Title: Let's Open Up Our Wilderness Areas: Springboard for Discussion
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00051617/00001
 Material Information
Title: Let's Open Up Our Wilderness Areas: Springboard for Discussion
Alternate Title: Julber, Eric. "Let's Open Up Our Wilderness Areas: Springboard for Discussion. Reader's Digest.
Physical Description: 5p.
Language: English
Creator: Julber, Eric ( Author )
Publication Date: May 11, 1972
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 3, Folder 5A ( WATER SHORTAGE, VOL. I. B3F5 ), Item 29
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00051617
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

.. iia^ ^ B ..., ",

e d -'- s

SI'll Come Back for You" .
"- -Tracer! The Search for Missing Persons" 73
Where Does Liberty End and License Begin? . ..
Eugene H. Methvin 77
S'But Women Are the Favored Sex ., Elsieliese Thrope 82
._....__. _:,_" "Brezhnev: Russia's New and Undisputed No. 1 ... .
S--.. Lawrence Elliott 85
The Yo-Yo Syndrome: Do You Have Trouble Losing Weight
SPermanently? .. "The Truth About Weight Control" 92
t1. '-"- l .. We Must Halt Our Runaway Budget! ... David T. Wendell 96
I Am Jane's Breast .. D. Ratcliff .99
Escape From Cuba :-'.- .-. Drama in Real Life 104
Is No-Fault Auto Insurance the Answer? Kiwanis Magazine 110
T \ Bruges -Most Medieval Town in All Europe ...........
S y \ .-.-., -p t : -: : .:: Armchair Travelogue 114
Larrys Trip to Tragedy, .. John Reddy 120
Let's Open Up Our Wilderness Areas .. .
S Springboard for Discussion 125
Your Emotions Can Make You Ill Blake Clark 129
The Factory-Built House Is Here Wolfgang Langewiesche 133
Is Canada Turning Against Us? Livingston T. Merchant 138
Sure Cure for a Killer J .. James R. Miller 143
What Is a Grandmother? . .. From the book 146
The Great Youth Marathon .. Christian Herald 148
.' ."- Unforgettable Bugs Baer Bob Considine 152
The Promise of Prison Reform A compilatiorl 157
Our Little-Known National Treasures Early American Life 164
Those "Talking Birds" Out in Space Popular Mechanics 172
What Code of Values Can We Teach Our Children? .
S.. New York Times Magazine 187

Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach 195

China Diary . .. James A. Michener 241
P.'" Behind the Lines, 15-Press Section, 21-'Scourge of the Smugglers, 29
"- -. '" 9": My, 0 Myopia! 37-Personal 'Glimpses, 43-Look What's Happening
to Wristwatches, 47-It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power, 60-Miracle
of the Sunbeam, 65-Life in These United States, 90-Picturesque.
Speech, 103-Laughter, 123-Quotable Quotes, 142-News From the
World of Medicine, 162-Humor in Uniform, 181
<"2 .^. 51st year: Over 29 million copies bought monthly in 13 languages

Springboard for Discussion
Much of America's most scenic land is
now preserved by law for "the permanent good of the
whole people." Yet, in effect, 99 percent of
Americans are deprived of its enjoyment

Let's Open Up Our

Wilderness Are.as

Condensed from a statement made before the
Subcommittee on Parks and Recreation of the Senate
Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs
HE PREVAILING philosophy road ... no temporary road ... no
with regard to the use of some mechanical transport and no struc-
40 million acres of America's ture or installation."* The practical
magnificent wilderness has become effect of this philosophy, thus frozen
what I term "purist-conservationist." into federal law, has been to make
The purist is, generally speaking, many of the most beautiful areas of
against everything. He is against the United States "off limits" to
roads, campgrounds, ski lifts and res- anyone who is not willing and able
taurants. He has very strong ideas to backpack into them. Statistics
about who deserves to enjoy natural show that this means 99 percent of
beauty and, ideally, would reserve Americans.
beauty for those who are willing and In 1965, there were 1,475,000 visi-
able to hike, climb, crawl or cliff- tors to the Wilderness areas. In 1970,
hang to achieve it. The purist be -*Currently, 10.3 million acres are covered
lives that those who do not agree under the Wilderness Act. Between 17 mil-
with him desire to "rape the land- lion and 27 million additional acres are being
scape."administered as if they were under protec-
scape. tion of the Act. More than 20 million acres
These purist standards were em- are being reviewed or are being proposed as
bodied in the Wilderness Act of potential Wilderness acreage. Another 50
964, which provides that in such million acres are being reviewed by various
1964,hich provides tht in h federal agencies for classification as wilder-
areas there shall be "no permanent ness or primitive areas.

