The North Cascades Study Report
INDIVIDUAL VIEWS OF STUDY TEAM MEMBERS
Following are comments of the various members of the study team other
than the chairman. These comments relate to the last review draft of the
report which immediately preceded the final draft. They appear here
chronologically in the order received.
The comments are in the form of
(1) a letter from Dr. Owen S. Stratton of September 27,
(2) a letter and attachment from Dr. George A. Selke of October 12,
(3) a letter from George B. Hartzog, Jr., of October 19,
(4) a letter from Arthur W. Greeley of October 27, and
(5) a letter from Arthur W. Greeley and Dr. George A. Selke of December 3.
These letters should be carefully studied in order to fully understand
the views of the study team.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
September 27, 1965
Mr. Edward C. Crafts
Chairman, North Cascades Study Team
Department of the Interior
Dear Mr. Chairman:
I find myself in disagreement with some of the
recommendations made in the North Cascades Study Team Report, and I
should like to have my views included in the Report at the proper
My disagreement relates to Recommendations III, IV,
VI, and XIII, which recommend, respectively, the establishment of a Mt.
Aix Wilderness Area, extension of the boundaries of the Glacier Peak
Wilderness Area, establishment of a North Cascades National Park, and
construction of a road south from the Canadian boundary along the east
side of Lake Ross.
The Mt. Aix Wilderness Area
The Forest Service proposes to eliminate the existing
Cougar Lakes Limited Area, to return the bulk of it to multiple use
management, and to recommend to Congress the establishment of a
wilderness area of about 45,000 acres surrounding Mt. Aix and to be
named the Mt. Aix Wilderness Area. Report of the Study Team in
Recommendation III concurs in the Forest Service proposal.
I have not had an opportunity to see the Cougar Lakes
area, but I have read descriptions of it that indicate that it has
superlative scenic qualities. The Park Service classified a considerable
part of the area west of Bumping Lake as Class IV or a unique natural
area. A guide testified in the public hearings in Seattle in October
1963 that in his opinion the Cougar Lakes Country was one of the most
beautiful regions in the North Cascades. And several outdoor clubs have
drawn attention to the importance of preserving the area as
All this suggests strongly to me that it is unwise
for the Study Team Report to concur in the Forest Service proposal to
return all but the Mt. Aix area of the present Cougar Lakes Limited Area
to multiple use management, which can and probably will include the
construction of roads and logging in a good deal of the area west of
The Forest Service describes the proposed Mt. Aix
Wilderness Area as "an isolated group of rough ridges and clustered
mountain peaks . . . with grand scenery on a small scale. . . . The area
is isolated and relatively arid. Access is comparatively difficult. Only
a person with a real desire for solitude will be attracted to go into
The Forest Service omits any description of the area
in the more immediate vicinity of Cougar Lakes; but my understanding of
this area is that it is quite different in characterless rugged,
easier to get into, more beautiful, and generally much more attractive
than the Mt. Aix area. It also appears to contain commercial timber.
In the last three sentences of its description of the
proposed Mt. Aix Wilderness Area, the Forest Service seems to me to be
saying, in effect, that it is alright to put Mt. Aix and its immediately
surrounding area in wilderness status since it is the kind of country
that only some eccentric in superb physical condition would go into. It
is good for nothing else, the Forest Service seems to say, so let's put
it in wilderness.
Perhaps I am unfair to the Forest Service, but I do
think it important that our wilderness system include some areas of
superlative beauty that are relatively easy of access and relatively
easy to travel and live in. I suspect, although I cannot be sure as a
result of my own observation, that the area around Cougar Lakes is of
this kind; and I believe that the Forest Service should re-examine its
decision to return the area to multiple use and should recommend the
bulk of it, particularly that generally west of Bumping Lake, for
wilderness status. I believe that this could be done and still leave a
strip along the eastern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park that the
Park Service, in cooperation with the Forest Service, could use to give
the Park some needed elbow-room.
Extensions of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area
I am in agreement with the recommendation of the
Report that the boundaries of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area be
extended and that the Suiattle and White Chuck corridors be reduced. My
disagreement comes with respect to the amount of reduction that is
recommended for these west-side corridors.
I believe that there is no disagreement by anyone
that the magnificent old-growth douglas firs in these corridors provide
the most impressive kind of entrance to the Wilderness Area that is
I commend the Forest Service for volunteering to
recommend extension of the Wilderness Area to include more of these
beautiful trees, but I believe that an even greater extension is in the
public interest. In my view, the corridors should be eliminated
I am aware that there has already been some
clear-cutting in these corridors. I am also aware that the timber
involved is very valuable and that elimination of the corridors would
have some adverse economic effects. The clear-cutting that has already
occurred cannot be helped and must be accepted until regeneration can
occur; but the fact that some clear-cutting has already taken place is
no argument in favor of additional clear-cutting. The adverse economic
impact of eliminating the corridors will not be great and will be
short-lived; and I believe that the benefits to the entire country of
preserving these magnificent stands for the longest possible time will
far outweigh the economic costs of refraining from logging them.
The North Cascades National Park
I want to express one disagreement with the
boundaries proposed for the North Cascades National Park under Recommendation
VI, to express my understanding of the kind of access that is
proposed for the Park, and to raise a question with respect to the road
that is proposed for consideration under Recommendation XIII to run from
the Canadian boundary down the east side of Ross Lake to connect with
the North Cross-State Highway.
The North Cascades National Park Boundaries. In my
view, the boundaries of the proposed park should be extended on the
northwest along the lines suggested by the Park Service in its proposal
for a Mt. Baker National Park. Such an extension would include the Mt.
Baker area within the proposed park.
There is no doubt, I suppose, in anyone's mind that
Mt. Baker and the area surrounding it are of national park caliber.
Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan make a unit that should be
included within the proposed park along with the Primitive
Area west of Lake Ross and the Eldorado Peaks
In addition, in my opinion, the Mt. Baker area would
benefit from Park Service administration. The Park Service can operate
winter sports facilities as well as anyone else; and if I understand
present Park Service policy correctly, it would try to get the bulk of
visitor accommodation facilities set up outside the Park and would do
something to remedy the present rather dilapidated state of the Heather
In short, I can see no reason for leaving the Mt.
Baker area out of the proposed North Cascades National Park, and I can
see two compelling reasons for including it.
Means of Access to the Proposed Park. Perhaps the
report makes clear enough what is intended, but I want to record my
understanding that the mass access features that are recommended will
provide access to the high wilderness country only by helicopter and
such devices as aerial tramways. I have seen trains and funiculars in
Europe, and I am impressed with the skill and ingenuity that Europeans
have shown in transporting large numbers of people to spectacular
vantage points where they can be controlled and where none but a few
mountaineers do anything as far as the mountains go but look at them.
