This is the report of the North Cascade Study Team appointed March 5, 1963, by Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall and Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman. It is a report with recommendations to guide the management and administration of the Federal lands in the North Cascade Mountains of the State of Washington. All the resource potentials of these lands have been considered.
It is by no means the first, and perhaps not the last, such report. It rests on a consideration in depth of the rich resource potentials of this vast area and the controversies that swirl about them.
The North Cascade Mountains are immensely valuable in natural resources. Much of the area is characterized by spectacular mountain scenery unsurpassed in the United States. Thousands of acres are relatively inaccessible. The area in its entirety is known to only a relatively few people.
Except for Mount Rainier National Park, nearly all Federal lands are under the administration of the Forest Service and have been for many years.
The hard core of the issues before the study team was whether there should be a new National Park established in a portion of the North Cascades. Almost equally difficult questions involve the conflicts between timber utilization and recreation, and between mass recreation and dedication to wilderness.
The proper and best balanced use of water, fish and game, minerals and forage also are deeply involved.
Such issues are not new but have been brought sharply into focus in recent years by a combination of circumstances. These include greatly increased population in the Puget Sound area, more leisure time, improved accessibility, growing demands for National Forest timber, the militancy of conservation groups, and new top-level Federal administrators who desire to chart a course in the long range public interest regardless of traditional bureaucratic tradition, competition or ambition.
The North Cascades Study Team has worked together closely and harmoniously, respecting each other's differing views, in carrying out its charter from the two Secretaries. This report does not reflect unanimous views, because unanimity was not reached. The most fundamental difference in viewpoint among the team members is about the recommendation for a North Cascades National Park. There was also significant difference of opinion as to the interdependence of the recommendations. In reviewing the next to the last draft of the report, it became apparent that the team members also differed considerably as to some details and emphasis.
The report does reflect the views of the chairman. With respect to other team members, their differing views and recommendations are reflected in individual statements at the conclusion of the report to the extent that they wished to do this. In some instances, where there was clearly a lack of consensus, this is pointed out in the text of the report.
Many experts and agencies have contributed to the team's understanding and analysis, but it should be understood that this report is only the work of the team and does not necessarily reflect the views of any other individuals or agencies.
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE
Historically, the present study stems from the natural beauty and environmental quality of the North Cascades, the growing impact of people, and the existence in different Departments of two Federal conservation agenciesthe Forest Service and National Park Servicewith related but differing missions.
Numerous western National Parks or Monuments were either created from or are surrounded by National Forests. Over the years the National Park Service and the Forest Service have settled amicably many questions of boundary relationships. On the other hand, from time to time major questions of jurisdiction have erupted.
When Secretaries Udall and Freeman took office early in 1961, they learned that there were many interagency transfer proposals in various stages of negotiation. By mutual discussion and negotiation, agreement was reached to transfer or not transfer numerous areas. In the course of these discussions the two Secretaries determined to establish a climate of cooperation and reasonableness that had not always characterized proposed interagency transfers in the past.
At the request of the two Secretaries, a representative of each Department joined in recommending to them settlement of certain pending issues, including the desirability of examination of the North Cascades in depth.
Portions of this area had been proposed from time to time by the National Park Service and others for National Park status. Accordingly, on January 28, 1963, the two Secretaries jointly wrote the President an historic letter commonly referred to as the "Peace Treaty," which stated among other things:
"We have reached agreement on a broad range of issues which should enable our Departments to enter into a 'new era of cooperation' in the management of Federal lands for outdoor recreation. This agreement settles issues which have long been involved in public controversy, we have closed the book on these disputes and are now ready to harmoniously implement the agreed-upon solutions.
"The decisions reached will do much to further development of Federal recreation resources, eliminate costly competition, promote cooperation, and recognize the major role that the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior both have in administering Federal lands under their jurisdiction for recreation purposes."
The flyleaf statement by the Secretaries recommending an interdepartmental study of the North Cascades is excerpted from their letter of January 28 to the President.
On January 31, President John F. Kennedy stated in response that the "joint exploration of the North Cascades Mountains in Washington is most significantit is clearly in the public interest."
Accordingly, on March 5, 1963, the two Secretaries by letter to the individuals selected to comprise the study team established the team and its charter.
