development, a reproduction, a Williamsburg-type reproduction of old San Francisco. The better proposal brought about by natural evolutionary forces and the suggestions of native people might be that it might be reproduced as an Indian village rather than the other.
So there are lots of imaginative things that we think can be done with Alcatraz if we have the money to accomplish it.
Mr. TAYLOR. You would tear down the prison buildings
Mayor ALIOTO. Yes.
Mr. TAYLOR (Continuing). As the first step?
Mayor ALIOTO. Yes.
Mr. TAYLOR. Now, I know a great amount of city-owned property is included in the recreation proposal. What is the position of the city with regard to donating that property to the Federal Government for recreation?
Mayor ALIOTO. The position of the city is finally going to have to be determined as you know by our board of supervisors, a majority of that board plus the mayor's signature or eight out of 11 of that board, the final power with respect to that matter. But in connection with this great imaginative program, I certainly feel that at the time it is finalized, at the time we know we are going to get it, and more important, at the time we know the appropriations are going to be there, and even more important than that, at the time we know that the appropriations made by Congress will not be impounded, when we know all of those things, I would certainly favor donating those city lands as part of this great park complex if it is understood they are going to be maintained.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am afraid you will never know all those things in time to decide what course of action to take.
Mayor ALIOTO. Until we know those things, Mr. Congressman, I would rather not get myself involved in donating anything.
Mr. TAYLOR. We authorize these projects but we cannot speak for the Appropriations Committee or the Office of Management and Budget as to whether any money will be available or how much. We certainly cannot speak for the executive as to whether or not the money will be frozen after being appropriated.
Mayor ALIOTO. This is a point I wish could be emphasized because there are a lot of folks, and a number of them sitting right in this room right now, who are probably willing to turn the Presidio properties over to the Interior tomorrow morning who don't realize the importance of what you just said, that until we know we are going to get it the next day, and I have listed all the steps, it would be the height of folly for San Franciscans to talk about turning over something that is already a very, very great park, and we cannot know
certainly as you say, and you are only responsible for authorization, somebody else is responsible for appropriations, and they are a little tougher group than you are and finally somebody else might determine after you appropriate that we aren't going to get the appropriation, that it will be impounded. They will freeze it as has already been done with our public housing.
Until that is done I hope the San Franciscans won't willy-nilly be giving away one of the great possessions we have in the Presidio.
Mr. TAYLOR. Perhaps the details can be worked out step by step but if you wait until you have all the assurances you are asking for, there won't be any park or recreation area.
Mayor ALIOTO. No. Obviously for everything else, and we can continue working voluntary arrangements with the Presidio and then at that time when it at least is fairly visible that we are going to get these things, it will be time enough to make whatever grants the city has to make and we can certainly signify our intentions well enough in advance so that there wouldn't be any stopping of this great concept for which we all will work very, very hard because it is a great concept.
Mr. TAYLOR. Now, if the Department of Defense does not object, would the city oppose the inclusion of Baker Beach and Crissy Field in the recreation area?
Mayor ALIOTO. No. I would think, as I have indicated earlier, that at the proper time, and we might even get it before, might even get it before in an arrangement with the Department of Defense, that Baker Beach and Crissy Field and the beach in front of Crissy Field could very, very well be included. We would also trust that the wooded areas would be included in this plan but under a joint arrangement with the Defense Department.
Mr. TAYLOR. Any questions?
The gentleman from California.
Mr JOHNSON. Mayor, I want to tell you I think you have covered the subject matter very well here. You have brought out many of the points that we consider urgent. I think that the operation as it now exists there is a pretty good operation and with the further agreements between the city and county and military establishment here, you have been able to operate a pretty good park.
Mayor ALIOTO. The best.
Mr. JOHNSON. Now, the money situation after authorization is a really difficult thing for us to talk about. There are funds for land acquisition but when it comes to development and making this oper ative, this is where we are falling down at the present time. We are required to authorize for acquisition an awful lot of land throughout the United States and money is something that is very hard to come by for development and for operation and maintenance, but without good operation and maintenance, you lands don't mean much to you.
Now, as I understand you to say here, they do a good job of operating and maintaining their facilities-that is, the Army?
Mayor ALIOTO. Outstanding.
Mr. JOHNSON. And you are able to reach an agreement between the city and county on the use of certain areas?