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The fact of the matter is under existing law this kind of thing, this flexibility, can be attained.
Now, the other point that I wanted to make as far as the administration position, and its not having been filed, I would say one of those that was responsible for the administration not filing its position at this time because a number of us wanted to come out here-I have not as yet introduced a bill myself, for instance, and a number of us wanted to come out here and have the benefit of actually seeing the area itself; and we have intended to provide some inputs because I have got some ideas on this thing, too, as you can understand. Thank you.
(Prepared statements of Mrs. Meyer and Mr. Hunter follow :)
STATEMENT OF AMY MEYER, CO-CHAIRMAN, PEOPLE FOR A GOLDEN GATE
My name is Mrs. Amy Meyer. I am co-chairman of People For A Golden Gate National Recreation Area, a coalition of conservation and civic-minded groups and individuals dedicated to the establishment of a National Recreation Area on the Headlands of the Golden Gate. Our chairman, Dr. Edgar Wayburn, is unavoidably absent today. Thank you for the privilege of testifying at this hearing.
Our greenbelt is disappearing rapidly. The nine Bay Area counties are losing twenty-five square miles of open space each year. This is equivalent to an area one-half the size of San Francisco itself. San Francisco is a small city by United States' standards, but nearly five million people live in the Bay Area region. In twenty years the population is expected to double, and in fifty years to triple to fifteen million people. The region gains fifty thousand people or the equivalent of one medium-sized town every year.
If our land is covered with office buildings and suburbs, all of us-city residents and suburban homeowners alike. people from other parts of the United States and from around the world-will be poorer with each passing year. Open space must be preserved for many reasons:
-Open space must be saved for the woods and beaches and wildlife-because they exist and are part of our spaceship earth.
-Open space must be saved so that many may frequently and regularly experience his relationship to nature. Once this was something we could take for granted; in fact, part of the history of our civilization is the development of our control over nature. -Open space must be saved for its recreation potential, particularly that of an active, self-reliant variety. It must be saved for active travel such as walking, cycling, and boating; for active sports such as rock climbing and fishing; for games such as golf and volleyball; for avocations such as birdwatching and photography; for education such as nature study and the study of history.
-Open space must be preserved for relaxation and enjoyment for all.
People living in our cities are especially affected by the development of our open space and the closing of our open land. Many have already lost their sense of relationship to nature; their natural environment consists largely of steel and cement. Only in recent years have we come to realize that each human being must be aware of his natural environment. We have learned that this is a necessary right and not a privilege. Children, adolescents and adults must have access to green, growing plants and grass and open sky. People who do not are emotionally impoverished and intellectually malnourished. Our society cannot afford to be divided between those who live in green enclaves of privilege and the deprived residents of decaying cities. For we must face the problems of our environment together.
The cities of America were once the world's "melting pot." Today they might more accurately be called the "boiling pot." They are cauldrons of hate and violence. People living under increasing urban and suburban tensions must have peaceful places for recreation. I mean this word in its dictionary definition: places "to create anew," to "refresh" themselves, to begin over again. A person
confined to a nonotonous job and to a room or small apartment needs open breathing space and some guarantee of relaxation.
The concept of "parks to the people" as embodied in President Nixon's State of the Union message this January past, seeks to preserve open space in and around metropolitan regions. The acquisition and maintenance of such open space, serving national as well as local needs, is beyond the scope of state and city governments. Only the federal government can supply full support and financing of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
We have the unique opportunity to establish a superb open space complex within and next to one of the world's most beautiful cities. Because of military bases on both sides of the Golden Gate, because of the foresight of state and city governmental agencies, because of the tenacity and generosity of some ranchers, areas of scenic beauty and varied recreational potential have been saved for generations to come, if we act promptly. The consolidation of these public and private parcels of land and their unified administration as a National Recreation Area would create a spectacular park on the California coast.
Together HR 9498 and HR 10220 include all the parcels of land that our organization considers important for the National Recreation Area. (Our San Francisco chairman will indicate some discrepancies.) As for Alcatraz: some of our members feel it should be included now. Others feel that the controversy over the island must be resolved before it is considered for inclusion.
HR 9498, introduced by Congressman Phillip Burton with 22 cosponsors, and HR 10220, introduced by Congressman William S. Mailliard, recognize the open space and recreational needs of a growing region. However, HR 9498 would establish a larger and better park.
HR 9498 delineates specifically those areas of the Presidio to be kept in open space and immediately transfers those areas and Fort Mason to the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior. HR 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. HR 9498 includes all the major open space of the Presidio that conservationists have fought to protect for twenty years.
The Burton bill would allow no further construction upon the Presidio without the consent of the Secretary of Interior, under stringent regulations, and the Mailliard bill wisely extends this to all Federal properties, but under less effective restrictions.