These devices are a way of making it possible for large numbers of
people to see the wilderness without destroying it, and, although I
would agree that the trains will not add to the beauty of the mountains,
they will be relatively inconspicuous, as will the facilities at the
overlooks at the ends of the trains and helicopter routes. The
importance of providing a sort of vicarious wilderness experience for
large numbers of people outweighs any disadvantages that are
The Ross Lake Road. I have serious doubts about the
advisability of a road along the east side of Ross Lake from the
Canadian boundary to the North Cross-State Highway. One of the
advantages of Ross Lake is that it, like Lake Chelan, offers an unusual,
beautiful, and convenient means of access to the park. A road along the
eastern side would, in a sense, be a duplication of the access
facilities, made possible by the lake, and any access to the proposed
wilderness area to the east that a road would provide is also provided
by the lake. Inevitably a road will involve a long stretch of unsightly
scars that will be visible from the lake and from the park on the other
side. Finally, such a road will be costly; and if it is judged to be
important for Canadians to bring their cars directly from Canada to the
North Cross-State Highway, this could be arranged far more cheaply by
the provision of ferry service on the lake.
The Glacier Peak Wilderness Area
In conclusion, I want to make a comment about the
Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. It is my view that this should remain in
wilderness status under Forest Service administration and should not be
converted into a national park because the fragile character of the area
does not lend itself to the mass use which is an important justification
for a park.
I also want to observe that the protection of the
Glacier Peak Wilderness and the other wilderness areas recommended in
the Report, with the possible exception of the less fragile area west of
Lake Ross, will probably require before very long a degree of
administration that wilderness areas have not received until now. Not
only must measures be taken to disperse use and to provide for minimum
sanitation, but my guess is that wilderness users, if they are not to
destroy the wilderness they love, will have to accept some kind of
rationing of wilderness area use. Rationing is now used to control the
hunting of mountain goats, and relatively untrampled wilderness is
coming to be almost as scarce a commodity as mountain goats. This
scarcity will be increasingly conspicuous in the North Cascades because
of their proximity to large population centers and main travel routes.
If the time comes, as I believe it will, when the Forest Service is
compelled to ration access to the North Cascades wilderness in order to
preserve the qualities that make these areas attractive, I hope that the
wilderness users will cooperate.
OWEN S. STRATTON
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION
POST OFFICE BOX 3623
PORTLAND. OREGON 97208
October 12, 1965
Dr. Edward C. Crafts, Director
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Department of the Interior
I enclose two copies of comments regarding your Report of the North
Cascades Study, and of my reactions to the twenty recommendations that
GEORGE A. SELKE, Member,
North Cascades Study Team.
COMMENTS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
THE CRAFTS' REPORT OF AUGUST 27, 1965,
SECRETARIES OF AGRICULTURE AND OF THE INTERIOR
George A. Selke
October 12, 1965
Because of commitments made regarding important
obligations which preempted most of September, I asked permission for
additional time to review what you and your staff prepared during the
summer months. I reiterate my contention that what has been under
consideration for thirty months should be considered carefully when the
time ultimately comes to review essential issues and to make important
recommendations. I accept responsibility for the tardiness of this
statement because of my obligations during the past few weeks of
September, but for none of the many other delays prior to that month
over the preceding 2 years.
As I review the Crafts' Report of August 27, 1965,
there are many commendable statements that I should like to make about
the chairman and other members of the Study Team, the chief of staff and
his associates, the representatives of various Federal and State
agencies, and the many fine men and women it was our pleasure to meet in
connection with our assignments. Their courtesies and helpfulness are
most sincerely acknowledged. I should be derelict had I failed to
include this statement.
I attach recommended improvements in the part of the
Crafts' Report dealing with Mineral Resources, pages 92-102. There
are a few minor changes which make that statement more accurate and more
understandable. Several copies are attached.
In considering the future administration and use of
the extensive region under review by the North Cascades Study Team, it
is well to keep in mind that it comprises an area of 7,071,000 acres, of
which 7,038,200 acres are land, and 32,800 acres are water surface. The
land is divided as follows:
| Total||7,038,200 acres|
Since the establishment of the U.S. Forest Service,
and the U.S. Park Service, all of the Federal land has been managed by
these two agencies: 6,067,800 acres by the Forest Service as National
Forests, and 241,600 acresall in Mount Rainier National
Parkby the Park Service.
The Forest Service has a somewhat different pattern
of administration because its overall programs are much more a full-year
operation, dealing directly with more of the natural resources such as
water, timber, wildlife, and forage. It also has had many years of
contact with various forms of outdoor recreation, hunting, fishing,
hiking, skiing, and the like.
On the other hand, the operations at Mount Rainier
National Park tend to be centered upon the summer seasons when open
roads provide accessibility to the wonderful high mountain with its
mammoth summit which attracts so many people annually.
It is my contention that the administration of the
Forest Service and the Park Service in the North Cascades has been sound
and efficient; in fact, outstandingly soin terms of the means that
have been made available to carry out the programs. Moreover, the
programs are improving constantly. This applies as much to the National
Forests as it does to the National Parks.
Because my knowledge of the North Cascades, with its
forests and mountains, its streams and lakes, began a half century ago
and because I see better and greater use of its natural resources and
more positive assurance of the renewal and retention of its marvellous
resources today than ever before, I am reluctant to recommend changes in
its administration. I realize that the use of the land and water may
receive different and varying phases of emphasis. Methods and processes
may change as research and experience reveal more efficient and
effective ways of doing things. The emphasis should be upon the kind of
management that makes best use of the renewable resources, protects
those which must never be lost, and appropriately controls and directs
the people who use them. It has taken a long time to sense that the
greatest danger to our natural resources are the people who use
themwhether it is the farmer who "wears out" the fields, the
community that fails to control its waters from flood or pollution, the
camper who forgets to put out his fire, or the entourage into the
mountains whose trail is obvious for the next century.
It appears to me that the report deals inadequately
with the economical implications of the entire area. I feel that with
the exception of hydro-power, the study fails to stress adequately the
importance of water, its control and its use. Perhaps this is
intentional because water, including flood control, irrigation, and
hydro-power, is not correlated intimately with the recommendations
except as water deals with recreation.
I am inclined to sense a bias for proposals of what
could be done by Park Service and a prejudice toward what has
been done in the past by Forest Service. The area has
been preserved, largely because it was designated as National
Forest land and was administered by the Forest
Service for over sixty years. The present condition of the Forest
Service lands in comparison with most lands outside
of the National Forests speaks for itself.
While my college training provided but a minor in
economics, my many years in responsible administrative positions has
kept me keenly alert to economical implications. I confess to a keen
disappointment in the comparative economic evaluations of alternative
proposals of land use in the study area. I confess that it may be
difficult to estimate the worth of wilderness with hydro-power in terms
of dollars. I assume that with your excellent training and responsible
experience in the field of economics you share in a sense my feeling
regarding the inadequacy of the material presented in this field.
