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Much of the context of this park is on the land of the Presidio. As a matter of information about the availability and accessibility of the Presidio to the citizens of San Francisco, several months ago we had a hike and with the permission of the Army special arrangements were made so the two gates which normally bar the historic trail of the Presidio were opened. Two hundred sixty-five citizens of San Francisco showed up on a very cold and foggy day to begin their hike through the Presidio and to return through it on a 10mile hike and there is no telling how many would have come to see their park if the park had been opened all the time or if it were a sunny situation.
I think that some of the other things I would like to reiterate, some of what Mr. Hunter said earlier, that most of the lands that have been included in the studies of course, we haven't seen the one from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation-have been contiguous areas but we understand there are areas of southern and central waterfronts of the city of San Francisco which are privately or publicly owned that may be available for public reaction. And these areas would certainly be more accessible to the inner city residents. In closing, considering the two bills, we are kind of the opinion that the bill by Congressman Burton, H.R. 9498, provides a more comprehensive master plan, provisions for transportation and the assurances that participation of the communities involved is assured.
Thank you very much.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Miss Evans.
(Prepared statement of Miss Evans follows:)
STATEMENT OF REBECCA EVANS, MEMBER, EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE
My name is Rebecca Evans and I am a member of the Executive Committee of the San Francisco Bay Chapter of the Sierra Club. Thank you for the privilege of presenting testimony today.
From its inception in 1892, expressly for the purpose of preserving and protecting the Sierra Nevada, the Sierra Club has continued to work to create parks and to educate the public for the need to preserve them. The scope of our concern has grown from advocacy of wilderness preservation to significant participation in the formation of conservation concepts and meaningful environmental legislation. In the transition from a small California hiking club to an international organization, our voice has joined with others in the battles to save our environment. Our strength lies in our membership; 28,000 reside in the four Bay Area counties which comprise the San Francisco Bay Chapter.
In 1958 the Sierra Club Board of Directors instructed the chapters to engage in programs to preserve and protect parks at the state, regional and city levels. From this charge has come the Club's concern with a variety of local issues-water and air pollution, wildlife protection, transportation and the premature subdivision of open lands. In the Bay region, this has meant Club involvement in the fight to save San Francisco Bay, the establishment and protection of regional parks and more recently, in a pilot project to provide recreational opportunities for inner-city youth.
Suburban and rural residents may well take the city and its services for granted; but city residents particularly savor the unpolluted air and expansive vistas of the country. John Muir said, "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings." Many of us in this room have been to Sequoia National Park or to the Redwoods. Yet there are children in the City of San Francisco who have never seen the Bay or Mount Tamalpais. Growing up in the concrete canyons of Chinatown, a child may never know of the natural world outside the limits of his experience. Camping trips have been used as a tool to prevent gang warfare, instead of serving as a means to enjoy the out-of-doors.
In our deep involvement with other environmental deterioration, many of us have failed to notice the deteriorated environment of our city neighborhoods. Agonizingly as our society becomes more urbanized, we have come to realize the nature of our existence that our planet is a closed system; that our resources are finite. We are on the "spaceship Earth" traveling through the void of space. In the July, 1971 issue of California's Health, physician and Sierra Club Director Edgar Wayburn writes, "Even as the designers of Apollo did, we must lay out and utilize the limited space of our space craft to enhance the quality of life . . . As a start, we must institute and implement good land planning in our own communities and regions."
In H.R. 9498, the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area offers us, the people of the San Francisco Bay Area and the nation, a chance to participate in a stunning concept-an urban park. The unequaled opportunity to preserve as a green belt almost 27,000 acres of ranchlands, beaches and woods so close to the very doorstep of a thriving metropolis is staggering to the imagination. Combined with the Point Reyes National Seashore, this park area will stretch along 45 miles of coastline. The San Francisco Bay Chapter and the Board of Directors of the Sierra Club have endorsed the concept of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area. More specifically, the chapter has examined the proposed legislation and made the following comments:
The study of Alcatraz Island by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation may be considered the cornerstone of the federal studies undertaken for the establishment of this park. The Bay Chapter believes that the highest and best use of Alcatraz is open space and hereby recommends its inclusion in the park. Additionally, with the stipulation that their present administration and use is preserved, and provided that these areas are specifically protected in accordance with the language of the act, we recommend that the following areas would complement the park: Audubon Canyon Ranch, Bolinas Lagoon (to the mean high tide line), the tidelands between Highway 1 and the Lagoon and that piece of land commonly known as Bolinas Mesa (to the boundary of Point Reyes National Seashore).
