Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project Previous | Next | Home

North Cascades Conservation Council Newsletters, 1960-69
A complete run of NCCC newsletters is available at UWSpecColl.

NCCC News, Sep 1960

p. 1, Glacier Peak Wilderness Established

Establishment of a 458,505-acre Glacier Peak Wilderness area was announced on September 10, 1960, by Ervin L. Peterson, assistant secretary of agriculture. The Suiattle River, Agnes Creek, and headwaters of Phelps Creek, omitted from the 1959 Forest Service proposal, were added back into the wilderness. The head of the Whitechuck valley was omitted. Mike Lazara of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Forestry Committee said many groups felt they were "sold down the river." Patrick D. Goldsworthy, NCCC president, said the decision was a partial but welcome victory. Goldsworthy urged NCCC members to continue to support and request a study of the North Cascades for national park status by the Department of Interior. "Such a program is not planned in retribution for Forest Service action but is entirely independent and self justifying." On p. 2 is the text of the decision by the secretary of agriculture, which states that the policy regarding the Cascade Pass-Ruby Creek area is to "open up and develop it for the use and enjoyment of the large numbers of people who desire other kinds of outdoor recreation and those who are unable to engage in wilderness travel." On p. 5 is a map of the new Glacier Peak Wilderness showing additions to the 1959 Forest Service proposal.

The Wild Cascades, Jun 1961

Harvey Manning is now newsletter editor.

p. 7, Hessey, Charles D., Jr., "Skeleton at the Feast"

The author describes a journey up Lake Chelan on October 2-3, 1961, with the Forests Subcommittee of the House Agriculture Committee. The committee was hosted by the Chelan Chamber of Commerce at the behest of George Wall of the Chelan Box and Manufacturing Company. Hessey writes: "I felt like the skeleton at the feast, and a Man of Distinction. I was the only one of its kind, an Oddity, the Enemy who through some slip-up on the part of Intelligence had been allowed to infiltrate." He showed the film "Wilderness Alps of Stehekin" which generated favorable comments but was not enough to balance the one-sided composition of the gathering.

The Wild Cascades, Feb 1963

p. 5, "1937 Cascade Ice Peaks National Park Proposal"

This is an abstract of the 1937 proposal with NCCC comments on several passages. The committee that produced the report was chaired by O.A. Tomlinson, superintendent of Mt Rainier National Park. The report states: "The very favorable climatic conditions encourage outdoor sports and recreational activities within the area in both winter and summer seasons; the area already is internationally well known as snow sport country..." There is a map of the proposed park, which stretches from the Canadian border south to Mt Adams and Mt Saint Helens, an area of about 5,000 square miles. "From Mt Adams on the south to Shuksan and Mt Baker to the north, the Washington Cascades are one grand triumphal march of superlative scenic and recreational opportunity."

The Wild Cascades, Spring 1963

p. 3, "Proposal for a North Cascades National Park"

The proposal is from a prospectus prepared by J. Michael McCloskey for NCCC. It includes a brief historical background. The proposed area is divided into two parts, a 1,308,186-acre North Cascades National Park and a 269,521-acre Chelan National Mountain Recreation Area, to be managed in the same manner as the park except that hunting will be allowed. Roughly speaking, the proposed park extends from the Little Wenatchee River to Ruby Creek, encompassing the current Glacier Peak Wilderness area. The proposed recreation area encompasses the upper Entiat River, the head of Lake Chelan, and the Sawtooth crest north to the Methow River. The article includes a map of the proposal superimposed on the 1937 Ice Peaks proposal.

The Wild Cascades, Oct 1963

p. 3, "Public Hearings on North Cascades"

Public hearings before the North Cascades Study Team were held in Wenatchee, Mt Vernon and Seattle during the week of October 7, 1963. During the five days of hearings, 600 people attended with 200 presenting testimony. 45% of the witnesses voiced support for preserving wilderness values. Over 300 statements had been submitted for the record by one week after the hearing. This issue includes two pages of quotes from 15 statements, all pro-wilderness. Supporting editorials from the Seattle Argus and the New York Times are also included.

p. 7, "Summary Prospectus For a North Cascades National Park"

This summary contains the following parts:

p. 16, Newspaper clippings

Three newspaper clippings describe the efforts of Rep. Wayne Aspinall of Colorado to obstruct the national Wilderness Bill. In 1961 the Senate passed the Wilderness Bill by a vote of 78 to 8. Aspinall succeeded in preventing a vote on the bill, calling its supporters "extremists." This year a similar bill passed the Senate by 73 to 12.