These letters of January 28, January 31, and March 5, 1963, appear in full in Appendix A.
The most significant aspects of the study team's charter include the following:
1. The potential of all the natural resources of the area were to be explored.
2. The team consisted of two representatives of each Department and was chaired by a fifth individual jointly selected by the two Secretaries.
3. Recommendations of the team were to be submitted to the two Secretaries and they in turn would make recommendations to the President.
4. Recommendations were to be included as to management, administration, and jurisdictional responsibility.
5. The team was to invite from the Governor of Washington a statement setting forth recommendations of the State.
6. Recommendations were to be in the interest of the people in the area, the State of Washington, the region, and the United States.
The two Departments by administrative action undertook a much broader examination than had been proposed in both the 86th and 87th Congresses. In the 86th Congress, Congressmen Pelly and Magnuson, and Senator Magnuson introduced bills (H.R. 9360, H.R. 9342, and S. 2980) to direct the Interior Department in cooperation with Agriculture to study the North Cascades only as to its suitability for a National Park. The bills were not reported on by the Administration, but the Forest Service in an exchange of correspondence with Congressman Pelly in 1959 declined to join, or concur, in a study of the area by the National Park Service. Congressman Pelly asked for an investigation of 19 questions. The Forest Service declination was based on several grounds, including the fact that hearings had already been publicly announced on a proposed Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. Congressman Pelly reintroduced his bill (H.R. 2056) in the 87th Congress but no action was taken on it.
The members of the North Cascades Study Team jointly selected by the two Secretaries were:
Dr. George A. Selke, Consultant to the Secretary Arthur W. Greeley, Deputy Chief, Forest Service
Henry Caulfield, Assistant Director, Resources Program Staff
On September 27, 1963, Mr. Caulfield was replaced by Dr. Owen S. Stratton, Consultant to the Secretary and Chairman, Department of Political Science, Wellesley College.
George B. Hartzog, Jr., Associate Director, National Park Service
On January 8, 1964, Mr. Hartzog became Director of the National Park Service, but retained his membership on the Team.
Edward C. Crafts, Director, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Each of these individuals served personally and actively throughout the study, drawing extensively on the members of their respective organizations as needed for both advice and technical expertise.
There was established also an informal group of principal staff assistants, the membership of which changed from time to time. It operated under the general direction of John F. Shanklin, Assistant Director, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation.
PROCEDURES AND COLLABORATION
The study team utilized six methods of becoming informed and arriving at recommendations. These included:
1. Review of existing information
2. Field examinations
3. Public hearings
4. Special resource studies
5. Agency statements and much special material prepared by the National Park Service, Forest Service, and special consultants
6. Team consultations with each other and with key officials, groups and individuals.
It is believed that these steps provided a thorough examination and exploration of the subject.
The review of existing information included documenting highlights in the history of the North Cascades (Appendix D) including key events, Acts of Congress, legislative proposals, and administrative decisions.
A bibliography of selected references was prepared from among the documents examined (Appendix E).
Field examinations were carried out by team members, both individually and collectively. On occasion, these field examinations were known to the public. On other occasions, team members visited the area for specific purposes and such visits were not generally publicized.
Each member of the team has a good personal knowledge of the physical environment of the North Cascades, the surrounding area, and the management and utilization of resources. This knowledge includes both the areas that are generally accessible as well as portions of the North Cascades that are normally inaccessible. Travel was by car, boat, foot, horseback and airplane.
The team conducted open public hearings in Wenatchee, Mount Vernon, and Seattle in October 1963, over a five-day period. All who wished to testify or submit statements were allowed to do so. Over 300 witnesses or statements were heard or received at these hearings. The record was kept open for about a month and about 2,200 additional letters were received by the team prior to closing of the record on November 15, 1963. The transcript of some 3,200 pages continues to be available for public inspection at offices of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, National Park Service, and the Forest Service.
The study team decided early in its work that a series of resource studies should be undertaken to provide the factual basis for recommendations. Each of these studies was chaired by a member of the study team, using professional personnel from the Federal agencies listed in the acknowledgment.
The State of Washington made available professional personnel to participate in each of these studies.
The resources studies did not include action recommendations. They did provide essential technical background information on the value, extent, and needs of the various resources. These studies, although not made an integral part of this report, are available for public inspection in the offices of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, the National Park Service, and the Forest Service.
