« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
LISHMENT OF CRADLE OF FORESTRY IN PISGAH
TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 1968
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 11 a.m., in room 1301, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. W. R. Poage (chairman) presiding.
Present: Representatives Poage, Jones of Missouri, O'Neal, de la Garza, Dow, Montgomery, Belcher, Teague of California, Mrs. May, Hansen, Goodling, Miller, Burke, Mathias, Mayne, Zwach, Kleppe, Price, Myers, and Resident Commissioner Polanco-Abreu.
Also present: Christine S. Gallagher, clerk; William C. Black, general counsel; Hyde H. Murray, assistant counsel; L. T. Easley, staff consultant; and Fowler C. West, assistant staff consultant.
T CHAIRMAN. The committee will come to order. The committee is meeting this morning for the consideration of H.R. 14157 by Mr. Taylor.
(H.R. 14157 follows:)
[H.R. 14157, 90th Cong., first sess.)
A BILL To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the Cradle of Forestry
in America in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, and for other purposes Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That in order to preserve, develop, and make available to this and future generations the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America and to promote, demonstrate, and stimulate interest in and knowledge of the management of forest lands under principles of multiple use and sustained yield and the development and progress of management of forest lands in America, the Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized to establish the Cradle of Forestry in America in the Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina. As soon as possible after this Act takes effect, the Secretary of Agriculture shall publish notice of the designation thereof in the Federal Register together with a map showing the boundaries which shall be those shown on the map entitled “Cradle of Forestry in America” dated April 12, 1967, which shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Chief, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.
SEC. 2. The area designated as the Cradle of Forestry in America shall be administered, protected, and developed within and as a part of the Pisgah National Forest by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to National Forests in such manner as in his judgment will best provide for the purposes of this Act and for such management, utilization, and disposal of the natural resources as in his judgment will promote or is compatible with and does not significantly impair the purposes for which the Cradle of Forestry in America is established.
SEC. 3. The Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized to cooperate with and receive the cooperation of public and private agencies and organizations and in
dividuals in the development, administration, and operation of the Cradle of Forestry in America. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to accept contributions and gifts to be used to further the purposes of this Act.
The CHAIRMAN. We will ask the witness from the Department to explain the bill. Mr. Taylor is supposed to know about the bill, and he will be in later.
Mr. McGuire is here, the Deputy Chief, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is accompanied by Mr. Peter J. Hanlon, forest supervisor of the national forests in North Carolina.
We will be glad to hear from you now, Mr. McGuire.
STATEMENT OF JOHN R. MCGUIRE, DEPUTY CHIEF, FOREST SERV.
ICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ACCOMPANIED BY PETER J. HANLON, FOREST SUPERVISOR, NATIONAL FORESTS IN NORTH CAROLINA
Mr. McGUIRE. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we appreciate the opportunity to represent the Department of Agriculture in support of H.R. 14157.
This bill would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the Cradle of Forestry in America in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina. This development will be located in an Appalachian Mountain valley where one of America's first trained foresters, Gifford Pinchot, initiated scientific forest management in 1892 on lands owned by George Vanderbilt. This location was part of the first large tract of managed forest land in America, over 100,000 acres surrounding Mount Pisgah and called Pisgah Forest. Nearly 80,000 acres of the Pisgah Forest, including the site of the Cradle of Forestry, constituted one of the first tracts purchased for national forest purposes under the authority of the Weeks Act of 1911.
The Cradle of Forestry will also include the site of the Biltmore Forest School, the first school of forestry in America. The school was opened in 1898 by Dr. Carl A. Schenck, a German forester who succeeded Pinchot as manager of the Biltmore Forest Properties.
Establishment and development of the Cradle of Forestry would preserve and make available to the public, now and in the future, the birthplace of forestry and forestry education in America. It would afford an excellent opportunity to interpret for the public the history and significance of the birth and early growth of forestry in America. To stimulate interest and knowledge in the development and progress of forest land management in America, an area of 6,800 acres around the site of the Biltmore Forest School would be used to illustrate the evolution and technique of multiple use forest land management.
Located about 25 miles southwest of Asheville, N.C.-as you can see on the map on display here—the setting for the Cradle of Forestry is an area known as the Pink Beds at the headwaters of the South Mills River. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes along the ridge to the north of the area. It is so situated as to be readily accessible to the nearly 2 million people who visit the Pisgah National Forest annually.
When completed, the Cradle of Forestry will attract visitors from all over the Nation. Because of its location and the scenic, historical, and educational opportunities it affords, the area will get year-round
use from individuals, students, and organizations interested in natural resource management and enjoyment. The increasingly large number of visitors attracted to this area is expected to produce a significant boost to the local economy.
The present total estimated cost for construction and development of the Cradle of Forestry is around $11 million. Hopefully, we would expect construction and development to be completed in 7 to 10 years.
The project has caught the attention and interest of many individuals and private organizations who have expressed a desire to cooperate in its development. H.R. 14157 would afford a practical way for them to cooperate with the Department of Agriculture in the development and administration of the Cradle of Forestry in America. It would provide a desirable means of attracting, coordinating, and directing private gifts, donations, and other assistance to accomplish the purpose of the area and to enhance its value as an important component of our natural resource heritage.
All of the lands within the area designated as the Cradle of Forestry in America are national forest lands. The Secretary of Agriculture would continue to develop the area as a part of the Pisgah National Forest so as to best achieve the purposes of this bill and the Cradle of Forestry in America.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much.
Is this not a rather similar project to the one that we reported out a few weeks ago for Oklahoma?
