Far West Fight for Ski Development
In 1947, only a handful of skiers showed up at the first hearing proposing San Gorgonio as a ski area. It was evident that a national voice was needed. The West faces different problems from the rest of the nation in that most of their ski areas are on public lands and hence dictated to by the Forest Service and the public.
In 1964, the San Gorgonio Fund was established by Southern Council to get San G developed as a ski area. Although the fight continued for many years, the Wilderness Act of 1964 put an end to the hopes of ever developing San Gorgonio.
In 1965, the Forest Service issued a second prospectus for developing Mineral King Game Refuge as a ski area and accepted the Disney bid. The Sierra Club sued and in 1969, the San Francisco District Court issued a preliminary injunction.
The Save Our Skiing Fund was created by Gerry Garrett, Single Ski Club, in November 5, 1969 in the battle over Mineral King. Far West served as amicus curiae all the way to the Supreme Court only to have Congress move the area into the Sequoia National Park, thus preventing further development.
Far West convened a Public Lands Advisory Board [PLAB] to search of suitable ski sites in California. Among the 20-plus sites identified by Royall Brown were Moses-Maggie, Trail Peak, Independence Lake, Sherwin Bowl, and Peppermint Mountain.
The Skisport Defense Fund was incorporated January 8, 1974 to raise funds to support the advocacy of these areas, notably led by Chuck Morse. It is highly unlikely that these areas will ever be developed.
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