I also believe that too high an estimate has been
made of the value that accrues when land is shifted from one agency to
another to be used for fairly similar purposes. I agree with John
Fedkov, Chief, Branch of Production Economics, U.S. Forest Service, in
his review of the manuscript "VI Economic Analysis of Proposals":
"It is my personal impression that the author of this
manuscript has need of competent supervision in application of the
method of analysis and in making judgments about values, relationships
and data qualities involved in the appraisal. It is also my impression
that the author has had a tendency to favor the National Park proposal
in manner of presentation, through lack of adequate or correct
qualifications, in judgments about content of analysis and omissions or
oversights. This may have been inadvertent but the pattern is
"The analysis as presented in the report is
inadequate for a COMPETENT judgment about the economic merits of the
The Report seems to assume that the Park Service somehow attracts people
for outdoor recreational purposes more readily and successfully to its
operations than does the Forest Service. The facts do not show this.
The record shows that recreation use (visits) trend is increasing at a
faster rate on the National Forests than on National Parks.
While at the same time the acreage administered by the two agencies
(The above figures are from the ORRRC Report "Outdoor
Recreation For America" page 50.)
This certainly does not support the statement that
there would be greater economic benefits from the establishment of a
Marion Clawson in "Statistics on Outdoor Recreation"
April 1958 states that, using 1920 as a base, National Park use has
increased at an average rate of about 8-1/2 percent per year. For the
National Forests the increase was 7-3/4 percent prior to the war and
slightly more than 10 percent per year since the war. He also states,
"Rate of growth in recreation use for National Parks shows no clear
signs of slowing down; for National Forests it seems to show some
The Crafts' Report deals harshly at times with forest
management, and also occasionally so with timber industry practices.
Knowing the long service and the important and excellent contributions
that the author of the statement made in an honorable career as a
prominent and responsible forester, it is indeed a surprise to find
unwarranted criticisms of the policies that he long administered. I
think he is unfair to himself.
There have been unnecessarily slovenly and
unacceptable operations. That logging and roadbuilding methods and
procedures have been improved and should continue to be improved, we all
agree. The intimation that clear-cutting, especially in connection with
the regeneration of Douglas-fir, has had no research attention is
incorrect. It has long been studied by the Pacific Northwest Forest and
Range Experiment Station. Our mutual friend, former Director Thornton
Munger, has told me of the researches in this field that were sponsored
beginning early in his administration of the Station. Of course, the
research must continue.
On page 28 of the Crafts' Report is an unfair and
ominous heading: "The North CascadesResource Policy at the
Crossroads." Certainly, the work of the Study Team is important but it
is far-fetched to assume that we are on the "verge of a great crisis."
It sounds too melodramatic to suit me. A number of alternate decisions
could be made without creating a calamity.
One of the resources that is not stressed
sufficiently is that of wildlife. In the present surge of outdoor
activity fishing and huntingthe latter much more so than
fishingis apparently being crowded to the side. With the several
hundred thousand men and youth right now hunting in Washingtonand
this is similarly true in many other Statesone cannot help but be
conscious of hunting as not only an ancient outdoor sport but still very
much a popular activity. A good statement about wildlife was submitted
to the Study Team but it apparently has received relatively little
attention. It is my opinion that we have overlooked the possibilities of
both hunting and fishing, but especially hunting, in planning for the
future. These are two of the finest of our traditional sports that
appeal especially to youth approaching manhood. It is my strong opinion
that hunting and fishing should receive more attention as we consider
our outdoor recreation responsibilities. These fine diversions have
honorable traditions of their own and each has enriching concomitants
that are wholesome for our youths. We simply must see that they are
continued as an important part of posterity's heritage. The establishment of a million-acre park will not
According to the plans of the Craft's Report, the
section of the North Cascades Primitive Area which lies west of Ross
Lake is to be included in a proposed North Cascades National Park. This
is indeed a surprise. It is general knowledge the Forest Service is now
preparing information supporting a recommendation to be made to Congress
in the relatively near future that all of the North Cascades Primitive
Area, with the possible exception of adjustments along the shores of
Ross Lake, be designated as permanent wilderness. I heartily endorse
such action and strongly oppose the proposition advanced in the Crafts'
I object most vigorously to the recommendation that
the Pickett Range be made available for easy access to the multitudes
by trains or other mechanical means. Most of the region lying west of
Ross Lake, in the general proximity of Mount Challenger, possesses the
greatest potential in the Northwest for the people who wish to find true
wilderness experience. This is because of the rigorous climate and the
rugged topography. The district is intimately known only to the
relatively few hardy explorers and mountaineers who are willing to
penetrate such a formidable terrain. The names given to the peaks
reflect the reaction of the intrepid souls who first viewed the region.
Names that range from Mt. Redoubt and Mt. Challenger to Terror, Fury,
Triumph and Despair give some indication of the challenges caused by the
towering peaks and pinnacles overhead, and the narrow, rocky gorges and
jungle-dense creek bottoms between and below.
The maintenance of the single trail through Whatcom
Pass has been a costly item, difficult to maintain. To attempt to
develop more than a simple system of foot trails would be extremely
expensive. Heavy growth in the creek bottoms, solid rock and avalanche
chutes above, and the vagaries of much rough weather, make construction
of safe trails for any except truly competent mountaineers exceedingly
difficult. It should be preserved for those who have the spirit and
perseverance to develop the physical condition and also the skills and
disciplines required of those who become expert mountain climbers.
Because of this and for the very obvious purpose of
retaining some undeveloped and pristine areas, the Pickett Range and
environs should be preserved in its wilderness state. It is an area that
has and will successfully continue to resist man's encroachment. Nothing
should be done to encourage its development for more conventional and
convenient types of recreational uses. Such action would constitute a
desecration of what should remain posterity's continuing heritage. It
should be kept in a permanent wilderness.
Why not an additional, extensive new National Park in
the North Cascades?
Consideration should be given to the very short
season when visitors in large numbers would tend to visit the area. The
North Cascades has an extremely abbreviated summer. Early in autumn we
usually have cloudy, foggy weather, with extended periods of
precipitation. The higher altitudes have heavy falls of snow and at the
levels where scenery becomes outstanding, the temperature tends to drop
to low levels. Vigorous people enjoy the active sports and the rigorous
weather but those who prefer the California, Florida, or even southern
Appalachian climates like the sunshine and mildness.
For the better part of a decade the State parks of
Minnesota were under my administration. The overhead to maintain these
attractive areas for a twelve-week season made a lasting impression on
me. To provide accommodations for the thousands from the humid cornbelt
who rushed to the cool Minnesota lakes for the brief "tourist season"
was quite a different administrative problem from that in the southern
states where facilities had full-year patronage. It is financially
unprofitable to have extensive accommodations that draw revenues for but
a few months of the year.
Certainly, the Mount Baker and Mt. Shuksan area has
National Park quality. But would it serve the State and Nation
better as a National Park than it does now as a
full-year outdoor recreation area? There are a dozen peaks in the
North Cascades that have outstanding quality and
undoubtedly would be National Parks if in Iowa or Kansas. The
North Cascades has the most outstanding mountain park
in North Americanamely, Mount Rainier National Park.
It has never realized its potential from the
viewpoint of education, research, scenery, and recreation. The
massive summit, the glaciers, the variation in vegetation at
different altitudes, the opportunities for art, these should not only be
fully developed in a master plan but also fully in its program.
The administrators of this splendid park have wished
for decades for opportunities for appropriate development.
