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64TH CONGRESS, | HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. 3 No. 502. 1st Session

EXTENSION ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK,

COLO.

APRIL 7, 1916.- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the state

of the Union and ordered to be printed.

Mr. TIMBERLAKE, from the Committee on the Public Lands, sub

mitted the following

REPORT. .

[To accompany H. R. 10124.]

The Committee on the Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 10124) adding certain lands to the Rocky Mountain National Park, having had the same under consideration, respectfully recommend that the bill be amended as follows:

Amend the title by transposing the words “certain lands” so the title will read “ To add certain lands to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Strike out all of the bill after the enacting clause and insert in lieu thereof the following:

That the eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park between the section corner common to sections two and three, township three north and sections thirty-four and thirty-five, township four north, range seventy-three west, and the township corner common to townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventy-three west, is hereby changed so as to read as follows:

Beginning at a point on the present eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, which is the northwest corner of section two and the northeast corner of section three, township three north, range seventy-three, west of the sixth principal meridian, Colorado, running thence east along the township line to its intersection with the main hydrographic divide east of Cow Creek, between section thirty-one, township four north, and section six, township three north, range seventy-three west; thence northwesterly following along said hydrographic divide, passing over Twin Sisters, The Crags, passing west of Lily Lake, and continuing along said hydrographic divide, now between Aspen Brook and Fish Creek and passing over Lily Mountain and Gianttrack Mountain to a point which is the southeast corner of section thirty-four and the southwest corner of section thirty-five, township five Dorth, range seventy-three west; thence north along the section lines between sections thirty-four and thirty-five, twenty-six and twenty-seven, twenty-two and twenty-three, fourteen and fifteen, to the quarter corner common to sections fourteen and fifteen, all in township five north, range seventy-three west; thence east along quarter-section line, through sections fourteen and thirteen, township five north, range seventy-three west, and along the continuation of said quarter-section line, through section eighteen to the quarter corner common to sections eighteen and seventeen, township five north, range seventy-two west; thence north along the section line between sections eighteen and seventeen, seven and eight, five and six, all in township five north, range seventy-two west, to that point which is the northeast corner of section sis and the northwest corner of section five in said township and range; thence west along the township line to the township corner common townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventy-three west, which is on the present eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

And the lands lying between the present existing eastern boundary and the eastern boundary as changed by this act between said section-corner common to sections two and three, township three north and sections thirty-four and thirty-five, township four north, range seventy-three west, and said townshipcorner common to townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventythree west, are hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or disposal under the laws of the United States, and said tracts are hereby made a part of and included in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and all the provisions of the act to establish the Rocky Mountain National Park in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes, approved January twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred and fifteen, are hereby made applicable to and extended over the lands hereby added to the park.

And that as so amended the bill do pass.

The committee submitted this bill to the Department of the Interior, and the Acting Secretary thereof has made the following report thereon:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, March 29, 1916. Hon. SCOTT FERRIS, Chairman Committee on the Public Lands,

House of Representatives. MY DEAR MR. FERRIS: I have your letter of February 1 inclosing with request for report thereon H. R. 10124, proposing to add certain lands to the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

The areas proposed by the bill to be added to the park have an approximate area of 10,842 acres, of which 206.11 acres are patented and 481.05 are embraced in pending entries. Of the total acreage proposed to be added to the park 2,851 acres are within the Colorado National Forest. There is herewith inclosed a map of the Rocky Mountain National Park, showing the boundaries of the park as provided in the bill and also showing the lands in private ownership and in pending entries which the bill would include in the park. The area of the lands affected by these private claims is comparatively negligible, and in the interest of better administration of the park suggest that they be eliminated from the bill. I also suggest that the S. | SW. I sec. 24, and N. ? NW. sec. 25, T. 4 N., R. 73 W., which is unentered public land and comprises the highest point of the Twin Sisters, be included in the land to be added to the park.

As will be seen by reference to the attached map, a large portion of the lands proposed to be added to the park is in detached tracts. However, their natural formation, scenic beauty, and ready accessibility from Estes Park, the gateway to the Rocky Mountain National Park, and also the fact that these lands if included in the park will be afforded fire protection, make them particularly desirable as an addition to the park.