The Burton bill (Section 8(i)) contains a "future excess land" provision. Although the Cranston-Tunney Senate bill is not under consideration here, its "future excess land" provision for the Presidio, which has Congressman Burton's approval, would meet an objection presented to our group by Mayor Alioto. It states that any lands in the Presidio ever declared excess to the needs of the United States Army shall be transferred to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Interior as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We think that this is a good way to prevent the remaining Presidio lands from being frittered away in small parcels.
HR 9498 protects the coastline boundaries of the park and the tidelands area by including adjacent submerged lands and adjacent water areas up to one-quarter mile offshore.
HR 9498 makes possible substantial acquisition of ranchlands in Marin County. By enabling landowners to retain 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 ranchlands to remain in open space at minimum cost. HR 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.
H.R. 9498 contains broader provisions for cooperative administration arrangements with the State of California and its political divisions than does H.R. 10220.
H.R. 9498 stipulates a Master Plan for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area that would specifically preserve distinctions of use, development and protection between San Francisco and Marin Counties. It provides for the orderly administration of the proposed park, responsive to the Planning Commissions
and Boards of Supervisors of San Francisco and Marin Counties, as well as to the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. It provides for public hearings. H.R. 10220 has no Master Plan and no forum for the people who live here.
A citizens advisory commission to assist in the planning and management of the park has been proposed here today. It is in neither bill and we think it is important.
In conclusion: H.R. 9498 but not H.R. 10220 would forestall the pressures of developers and subdividers, both public and private, upon a limited land area within and next to one of our country's most densely populated cities.
The people of California, citizens from every corner of the United States, and visitors from all parts of the world will come to this park. In the woods and meadows, at cliffs' edge and along rolling hills, they will see their unspoiled land and touch upon its history. On beaches and playing fields, in the forts and along the promenades, they will see how man can make accessible, develop and use a naturally beautiful place. They will feel the glare of the Pacific sun and smell the freshness of the ocean. They will see the white summer fog banks and hear the horns upon the Bay. They will see birds fly along the coast and ships go through the Channel of the Golden Gate. They will be able to enjoy their land at the ocean boundary, the coast of the Far West, land to be preserved for all, to be used by the generations to come.
STATEMENT OF KENNETH HUNTER, PEOPLE for a GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL
I am Kenneth Hunter, speaking today as the representative for Mr. Frank Quinn, San Francisco chairman for People for a Golden Gate National Recreation Area, who is unable to be present.
As the cities, in partnership with the National Government, strive to solve the problems of employment, education, crime, population, health, racism, and pollution. It is a tribute to the collective intelligence of this country that we do recognize the crucial role that outdoor recreation performs both in contributing to the solution of these problems and in guaranteeing, in substantial part, that it shall be worth the effort to try to solve these vexing problems of an urban, technological society.
It is therefore fitting that the National Government is about to expand the scope of its practice of managing sizable tracts of open land to include selected parcels within and near to metropolitan areas. We have welcomed this new dimension of Interior Department jurisdiction. And we solicit its particular application to the coastal properties between the San Francisco Maritime State Historical Park and Fort Funston in the sourthwest corner of the City, plus the areas in Marlin County.
Perhaps the key questions are:
1. Is there a National Interest in these lands? and
2. Is the National Government, Department of Interior-National Park Service, the most appropriate administrator?
We hope the Congress will agree that an unqualified "Yes" should be the response to both questions.
1. From the days of the Gold Rush, the Golden Gate has symbolized Pacific Coast adventure to Americans across the nation. Even before the Gold Rush, acquisition of San Francisco Bay was a primary objective of President James K. Polk. Much of the history of the Golden Gate is National History, not just local lore.
National management will bring the greater part of the Golden Gate, and its related areas, under a single jurisdiction. No other course of action, or inaction, could do this.
Single jurisdiction would put back together this nation's Golden Gate which has been fragmented and without focus. Both HR 9498 and HR 10220 demonstrate eloquently the National Interest in this area. Both have similar scope.
2. To assign primary jurisdiction to the National Park Service would open to all Americans optimum access to this symbol of hope, opportunity, and adventure.
The planning done by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, as its name implies, would be expected to give the Golden Gate an outdoor recreation focus. The scenic values of the Golden Gate and its proximity to a major met
ropolitan area make this emphasis the most suitable for the San Francisco lands proposed for inclusion in the Recreation Area. (Many non-Federal holdings have already been dedicated to this purpose).
Making real this concept of a unified, focused recreational park is beyond the scope of local or state agencies.
Many San Franciscans are prosperous and may look forward to both more affluence and more leisure. For them, leisure must have its outlets. Still, we recognize that many metropolitan residents, even when employed, will have modest incomes and limited horizons.