The Olympic National Park does not lie in the
Study Area. However, it should be pointed out that this magnificent area
might be affected by the establishment of a third large National Park in
Washington. With the large population of the State east of Puget Sound,
would this mean that the Olympic National Park, even now much
underfinanced for desirable development, would become third on the list
My contention is that the extreme northern part of
the North Cascades, even Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan, have too short a
season and too much inclement weather during three-fourths of the year
to become a heavily patronized National Park. To become an outstanding
recreation area, which it is now and was set aside to be 50 years ago,
with year round active outdoor recreation is still a wiser proposal.
With its "deep-snow" possibilities, its long skiing season, its appeals
for activities which appeal to many different and some unusual
interests, it is just now entering a new period of development and
appeal that assures good patronage for different seasons of the
I favor rather the establishment of National
recreation areas which have Congressional approval and whose status can
only be changed by similar Congressional action, to the establishment of
additional National Parks in such areas. This would not disturb special
activities like hunting, but would guarantee reasonable stability of
purposeful use. It would obviate the necessity of bringing in a new
Federal agency with additional personality, new building programs, new
rules, regulations, and restrictions, and accomplish unhampered
opportunities for outdoor recreation as new needs and objectives develop
over the decades.
In a memorandum (Management of the National Park
System) issued in July 1964, Mr. S. L. Udall, Secretary of the Interior,
made an excellent statement. He indicated that the National Park
responsibilities and activities could be listed under three headings,
namely: natural areas, historical areas, and recreational areas.
To the memorandum, Secretary Udall appended an
interesting "Summary of Legislative Landmarks Affecting the National
Park System." In succinct fashion it presents Congressional action which
assigned special and general responsibilities to the Secretary and to
the Department of the Interior. It is indeed well that a definite agency
is made responsible for National monuments, memorials, parkways,
seashores, and the like. I am glad, too, that through the Bureau of
Outdoor Recreation the Secretary of the Interior has the responsibility
to promote the coordination and development of effective programs
relating to outdoor recreation. The Act of May 28, 1963, states:
"That the Congress finds and declares it to be
desirable that all American people of present and future generations be
assured adequate outdoor recreation resources, and that it is desirable
for all levels of government and private interests to take prompt and
coordinated action to the extent practicable without diminishing or
affecting their respective powers and functions to conserve, develop,
and utilize such resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the American
The statement quoted does not mention the National
Park Service. It definitely leaves responsibility for the administration
of outdoor recreation wide open, even at the Federal level.
For example, within the Department of the Interior,
the National Park Service is not the only agency that deals with the
administration of outdoor recreation. Neither is Interior the only
Department that does so. This is common to a number of Departments and
agencies; in fact, to nearly every agency that has official charge of
Federal lands. This is as it should be. Of course, Congress can
determine which agency should assume responsibility for such programs on
particular Federal tracts. That, too, is as it should be.
I am strongly inclined to agree with a statement
recently made by Mr. Joseph Penfold:
"We must be prepared to think and act objectively in National
terms, even if that does mean the agony of
seeing some local project dear to our hearts slip away from usand
as we all know, choice areas are slipping away." * * *
"Certainly we should concentrate our attention and action for
authorization of new projects on those most immediately threatened with
destruction. * * * We shall need to consider carefully whether it makes
sense to try to push authorization for proposed park areas already in
Federal ownership ahead of the proposed areas which are threatened with
immediate engulfment by industrial or other development."
There is judgment and wisdom in Mr. Penfold's remarks. For one agency to
covet the land of another when both plan to use it for outdoor
recreation, even to take some out of wilderness or primitive status, in
obtaining it, is indeed the height of folly. Instead, let the agencies
help each other in obtaining those priceless areas that can be and will
soon be forever lost. There are populous sections of the country where
action is required immediately. By concentrating on the issues there we
need all the strength and support we can muster.
I indicate herewith my reactions, whether approval or opposition, to the
twenty recommendations that begin on page
131. For the sake of general convenience, I follow the numerical order
used rather than my opinion of the order of
Recommendation I. An Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area should be
I approve this recommendation which is an endorsement of a Forest
Recommendation II. An Enchantment Wilderness Area should be
I approve the recommendation which endorses the Forest Service
Recommendation III. A Mt. Aix Wilderness Area should be established.
I approve the recommendation which approves the Forest Service
Recommendation IV. The present boundaries of the Glacier Peak Wilderness
Area should be extended.
I might wish the extensions to be increased
somewhat along certain valleys, slopes and divides. More intimate,
personal acquaintance with the proposed boundaries on my part is
necessary to indicate any exact extensions. However, I agree with the
Recommendation V. An Okanogan Wilderness Area should be established.
I strongly oppose the proposal to change the boundary of the North
Cascades Primitive Area. The part that lies west of Ross Lake should not
be placed into a proposed National Park. I have covered this matter
fairly definitely in another part of my comments. I am against any
decrease of wilderness area.
Recommendation VI. There should be established a North Cascades National
I am opposed to the establishment of a new, extensive National Park in
the State of Washington, especially in the area designated in the
Crafts' Report. I am particularly opposed to the inclusion of the
Pickett Range, and also against the inclusion of some of the river
valleys and mountain ranges. The major purpose of the park is to provide
outdoor recreation facilities. This can be done more appropriately by
the establishment of a National Forest recreation area. It would then
not outlaw hunting and still insure permanence of status. There are many
reasons why a single agency should be responsible for general land
management in this rather than have two agencies from two different
Departments do so.
Recommendation VII. The Southern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park
should be extended.
I heartily endorse this recommendation.
I recommend in addition that a park of the Mt. Rainier superlative
resources should receive support comparable to its potential. I urge
that a master plan indicating its possibilities be made available for
public distribution. The management of this wonderful part of the North
Cascades is limited by inadequate financial support. This should be
Recommendation VIII. Coordination between Forest
Service and Park Service at Mt. Rainier Area.
I approve this recommendation most heartily and
commend the Bureaus that have so successfully developed inter-Bureau
arrangements and cooperative agreements.
Recommendation IX. The Mt. Baker Recreation Area
should be administered by the Forest Service.
I approve this recommendation.
Recommendation X. The Cougar Lake and the Monte
Cristo Peak Limited Areas should be declassified as such and
administered by the Forest Service in accord with its normal
multiple-use management policies.
I concur with this recommendation but wish to
emphasize that the Cougar Lake Area has qualities of primitive nature
that should be respected as having permanent value. These features merit
special management consideration so that the unusual characteristics
Recommendation XI. The Eldorado Peaks High Country
should continue to be developed by the Forest Service for recreation
pending establishment of the North Cascades National Park.
I would approve the recommendation provided the
statement be amended by placing a period after "recreation" and the
remainder of the sentence deleted. The quotation from the discussion or
explanation, "It is believed that the Forest Service development plans
are not considered inconsistent with the type of development that will
be carried forward in a National Park" is eloquent evidence that a park
is not needed to carry on an outstanding outdoor recreation program.
This is now in process of development at Mount Baker.