The substitution of the following description for that in H. R. 10124, beginning on line 3, of page 1, and ending with the word “ eighteen on line 16, page 4, will make effective the above suggestions, and I recommend that this be done:

“ That the eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park between the section corner common to sections two and three, township three north, and sections thirty-four and thirty-five, township four north, range seventy-three west, and the township corner common to townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventy-three west, is hereby changed so as to read as follows:

Beginning at a point on the present eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, which is the northwest corner of section

two and the northeast corner of section three, township three north, range seventy-three west, of the sixth principal meridian, Colorado, running thence east along the township line to its intersection with the main hydrographic divide east of Cow Creek, between section thirty-one, township four north, and section six, township three north, range seventy-three west; thence northwesterly following along said hydrographic divide, passing over Twin Sisters, The Crags, passing west of Lily Lake, and continuing along said hydrographic divide, now between Aspen Brook and Fish Creek and passing over Lily Mountain and Gianttrack Mountain to a point which is the southeast corner of section thirty-four and the southwest corner of section thirty-five, township five north, range seventy-three west; thence north along the section lines between sections thirty-four and thirty-five, twenty-six and twenty-seven, twenty-two and twenty-three, fourteen and fifteen, to the quarter corner common to sections fourteen and fifteen, all in township five north, range seventy-three west; thence east along quarter-section line, through sections fourteen and thirteen, township five north, range seventy-three west, and along the continuation of said quarter-section line through section eighteen to the quarter corner common to sections eighteen and seventeen, township five north, range seventy-two west; thence north along the section line between sections eighteen and seventeen, seven and eight, five and six, all in township five north, range seventy-two west, to that point which is the northeast corner of section six and the northwest corner of section five in said township and range; thence west along the township line to the township corner common to townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventy-three west, which is on the present eastern boundary line of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

And the lands lying between the present existing eastern boundary and the eastern boundary as changed by this act between said section corner common to sections two and three, township three north, and sections thirty-four and thirty-five, township four north, range seventy-three west, and said township corner common to townships five and six north, ranges seventy-two and seventythree west, are hereby reserved and withdrawn from settlement, occupancy, or disposal under the laws of the United States, and said tracts are hereby made a part of and included in the Rocky Mountain National Park, and all the provisions of the act to establish the Rocky Mountain National Park in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes, approved January twenty-sixth, nineteen hundred and fifteen, are hereby made applicable to and extended over the lands hereby added to the park.

In view of the fact that part of the land affected by the bill is now within the Colorado National Forest it is suggested that it would be appropriate to obtain a report upon the bill from the Secretary of Agriculture. Cordially, yours,

ANDRIEUS A. JONES, Acting Secretary.

The committee submitted this bill to the Department of Agriculture, and the Secretary thereof has made the following report thereon:

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, March 28, 1916. Hon. Scott FERRIS, Chairman Committee on Public Lands,

House of Representatives. DEAR MR. FERRIS: Reference is made to your request for a report upon the bill H. R. 10124, “ To add to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, certain lands," with the request that your committee be sent such suggestions as this department may see fit to offer. The bill proposes that certain lands adjacent to the Rocky Mountain National Park be added to the park. Of the lands described the following are within the boundaries of the Colorado National Forest :

In T. 5 N., R. 72 W., secs. 7 and 18.
In T. 5 N., R. 73 W., secs. 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.
In T. 5 N., R. 74 W., secs. 11, 12, 13, and 14.

At the time the national park was established the boundaries were drawn to include a considerable part of the national forest. The areas above mentioned, however, were not taken in at that time and now form isolated parts of the national forest. The two tracts are tributary to the national park areas rather than to the Colorado National Forest. They could, therefore, be better handled by the national park authorities together with the other national park lands. For this reason the Department of Agriculture has no objection to the passage of the bill.

Since the other areas are a part of the public domain outside of national forest boundaries and are administered by the Secretary of the Interior, it is assumed that you will obtain his views. Very truly, yours,

D. F. HOUSTON, Secretary.

The bill was introduced in response to representations of the Department of the Interior, as shown in a letter addressed to Representative Timberlake by Hon. Stephen T. Mather, Assistant to the Secretary, copy of which follows:

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

Washington, November 5, 1915. DEAR MR. TIMBERLAKE: You will recall that while we were at Estes Park, Colo., in September, participating in the dedication of Rocky Mountain National Park, the question of the advisability of including in the Rocky Mountain National Park the Twin Peaks (Twin Sisters) was discussed at some length.

Petitions filed by Colorado citizens advocating the inclusion of these tracts of mountain land in the Rocky Mountain Park have been under consideration by this department and the Department of Agriculture since June, and they have arrived at the conclusion that it would be desirable to have these additions to the park made. In this connection I am sending you herewith for your information copy of letter just received from the Secretary of Agriculture in which he states that the Department of Agriculture will heartily concur in legislation designed to add these tracts to the park.