Mr. McGUIRE. Yes, sir, it is; quite similar.
The CHAIRMAN. Is it the purpose of the Forest Service to extend these kinds of things all over the country?
Mr. McGUIRE. Well, I do not recall that we have any others.
The CHAIRMAN. I am wondering if it is the intention of the Forest Service to put them all over these United States ?
Mr. McGUIRE. No, sir; we do not intend to have a great number of these. At the moment I cannot recall another one that anyone has in mind.
The CHAIRMAN. It would seem to me that there should be.
Obviously, if you have them in the South, you are going to have them in the Southwest, and you ought to have them in the Northwest and in the New England area and in the Rocky Mountains and places of that kind. Of course, I know that you have more national parks in some of those areas than you do in Oklahoma. You have a big national forest in North Carolina. This is not far from that location, is it, the Nantahala National Forest!
Mr. McGUIRE. In the general vicinity.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand you will pay for this from forest funds. Where are the funds going now?
Mr. McGUIRE. These are part of the annual appropriations to the Forest Service for the protection and management of the national forests, but we would expect that part of this would be paid for out of donations received from people interested.
The CHAIRMAN. I know, but we have the Library of Congress which receives private donations, and much of the cost is defrayed by appropriated funds. Again, I am not trying to find fault, I am trying to know what the facts are on this. You are going to pay for it and will have to pay for it out of funds that the Treasury provides and not somewhere else.
Mr. McGUIRE. Correct.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not contemplate that there will be funds appropriated just for this purpose; do you?
Mr. McGUIRE. No; we do not contemplate that funds would be appropriated specifically for this project.
The CHAIRMAN. You do not authorize it in the bill, as I see it.
The CHAIRMAN. Therefore, this cannot be built from funds that are just appropriated by the Congress, but it will be built rather in large part, at least, from funds that are secured from the sale of timber from the forests; is that not right?
Mr. McGUIRE. The funds would come from our regular appropriations, Mr. Chairman.
The CHAIRMAN. I know that they come from the original appropriation.
Mr. McGUIRE. The funds from the sale of the timber are deposited in the Treasury.
The CHAIRMAN. And does not 25 percent of that go to the local county, et cetera?
Mr. McGUIRE. Twenty-five percent of the receipts from the national forests is distributed to the counties for the benefit of schools and roads.
The CHAIRMAN. Yes. So that all of the receipts from the national forests do not go into the Treasury.
Mr. McGUIRE. That is correct.
The CHAIRMAN. The only funds that you would get here are the funds from your regular appropriations?
Mr. MCGUIRE. Yes, sir; that and private contributions.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, now, there is no authority in this bill, is there, to appropriate money for this program?
Mr. McGUIRE. I believe that the Secretary of Agriculture already has the authority to develop this area of the national forest lands for public use.
The CHAIRMAN. And no authority would be given by this bill then? Mr. McGUIRE. This bill really does only two things, Mr. Chairman, (1) it simplifies the matter of accepting donations from a large number of interested persons and (2) it gives legislative recognition and endorsement to it. It does not add any new spending authorization.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any questions?
In this brochure, Mr. McGuire, it says-speaking of this areathat Mr. Pinchot made such a practical demonstration that Mr. Vanderbilt was persuaded to purchase an additional 100,000 acres in the mountains surrounding Pisgah, and Mr. Vanderbilt is known as a good judge of financial possibilities. I am just wondering: Is it the thought that the income from these lands will take care of the costs? Or is that not expected at the present time?
Mr. McGUIRE. Sir, many of our national forests have receipts from timber and other national forest uses which exceed the outlay. In this
particular instance, we would expect that much of the cost would be incurred in the handling of the visitors and that the income probably would not be as great as the cost of handling the visitors to this area for the forest as a whole. On the other hand, it is expected that the income from timber sales and other uses would come fairly close to the cost, the entire management cost.
Mr. Dow. I think that is an important point for you to emphasize, Mr. McGuire.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. That is all.
The CHAIRMAN. Now, Mr. Taylor is with us, and we will be glad to hear from him.
STATEMENT OF HON. ROY A. TAYLOR, A REPRESENTATIVE IN
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, we appreciate your giving us a hearing.
H.R. 14157 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the Cradle of Forestry in the Pink Beds section of the Pisgah National Forest of western North Carolina. It would become a separate Forest Service entity but be managed as a part of the national forest.
The Pink Beds came into prominence in 1890. It was here that George W. Vanderbilt employed America's first recognized forester, European-trained Gifford Pinchot, to conduct a scientific practice of forestry and conservation which attracted national attention. It was here that the first field school of forestry in America was located. It was near here that the first tract of national forest land was purchased under the Weeks law.
Mr. Pinchot was succeeded in 1895 by a German forester, Dr. Carl A. Schenck, a gifted and enthusiastic forester who ably carried on the program.
It was the work of outstanding leaders like Mr. Vanderbilt, Mr. Pinchot, and Dr. Schenck, supported by key citizens across the land, which led to the establishment of the Pisgah National Forest and contributed to the establishment of the National Forest Service. Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman has visited the Pink Beds and expressed strong support for this entire project. A visitor center has already been built by the Forest Service. A replica of the schoolhouse where Dr. Schenck held the first forestry classes has been constructed and financed by the alumni of the school.
The master development plan includes a museum and outdoor displays telling the story of forestry and conservation in a setting where these key events took place and in a setting unsurpassed in climate and magnificent scenery where the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests lead all other comparable Federal areas in annual visitations.
Last year 6,700,000 people visited the Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway which passes within 3 or 4 miles