Recommendation XII. The Forest Service and the
National Park Service * * * should * * * pursue their respective plans *
* * over the next 20 years.
I approve this somewhat superfluous recommendation.
Recommendation XIII. Scenic Roads.
The recommendation covers too much territory for
general approval. The North Cross-State Road certainly must be a
transportation route through northern Washington, a highway connection
between eastern and western Washington. It will, of course, be used also
by tourists and sightseers. The Austin Pass route will provide quite
limited purposes, in comparison.
I strenuously object to a scenic parkway along either
side of Ross Lake. If British Columbia builds a road to its end of Ross
Lake, autos should be ferried the length of the Lake to the North
Cross-State Road. Roads are anathema to wilderness. I shudder to think
of the cuts and fillsthe eyesore they would create and the erosion
they would startwere the road constructed. It is far better to
keep Ross Lake itself as the only north-south travel route. I use these
illustrations to indicate why I oppose an overall approval. Each road
should be considered separately.
Recommendation XIV. There should be developed and
maintained an adequate recreation trail system in the North
The limiting adjective "adequate" induces me to
endorse this recommendation although I do so with fear and trepidation.
Trails, like roads, can be overbuilt but usually with less danger to an
area. Experts, of course, must determine the kind of trail needed and
Recommendation XV. Timber Management.
Instead of acting on this recommendation, I make the
obvious recommendation that it be reconsidered and rewritten. It reads
too much like a sackcloth-and-ashes admonition.
Recommendation XVI. Certain portions of the Skagit
River and its tributaries should be given wild river status.
I endorse this recommendation although I should like
to know the exact portions of the river and its tributaries which are to
be so considered.
Recommendation XVII. The Federal Power Commission should subscribe to
the intervention of the Secretary
of the Interior of July 21, 1965, with respect to Federal Power
Commission Project No. 2151.
Mr. J. Herbert Stone, Regional Forester, Region Six, has reported that
Project No. 2151 is not compatible with the purposes for which the
Wenatchee National Forest was created or acquired and is being managed.
The matter has been referred to the Chief of the Forest Service for
transmittal to the Secretary of Agriculture who will then, through
regular procedures and channels, present it to the Federal Power
I recommend that the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior
oppose Project No. 2151.
I recommend that the Bumping Lake Reservoir Project be considered by
both the Departments of Agriculture and of the Interior for appropriate
Recommendation XVIII. Protection of rights of Seattle City Light and
This would of necessity be provided for should the proposed North
Cascades National Park be authorized.
Recommendation XIX, and XX. Wildlife and fish protection and management.
I approve the intent of these two recommendations.
George A. Selke, Member,
North Cascades Study Team.
OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
October 19, 1965
Dr. Edward C. Crafts
Chairman, North Cascades Study Team
Department of the Interior
Dear Dr. Crafts:
I have now had an opportunity to review and discuss
with you the draft of report on the North Cascades Study transmitted to
the team members with your memorandum of August 30.
This has been a very difficult and complex study. It
has been, also, a most challenging and stimulating study. You and your
staff are to be commended for the masterful manner in which you have
prepared this proposed final report. Moreover, I congratulate you,
personally, on the skill with which you have served as chairman of this
The Resources Study Reports indicate considerable
agreement between the representatives of this Service and the Forest
Service in the identification of the recreational values of lands under
Classes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
land classification system. The major land classification difference
between our two Agencies relates to Class 3 (natural environment) lands.
This difference arises, principally, out of the interpretation by the
Forest Service of lands classified for its recreational program under
its Multiple Use Act. The agreement of our Services, with respect to
lands identified in Classes 4, 5, and 6, is especially significant since
these are the classes of lands requiring a high degree of preservation
in order to conserve their scenic, scientific and historic values.
A review of the land classification map indicates
that, in general, Mount Rainier National Park and an area immediately
adjacent to it on the south; Alpine Lakes-Mount Stuart area;
Glacier Peak; Okanogan Highlands; and the Mount Baker-Mount
Shuksan-Picket Range-Eldorado Peaks Areas are identified as Class 4, 5
and 6 lands.
It is the purpose of the National Park System through
its National Parks to preserve and interpret for the benefit and
enjoyment of our citizens those areas of superlative scenic grandeur and
scientific significance representative of the natural heritage of our
In the light of this long-recognized purpose of the
National Park System and the unquestioned significance of the lands for
National Park status, this Service recommended two National
Parksone in the Glacier Peak area; and another in the Mount
Baker-Mount Shuksan-Picket Range area.
Your recommendation is that, with certain boundary
adjustments, the Glacier Peak area continue as a part of the Wilderness
Preservation System under Forest Service management. I believe still
that this area qualifies as a National
Park. However, since continued classification and
proper management as wilderness will preserve the values here, since the
area in many respects is quite similar to Mount Rainier, and in a final
effort to compose the many points at issue, I reluctantly recede from my
original recommendation and support your recommendation.
With respect to our Mount Baker-Mount Shuksan-Picket
Range Park proposal, you recommend a National Park which eliminates
Mount Baker and essentially all of the Nooksack Valley, and which adds
the Eldorado Peaks area to the south. The area you have proposed for
addition is dominated by Eldorado, Forbidden and Boston Peaks, all above
8,800 feet in elevation. It is the most massive collection of giant
peaks and living glaciers in the entire North Cascadesin fact, in
the entire continental United States. As such, it is unquestionably of
National Park caliber. It likewise provides a needful area for the
development of park visitor use facilities. I agree with you, moreover,
that this area is more appropriate for inclusion in a National Park than
it is for inclusion in a National Recreation Area, as originally
recommended by this Service. My belief in this regard is strengthened by
the fact that the remainder of the area recommended by us as a National
Recreation Area is not now proposed by you for National Recreation Area
status. Accordingly, I recede from my previous recommendations for this
area and concur in your recommended addition of the Eldorado Peaks area
to our National Park proposal.
I must, however, object strongly to your deletion of
the Nooksack Valley. Especially, do I object strenuously to your
deletion of Mount Baker.
The Nooksack Valley area is badly needed for
development of administrative and park visitor use facilities on the
western edge of the proposed National Park.
My objection to the deletion of Mount Baker is more
fundamental. Mount Baker affords a splendid area for development of
visitor use facilities. More importantly, Mount Baker, with Mount
Shuksan and the Picket Range, is the only sector of the Cascade Range
where features illustrating all chapters in the geological story of the
Cascade Range from pre-Tertiary times to the present can be presented.
Mount Baker and its immediate vicinity are indispensable to the
completion of this geological record. To tear it out of our
recommendation, as you propose, is to rupture the basis on which the
interpretive story of this unique area may be told to its fullest
scientific value and in its most dramatic manner.
Your failure to include Mount Baker as we have
recommended is even more startling and confusing when one realizes that,
as long ago as 1926, the Secretary of Agriculture recognized the
national significance and park-like character of Mount Baker by
designating it the Mount Baker Park division of the Mount Baker National
Forest. Thus, for almost 40 years, by Secretarial Order, the Forest
Service has given Mount Baker a special and unique management in
recognition of its superlative scenic and scientific values.
