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We therefore urge your favorable consideration for the establishment of this area, taking in as much possible land as you possibly
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Bort.
Amy Meyer, cochairman, People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area, accompanied by Kenneth Hunter, and Robert Rabb. On deck, James A. Schroeder.
STATEMENT OF AMY MEYER, COCHAIRMAN, PEOPLE FOR A GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, ACCOMPANIED BY KENNETH HUNTER AND ROBERT RABB
Mrs. MEYER. Honorable chairman, members of the committee, Congressman Mailliard, my name is Amy Meyer. I am cochairman of People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area, speaking for Edgar Wayburn who must be absent today.
I want you to know that our group cares about a park. We want a park and we want to make sure that it is a complete park. Our greenbelt is disappearing rapidly. San Francisco is a densely populated city and our region is losing 25 square miles of open space each year that is the nine Bay Area counties and gaining 50,000 people.
Open space must be saved. Many people who live in our cities naturally inhabit an environment that consists largely of cement and they are more affected by the developments upon our open lands than anyone else and by the subdivisions. The cities of America were once the melting pot of America and today they might better be called the boiling pot. People living under increasing urban and suburban tensions must have peaceful places for recreation.
The concept of parks to the people seeks to preserve open space in and around metropolitan regions and State and city governments cannot put forth or give the money to the kind of protection that is envisioned in the recreation area of 27,000 acres. Only the Federal Government can supply full support and financing for such a recreational area.
We look to the National Park Service for the administration of this area because we have seen the experience of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. We are impressed with the programs that they have recently instituted and we see that the parks of Washington, D.C., are beautiful. And, of course, we care very much about the Gateway Recreation Area in New York as well.
Two bills are being considered by you here today. Together they include all the parcels that our organization considers important. However, we feel that HI.R. 9498 would establish a bigger and better park for the following reasons which I will summarize from my
H.R. 9498 delineates specifically those areas of the Presidio to be kept in open space and immediately transfers those areas and Fort Mason on to the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior.
H.R. 10220 would permit the Presidio and Fort Mason to remain. under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense and to become
the subject of open-ended negotiations between the two Secretaries rather than the substantial basis of a viable park.
H.R. 9498 includes all the major open spaces of the Presidio that conservationists have fought to protect for 20 years.
The Burton bill would allow no further construction upon the Presidio without the consent of the Secretary of the Interior under stringent regulations; and the Mailliard bill wisely extends this to all Federal properties, but under less effective restrictions.
Under the "future excess land" provision of the Burton bill we say the best one is to be found in the Cranston-Tunney bill and although I know it is not under consideration today, it states that any lands in the Presidio of declared excess to the needs of the U.S. Army shall be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior for the recreation area.
We think this is a good way to keep the lands from being frittered away.
H.R. 9498 protects the coastline boundaries of the park and the tidelands area by including adjacent submerged lands and adjacent
H.R. 9498 makes possible substantial acquisition of ranchlands in Marin County. By enabling landowners to maintain a lifetime interest, it would cause minimum disruption of the people who live in the Olema Valley.
Because of sell-back and lease-back provisions with environmental safeguards, it would allow, at the Secretary's discretion, a whole valley plus other ranch lands to remain in open space at minimum
H.R. 10220 contains no financial flexibility and we get less lands for the same sum.
H.R. 9498 has a master plan and we think it would be a better job.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mrs. Meyer.
Mr. Rabb, I judge you agree with her?
Mr. RABB. Yes, sir; Mr. Chairman.
Mr. TAYLOR. You are listed as one witness. I hope the other two can be brief.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH HUNTER, REPRESENTING MR.
Mr. HUNTER. Congressman Taylor, honorable members of the committee, Congressman Mailliard, I am Kenneth Hunter, speaking as a representative for Mr. Frank Quinn, San Francisco chairman of the People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
A national recreation area, partly in San Francisco and with reasonable public transit access to the Marin part, will introduce thousands of San Francisco and metropolitan bay area residents to an outdoor recreational experience they have never had before.
People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area is very much concerned that there be an active relationship between the recreation area and the inner city. The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is going to be an urban park for urban residents and urban visitors.
Not only should it be for urban people but it should also be as much as possible of urban people and by urban people.
By urban people: We now urge that the legislation which emerges from your committee and from Congress contain a directive, backed by appropriations, for an employment recruitment and training program directed toward the inner city. The recreation area's personnel, from top to bottom, should reflect the urban ethnic mixture of the primary constituency of the recreation area. We believe Mission District families are more likely to use the recreation area if they know they may expect to see Chicano park rangers.
That the Federal Government is an equal opportunity employer is not quite enough for an urban recreation area. A training and recruitment program is necessary to equalize the opportunities. The Federal Government must engage in at least the same affirmative action in recruitment, hiring and training that it requires of private government contractors.
Of urban people: The Department of the Interior regional office here, in developing its proposal, has talked with many local people, picking our brains and trying out ideas on us. There has been good rapport and a conscientious effort to communicate.
In spite of this spirit of cooperation, the citizens groups working on the campaign for the recreation area have had to work in the dark more than seems really necessary. For instance, we are somewhat mystified that at this late date the report on the recreation area still has not been released by the Interior Department. We also have some reason to believe that there is a Federal property review board study of the Presidio completed within the year.
This information blackout has caused us to carry a major informational burden on top of our advocacy role.
