USFS Logo The North Cascades Study Report
NPS Logo


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.

DOI logo


September 27, 1965

Mr. Edward C. Crafts
Chairman, North Cascades Study Team
Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C.

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 point.

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 wilderness.

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 Bumping Lake.

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 this area."

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 character—less 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 conceivable.

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 completely.

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 area.

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 Meadows area.

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 involved.

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.

Sincerely yours,
Owen S. Stratton


October 12, 1965

Dr. Edward C. Crafts, Director
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C.

Dear Ed:

I enclose two copies of comments regarding your Report of the North Cascades Study, and of my reactions to the twenty recommendations that it contains.

Sincerely yours,
GEORGE A. SELKE, Member,     
North Cascades Study Team.



Pertaining to
to the

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:

Federal6,309,400 acres
State37,000 acres
County200 acres
Municipal51,600 acres
Private639,700 acres
     Total7,038,200 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 acres—all in Mount Rainier National Park—by 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 so—in 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 them—whether 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 there."

"The analysis as presented in the report is inadequate for a COMPETENT judgment about the economic merits of the alternatives proposed."

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.

Visits (1000's)


While at the same time the acreage administered by the two agencies was:

Acreage (1000's)


(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 National Park.

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 acceleration."

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 Cascades—Resource 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 hunting—the latter much more so than fishing—is apparently being crowded to the side. With the several hundred thousand men and youth right now hunting in Washington—and this is similarly true in many other States—one 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 help.

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' Report.

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 America—namely, 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 for support?

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 year.

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 people."

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 us—and 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 importance.

Recommendation I. An Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area should be established.
I approve this recommendation which is an endorsement of a Forest Service proposal.

Recommendation II. An Enchantment Wilderness Area should be established.
I approve the recommendation which endorses the Forest Service proposal.

Recommendation III. A Mt. Aix Wilderness Area should be established.
I approve the recommendation which approves the Forest Service proposal.

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.

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 Park.
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 corrected.

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 are retained.

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 fills—the eyesore they would create and the erosion they would start—were 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 Cascades.
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 its location.

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 Commission.

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 action.

Recommendation XVIII. Protection of rights of Seattle City Light and Power.
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.

Respectfully submitted,
George A. Selke
George A. Selke, Member,     
North Cascades Study Team.

DOI logo


October 19, 1965

Dr. Edward C. Crafts
Chairman, North Cascades Study Team
Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C.

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 study team.

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 Nation.

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 Parks—one 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 Cascades—in 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 issue—as sometimes suggested—of 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 enjoyment.

With the foregoing comments, I concur in the report.

Sincerely yours,
George B. Hartzog, Jr.

Dr. Selke
Dr. Stratton
Mr. Greeley



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 makes recommendations.

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 now is.

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 cultivating—as 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 wilderness areas.

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 Act.

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 recreation use.

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 is—an 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 purpose.

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 park.

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.

Sincerely yours,
A. W. Greeley
Member, North Cascades Study Team,
Deputy Chief, Forest Service, USDA.

cc—All other Members of Study Team
George B. Hartzog, Jr.
Dr. Owen S. Stratton
Dr. George A. Selke
cc—Region 6



December 3, 1965

Dr. Edward C. Crafts, Director
Bureau of Outdoor Recreation
Room 4115
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 specially emphasized.

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 uses.

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 administration.

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 generations.

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 Recreation Area.

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 members.

Respectfully submitted,
George A. Selke
Consultant to the Secretary
of Agriculture.

George A. Selke
Deputy Chief,
Forest Service,
U.S. Department of Agriculture.

<<< Previous <<< Contents>>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 26-Mar-2010