As I have repeatedly pointed out in our committee
discussions, the question of including Mount Baker in a National Park
does not involve the issueas sometimes suggestedof whether
this Service or the Forest Service can do the better management job
there. In fact, as we have discussed, this argument demeans the
respective missions assigned by the Congress to our organizations and
the talented and devoted employees of our respective Services. My
principal objection to your deletion of Mount Baker is that, recognizing
the park values of Mount Baker, it violates the Congressional missions
assigned our respective Services to continue the management of this park
area in the Forest Service.
A principal purpose of our study is to clarify the
management responsibilities of the Federal Agencies in the North
Cascades. Thus, to continue the management of the
Mount Baker Park division as a part of the Mount Baker National
Forest, as suggested in your recommendation, is as
incongruous as would be a recommendation that the timber resources
of one of the National Forests be assigned to this
Service for commercial, sustained yield management.
Throughout the report, you have emphasized the need
for visitor access in the proposed National Park. Of course, I concur
that National Parks should be available for reasonable public access. I
do not believe, however, that they should be so thoroughly emasculated
with roads and trails that their basic values are impaired. I am
particularly pleased to see that you have recognized the need for
careful planning of roads and trails and that such roads and trails
should be supplemented by other means of access, such as helicopters and
mechanical devices as discussed in the report. The rugged country of the
North Cascades lends itself especially to the use of these less
destructive means of access, and I agree that in this proposed National Park we should
utilize these innovations in park transportation. Moreover, the
suggested development plan discussed during the May meeting of the study
team indicated that several heliports with accompanying high chalet
overnight accommodations in the Picket Range area were desirable for
visitor access and accommodation. I believe that such developments are
appropriate in this proposed National Park and concur in your view that
they should be provided.
As a part of the overall access system of the
proposed National Park, I concur also in your recommendation for a road
in the vicinity of Ross Lake. This is a prime public use area that
should be made available with a park-like road for visitor use and
With the foregoing comments, I concur in the
GEORGE B. HARTZOG, JR.
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WASHINGTON 25, D.C.
IN REPLY REFER TO
October 27, 1965
Dr. Edward C. Crafts
Director, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Room 5356 Department of the Interior Building
Dear Dr. Crafts:
Herewith my comments on the Report of the North
Cascades Study Team and the major items concerning which the Report
This Study turned out to be primarily centered on
outdoor recreation. I suppose this was inevitable. Most of the
recommendations deal with recreation aspects of this area. And later on
the Study will be thought of as mostly concerned with reaching
conclusions about use of outdoor recreation resources of this part of
Washington State. We, in the Forest Service, have lived in this area for
a long time. We have struggled through its various phases. And we lived
through a long period of time when few people were very interested in
this area, when funds for adequate fire protection were limited, and
when just the imagination and great heart of a large number of very
dedicated public servants succeeded in giving this area enough
protection from fire and from other hazards to protect it and to hand it
down to the present generation as the highly attractive area which it
The present surge of interest in recreation use of
the North Cascades Study Area should not be a reason for anyone to
overlook the importance of the other resources. The harvest of timber is
important in this area, even though some folks who live outside of it
would like to imagine that timber harvesting is not a particularly
necessary activity here. There are people with jobs, and families, and
homes who are dependent upon the continuing flow of raw material from
National Forest timber being harvested in the Study Area. And this is an
important segment of the local and State economy.
Whether there are 5,000 people, or 20,000 people,
whose livelihood is directly dependent on resources from this area, his
job is important to each one of those individuals. And each job is
important to the man's family, and to his community. We live in a
society and a political climate which recognizes the worth of each
individual, and of his opportunity to support his family through
gainful employment. In our political climate, we do not tell the people
of a community, such as Darrington and others, that a third of the
people now working there will have to go find jobs some???place else
because the resources on which their jobs depend are needed immediately
for some other purpose.
People who observe from the sidelines, and those who
come to the Study Area as seasonal guests during the pleasant
months in the valleys and the high mountains, are not
able to look at this part of the country as do the people who
live there. Those who live there see timber-harvest
roads, and the appearance of a clearcut area during the short
interval before natural regeneration comes in, not as
bleak blotches on the landscape. They see them in the same way that a
farmer cultivating rich farmland sees plowing and cultivatingas
part of a process of harvest, cultivation and renewal.
And this is the way we, in the Forest Service, see
the resources of the Study Area.
So it goes for hunting. We see game management, the
manipulation of game populations, and hunting under a State-controlled
system as a very necessary part of managing the total environment of
this area. We see water developments, like that of the City Light
Department of the City of Seattle, as a necessary part of the total
complex of this area. Water production needs to be supported by things
such as snow fences at appropriate places in the mountains to influence
the pattern of snow accumulations.
And so, too, we see range use by domestic livestock
in the relatively small portions of this area which can properly be so
used. In total, this use is not important in the economy of the State of
Washington. But for the individuals whose stock run in this Study Area,
the grazing permits are important. An abrupt upset is a serious upset to
the families and the livelihood of the individuals involved.
In short, we see this North Cascades Study Area as an
important part of the State of Washington having significant resources.
Its use is of great importance locally. Its management on the basis of
making good use of all the resources continues to be as important now as
it has been during the 60 years that the Forest Service has intimately
known this entire area.
Now, about recreation. The Report properly points out
the recreation importance of this general area. By its actions, the
Forest Service has long recognized the importance of the recreation
resource here. Attention in the Report has been mostly focused on the
management of the high elevation heartland. But the whole area is
important for outdoor recreation and is extensively used for this
purpose. It is, perhaps, a little unfortunate that so much attention has
fallen in recent years on what areas should be wilderness, or national
park, for these areas receive very light use compared with the Study
Area as a whole. In 1964, less than six-tenths of one percent of
National Forest recreation visits were in the present primitive and
Nevertheless, there has been much attention to
urgings that more area be classed as wilderness. The people who began to
agitate for a national park in the late '50's did so before the
Wilderness Act was passed. There now is a Congressional statement of
direction about how wilderness areas are to be managed. Congress has
also stated the steps and the timing by which areas now classed as
primitive areas are to be acted on for reclassification as wilderness
areas. For areas that are now, or which are to be in the National
Wilderness Preservation System, there no longer is an argument that the
management of these areas may be changed by "the whim" of an appointed
officer of the Government. The Congress has said how they are to be
managed, and Congress has said what procedure must be followed to bring
about a change in this management.
So right in the heart of the Study Area there now are
more than 1,300,000 acres of National Forest land for which the
management direction has been set by Congress under the Wilderness
As you know, the Forest Service has recommended to
the Study Team that another 267,000 acres or so in new areas or in
proposed additions to present areas be added to the National Wilderness
Preservation System. And you also know that the Secretary of Agriculture
decided in 1960 to manage for the recognition of its recreation
potential an area of over half a million acres lying between the Glacier
Peak Wilderness Area and the North Cascades Primitive Area. I mention
this Eldorado Peaks high country in a little more detail later.