The special resource studies and the team members responsible for each follow:
1. "Outdoor Recreation in the Northern Cascades Today and Tomorrow." George B. Hartzog, Jr.
2. "Timber Resource Study of the North Cascades." Arthur W. Greeley.
3. "Range Resource Study of the North Cascades." Arthur W. Greeley.
4. "Fish and Wildlife Study of the North Cascade Mountains." Arthur W. Greeley.
5. "Water and Power Resources Report for North Cascade Mountains Study." Owen S. Stratton. This report was prepared by the Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, directed by its Coordinated Planning Subcommittee and developed by an ad hoc group chaired by Don H. Huff.
6. "Mineral Resources and Geology of the North Cascade Mountains Study Area." George A. Selke.
Six additional reports especially prepared for the Study Team are worthy of mention:
1. "Resource Reports of the North Cascades Study: Assessment of Their Economic Features." James Rettie. June, 1964.
2. "An Economic Analysis of Proposed Changes in the Use and Management of the National Forest Lands in the North Cascades." Burnell Held. November, 1964.
3. "An Economic Appraisal of the North Cascades AreaPreliminary Draft." Bonneville Power Administration. March 1964.
4. "A Summary Report on How the National Forest Lands in the North Cascades Study Area Will Be Managed by the U.S. Forest Service." This appears as Appendix B.
5. "National Park Service Management Proposals for the North Cascade Mountains Study Area." This appears as Appendix C.
6. "A Report on the Recreation Resources of the National Forests in the North Cascades." Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. December 1963.
The Rettie Report, as the title indicates, evaluates the special resource reports in economic terms. The Held Report evaluates in economic terms the differing management proposals and recommendations of the National Park Service and the Forest Service as presented in the individual agency statements.
The Forest Service and National Park Service statements (Items 4 and 5 above) appearing as Appendices B and C, are documents prepared by the two land administering agencies directly involved, and incorporate their separate recommendations for the area. These are included in this team report as alternative possibilities and in order to make generally available the individual agency views.
The recreation report of the Forest Service (Item 6 above) was volunteered by the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service in anticipation of the needs of the study team. It was made available to both the recreation resource study group and the full study team. Because it includes much valuable information, it is mentioned here.
It is the belief of the study team that the special resource reports, the other special reports prepared for the team, the individual agency statements, maps, statistical material, and supplementary memoranda represent the most comprehensive assembly of information ever put together on the North Cascades. This material, all of which is available for inspection, can be correctly referred to as a monograph on the Study Area.
The study team held eleven executive session discussions over the period of the study. Two of these were on the West Coast, two in West Virginia, and the remainder in Washington. The purposes of the discussions were to chart the course of the study, review progress, evaluate information, debate issues, and prepare recommendations.
The study team enjoyed the collaboration of the State of Washington, Federal and local public agencies, and numerous private individuals, organizations, groups, and firms of various types.
The collaboration of private individuals, organizations and local groups was largely in the form of testimony, statements, resolutions, or petitions submitted in connection with the hearings during October 1963. Material was received from chambers of commerce, sportsmen's organizations, PTA and other school associations, civic groups, business and industrial groups, professional societies, conservation groups, farm, utility, irrigation and soil conservation groups, and county and municipal officials. A digest of the hearing record appears later in the report.
The Federal agencies that contributed the most were, as could be expected, the National Park Service and the Forest Service.
The collaboration of other Federal agencies, the State, and individuals deserving special mention is covered in the acknowledgment.
The Secretarial instructions of March 5, 1963, to the team state ". . . . We ask that you arrange to receive from the Governor of the State of Washington a written statement setting forth the recommendations of the State." Accordingly, in May 1963, three members of the team met with Governor Rosellini and Commissioner Cole. Subsequently, the Governor assured the team of the cooperation of his office in connection with its work. In accord with Secretarial instructions the Governor was formally invited by the Chairman at three different times (letters of April 9, July 17, and November 18, 1964), to express the views of the State. Such views were not received.
With the change of State administration in January 1965, the Chairman on March 6 invited Governor Daniel J. Evans to make available recommendations of the State. On March 25 Governor Evans advised that in view of the shortness of his period in office and his preoccupation with legislative matters, it was his plan to wait until the Federal Government's report was issued, at which time he would comment on it.