It has been easy to arouse the interest of conservation-oriented organizations. But efforts to reach inner city residents have occasionally met with disbelief that there could be a park of this scope so close to the city that it would be for them, as well as the middle class. This word must get to the inner city from officialdom as well as from voluntary advocates.
We hope that our spreading the word has brought some inner city residents to today's hearing so that the subcommittee can hear from them directly.
A citizens board would be an important guarantor of broad range public participation. To achieve the best results within the recreation area, suggestions of local citizens should continue to be heard, and the public should be kept apprised of the planning while courses are still being charted.
Third, concerning specific San Francisco parcels: In H.R. 9498 there are some omissions. Presumably unintended inclusions and potential ambiguities are in both bills. These are technicalities, detailed in the written text of my statement. The final bill should include, without any doubt, all of Fort Funston, all of Fort Miley (except the hospital), Sutro Heights Park, the Seal Rocks, and the Cliff House. These should all be included in the recreation area because they are important in their own right, and because they would smooth out the jurisdictional administration of what should
be a contiguous part of the recreation area on the San Francisco side.
The intention of my remarks there are also so
Mr. TAYLOR. I think if we are going to operate on a 3-minute rule, we will have to stick to it.
Mr. Robert Rabb, do you agree with these statements or do you want to make
Mr. RABB. Yes, sir, Mr. Chairman, I do. I think I have some feedback that might be of interest to your committee in addition to what has been said.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT RABB, COCHAIRMAN, PEOPLE FOR A GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the subcommittee, Congressman Mailliard, my name is Robert Rabb. I am a resident of Fairfax, Marin County, Calif. I am Marin cochairman of People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area. John Busterud, the Marin County chairman, is testifying for Headlands, Inc. Thank you for the opportunity to testify at this hearing.
Within the past 2 weeks hundreds of Marin residents have expressed their opinions about the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area. I have participated in three meetings and listened to perhaps 200 persons express their opinions.
I did not hear a single explicit expression of opposition to the park. I heard a few expressions of doubt and scores of expressions of approval.
Most of the 200,000 residents of Marin County are there by choice. There is a felicity of climate, of terrain, of vegetation. We live near a great city, yet we live in open space.
A preserved green belt will greatly enhance our way of life. We will be assured of headlands free of development. The steep slopes to the sea will be preserved. There will be open space to accommodate today's needs and tomorrow's.
Within a 90-minute drive of west Marin County, 4,600,000 people live. That is a population greater than any one of 38 States. They look to the sea for recreation on weekends. The magnificent Point Reyes National Seashore is there for enjoyment. But the seashore is not enough for the future. The population of the San Francisco Bay area will increase. The proportion of leisure time will increase. The need for open space will increase. West Marin can meet these needs. It can be a lung for the bay area.
Some strong beliefs have surfaced in the public meetings in the county regarding the proposed recreation area:
One, perhaps strongest of all, is the near unanimous feeling that there should not be any more pavement in west Marin. Existing roads should be utilized even if some restriction must be placed at times on visitation by private vehicles. A form of bus transportation appears to be a viable solution.
Two, a frequently asked question has been: "What does national recreation area mean in terms of development? Large-scale developments such as big hotel-motel-campground complexes of the kind in Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks would be opposed. Good
transportation from San Francisco and east Marin would alleviate the need for large-scale, in-park accommodations.
Three, citizen participation in formulation of park development, administration and land-use policies is strongly felt. Local representation on advisory boards to the park administrators and planners is recommended There is a large reservoir of expertise in the bay area available to support and assist the National Park Service.
Most of the discussion about the proposed new park has centered around the Burton bill. Congressman Mailliard's bill was not given out in time to be obtained and studied. But it is understood by the people of Marin County that both bills include virtually the same land in the county. They approve the concept of a continuous green belt extending from the Golden Gate headlands around the Marin Peninsula and up through the Olema Valley.
The Burton bill appears preferable for the following reasons: (1) H.R. 9498 includes submerged lands and water areas, (2) it is a more effective instrument for acquiring ranchlands and funding their acquisition through sell-back and lease-back provisions; and (3) H.R. 9498 is more responsive to local expertise the county planning bodies, boards of supervisors, and the public at large.
The Point Reyes National Seashore has enriched my life and that of my family and the lives of my fellow citizens. A new Golden Gate National Recreation Area will further enhance the quality of life for all of us in Marin and the bay area.
Thank you, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Rabb.
Just one question. I notice in your statement that there should be no more pavement in West Marin. That would mean no more road improvement, no more driveways, no more parking lots, no more shopping centers? Do you really mean that?
Mr. RABB. That is substantially the feedback I have gotten from many, many people who live in West Marin.
Mr. TAYLOR. It seems to me we have to have a balance between this thing called ecology and development, and sometimes it is hard to find that balance.
Mr. RABB. Sir, it is a very narrow corridor out there and we are talking about a strip maybe 30 to 40 miles wide at the widest and many miles long and there just isn't much space on the steep road and the slopes for pavement without doing damage.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
Mr. James A. Schroeder, chairman, San Francisco Wildlife Council.
On deck, Mr. Holliday.
The gentleman from California.
Mr. CLAUSEN. Mr. Chairman, I do believe I should make a couple. of points to clarify part of the statements that have been made by
these three citizens.
First of all, the reference was made in Mrs. Meyer's statementand you won't necessarily have to respond. I think it needs to be clarified that
H.R. 10220 contains no financial flexibility and would necessarily make all land acquisition more expensive. Each parcel would have to be bought or exchanged. It means much less land for the same money.