The sum total of these various recommendations, all
of which were in being or had been openly discussed prior to the
appointment of the North Cascades Study Team, means that the Forest
Service has recognized to the extent of more than 2 million acres the
importance of outdoor recreation in this part of the Cascade Mountains
in the State of Washington. We have, by these various proposals and
existing arrangements, dedicated in excess of 2 million acres in the
heartland of the North Cascades of the State of Washington to outdoor
recreation use, either in wilderness form or in a form suitable for mass
To merely shift some of this area from Forest Service
administration to National Park Service administration does not add any
area for the public to use for outdoor recreation. Nor does it
significantly change the nature of the country. As long as the North
Cascades area of the State of Washington is protected from fire and
insects and disease, the general nature of the country will remain just
what it isan attractive, highly scenic, desirable outdoor piece
of country. But to shift some of it from Forest Service administration
to National Park Service administration does add cost. There would
necessarily be duplication in organization, duplication in
administrative facilities, and, consequently, duplication in annual
costs of administration and servicing.
About the Eldorado Peaks high country. We have laid
out a proposal for the way this area should be managed. It is discussed
in considerable detail on pages 28 to 37 of the Appendix of the Study
Report. We have proposed that this area be developed for outdoor
recreation use by the winter sports enthusiasts and the summer
recreation seekers to whom this country will appeal. We have proposed a
combination of winter sports facilities, of campgrounds, of organization
camps and concession-operated resorts, and a moderate program of
roadbuilding to make the country more accessible for recreation. This is
all as described in the Appendix of the Study Team Report.
As I told the Team in the Meeting in June of 1963,
the Forest Service would be willing to have this area designated in some
special way, such as by its being made a National Recreation Area by Act
of Congress. We did not formally so recommend to the Team because we
were advised by Bureau of Outdoor Recreation Staff that under the
guidelines adopted by the Recreation Advisory Council this area would be
considered as capable of having a recreation program without designation
as a National Recreation Area. Therefore, the BOR Staff thought that it
would not be eligible to be a National Recreation Area. We, in the
Forest Service, think it would be suitable to be a National Recreation
Area, and would have no objection to its being so-classed.
It is alleged that people of the Nation do not know
about the North Cascades Area. This is true compared with Yellowstone
and Yosemite and Mt. Rainier. We think this is not due to lack of
publicity by the Forest Service, but to lack of good road access. We
have been working with the State of Washington, in the use of State
highway funds and Federal highway funds, to get a good highway
constructed which opens up this part of the North Cascades for the
general traveling public. And once this cross-state highway is opened
up, this part of the State of Washington will become well known whether
there is a National Park or a National Recreation Area or no such
special designation. It has been the lack of road access which has kept
people out of this country and kept them from knowing about it, not the
lack of designation as a national park.
It is difficult for me to see the justification for
proposals to make a national park out of Mt. Baker. Mt. Baker does not
compare with Mt. Rainier in geologic and scenic attractiveness as a
mountain mass. Mt. Baker is now a well-known, popular winter sports
area. It has an International reputation. The present pattern of
management has been highly satisfactory to the residents of the State of
Washington. Again, it seems to me, that simply to transfer the
administration of this area from one agency to another in order to
accord to it the name "national park" would not add anything to the
recreation resource base available to the American people. It would add
cost of duplicating administration; and it would remove this attractive
area from availability for hunting. Unless there is a change in policy
by the Park Service about winter sports development, it would also cloud
the continued use of this established winter sports area for this
Here are my comments on the recommendations. As you
know, the Forest Service is in agreement that an Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Area should be established. We are in agreement that an Enchantment
Wilderness Area should be established. We are in agreement that a Mt.
Aix Wilderness Area should be established. We are in agreement that the
present boundaries of the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area should be
somewhat extended in three respects; i.e., along the northeast
perimeter, a small addition in the Suiattle River corridor, and a small
addition in the White Chuck River corridor. These proposed new areas,
and proposed additions to existing areas, would add about 255,000 acres
to the areas classified as wilderness.
Regarding the North Cascades Primitive Area, I want
to set forth our position so that it will be clear. We think the North
Cascades Primitive Area should be reclassified to a wilderness area
under the provisions of the Wilderness Act. We think that in the
reclassification, the boundaries should be slightly changed so that the
total area would be enlarged from 801,000 acres to about 813,000 acres.
In this boundary change, a somewhat wider corridor adjacent to Ross Lake
would result, so there would be some land on both sides of the lakeshore
which would not be included in the wilderness area. We feel very
strongly that the portion of the North Cascades Primitive Area west of
Ross Lake, and which in the Study Team discussions was referred to as
the Pickett Range area, should remain a wilderness area. We think this
piece of country cannot be developed for heavy recreation use, or even
for accelerated recreation use, except with a loss of wilderness values
which should not be lost. I want it to be perfectly clear. We feel very
strongly this area, which has been in primitive area status for about 30
years, should continue to be wilderness.
We do not agree that there should be a national
We agree with the recommendation to make a change on
the southern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park. And we also agree
that much can be gained by both the National Park Service and the Forest
Service through effective coordination and management of activities
along the boundary between Mt. Rainier National Park and the surrounding
National Forest lands.
We agree with the recommendation that the Mt. Baker
Recreation Area should continue to be administered for recreation
purposes. And we agree with the recommendation that the Cougar Lake and
the Monte Cristo Peak Limited Areas, which involve a classification
action made within Region 6 of the Forest Service but never reviewed,
accepted, nor formally acted on by the Chief of the Forest Service
should be discontinued and the area now delineated by these lines on
maps should be administered as other National Forest land.
We agree that the recreation load will increase in
the Study Area, and that all agencies, including the Forest Service
should have, and aggressively pursue plans to provide additional
recreational facilities. We also agree there should come into existence
a system of scenic roads, and a good system of trails. Some work still
remains to be done in working out the details of what the routes would
be, and what the priorities should be.
We agree that management of timber in portions of the
Study Area needs to be done in such a way that recognition is given to
the needs of areas that are important for recreation. The Forest Service
is now using a zoning-type approach. We designate landscape management
areas, which are similar to roadside zones, to denote areas where the
maintenance of scenic attractiveness in the vicinity of developed
campgrounds and in the vicinity of roads and waterfronts is an objective
of management just as important as is the production of timber. This
concept is applied in a selective manner, depending upon the timber type
involved, the elevation, the steepness of slope, and other matters of
local condition. We have been using this approach for four operating
seasons now. We feel that the application of this approach provides an
important answer to many of the things in our timber cutting which have,
in the past, been rather severely criticized. We agree that the prompt
securing of regeneration is important. And we agree that it is important
to artificially revegetate roadbanks and other bare areas resulting from
logging which, if not revegetated, produce unsightliness and may also be
a cause for soil washing.
We are in agreement that the Skagit River should
receive wild river status and that the recreation impacts of the
proposed water power project on the Wenatchee River should be carefully
assessed and fully presented when the decisions are being made on this
project. We agree that it is desirable to improve fish habitat and
wildlife habitat, and, to the extent possible, to increase levels of
fish production and to obtain balance between range capacity and numbers
of big game and livestock.