During the course of the North Cascades Study, Governor Rosellini appointed a Washington State Forest Area Use Council to advise the Governor on matters in the North Cascades Study Area. In May 1964, the Council approved two reports prepared by the Council's Technical Committeea "North Cascades Report," which was a commentary on the six resource studies prepared for the study team, and a report on "The Cougar Lake Limited Area." Both of these reports were made available to the study team by Governor Rosellini.
The North Cascades have been the subject of repeated studies, books, reports, and travelogues almost since the first Federal Forest Reserves were established in the 1890's.
Most of the available literature deals with one of three subjects:
1. Whether a North Cascades National Park should be established,
2. Problems of resource balance, and conflicts in use of the area for timber versus wilderness recreation, or
3. Accounts of the spectacular beauty and magnificent scenery of the North Cascades.
The available literature appears not to give a balanced picture of the multiple resources of the area, their use and management. The bulk of the literature over the years has been by advocates of change, particularly those who have favored a North Cascades Park. Their views have been repeatedly, militantly, and emotionally expressed.
In contrast, Federal administrators of the area and commercial users of the resources for the most part have been going about their business of management, administration and use, rather than defending their actions or explaining their plans.
Criticism has been freely and frequently directed at the Forest Service. Officials of that agency, as is usually the case with public servants, are necessarily restrained by their position from exercising equal freedom in their response to criticism.
Following are a few selected references which appear to be among the best:
1937 O. A. Tomlinson and others, National Park Service. "Report of Committee, Northern Cascades Area Investigation." 40 pp. (Typed.)
This is a well-known National Park Service report, frequently quoted. There are several accompanying memoranda and supplementary maps and reports. The cited document along with the letter of transmittal constitutes the principal early report which recommended a North Cascades National Park.
1940 National Park Service Cascades Committee, O. A. Tomlinson, Chairman. "National Park Potentialities in the Cascade Mountains of Washington." 27 pp. (Typed.)
1940 Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. "Preliminary Report on North Cascade National Park Study Area." (Typed.)
This is a Forest Service report and commentary on the 1937 National Park Service report. It opposes a National Park.
1940 Washington State Planning Council. "Cascade Mountains Study." 56 pp., illustrated.
This is a well-known Washington State Report prepared subsequent to the Tomlinson study. It recommends that "no additional lands of the Cascade Mountains be converted into use as a national park."
1949 Roderick Peattie (Editor). "Cascades: Mountains of the Pacific Northwest." 417 pp., illustrated.
1958 David R. Simons. "The Need for Scenic Resource Conservation in the Northern Cascades of Washington." Sierra Club. 36 pp. (Processed.)
This document recommends a National Park. It is not available for quotation or publication without express permission of the Sierra Club.
1961 Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, Recreation Subcommittee. "Recreation Survey of the Pacific Northwest Region. Part One: Existing Recreation Areas." 58 pp. (Processed.)
1962 Forest Service. "Management Objectives and Policies for the High Mountain Areas of National Forests of the Pacific Northwest." 8 pp. (Processed.)
1962 Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. "Analysis of National Forest Lands Included in a Proposal for a Northern Cascades National Park." 67 pp., illustrated. (Processed.)
This is the Forest Service analysis of recommendations for a North Cascades National Park advanced by the North Cascades Conservation Council.
1962 Bernard C. Collins. "Land Use Conflict in the North Cascades Wilderness of Washington State." Thesis for Master of Forestry. 149 pp., illustrated. (Typed.)
1963 Washington State Inter-Agency Committee on Outdoor Recreation. "Governor's Report on Outdoor Recreation in Washington." 36 pp., illustrated.
1963 North Cascades Conservation Council. "Prospectus for a North Cascades National Park." 103 pp., illustrated. (Processed.)
This report is divided into five parts: (1) The National Park Quality of the North Cascades, (2) The Unsatisfactory Nature of Present Management, (3) The Superiority of National Park Service Management, (4) Legislation Proposed to Create a National Park, and (5) The Economic Impact of a North Cascades National Park.
1963 Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region. "A Report on the Recreation Resources of the National Forests in the North Cascades." 51 pp., illustrated.