No consideration has been given to the matter of adding to the park the tract lying east of it in township 6 north, range 72 west, for the reason that its scenic character has not recently been investigated. Cordially, yours,

STEPHEN T. MATHER,

Assistant to the Secretary.

The letter from the Secretary of Agriculture referred to in the above letter follows:

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

Washington, October 25, 1915. The SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR.

SIR: Please refer to Mr. Mather's letter of June 3, 1915, and Mr. Sweeney's letter of June 28, 1915, transmitting petitions dealing with contemplated additions to the Colorado National Park.

The area mentioned in the petition signed by C. E. Lester and others is also included, with additional areas, in the letter from Mr. Bond, transmitted by Mr. Mather. The records of the Forest Service indicate that not only is it desirable to transfer from the Colorado National Forest to the Rocky Mountain National Park the areas requested in T. 5 N., Rs. 72 and 73 W., but also that it would be desirable to transfer to the park all remaining Government lands within the Colorado National Forest in T. 5 N., Rs. 72, 73, and 74 W., since the tracts which would otherwise remain under the jurisdiction of this department would be too small and isolated to justify the maintenance of separate administration. The tract including the summit of Deer Mountain is not within the boundaries of any national forest. The same is true of the area including the summit of Twin Peaks. These two tracts are tributary to national park areas rather than national forest areas, and this department would heartily concur in any legislation proposing to add them to the park area.

The only area mentioned in the letters and petitions which this department would object to being transferred to the Rocky Mountain National Park is the third tract described in Mr. Bond's letter. The description is indeterminate, but merely refers to land in T. 6 N., R. 72 W., lying east of and adjoining the Rocky Mountain National Park. Just what specific areas the petitioners may have in mind does not appear. A general report covering this area shows that it is essentially forest land, is now in a national forest, and while largely burned over, is estimated to carry at present between 35,000,000 and 40,000,000 feet of accessible timber. This burn supplies the free-use permittees in the valley with their fuel and building material, and in additon to this a few ranchers are wholly dependent upon the area for grazing their stock. Taken in connection with the adjoining national forest land to the north, it is believed that this area can be best administered and will serve its highest purpose by remaining within the national forest. It does not appear that there is anything special to recommend it as a portion of the national park. Respectfully,

D. F. HOUSTON, Secretary.

A reliable description of the area included in the bill is supplied in a letter addressed to Representative Timberlake by Mr. Enos Mills

, a representative of the Department of National and State Parks of the American Civic Association, and is printed for the information it contains:

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 28, 1915. Hon. C. B. TIMBERLAKE,

Washington, D. C. DEAR SIR: The four small areas proposed as additions to the Rocky Mountain National Park may safely be called just scenery. They are not well clothed with timber, grass is exceedingly scanty, a mineral outcrop has not been discovered, and they are without any water power.

TWIN PEAKS AREA.

This area overlies the summits and the summit slopes of Twin Peaks, nearly all of it being above the altitude of 10,500 feet. From the summit one commands nearly all the eastern slope--a 25-mile stretch--of the Rocky Mountain National Park. Its most commanding summit is needed by the park officials as a lookout station. It is also needed and has long been used as a viewpoint by the public.

A fringe of timber composed of lodge pole and timber pine and engelmann spruce cover the lower slopes of this area ; the upper part of it is above the timber line and is decorated in summer with dwarfed Alpine flowers and small spaces of grass.

GEM LAKE AREA.

Like a high peninsula, the Gem Lake territory thrusts out from the high mountains into the Estes Park Valley. Seen 2 or 3 miles away, the south wall suggests a Yosemite wall. The summit and slopes are piled with domes and spires of granite and scattered with groves and broken growths of pines, firs, and spruces. Gem Lake is a tiny clear pool in a niche near the summit. Gem Lake ridge is an excellent and much-used viewpoint.

DEER MOUNTAIN AREA.

The Deer Mountain area, with its sprinkling of pines and spruces, overlies the rocky summit of Deer Mountain. Its approximate altitude is 10,000 feet. This choice viewpoint affords an excellent outlook on the downward slopes of the mountains, and also of near-by Longs Peak.

The small Horseshoe Park area lies by the main entrance of Rocky Mountain Park and may well be added to the original area.

The three leading areas, though noncommercial, contain viewpoints of vantage. If these points fell into private hands, they might, and probably would, be used to exact toll from the public. They are popular mountain tops. Two good trails were long ago built by the public to the summit of each of these three places. Gem Lake territory is 2 miles north, Twin Peaks about 6 miles to the south, and Deer Mountain about 5 miles west of the village of Estes Park. Very truly, yours,

ENOS A. MILLS.

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