The Wild Cascades, Aug-Sep 1964

p. A, "Wind in the Wilderness"

On Monday, September 28, 1964, KING-TV in Seattle broadcast a one-hour, prime-time, color documentary about the North Cascades national park controversy entitled "Wind in the Wilderness." Produced by Bob Schulman and filmed by Ralph Umbarger, the program was hailed as a "major event in the history of the North Cascades" by NCCC reviewer Irate Birdwatcher [Harvey Manning]. "As a consequence, some loggers are mad, the State Game Department is furious--and many thousands of Washington citizens are newly aware of the beauty of the North Cascades, and of the controversy over the future of the area." The reviewer notes, "For the most part, individual spokesmen were visually framed by the sort of scenery they favor," with foresters speaking against backgrounds of logging operations and conservationists speaking in front of virgin forests.

p. B, "Wilderness Act"

The areas in Washington which are or will be affected by the recently approved Wilderness Act are:

The Wild Cascades, Feb 1965

p. 12, Clipping: Wenatchee World, Feb 23, 1965, "Recreation Area Formed"

In February 1965 the Forest Service launched an intensive public relations campaign to acquaint the public with its new plans for the 533,460-acre Eldorado Peaks Recreation Area. NCCC states that the Forest Service has jumped the gun. "There can be no reason for issuing this announcement now other than to influence the course of deliberations of the [North Cascades] Study Team." Plans include:

The Wild Cascades, Apr-May 1965

p. 7, "That Eldorado Peaks So-Called 'Recreation Area'"

This issue contains letters from Patrick Goldsworthy (NCCC president), J. Herbert Stone (regional forester), and A.W. Greeley (deputy chief of the Forest Service) about the Eldorado Peaks recreation area and whether the Forest Service is attempting to influence the North Cascades Study Team process. Several newspaper clippings are also included. A November 23, 1964, article in the Seattle Journal of Commerce uses the names Gabriel's Horn and Avalanche Lake for two of the ski areas proposed along the North Cross State Highway corridor. These areas lie west of Rainy Pass. Another ski area is proposed east of Rainy Pass. A May 30, 1965, article from the Oregonian heralds: "Mass Recreation Comes to North Cascades." John Warth of NCCC writes that the "phantom recreation area" has long been a favorite device of Region Six of the Forest Service. "When these phantoms have served their purpose they quietly disappear and no one ever hears of them again." The Aug-Sep 1965 issue includes an exchange of letters on the Eldorado Peaks area between J.K. Blair of the Wenatchee National Forest and Grant McConnell of NCCC.

The Wild Cascades, Feb-Mar 1966

p. A, Goldsworthy, Patrick D., "Reactions To Study Report"

This issue includes an extract of the North Cascades Study Team report and a brief statement of NCCC's reactions. NCCC is willing to support the Study Team compromise proposed by Mr. Crafts, with modifications. One NCCC recommendation is that mass visitation be limited to the vicinity of the North Cross-State Highway. Several wilderness area expansions are also proposed.

The Wild Cascades, Oct-Nov 1966

p. 3, Irate Birdwatcher, "The Lowdown On Outdoors Unlimited"

On October 22, 1966, the Rev. Riley Johnson of Yakima was elected president of Outdoors Unlimited, a new organization opposed to the establishment of a North Cascades national park. NCCC board member Hal Foss attended the meeting. The writer [Harvey Manning] notes that the "genuine big guns" in opposition to the park were noticeable by their absence. He writes: "Sportsmen on the Yakima scene know the Rev. Riley as an articulate minister very active in politics, as a logger's apologist, but they do not associate him with any kind of sport, whether it be hunting, fishing, skiing, or even jeep-driving. They feel the new organization is nothing more than a front for loggers, miners, cattlemen, sheepherders, and that ilk."