1964 Washington Forest Area Use Council, Technical Committee. "North Cascades Report." 36 pp., illustrated. (Processed.)
This is a commentary on the resource studies prepared for the North Cascades Study Team.
1964 Columbia Basin Inter-Agency Committee, Recreation Subcommittee. "Recreation Survey of the Pacific Northwest Region. Part Two: Recreation Report." 82 pp., illustrated.
1964 Tom Miller. "The North Cascades." 95 pp., illustrated.
Primarily a photographic portfolio, this book offers considerable text discussing the history and physiography of the North Cascades.
1965 Harvey Manning. "The Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland." 128 pp., illustrated.
The latest in the Exhibit-Format Series of the Sierra Club. Foreword by Justice William O. Douglas points out that the special message of the book is to demonstrate the need for a North Cascades National Park.
SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
The body of this North Cascades report presents the resource situation, the facts that led to the recommendations, the recommendations, and the reasons behind them.
Although a brief digest and summary are presented at this point in the introduction, the full discussion of the recommendations should be read in order to understand them adequately.
The recommendations are grouped into the following seven categories: (1) Wilderness Areas, (2) North Cascades National Park, (3) Mount Rainier National Park, (4) other recreation areas, (5) scenic roads and trails, (6) timber management, and (7) other.
There are 21 recommendations. Five deal with Wilderness areas, one with a North Cascades National Park; two with Mount Rainier National Park; four with other recreation areas; two with scenic roads and trails; one with timber management; and six with other aspects of the area, including fish and wildlife and water and power developments.
Of the 21 recommendations, 10 will require action by the Congress and 11 may be implemented by administrative decision. Those recommendations requiring Congressional action are specified.
Figure 33 shows recommended new and revised management areas in relation to existing designations. This key map summarizes visually a number of major recommendations, including those relating to Alpine Lakes, Enchantment, Mount Aix, Glacier Peak and Okanogan Wilderness areas, the North Cascades and Mount Rainier National Parks, Mount Baker Recreation Area, and the Skagit Wild River.
Figure 34 shows a proposed system of scenic roads. It also shows the Cascade Crest Trail, existing and proposed.
To evaluate the recommendations, they should be considered as a group. They are, for the most part, interrelated and interdependent.
The proposals for Wilderness and other recreation areas, National Parks, and scenic roads and trails constitute a significant package that will improve the availability and utilization of the recreational potential of the North Cascades and at the same time increase the amount of commercially available sawtimber without significant impairment of water and power and other resource values. It is most important that the individual recommendations not be evaluated separately, but on their merits as a group.
It is also significant that the recommendations, as a group, are not those of either of the two land administering agenciesthe Forest Service or the National Park Serviceor of any other public body or private group. They are a new set of recommendations that has not heretofore been proposed. Some of the recommendations are wholly new; others are not.
There should be established four new Wilderness areasAlpine Lakes, Enchantment, Mount Aix, and Okanogan. In addition, the boundary of the Glacier Peak Wilderness should be extended in three places: (1) on the northeast perimeter from Riddle Creek on Lake Chelan up the lake and along the Stehekin River to Cascade Pass; (2) in the Suiattle River corridor; and (3) in the White Chuck River corridor.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area would be similar to, but smaller than, the present Alpine Lakes Limited Area. The Enchantment and Mount Aix Wilderness areas would be new. The Okanogan Wilderness Area would be roughly equivalent to that part of the present North Cascade Primitive Area lying east of Ross Lake. The Cougar Lake and Monte Cristo Peak Limited Areas would be declassified.
The reduced size of the Alpine Lakes Limited Area and the declassification of the Cougar Lake Limited Area would make available 123,000 acres and 2.9 billion board feet of commercial land and timber, hitherto reserved.
NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK
There should be established a North Cascades National Park extending from Riddle Creek, a few miles below the head of Lake Chelan; northwestward generally along the Stehekin River to Cascade Pass and Cascade River drainage, including the Eldorado Peaks area, Thunder Creek and Granite Creek, including Ross and Diablo Lakes; crossing the Skagit River and including that part of the North Cascade Primitive Area west of Ross Lake, and Mount Shuksan.
This would include about 698,000 acres, of which only 19,000 acres is presently available commercial forest landless than 1 percent of the timberland or volume commercially available in the Study Area.