We also advocate the inclusion of certain properties in the Central and Southern Waterfront areas on the San Francisco Bayfront as they possess excellent recreation potential and would be highly desirable and easily accessible to residents of the inner-city.
One of the bones of contention in the establishment of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the jurisdiction and use of the Presidio of San Francisco. Comprising 5% of the land area of present-day San Francisco, its sandy heights were first occupied by the United States Army in 1847. In the 1880's trees were planted and the Presidio has gradually become as we know it today. Bay Area conservationists must acknowledge that it is the military occupation of the Presidio that has preserved it as green belt and prevented its development as real estate. But we are also aware of the fact that in recent years there have been repeated attempts to build there. Twice as many housing units have been constructed within its walls during the past 25 years again the first 125 years of its occupation by the U.S. Army.
Concerned San Franciscans have prevented the construction of two schools there (one would have been placed on an earthquake fault) and a federal Food and Drug Administration building. The Army considers that the Presidio is already a park. Appropriate to its colorful history, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963. As a park, how open is it for public use? Only Boy Scouts may use its camping areas. In January of this year, the Bay Chapter sponsored a hike over the Presidio's Historic Trail. Two hundred and sixty-five men, women and children gathered near the Argueello Gate to see this portion of their "park"; by special arrangement, two gates normally closed were opened for this group.
In the legislation introduced by Senators Alan Cranston and John V. Tunney, creation portions of the Presidio are delineated for immediate inclusion in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with the stipulation that any lands in the Presidio of San Francisco hereafter 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 recreation area. We feel that this is the most acceptable solution to the use and future jurisdiction of the Presidio.
Of the two bills being considered by this Subcommittee today, careful study indicates that H.R. 9498 provides the necessary merchanisms for the acquisition of private parcels (such as the Olema Valley), the requisite funding pro
cedures, sell-back and lease-back arrangements where appropriate, and the preparation of a comprehensive master plan involving with public hearings. At this juncture, we would ask for the creation of a citizens advisory commission to assure community participation in this park.
Past history has shown us that however well-intentioned Congress and the Department of Interior may be, adequate provisions have not always been made outlining the criteria and procedures of a master plan, defining projected use and development in national parks, particularly in regard to transportation. In a recent statement pertaining to the Gateway National Recreation Area, the eastern counterpart of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Sierra Club eastern representative Peter Borelli states, "We cannot bring parks to the people without taking people to the parks . . . the government's past policy of ignoring the consideration of transportation within and around parks has contributed to the massive congestion and undesirable development that plagues some national parks." Yosemite's revised transportation has made the news lately, but there is an example closer to home.
Point Reyes-the residents of Marin County are properly concerned about the impact of additional automobile traffic on the existing roadways, the possible upgrading of these roadways to the detriment of the land and the inevitable burgeoning development. The addition of the park land of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to the recreational lands of Point Reyes National Seashore will compound the present problem and calls for intensive study resulting in an integrated public transit system. We must prevent Marin County from becoming an immense parking lot with a fringe of green belt.
We are very excited about the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. We have a new frontier; the grassy dunes, rocky coves and wooded hills are a reminder of our past and the promise of our future. All of us-the 5,000,000 who live in the Greater Bay Area and countless visitors-will use this park; we will work for its preservation as an irreplaceable resource. The quality of life it will provide can only be measured by the generations to come.
Mr. TAYLOR. Eugene B. Block.
On deck, Gerald P. Cauthen.
STATEMENT OF EUGENE B. BLOCK, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COUNCIL FOR CIVIC UNITY OF SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
Mr. BLOCK. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, Congressman Mailliard, I speak for the Council for Civic Unity of the San Francisco Bay Area, now in its 28th year of service to have the community welfare in all areas of community life.
We are wholeheartedly and enthusiastically in support of the general concept of the Golden Gate Recreation Area. We have taken no position as between one bill or another, feeling that the committee will in its wisdom make the selection for the best interests of the communities involved.
We do believe that in these days of economic stress, social unrest and the like, the more that can be done, the more wholesome outdoor recreation, the better for communities and for society generally.
We very respectfully urge your support of a concept of the Golden Gate Recreation Area.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Block. You said a good deal in less than a minute. You said that you hoped we would make the proper decisions keeping in mind the best interests of the communities involved. You would add to that and the Nation, would you not? Mr. BLOCK. Of course, sir; definitely.
Mr. TAYLOR. Because we are on the national level and we are trying to create recreational opportunities for the people nationwide.
