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North Cascades Conservation Council Newsletters, 1957-59
A complete run of NCCC newsletters is available at UWSpecColl.

NCCC News, Aug 1957

p. 1, "Why NCCC?"

The North Cascades Conservation Council (NCCC or N3C) was formed on March 23, 1957 in Portland, Oregon, "with the idea of spearheading and unifying conservationists' efforts throughout the country to save for posterity this unusual remaining sample of unspoiled wilderness as it is." At its first meeting, the council met with Regional Forester J. Herbert Stone to become familiar with the Forest Service's preliminary proposal for establishment of a Glacier Peak Wilderness Area. "It was at once felt that there were some very serious deletions of superlative areas and that timber harvesting has been given top priority over all other types of forest management."

p. 2, "History of the North Cascades"

In 1870, D.C. Linsley searched for a railroad route through the North Cascades. Linsley traveled with Indians who couldn't speak English but who taught him to glissade "using a stout stick as a brake to regulate speed." Later, John F. Stevens discovered a more favorable route over the pass that now bears his name. In 1906 the Mazamas visualized a national park in the North Cascades. In 1926, Irving Clark of Seattle, honorary vice president of the Wilderness Society, questioned the Forest Service as to what plans they had regarding preserving a portion of this area for future generations. In 1931, a 233,000-acre Glacier Peak Recreation Area was designated by the Forest Service. In the late 1930s, the Forest Service studied the North Cascades as permanent wilderness but this effort ended following the untimely deaths of Recreation and Lands Chief Robert Marshall and Chief Forester Silcox. In the years that followed, Irving Clark made inquiries about the area's future but nothing definite was decided until 1954 when it was learned that the Forest Serivce was seriously re-opening studies of wilderness status for the Glacier Peak region. In February 1957, USFS Region 6 issued a preliminary recommendation that would allow logging deep into the forested valleys near to the base of Glacier Peak. "We cannot sit idly by and watch all this superlative grandeur be lost for all time."

p. 5, "Membership List"

Officers are Phillip Zalesky (president), Patrick D. Goldsworthy (1st vice president), Una Davies (2nd vice president), Neva Karrick (recording secretary), Mrs. John A. Dyer (corresponding secretary), Mrs. Gene Prater (treasurer). Directors include Grant McConnell, Leo Gallagher and Art Winder. Other members (about 50 total) include Bill and Gene Prater, Chuck and Marion Hessey, Lex Maxwell, Mrs. Rick Mack, Louis Ulrich, Irving Clark, Ray Courtney, Vic Josendal, and R.D. Watson.

NCCC News, Nov 1957

Yvonne Prater is now newsletter editor.

p. 11, Hessey, Charles, "Consideration"

"We need to think hard of today's children, and tomorrow's too. Instead of an obvious effort to dry up the flow of travel on forest trails--we have been told by Forest Service men 'They'll be less trouble if kept to one trail' (the Crest Trail)--the Forest Service should be acquainting the public with the quality of its scenic treasure and urging wilderness use. [...] We think of the years beyond, when the only wilderness outings will be possible in those areas specifically set aside now. The day when all other lands will be tamed comes at us with a rush. We must shake ourselves loose from our amiable optimism about always having an ample supply of Space in this country, without taking positive steps to see that enough of the remaining is saved while we still have a working supply."

p. 13, "A Definition of Wilderness"

According to Bob Marshall: "Wilderness areas are regions which contain no permanent inhabitants, possess no means of mechanical conveyance, and are sufficiently spacious for a person to spend at least a week of active travel in them without crossing his own tracks." This article lists some reasons people visit wilderness and summarizes the Forest Service U-1 and U-2 regulations, which establish wilderness and wild areas, respectively.

NCCC News, May 1958

p. 5, Warth, John, "Book Review"

According to George R. Leighton in his book, Five Cities, when the national forests were established, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce passed a resolution very similar to later arguments against Olympic National Park and Glacier Peak Wilderness. Mr. Ballinger, ex-mayor of Seattle and Secretary of Interior under President Taft, expressed the prevailing philosophy of the times: "You chaps who are in favor of this conservation program are all wrong. You are hindering the development of the West...In my opinion, the proper course to take is to divide it up among the big corporations and the people who know how to make money out of it and let the people at large get the benefit out of the circulation of the money." Ballinger was fired. A new word, "Ballingerism," was coined.

NCCC News, Nov 1958

p. 6, "Annual Meeting of Wilderness Society Council at Stehekin, Washington"

This report summarizes the comments of Grant McConnell, political science professor at the University of Chicago and summer resident of Stehekin; J.K. Blair, Wenatchee National Forest supervisor; Conrad Wirth, National Park Service director; Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society; and Dr. Edgar Wayburn, Sierra Club conservation chairman.

NCCC News, Feb 1959

Patrick Goldsworthy is now NCCC president.

p. 1, Goldsworthy, Patrick, "U.S. Forest Service Glacier Peak Wilderness Area Proposal"

The Forest Service has proposed a 422,925-acre wilderness which excludes road corridors up the Suiattle River to Miners Ridge and Suiattle Pass, up the Chiwawa River nearly to Red Mountain, up Railroad Creek to the mouth of Big Creek, up the Whitechuck River to Kennedy Hot Springs, up the White River to Indian Creek, and Agnes Creek. NCCC considers the proposal completely unacceptable. "The Forest Service has planned a drastic exclusion of the low elevation forested valleys leaving little but high elevation or inaccessible country which contains practically no forests or economic value." Goldsworthy continues: "The above proposal should leave no doubt in your minds that a study of the Northern Cascades by the National Park Service is more imperative than ever." On p. 3 is a sketch map of the proposal.

In the April 1959 issue, Phil Zalesky points out that the Forest Service proposal would protect very little territory below 3500 feet. The April 1959 issue of National Parks Magazine applied the label "wilderness starfish" to the proposal, noting that short roads could cut off at least three arms of the starfish. "Like an amoeba, each part severed from the main body may live, for a brief time, alone as wilderness. But there is a definite limite to how small a piece can successfully maintain its wild character."

NCCC News, Nov 1959

p. 1, Forest Service Glacier Peak hearings at Bellingham

Hearings were held in Bellingham on October 13, 1959. Of the 43 statements noted here, 30 opposed the Forest Service proposal as being too small, 6 opposed the proposal as being to large, and 7 supported the proposal. This issue includes 14 pages of excerpts from 38 statements.

NCCC News, Dec 1959

p. 1, Forest Service Glacier Peak hearings at Wenatchee

Hearings were held in Wenatchee on October 16, 1959. Of the 63 statements noted here, 33 opposed the Forest Service proposal as being too small, 18 opposed the proposal as being to large, and 12 supported the proposal. This issue includes 15 pages of excerpts from 62 statements.

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