As you are aware, this letter is written before the
final draft of the Report is completed. I have commented on the
recommendations we have discussed. I think the comments are clear, even
though they may not appear in the same order as do the recommendations
in the final Report. Subject to these comments, I concur in the
recommendations section of the Report.
A. W. GREELEY,
Member, North Cascades Study Team,
Deputy Chief, Forest Service, USDA.
ccAll other Members of Study Team
George B. Hartzog, Jr.
Dr. Owen S. Stratton
Dr. George A. Selke
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WASHINGTON 25, D.C.
IN REPLY REFER TO
December 3, 1965
Dr. Edward C. Crafts, Director
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
U.S. Department of the Interior
Dear Dr. Crafts:
The two sets of comments which we submitted as individual members of the
North Cascades Study Team range over the full set of recommendations
contained in the draft report transmitted with your memorandum of August
30. They cover points on which there is agreement among Team members as
well as points on which there is disagreement. And they attempted to
express shades of meaning in some of the comments.
In order to summarize the two longer statements, and to make the
position of the Department of Agriculture representatives on the Study
Team perfectly clear, the representatives from the Department of
Agriculture want this further statement included in the report.
Our summarized recommendations, and the supporting reasons are:
I. We recommend the establishment of a North Cascades National
Recreation Area to include the area between Glacier Peak Wilderness Area
and the present North Cascades Primitive Area, including Ross Lake.
II. We recommend keeping the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area in its present
status, with some boundary extensions.
III. We recommend reclassifying the North Cascades Primitive Area to a
Wilderness Area with some boundary changes, and giving appropriate
separate names to the portions west and east of Ross Lake. The west
portion should be called the Pickett Range Wilderness Area, and the east
portion the Pasayten Wilderness Area.
IV. We recommend keeping the Mt. Baker-Mt. Shuksan area as it now is, a
part of the Mt. Baker National Forest where recreation values are
These four recommendations cover the major points
about classifying areas of land concerning which there is disagreement
between members of the Study Team.
We also recommend:
V. Establish new wilderness areas as follows:
a. Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area;
b. Enchantment Wilderness Area;
c. Mt. Aix Wilderness Area;
and that the regional designation of certain "Limited
Areas" be discontinued.
VI. An extension on the southern boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park.
VII. Construction of the following scenic roads:
a. Curry Gap
b. Cady Pass
c. Harts Pass
d. Austin Pass
VIII. The designation of certain parts of the Skagit River and tributaries as Wild River sections.
Comments on other recommendations, which deal with
management practices, road use and standards, the need for trails, and
the need for additional recreation plans and facilities are not repeated
here since they do not bear on the commitment of land for different
The central issue of the study and the report is on
the question, should there be a National Park in the North Cascades in
addition to Mt. Rainier. We believe strongly that it is neither
necessary nor desirable to have an additional National Park. We think
national emphasis can be given to the recreation and scenic values of
this area without establishing a duplicating organization and unit of
To do this, we recommend a North Cascades National
Recreation Area covering the portion of the Study Area that lies between
the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area and the to-be-reclassified North
Cascades Primitive Area, including a strip of land on both sides of Ross
Lake. This is an area of about 537,000 acres. It is the area which an
earlier statement refers to as the Eldorado Peaks High Country.
A North Cascades National Recreation Area, including
Ross Lake and all of the main mountain area south to the Glacier Peak
Wilderness Area would:
1. Earmark the resources of this area as nationally
important for recreation, without setting up what otherwise is
necessarily a duplicating organization to administer the area.
2. Permit making the additional water impoundments
which the City of Seattle needs and plans, without the necessity of an
exception to longstanding National Park Service policy.
3. Permit hunting as a recognized and desirable use.
This recreation area and the adjacent wilderness areas make a very
unusual, rugged-terrain hunting area for deer, black bear, mountain
goats, and to a lesser extent for birds. The State of Washington has
been emphasizing this traditional, American, outdoor sport by featuring
an early hunting season in this part of the Cascade Mountains. This kind
of hunting has a place as part of the heritage to be handed on to future
4. Permit the Cross-State Highway which is now being
built through the North Cascades to function as a through artery of
commercial transport. It is needed as an artery of transport. If this
were a National Recreation Area, a through State highway could exist
without raising questions as to whether commercial use constitutes an
additional exception to longstanding National Park Service policy.
5. Permit carrying out a recreation development plan
that includes several tramways and several substantial winter sports
areas, for which comparable facilities do not exist now within National
Parks, and which present Park policy does not encourage.
6. Permit the recreational pastime of "gathering,"
which includes berry picking, rockhounding, gathering weathered and washed
wood and use of other minor components of the forest environment that is
not now permissible within National Parks.
7. Permit the commercial use of products that become
available in the normal course of managing the area for its recognized
values of recreation, scenic beauty, wildlife habitat, forage use, water
development and production, and forest insect or disease protection.
8. Provide a "national" name and "national"
identification for this area.
9. Permit the present formula for sharing National
Forest receipts with the counties to operate without changes that would
be adverse to some counties and favorable to others.
Special provision should be made for mining. We
believe it would be proper to incorporate in the authorizing
legislation a provision similar to that in the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity
National Recreation Area legislation, to withdraw public lands from
location, entry, and patent under the mining laws but to permit removal
of nonleasable minerals in the manner prescribed for leasable minerals.
We also believe that all mineral activities should be subject to a
cut-off date similar in effect to that contained in the Wilderness Act,
which is December 31, 1983.
The Forest Service has plans for recreation
development of the area which can be adapted intact to a National
Designating this area as the North Cascades National
Recreation Area will give this recreation resource congressional
recognition and a national name without setting up a duplicating
organization and necessarily duplicating costs. Management as a
National Recreation Area makes possible some attention to resources, use
for the virile sport of hunting, use for water developments, and for
incidental harvesting and "gathering." And as a National Recreation Area
there could be full development for winter sports and organization
camps, which are not encouraged under existing Park policy.
Forest Service plans for the Study Area call for
designating over 1,500,000 acres outside of this recreation area for
special attention to recreation values, mostly as wilderness areas.
Wilderness classification means some restrictions on use. We believe it
is appropriate, proper, and necessary that this area of over 500,000
acres be managed under a philosophy that permits some flexibility in
kind and amount of resource use as well as giving permanent recognition
to recreation values.
A Pickett Range Wilderness Area will retain in
wilderness status this remote and inaccessible area which is wilderness
in character if any spot in the United States is. We think it cannot be
developed for accelerated recreational use without a loss of wilderness
values that should not be sacrificed. We believe the Nation would
experience a tangible loss if this area were to be changed to some use
other than wilderness.
Establishment of a Pasayten Wilderness Area, consisting of the present
North Cascades Primitive Area east of Ross
Lake, with some modification of boundaries, is consistent with its
long-continued classification as a primitive area.
On this point, we understand, there is not disagreement among the Team
GEORGE A. SELKE,
Consultant to the Secretary
ARTHUR W. GREELEY,
U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Last Updated: 26-Mar-2010