the number of visitors had increased believe that the areas provided to the
only to 1,543,000. This represents use common American are not the
by less than one percent of our popu- prime scenic areas; they are the
lation. Moreover, a survey on behalf fringes, the leftovers, the secondary
of the President's Outdoor Recrea- scenic areas.
tion Resources Review Commission I feel I can speak with some au-
(ORRRc) showed, by statistical anal- thority as to purist philosophy, be-
ysis, that the users are the intellec- cause I was once a purist myself. I
tual and financial elite of our nation, have carried many a 50-pound pack;
Reports the ORRRC: "In the sample I've hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney,
of Wilderness users interviewed, there to think beautiful thoughts;
more than 75 percent had at least a I've hiked the 200-mile length of
college degree, and a high proportion California's John Muir Trail, run-
have done post-graduate work or ning from Yosemite to Sequoia. And
hold advanced degrees.... Wilder- even in later years, when the press of
ness users are disproportionately law practice kept me physically away
drawn from the higher income lev- from the wilderness, in spirit I re-
els. Professional and semiprofession- mained a purist. Keep those roads
al people, and those in white-collar and crowds out, I said!
occupations, account for approxi- But no more. Recently I paid a
mately three quarters of those inter- visit to Switzerland. What I saw
viewed." there made a non-purist out of me.
And what of ordinary Americans, Switzerland has, within the bound-
those whose favorite recreations are aries of a country half as large as
driving, sightseeing, easy walking South Carolina, one of the most
and camping? What of the too-old, astonishing concentrations of natural
the too-young, the timid, the inex- beauty on the face of the earth. Not
perienced, the frail, the hurried, only was I overwhelmed by Switzer-
the out-of-shape or the just-plain- land's beauty, but I was amazed to
lazy, all of whose taxes acquired find that virtually every part of it was
and maintain the Wilderness accessible and thoroughly used by
areas? people of all shapes and ages. It
For this group-99 percent of the was, in fact, exploited to the ulti-
American population-federal agen- mate-crisscrossed with roads, its
cies provide 73,700 acres of camp- mountain valleys heavily grazed and
grounds and 39,100 acres of picnic farmed, hotels and restaurants every-
sites: a total of i12,800 acres. And I where. Where the automobile can-
not go, railroads take you; and
when the going gets too steep for
E JULR is a Los Angeles attorney, cogwheel trains, you catch an aerial
specializing in maritime law. For most of his cogwheel ains, you catch an aerial
life he has also been an ardent hiker and na- tramway.
ture photographer. The most remarkable viewpoints