Of the total acreage included in the proposed park, about 314,000 acres are now in the North Cascade Primitive Area and most of the remainder is in the area designated by the Forest Service as the Eldorado Peaks High Country.
The recommendation to establish a new North Cascades National Park is conditioned upon development of adequate facilities and means of entry into presently remote areas. This can be done by use of helicopter and aerial trains providing convenient access for large numbers of people to the spectacular and majestic mountain scenery, snow fields, glaciers, and other attractions of the North Cascades. The recommendation is also conditioned upon non-interference with the needs of Seattle City Light on Ross and Diablo Lakes.
Enabling legislation should include provisions to maintain the status-quo of the present proportionate distribution of National Forest receipts among affected counties.
The National Park can be established without removing lands from tax rolls, and without appreciable expenditures for land acquisition. This is because practically all of the land within the proposed boundary (99 percent) is already in Federal ownership.
There would be no significant adverse effects on timber harvesting, grazing, or fishing. There is no mining of consequence. Hunting would be precluded in the park.
One of the basic reasons for recommending a National Park is to give national recognition, National Park stature and special legislative protection to the unique and unparalleled mountain masses which occur so close to major metropolitan areas and in such grandeur and magnificence no place else in the United States.
The qualifications of this area as a National Park are not at issue. They are so outstanding that this National Park will take its place with Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Mount Rainier as one of the truly superlative units of the National Park System.
A major reason for recommending a National Park is that by means of access and development, the area can be made available to large numbers of people rather than retaining half the area in Wilderness area status, as would be done by the Forest Service.
A third reason that should be of significance locally is to bring to the area the tourism and other economic benefits that inevitably accrue in connection with a major National Park attracting visitors nationally and internationally.
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK
The southern boundary of the Mount Rainier National Park should be extended to include about eleven sections of National Forest land in the vicinity of the Tatoosh Range.
There should be more effective coordination and management to accommodate present and prospective heavy recreational use in Mount Rainier National Park and on surrounding National Forest lands.
Master planning needs to be carried forward aggressively for the National Park.
The National Park Service and Forest Service should coordinate their expertise in the management of Wilderness areas in order to protect the fragility of wilderness and at the same time accommodate increased use.
OTHER RECREATION AREAS
Mount Baker and most of the surrounding Recreation Area should continue to be administered by the Forest Service in accord with that agency's plans for development; pending establishment of the North Cascades National Park, the Eldorado Peaks High Country should be managed primarily for recreation as it proposes; both the Forest Service and the National Park Service should energetically pursue the development of opportunities and facilities for camping, picnicking, winter sports, and other mass recreation pursuits to accommodate the anticipated increased demand; and certain portions of the Skagit River and its tributaries, including the Cascade, the Suiattle, and the Sauk Rivers, should be managed as a Wild River and given Wild River status.
SCENIC ROADS AND TRAILS
High priority should be given to the construction of an adequate system of scenic roads. This would include construction of new roads, such as completion of the North Cross-State Highway, the construction of a road from the head of Ross Lake in British Columbia along the lake to a junction with the North Cross-State Highway, the construction of a road from Heather Meadows tunneling under Austin Pass to Baker Lake, the construction of connecting roads through Curry Gap, Cady Pass, Harts Pass, and the construction of a connecting link between Alpine Lakes and Enchantment Wilderness areas. An adequate system of scenic roads will include an estimated 921 miles, of which amount, 649 miles are existing but need minor improvements, 154 miles involve new construction, and 118 miles need reconstruction or major improvements such as surfacing and turnouts. Many of the roads in the latter group were designed primarily for timber harvesting purposes.
A north-south Cascade scenic road was explored but was not considered feasible.
The construction of an adequate network of scenic roads will greatly facilitate the enjoyment of the area's recreational opportunities by large numbers of people.
There should be developed and maintained a more adequate system of hiking and riding trails. This includes particularly the improvement of the Cascade Crest Trail and connecting trails. There are about 5,800 miles of trails in the area but a substantial proportion were constructed initially for fire protection purposes and 40 percent needs to be improved and better maintained for recreational use.
