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Kaweah. The labyrinth of mountains in this vicinity, narrowed in on all sides by a maze of abrupt and grim walls, with canyons and gorges of great depth and ruggedness, attended on every hand by forests in their primeval condition, presents a scene at once awful and sublime. From Homer's Nose can be seen the whole country east as far as Farewell Gap and Saw Tooth, west as far as the eye can reach, north the Mineral King road can be traced in its whole length, while Moro Rock and the mountains in the vicinity of Giant Forest are plainly visible, permitting the easy location of Big Baldy and Mt. Silliman, the corner monuments of the Sequoia Park.
As to the Mineral King road, it will be used considerably each season by the troops on duty in the park. From 100 to 400 residents of the valley will cross it in reaching their camping place in the Mineral King district, and all tourists will employ it in approaching the fishing grounds, or hot springs of the Kern River canyon, or in their pilgrimage to Mount Whitney. The Colony Mill road is at present almost impassable, and unused except by an occasional pack train; but if properly developed, this old road is destined to become a much traveled and most important thoroughfare. This is the principal road, and, in fact, the only practicable route, to that part of the Sequoia Park north of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, and which is by far the most interesting, picturesque, and best preserved portion of the reserve. The big trees there are larger, more numerous, and more nearly free from disfigurement, both by fire and by tourists, than in other portions of the Sequoia Park, and far better preserved than those of General Grant Park. At the present time three trails lead into the Giant Forest, which lies between the Middle and Marble forks-one from the Colony road, one from the head waters of the North Fork, also connecting with the Seven-Mile Hill trail to Mineral King, and one by way of the Middle Fork, Hospital Rock, and Moro Rock. The latter is shortest
. and leads directly from Red Hill and the regular road, but this trail is rough and precipitous and leaves the Colony road the most available
. This forest of redwoods is the objective point of most tourists. By the map it is 9 miles from the headquarters camp, and to reach it one has the choice of three routes. Two of these trails are so rough and steep, so exhausting to saddle borses, and so dangerous for pack animals that they have largely fallen into disuse. The third route follows a fork of the Kaweah down one canyon and up another. It covers a distance of 54 miles and requires, even for light-loaded animals, all of forty-eight hours to reach this place, only 9 miles from the main camp. I speak of this not to emphasize the difficulties experienced by troops on this detail, but to show the urgent need of the best roads and trails possible for the convenience of all who may visit the national parks.
It is to be presumed that the Sequoia and General Grant parks were established for two purposes: First, to preserve the redwood trees, and, second, to protect the watershed of the rivers which drain this region of the Sierras. The mere detailing of troops, which will faithfully execute their military orders, is sufficient to accomplish both these ends. But what is a park-a national park? Is it a playground for the peo. ple, a resort for the tourist, a mecca for travelers, a summer house where the inhabitants of crowded cities can repair and fill their lungs with the pure air of mountain and forest-where poet, artist, clerk, and artisan, without discrimination, can stand on lofty peak and breathe the inspiration of scenes of grandeur? If this makes a park, then the Sequoia National Park is a failure—a failure not because it wants in snow-clad peak, in noble game, in frightful precipice, deep gorge, or
ragged canyon, but because the people find its beauties and its wonders inaccessible.
There are forests of redwood all along the Pacific coast; groves of sequoias dot the Sierra range for 200 miles; but there is only one great forest in California, and only one in all the world, and that is in the Sequoia Park.. Scientists tell us that the redwood, Seqouia sempervirens, is native only to the Coast Range, while the Sequoia gigantea of the Sierra slopes, though bearing a close affinity, is in reality a distinct genus and not a true red wood. Be that as it may, to the world at large these are the big trees” of California, and no botanist who stands in the shade of their imposing trunks can question the appropriateness of their Anglo-Saxon name.
The sequoia as a species is hardy and needs but the checking of destroying agencies to perpetuate its kind and accomplish the muchtalked-of forest restoration. Appeals and protests come from every corner deploring and denouncing the devastation of California. The needs of commerce must be recoguized, and some of these trees are worth nearly $1,000 to the lumberman; but the safeguarding of California's crowning beauty also has its place. An intelligent and effective administration of the forest reservations will protect the watersheds and assist in retaining a steady water supply till late in the season. But is this the end of the Sequoia giganteu? Here are the pyramids of America, the mammoths of the whole vegetable kingdom, and the descendants, the scientist tells us, of still mightier giants. It is well if their towering tops pierce the very clouds and the shade of their poble trunks save the Sierra snows from April till June; but is this their greatest good? Should not these monsters of the mountains be known and seen and felt by an admiring people! It is time that a systematic development of the Sequoia National Park be inaugurated. Money has been spent generously on Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Chickamauga, but not a dollar on the Sequoia or General Grant Park. I would, therefore, earnestly recommend that reasonable appropriation be made at once. Ten thousand dollars should be devoted to the development of the Mineral King road within the park limits; $25,000 should be appropriated for the repair of the Colony Mill road and its extension to the Giant Forest, $5,000 for the immediate development of the present trails, and $2,000 annually for the use of the superintendent in clearing the trails and roads of the débris of each winter's storms. Between June 20, and August 31, permits have been granted for 298 persons, excluding the regular campers at Mineral King, to cross the Sequoia Park. It is estimated that 1,000 people have visited the General Grant Park in the same time. Most of these parties were on the way to the grand scenery of the Kings River canyon or to the splendid fishing in the Big Kern, or else attempting the tedious trip to Mount Whitney, and there feast the eye upon the magnificent, unimpeded stretch of 150 miles of view across the San Joaquin, and there glance down the canyon 11,000 feet to Lone Pine, and boast that they were on the very top of the United States. The fact that Sequoia Park was but the nieans of reaching these resorts of more absorbing interest is sufficient to suggest the repetition of previous recommendations that the national part limits be extended. The Mount Whitney Military Reservation is exactly 18 miles east of the Sequoia Park; the King's River canyon is 9 miles north. With these objects of surpassing interest included within the contines of the national domain, with a good system of roads perfected, coupled with the patriotic desire of Americans to stand upon their highest mountain and see the world's largest trees, Sequoia Park
to promote mer 06
would at last be visited by the numbers of tourists which its natural beauties fully warrant. A further extension to include one-half of townships 17 and 18 south, range 29 east, would include the foothills most frequented by deer in the winter and make of the park an ideal game preserve. Increasing the park thus would inclose it by a natural barrier on the east and lighten the labor of guarding the park on that side. It would peremptorily stop the travel through the park of all cattlemen going to their lands over Timber or Farewell Gap, and thence to the east side, and so avoid many occasions for dispute. It would also lessen the danger of the destruction of the big trees by fires.