In the Feb-Mar 1967 issue (p. 22), Les Braynes of Garbage Heights, Washington, [introduced in the Aug-Sep 1966 issue through his amanuensis Chuck Hessey] sings the praises of the new organization, writing: "Honesty and principles is the keynote of the whole thing, Irate, like when they were organizing the Board and the Rev. O'Riley introduced some man from the West Side, saying, 'And representing the loggers is Mr. So-and-so.' And this man stands up four-square and not willing to hide behind the reverend's little goof, and says, 'But I am here, not as a logger but as a sportsmen.' [...] Well, this is what I mean, Irate, about the big gun caliber of these men..." Les Braynes writes again in the Feb-Mar 1968 issue (commenting on the kooky ideas of his preservationist brother, Mo Braynes) and the Jun-Jul 1968 issue (commenting on the House Interior Committee hearings in Wenatchee and his true love, wilderness motor biking).

The Wild Cascades, Apr-May 1966

p. 18, McConnell, Grant, "P.R. in the Forests "

In this article, reprinted from The Nation, the author discusses the decline of the Forest Service from being "the chief administrative accomplishment of the progressive movement [which] did more than any other body to slow the exploitation of public lands that so disgraces American history" to being "a major threat to the public interest it was created to defend." He observes that the Forest Service has adamantly refused to face its problem. "Its response to questioning and criticism has been the P.R. campaign and the iteration of the slogan of 'multiple use.'"

The Wild Cascades, Dec-Jan 1967

p. A, Map: Kennecott Mining Operation

This map of the proposed Kennecott mining operation on Miners Ridge shows the location of the open-pit mine less than one mile southwest of the summit of Plummer Mountain with a mill site (accessed by road) at Miners Creek directly below the mine.

The Wild Cascades, Feb-Mar 1967

Wall Street Journal, Feb 1, 1967, "Snowmobiles Create Newest Sports Craze Among Winter Fans"

Mrs. Hoff of Duluth, Minn. says, "When we have a blizzard, we call a bunch of friends and we all go snowmobiling until two or three in the morning." Thomas Pinder complains that the noisy machines are shattering the peace of the Vermont woods where he spends part of each winter. "They sound like chain saws. I wish they'd all be on ponds when the ice breaks." In a hand-written note (p. 14), the NCCC editor remarks, "Just one damn thing after another."

The Wild Cascades, Oct-Nov 1967

p. 12, Oct 6, 1967 letter to Harvey Manning from Georgia-Pacific Corporation

This letter urges the recipient to financially support Outdoors Unlimited, "the only organization that has yet been formed that can be effective in counteracting pressures for so much single use perservation on our public lands." The letter describes the Sierra Club and NCCC as pressure groups that have "forced the Forest Service to abandon its true multiple use policy for one emphasizing recreation and limited use." Also included in this issue is a letter from the Rev. Riley Johnson, president of Outdoors Unlimited. He writes that the organization has over 52,000 members and includes the Washington State Sportsmen's Council, Pacific Northwest Ski Association, Washington Cattlemen's Association, Washington State Grange, and over 40 chambers of commerce. Over 70 witness from Outdoors Unlimited testified in May at Senate hearings on the North Cascades.

The Wild Cascades, Feb-Mar 1968

p. 2, Goldsworthy, Patrick D., "Our Troops Victorious At House Hearings"

Conservationists outnumbered park opponents 3-to-1 at the April 19-20, 1968, House Interior Committee hearings in Seattle. "Outdoors Unlimited, which threatened to overwhelm us in what they claimed to be 'their hearing', was no match for our troops. From the reported thousands of members of this anti-park organization only a pitifully small handful of witnesses appeared before Congressman Aspinall's Committee. Even Reverend Riley Johnson, the explosive spokesman for Outdoors Unlimited, was noticeable by his absence." Also in this issue is an April 21, 1968, New York Times editorial in favor of protecting "The American Alps."

p. 28, King County Labor News, Apr 1968, Eckhart, John, "Delegate at Large"

The writer fears that the great North Cascades battle is over, and that the miners have lost. "Mining, even open pit mining, or logging, or grazing, need not destroy the mountains. Heaven knows there are enough government agencies and restrictions now that would prohibit the kind of beating heart of the bird watcher. [...] But emotions have carried other battles. Jobs and payrolls are no longer 'in,' except of course to those to whom it means existence. But then it's only a little job at the mine. It cannot be compared to a smashing good outing by the mountaineers, yodeling their way into the hearts of the stone age. After all amigo, where are the minerals to come from?"