The Forest Service is commended for, and should continue to systematically apply, the policy directives and guidelines described in its statement "Management Objectives and Policies for the High Mountain Areas of National Forests of the Pacific Northwest Region."
In general, clear-cutting of blocks on the west side should be kept as small as practicable. In or near areas proposed for special attention for recreation, clear-cutting should be used only where other forms of silviculture are not feasible.
If adequate natural regeneration does not occur promptly, the areas should be planted. Further, road banks and other areas where there are similar soil disturbances should be artificially revegetated to minimize land scarring and stabilize soil.
In the design and construction of forest development roads, appropriate consideration should be given to the needs of all resources without undue emphasis on timber. Adequate scenic strips and roadside improvements should be provided consistent with landscape management principles.
In areas recommended for Wilderness area classification or National Park status, timber harvesting should not be permitted for a period of 5 years to allow time for congressional consideration and action.
Research should continue to be carried on on Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine types. This should include silviculture and economics of Douglas-fir and practical methods of harvesting and regeneration of that species by other means than clear-cutting.
The Federal and State agencies concerned should develop and improve habitat and carry on management measures in fish, wildlife and range management to the full extent of their responsibilities and capabilities in anticipation of increased public use.
The Secretary of Agriculture should support the Secretary of the Interior in his intervention with the Federal Power Commission concerning the proposed development of Wenatchee River by Public Utility District No. 1 of Chelan County.
The Secretary of the Interior should seek the views of the Secretary of Agriculture and should carefully assess the recreation impacts, both favorable and unfavorable, before acting on the proposed replacement dam on Bumping River below the existing Bumping Lake reservoir.
The enactment of legislation to create a North Cascades National Park should include provisions that would protect the present installations and plans of the Seattle City Light on the main stem of the Skagit River.
The Forest Service should continue to work with cities having closed municipal watersheds in order to develop satisfactory plans and procedures by which these watershed areas can be made available to help meet the expanding future recreational needs of the Study Area.
The net effect of the recommendations is to:
1. Establish four new Wilderness areasAlpine Lakes, Okanogan, Enchantment, and Mount Aixtotaling 720,000 acres;
2. Enlarge the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area by 39,000 acres;
3. Establish a North Cascades National Park totaling 698,000 acres;
4. Enlarge Mount Rainier National Park by 7,000 acres and provide for coordinated management between the park and surrounding National Forest lands;
5. Declassify three limited areasAlpine Lakes, Cougar Lake, and Monte Cristo Peak;
6. Provide for an increase of 228,000 acres of National Forest lands to be placed under normal multiple-use administration by the Forest Service;
7. Increase the available commercial forest land by 56,000 acres and increase the available commercial saw-timber by 1.5 billion board feet, thus providing a net benefit to the timber industry despite the creation of new Wilderness areas and a new National Park;
8. Provide for a 900-mile system of scenic roads and several thousand miles of trails.
9. Establish a Wild River in the Skagit Basin;
10. Provide for adequate camping, picnicking, winter sports, boating and other recreation facilities, including fishing and hunting opportunities, in anticipation of much greater population pressure and use;
11. Provide for timber management and needed research that will minimize erosion, land scarring, adverse effects on the natural beauty of the land scape, and accomplish prompt regeneration;
12. Involve no removal of lands from the tax rolls, no acquisition costs, no change in distribution of National Forest receipts, no impairment of operations of Seattle City Light on the Skagit River, and no significant adverse effects on the livestock industry, on commercial or sport fishing. There would be some adverse effects on hunting, and there could be on mining if significant future discoveries occur in the area proposed for a National Park.
13. Provide substantial net economic advantages from creation of a North Cascades National Park through increases in tourism and the expenditures, wages, and employment generated thereby, and by capital outlays to develop the National Park, with resulting employment and wages; and
14. Provide substantial economic benefits through the construction development costs, maintenance, and employment required to establish the recommended scenic road system, and from the expenditures and employment generated by increased driving for pleasure.
The overall conclusion is that there will be an economic benefit to the timber and tourism industries, little or no significant adverse effect on other resource-based activities, substantial economic advantages from the creation of the scenic road system and the establishment of a new National Park, and great intangible benefits to the population of the State, region, and Nation through new opportunities for mass recreation, through creation of a National Park, and through creation of new Wilderness areas.
Last Updated: 2009