I am well aware that in recommending these appropriations and extensions I introduce a subject of which little or nothing is known by the public, although here are two of the five national parks maintained by the United States. The nearest railroad is 60 miles away. There are no guidebooks or hotels to advertise the highest and roughest mountains in our country, and consequently those travelers who are content to stumble over the discarded baskets of the last camping party, missing these suggestions of summer pleasures, find the fatigue of mountain travel too great and turn back in disgust, generally, before they have really touched the Sierra trail. If one is to know the real beauties of the Sierra country, he must penetrate many places which are most difticult of access, must reach the summits of the highest mountains and explore the gorges of the deepest canyons. Rough and broken, steep and high as the Sierras are, they can still be traveled, and will be by enthusiasts, too, if the Government will take the initiative and introduce them to its people. Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
HENRY B. CLARK,
Acting Superintendent. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
RECEIPT, DISTRIBUTION, AND SALE OF PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,
Washington, December 1, 1899. SIR: I have the honor to submit herewith for transmission to Congress, in compliance with the provisions of an act approved January 12, 1895, a report of the number of documents received, distributed, and sold by this Department during the year 1898-99.
JOHN G. AMES,
Clerk in Charge of Documents.. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.
PUBLICATIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT RECEIVED, DISTRIBUTED, AND SOLD BY THE SEVERAL OFFICES AND BUREAUS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, 1898-99.
OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY.
Reports of the Secretary of the Interior and accompanying documents, bound..
80 440 55 18 17 27 311 1, 036
76 24 20 25 151 295 63
9 156 25 52
8 200 39 19 26 22 9 1 1 36
500 888 23 30 25
taken at once. Deer are still common but decreasing. Bears are still plenty, and three varieties are found-black, brown, and cinnamon. Fresh bear signs are of very frequent occurrence on the Mineral King road, and even close to the limits of camp. Mountain and valley quail are abundant, but the grouse are disappearing rapidly. Mountain lions, panthers, coyotes, and several varieties of the fox, with some other wild animals, are frequently found.
Fishing, in general, is very good, but the possibilities along this line have only been half developed or even explored. The first stocking of fish was in 1879 at Mineral King. Since then the North, South, East, Middle, and Marble forks of the Kaweah have had planted about 400,000 fry by the Visalia Sportsman's Club, drawing their supply from the State hatchery. Immediately east of the Park, Cliff Canyon, Monarch, and Eagle lakes have been stocked by interested individuals. Three hundred miles of streams tributary to the Kern are barren of trout, while 200 lakes in the watersheds of the Kings, Kern, and Kaweah rivers are ready and waiting to become most beautiful fishing resorts. The lakes and streams of the Sierras are most favorable for fish culture, and if a systematic stocking should be attempted the region would become famous with the fisherman and the tourist. The Kern and Kings rivers are already well known for their rainbow and New Hampshire brook trout, fish that are game, too, while the Golden Trout Creek, near Mount Whitney, is the only known habitat of these most beautiful golden trout. From the experience of local sportsmen it seems most practicable to plant the adult fish, but the transportation of fully grown fish is difficult and no time has been available for that purpose
It has been reported that fires in the sequoia forests are the result generally of carelessness, sometimes of intent or accident. Sheep herders, in years past, have been known to deliberately start fires froin pure malice.
From observation this season the camper is generally very careful about banking his fires and considerate in his use of wood, while the sheep herder is no longer a frequenter of the parks. Lightning is the main cause of fires in the Sierras. On July 24, four fires, at intervals of several miles, were started by lightning. Squads were immediately dispatched to the burning timber, and, with the aid of a heavy rain, succeeded in controlling every fire, while all four were completely extinguished in less than a week. The danger of a terrible and destructive fire in the Giant Forest is becoming more imminent every year, owing to the dry débris which covers the floor of the forest to å depth of several feet.
The titles of lands in the two parks, generally taken from the State as “swamp land,” shouid be extinguished. There are sixteen different . owners, but their combined tracts, by the county records of March 1, 1899, only aggregate 5,440 acres, and there is but little value attached to the land since the country surrounding the meadows is strictly guarded by the Government, thus making the tracts of private land too small for profitable grazing, and of no great value for the cutting of timber. The Atwell sawmill has again started, and is fast denuding that vicinity of a most beautiful grove of sequoias. The property is