I ~ ~ ~ ai'l"- II"" I I"1 II *nr. ---.. ..- ** -- ---------------- --",rr

in the country have been deliberately present purist conditions, the Muir
made accessible by some kind of Trail is inaccessible to all except the
comfortable transportation. People hardiest, for only two roads touch it
from all over Europe sit on Switz- between its two ends. To reach its
erland's restaurant patios, io,ooo feet most beautiful parts you have to hike
high, admiring the magnificent over mountain passes averaging Io,-
views-views that in America would ooo feet in height, packing supplies
be excluded from 99 percent of our on your back.
population without days of the most Under the "access" philosophy, I
arduous struggle. would install aerial tramways* at
The Swiss philosophy says: Invite three or four locations within easy
people in; the more the better. The driving distance of Los Angeles.
purist says: Keep people out. The These tramways would have large
Swiss say: Let the strong climb if gondola cars suspended from cables
they choose (and many of them do), between towers that can be up to
but let the children, the aged, the a mile apart; the cars would move
hurried or just-plain-lazy ride. silently high above the landscape. At
I, who have now done it both the terminal of each tramway- after,
ways, say: My thoughts were just as say, an hour's ride-there would be
beautiful on top of Switzerland's restaurant facilities, picnic areas, ob-
Schilthorn-9757 feet up; restaurant servation points. A family could stay
lunch of fondue, wine, strawberry for a few hours or camp for weeks.
pastry and coffee; reached by 30- General access would be year-round,
minute tram ride-as they were on as compared to the present 90-day,
top of Mt. Lyell in America's Yo- snow-free period.
semite-13,095 feet up; lunch of Why not also put a tramway in
peanut-butter sandwich; reached by Grand Canyon?
two-day hike. I conclude that the The visitor now cannot get from
purist philosophy which keeps the South Rim to the North Rim (a
Americans out of their own land is distance of from 8 to 18 miles) with-
an unwise misuse of our wilderness out driving 217 miles around, and
resources. he cannot get to the bottom of the
Let me propose an alternative phi- canyon (the most interesting part)
losophy. For want of a better term, except on foot or muleback. I would
call it an "access" philosophy. Con- install an aerial tramway in an in-
sider as an example Muir Trail in conspicuous fold of the canyon, so
California, with its magnificent Wil- that visitors could ride from the
derness scenery -peaks, meadows, South Rim to the bottom, and from
hundreds of lakes, streams, even gla- the bottom to the North Rim, thus
ciers. Its southern end is 212 miles
from Los Angeles, its n en ed *See "Sky-Lift: A Great Way to Move Up
from Los Angeles, its northern end in the World," The Reader's Digest, Novem-
215 miles from San Francisco. Under bcr '70.

getting a fe..-or its immense depths. derness areas in the manner I have
That brings up the ultimate argu- suggested, we would soon create a
ment that purists always fall back generation of avid nature lovers.
on: that the Swiss can do such things Americans would cease to be "alien-
with taste, judgment and reverence ated" from their landscape, and
for the landscape; that we Ameri- would mend their littering tenden-
cans would botch it up. This is nei- cies. If you question any purist or
their altogether true nor altogether wilderness buff, you will find that
false. We are capable of abomina- what initially "turned him on," in
tions, but we are just as capable of almost every case, was an experi-
tasteful building as Europeans. Wit- ence in which he was provided ac-
ness the beautiful aerial tramway at cess to natural beauty-be it in
Palm Springs, Calif., which carries Glacier Park, Yellowstone, Grand
visitors to the slopes of Mt. San Jacin- Canyon or Yosemite (as in my own
to. Built in 1963, after 15 years of case)-by roads, bus or other simi-
battle with purists, this tramway lar non-purist means. Yet, if purists
has taken 2.5 million people to a love- had had the influence ioo years
ly area which before was a full day's ago that they have today, there
arduous climb away. would be no roads or other facili-
Surprisingly, the litter problem is ties in Yosemite Valley, and the
often least great in precisely those strong probability is that neither I
areas where access is provided to nor millions of other Americans
beautiful spots. The Palm Springs would ever have seen its beauties,
aerial tramway, for instance, and except on postcards.
Glacier Point in Yosemite are re- I believe that the purist philosophy
markably free of litter despite heavy is unfair and undemocratic, and that
visitation. This, I think, is because an alternate philosophy, one of en-
people will not litter when they feel lightened, carefully controlled "ac-
others are watching; and also be- cess," is more desirable and also
cause purchasing a ticket on a tram- ecologically sound. If the Swiss can
way gives one a proprietary interest do it, why can't we?
in keeping the premises clean.
It is my firm belief that if Ameri- For information on reprints
cans were permitted access to Wil- o t a s p

Political Palaver
DEMOCRATIC politicians are playing a reversal of the old game: now it's
pin the head on the donkey (Bill Vaughan)... The real symbol of the Repub-
lican and Democratic parties isn't the elephant or the donkey-it's the
kitty (Mickey Porter in Akron Beacon Journal)

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