The Wild Cascades, Apr-May 1968

p. 2, Newspaper clippings

News clippings from May and June, 1968, report on a permit issued to Cougar Development Corp. by the Forest Service to build an eight-mile road nearly to the Cascade Crest in the upper reaches of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. The road would be extended from near Goldmeyer Hot Springs to copper and silver deposits between La Bohn Gap and Dutch Miller Gap. Patrick D. Goldsworthy of the NCCC described this as "another Kennecott situation," referring to the Kennecott Copper Co. which may develop an open-pit mine in the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.

p. 22, "A Moly Miner Fights Park"

A February 14, 1968, letter from Ben Hinkle, president of the Multiple Use For Cascades Club, urges the recipient to write letters to Rep. Wayne Aspinall opposing a national park in the North Cascades. The main thrust of the letter is that a national park would prevent the development of ski areas needed for the rapidly growing skier population. "In addition to this loss of skiing the use of the natural resources would be severely limited," writes Hinkle. He urges the reader to "help protect and preserve the use of this area for all of us." He continues, "If it is inconvenient for some members to write letters please have them sign and mail one of the enclosed post cards."
Dear Sir: I am a skier and I oppose Senate Bill 1321. If the North Cascades is established as a national park and more wilderness areas are dedicated, many potential good ski areas would be lost. Please help defeat SB 1321.
This issue includes an article by Hinkle entitled "There's A Monster In Our Mountains." He writes: "Unless we develop more mineral reserves, we will become dependent upon communist block nations for some of our critical minerals within 20 years. [...] The Sierra Clubbers will someday be on a collective farm with sickles in their hands, and they will never see the beautiful mountains they, as special interests, removed from our resources reserves." As later reported in st-1968-apr-20, Hinkle had a financial interest in a mine in the North Cascades.

The Wild Cascades, Jun-Jul 1968

p. 2, Goldsworthy, Patrick D., "A Milestone Not the Trail's End"

"A major triumph for conservation was signalled by Congress's designation of a North Cascades National Park. After sixty long years of deliberation this action will go down in history as one of the North Cascades' greatest milestones, if not the greatest." To the question of whether NCCC will dissolve, Goldsworthy responds, "NEVER! The Council was formed in 1957 as a permanent civic organization with the realization that there would always be a need for a watchdog in the North Cascades regardless of the agency administering the land." The article lists several goals that NCCC expects to address in the future.

The Wild Cascades, Aug-Sep 1968

p. 2, Goldsworthy, Patrick D., "N3C President at Signing Ceremony"

Five NCCC directors, Dave Brower, Brock Evans, Mike McCloskey, Grant McConnell, and president Patrick D. Goldsworthy, were invited to the White House on October 2, 1968, for the signing of the North Cascades National Park bill. Also signed that day were bills establishing a national wild rivers system, a national system of trails, and a Redwoods National Park.

The Wild Cascades, Oct-Nov 1968

p. 16, Thorn, Alice, "Across the North Cascades By Bulldozer and Hay Wagon"

This article presents some history of the North Cross-State Highway (under construction) and discusses prospects for the future. "Highway proponents usually list three main reasons for the highway: for the harvesting of natural resources such as timber and minerals; as a shipping route between the northeast and northwest state; and for opening up a scenic area to tourism and recreational development. All three give conservationists reason to fear future developments." Conservationists have long felt that if the highway had to be built, the Harts Pass route should be chosen, particularly since there was already a road partly into the area. A map illustrates alternative routes over Harts Pass, Mebee Pass, Cutthroat Pass, Copper Pass, and Twisp Pass. Another map shows other proposed cross-mountain highways over Austin Pass, Curry Gap, and Cady Pass.

Previous Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page Next

Copyright © 2004 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Fri Jan 7 15:26:13 PST 2005