Mr. BLOCK. Of course, sir.
Mr. TAYLOR. Gerald P. Cauthen.
STATEMENT OF JACK MURPHY, ON BEHALF OF GERALD CAUTHEN, SAN FRANCISCO TOMORROW, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF.
Mr. MURPHY. Good morning Congressman Taylor, members of the committee. My name is Mr. Jack Murphy.
Mr. Cauthen said he would send a representative here to speak for him and I am that representative. I am on the board of directors of San Francisco Tomorrow, of which I am a member.
They have authorized me to appear before your committee today to give you our recommendations concerning the proposed Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
San Francisco Tomorrow, I think it is safe to say, was founded last year as a citizens organization to encourage an environment in the city in harmony with its natural setting and the needs of its inhabitants, to create respect for its natural features, its people and its flora, fauna and marine life, to foster the orderly development of the city as a fit place in which to work and live, and to educate its leaders to the urgency of preserving the fragile environment which places San Francisco among the great cities of the earth.
We support the creation of a Golden Gate National Recreation Area. My comments are related to those parts of the proposed area along the perimeter of San Francisco.
We do not wish to see just a change in name for already existing recreation areas, but rather a well-developed and coordinated recreation area that would include at least the shoreline areas from Fort Funston northward and eastward through the San Francisco Maritime Museum Historic Park, including the shoreline and undeveloped areas of the Presidio.
We strongly urge inclusion of the undeveloped Presidio areas despite the good intentions of the Army with regard to their projected use of these lands, since the last 20 years, as has been pointed out today, have seen the construction of 730 housing units in the Presidio and it is logical to assume that the Army will need more housing in the future.
I would like to add that that is at the rate of one new housing unit every 10 days for the last 20 years and it is hard to imagine that need or that trend will suddenly die out.
If acquisition of private property with the city is proposed, then sufficient Federal financial assistance should be provided for this purpose. Timely and adequate appropriations will insure the best development of the area so that it can best serve our large urban population.
Careful consideration should be given to providing ample Federal money for proper maintenance to Federal standards without saddling the city's already inadequate recreation and park operation and maintenance budget with this need for additional San Francisco tax money. Required expenditure of local funds could lead to the deterioration of other recreational facilities within the city.
Automobiles in or near the area should be discouraged and park and beach areas should not be used for automobile parking. For example, our Marina Green is slowly being decimated by automobile parking, and we understand that the city has proposed using some of the last remaining sand dunes along the great highway at Ocean Beach for more parking. Another area close to Ocean Beach is used as a parking lot for the zoo. This is a most important point, since we have a good example in Yosemite National Park of what can occur with too much reliance on cars.
Emphasis should be placed on providing bicycle paths, trails, nature walks and better access to the water's edge at the Marina and along Crissy Field in the Presidio, and on encouraging more wildlife to use the area.
Plans for improvement and development of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area should be closely coordinated with the citizens of San Francisco and should be subject to their review and approval.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Murphy.
Next we have Margot Patterson Doss, representing Friends of the Earth.
On deck, Mr. Brooks.
STATEMENT OF MARGOT PATTERSON DOSS, FRIENDS OF THE
Mrs. Doss. Good morning. Thank you for letting me come on even though I was late. As I drove in from Bolinas today, because I live out in the area that you are talking about, there were three new developments that had popped up along the way and one of them on an open hillside less than 2 weeks ago, and this is a story that I have seen over and over again in the 10 years I have been writing the Walker column for the San Francisco Chronicle, and within the memory of a 10-year-old boy, there were open artichoke fields all the way along south San Francisco, the Skyline Boulevard. There one could drive for miles and miles and today it is all tracts.
The same thing is happening in every one of the nine Bay Area counties. The last one that is left, and the reason I live out there is because it is the last one that is left, is Marin County. If we are to save anything at all of the galloping headlong development in the Bay Area for recreation for the future, it must be this space. There isn't any other left. And even Sonoma County which has been vineyards, it is giving way to factories and parking lots and tracts.
We have watched the prune orchards of Santa Clara County go. We have watched the vineyards of Contra Costa County go. And it may be beautiful to you gentlemen who come from elsewhere, but those of us who live here are very well aware of what kind of headlong galloping development it is. It is almost as if the developers were a Mongolian horde because the damage that they have wreaked on this fair land that is California is much worse than anything that has ever happened in the way of earthquakes, fire, or plague.
Mankind must be the worst agricultural pest that has ever been set down on the face of the earth and here in the Bay Area we see