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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 tire 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 red woods 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 horses, and so dangerous for pack animals that they have largely fallen into disuse. The thi 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 red wood 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 gigantea? 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
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 means 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 confines 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 would at last be visited by the numbers of tourists which its natural beauties fully warrant. A further extension to include one-half of town. ships 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 moun. tains 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...
35 15, 561
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 6
500 888 23 30 25
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