USFS Logo The North Cascades Study Report
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December 6, 1965

Hon. Orville L. Freeman
Secretary of Agriculture

Hon. Stewart L. Udall
Secretary of the Interior
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretaries:

On behalf of the North Cascades Study Team, I am pleased to submit its report, The North Cascades, in fulfillment of your instructions of March 5, 1963.

In accordance with those instructions, the report reviews all the resource potentials of Federal lands in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington and includes recommendations as to management and administration of those lands that will best serve the public interest.

The report of the study team is the result of a truly joint undertaking. The team effort included field exploration, numerous meetings and discussions, extensive public hearings, the preparation of special resource reports and much other material, and an exhaustive examination of existing information, including that which is publicly available as well as internal records of the Forest Service and National Park Service.

Much valuable information and advice were freely given by the State of Washington, local governments, and a large number of private organizations and individuals.

Throughout the work of the study team, there was the finest type of cooperation and interchange among team members.

Also, there was general agreement on the facts. There was consensus on most of the recommendations although it is only fair to other team members to make clear that the exact wording and presentation of material is that of the chairman.

Your attention is called to the individual views of other team members appearing at the close of the report. These relate to the last review draft and many of their comments were accommodated in the final report. Where there are still differences of viewpoint, the individual opinions of team members should be considered as alternate recommendations.

The recommendations of the Forest Service and National Park Service, summarized in the report and appearing in full in Appendices B and C, predated the letters from individual team members. In some respects the individual letters differ substantively from the agency positions prepared earlier. Thus, in reviewing the agency recommendations, special attention should be given to the individual letters from team members dated September 27—December 3, 1965.

Whether there should be a new National Park in the North Cascades is the one fundamental issue on which there is disagreement. The two representatives of the Department of the Interior favor a new National Park, including the Mount Baker area. The two representatives of the Department of Agriculture oppose any new National Park in the North Cascades.

The views of the chairman and the recommendations set forth in the body of the report lie in between these divergent views. I favor a North Cascades National Park in the Eldorado Peaks-Picket Range area, but not including Mount Baker. The proposal in the report differs from any that have been advanced previously. I do not favor the establishment of a National Recreation Area as a substitute for a National Park. My views have been arrived at after full consideration of the September 27—October 27 comments of the individual team members, and are not altered by the Selke-Greeley letter of December 3.

The recommendations in the report are interrelated and should be evaluated as a whole. They would result in the creation of four new Wilderness areas, a new National Park, and, at the same time, would increase the supply of available commercial timber and have minimal adverse impact on other resources.

It has been a privilege to serve in this interdepartmental undertaking. All members of the study team are hopeful that the study and resulting report will have rendered a public service.

Edward C. Crafts
Chairman, North Cascades Study Team.

"A joint study should be made of Federal lands in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington to determine the management and administration of those lands that will best serve the public interest. These lands for the most part have been under the administration of the Forest Service as national forests for many years. A study team should explore in an objective manner all the resource potentials of the area and the management and administration that appear to be in the public interest. The study team will consist of representatives of the two Departments and will be chaired by an individual jointly selected by us.

"Recommendations of the study group will be submitted to us and we in turn will make our recommendations to you."

. . . Excerpt from letter of January 28, 1963, to President John F. Kennedy from Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman and Secretary of the Interior Stewart L. Udall.

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Last Updated: 26-Mar-2010