Frank Quinn, our San Francisco chairman for People For A Golden Gate National Recreation Area, recently took a party of youth from Chinatown on a hike up Mt. Tamalpais, just across the Golden Gate. The irony of experience of one of the young men staggered Frank. He was quoting Shelley with comfortable familiarity. But he had never before been on Mt. Tamalpais, never before had seen a California poppy, and had never before seen the City from a distance!
Last December, I was in the front yard when a Christmas auxiliary postman came by. He was Chinese. "What is that?" he asked, pointing across the street. It took a moment to determine that he was asking about the ocean. "The Pacific Ocean?" "Yes." He then crossed 48th Avenue and stood for five minutes at the top of the slope which runs to the Ocean Highway. "It is big, very big, isn't it?" he said solemnly as he resumed his rounds.
If you are getting the weird vibrations that this may have been the first time he had seen the Pacific Ocean, and that this postman may have been born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown, less than ten miles away, then you are getting the same vibes I got that morning.
Bill Moyers would not find this unbelievable. In Listening to America (Harpers, 1971), he gives this thumbnail description of Chinatown:
(S)tatistics of rising juvenile delinquency only hint at deeper issues. Conditions in Chinatown are awful. More than thirty thousand people crowd into a twenty-block area with a housing density five times greater than that of the rest of the city. Three out of four dwellings are substandard and six out of every ten do not have separate bathrooms. In many of them heating and lighting are worse than poor, and the tuberculosis rate in Chinatown is almost four times the city's. Few jobs in Chinatown pay minimum wages. Women work with their young children beside them in the shops. Land costs up to $150 a square foot. Recreation opportunities are almost nonexistent. Discrimination is rampant.
Chinatown is not the only ethnic enclave in San Francisco. There are two large Black communities, a large Chicano community, plus smaller Russian, Japanese, Philippino, Indian (both American and Eastern), and others.
What can Yosemite, or Grand Canyon, mean to so many of these so-called "inner-city" residents who are essentially confined to their immediate environment? Those parks are almost as remote as the moon.
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.
And after they get their boots broken-in here, some three-day weekend they will find their way to Yosemite.
People For A Golden Gate National Recreation Area is very much interested in the active relationship of the Recreation Area to the inner city.
Towards that end, we have published jointly with the Sierra Club Bay Chapter Your Bay Area, a guide to nearby recreational areas containing information on how to get to these places by public transportation. This publication is being translated into Spanish and Chinese.
Too many citizens of the inner city have potential skills which have been permitted to lie dormant. Over thirteen percent of San Francisco's population is on welfare. Employment, and a better slice of the economic pie, surely cannot be too long postponed.
In part for this reason, 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 towards 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, it should be, as much as possible, of urban people, and by urban people.
By Urban People: Its 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 does not seem to be 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 as it requires of private enterprises.
Of Urban People: The Department of Interior does have an urban experience in Washington D.C. The 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 truly necessary. For instance, we are certain that there is in Interior a Departmental report on the Recreation Area. We are mystified that, at this late date, it has not yet been released. We also have some reason to believe that there is a Federal Property Review Board study of the Presidio completed within the year. Does not the public have a right to know what is in these studies? Must some major newspaper get a Supreme Court decision requiring their release?
As a result of this information blackout, People For A Golden Gate National Recreation Area has had to carry a major informational burden besides fulfilling its advocacy role. It has been easy to arcuse interest of conservation-oriented organizations.
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 Council, perhaps along the lines that will be suggested by the Barristers Club, 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 processes while courses are still being charted.
Related to the foregoing, will be the testimony of Mr. Harold Brooks, who will be asking for consideration of certain Port Commission parcels with recreational potential which, apparently, the Port Commission stands almost ready to make available for inclusion in the Recreation Area if asked.
People For A Golden Gate National Recreation Area does not have an official position on this recently raised prospect. but we certainly are viewing it with interest. On initial impression, the inclusion of parcels scattered through a working, commercial port could add an attractive new dimension to the recreation area as presently conceived.
Availability of port parcels could enhance the prominent "water function" of the Recreation Area. Sailboats, motorboats, and recreational passenger ferries, already seen as an integral part of the Recreation Area, would connect the two sides of the park as surely as does the Golden Gate Bridge itself.
A degree of controversy has swirled over the Presidio. HR 9498 closely reflects our position. We regret that HR 10220 does not. In fact, HR 10220 could extend this controversy to Forts Mason, Barry, Baker, and Cronkhite. To date there has seemed not to be any major question about including present military holdings other than the Presidio.
HR 948 would guarantee that the open spaces remaining on the Presidiobasically undeveloped tracts, plus Fort Scott, which are not essential to the business of the Sixth Army-would be brought immediately under more appropriate management.
Believing, however, that the Presidio Golf Course is the least likely Presidio open space that the Sixth Army would view as a construction site, and recognizing that the golf course is open to non-military membership and is used to near-capacity. we do not call for the inclusion of the golf course.