Page images

lished as Senate Document No. 97, 87th Congress. These guidelines provide, we feel, an appropriate policy framework and useful criteria for planning the use of the St. Croix Rixer Valley, including the NSP proposal. Senate Document No. 97 states, “The basic objective in the formulation of plans is to provide the best use, or combination of uses, of water and related land resources to meet all foreseeable short- an dlong-term needs." Full consideration is to be given to needs for (1) development, (2) preservation, and (3) well-being of

ple and reasoned choices are to be made between them when they conflict. The guide lines indicate that all viewpoints shall be fully considered and, further, that from a national point of view, the analysis shall include a comparison of the proposed resource use and development with alternative means available for providing similar goods and services to the area and other areas.

I have attempted, so far, to explain the general point of view, legal authorities and responsibilities, and analytical approaches of the Department of the Interior in matters of this kind. In addition, I should like to say a few more words, in general terms, about the Department's broad concern for the conservation of natural resources. We adopt, of necessity in the times in which we live, a broad definition of natural resources and include in our conservation programs protection of esthetic values in addition to optimum utilization of mineral, water, land, and living resources. We believe we have a general responsibility to the general public and to the Congress to conserve, develop in some cases and preserve in others, natural resources. Success in this endeavor cannot be attained unless environmental pollution is minimized. Here, of course, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare has a major Federal responsibility, shared in part and assisted by Interior, Agriculture, and other agencies. Healthy aquatic, land, and air environments are essential to the welfare of living resources and to the development of pleasing esthetic environments which we all seek.

President Johnson has dedicated his administration to making America a more beautiful place in which to live. He has stressed, for example, the importance of making the Potomac River that flows by the Nation's Capital a conservation model for metropolitan areas. The St. Croix could as well be a conservation model for the entire Midwest.

With the goals established by the President, the Department now finds itself more fully concerned than before for resource conservation. Each new project will have to come under a new type of scrutiny unless as, in the words of the President, we find ourselves victims of "the poisons and chemicals, * * and the waste products of progress ***."

The St. Croix River from its headwaters in northern Wisconsin to its mouth on the muddy Mississippi River at Prescott, Wis., is indeed a great natural resource well worth careful husbandry.

It has a unique fishery. Living here are large channel catfish, the primitive rock sturgeon; panfish and prized muskellunge; smallmouth, largemouth, and white bass; walleye and northern pike; and in the spring-fed tributaries live brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Few water areas contain as abundant and varied a fish population.

It is relatively unpolluted throughout its entire course. Few river systems of this size in the United States are as clean as the St. Croix River.

It is located at the doorstep of more than 2 million people who live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. Each year thousands of these residents use the St. Croix River for recreation. Thousands of watercraft, ranging in size from skiffs to luxurious pleasure yachts, ply these waters annually. The impact on the economy of these boaters and other recreationists and the numerous summer cottages and permanent homes along the river is sizable.

The significance of its location is highlighted by a finding in the report of the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission that "outdoor opportunities are most urgently needed near metropolitan areas. Three-quarters of the people will live in these areas by the turn of the century. They will have the greatest need for outdoor recreation, and their need will be the most difficult to satisfy as urban centers have the fewest facilities (per capita) and the sharpest competition for land use." They further said that “most people seeking outdoor recreation want water--to sit by, to swim and to fish in, to ski across, to drive under, and to run their boats over.”

Only at two points do dams cross the river: at Taylor Falls--St. Croix Falls where NSP operates a hydroelectric plant and near Gordon, Wis., where a dam creates a recreational lake.

There is great variety in plants, animals, topography, and water condition which gives people an opportunity for practically all forms of outdoor recrea.

tion-from wilderness camping to pleasure yachting. Lake St. Croix has been called the "Rhine of Mid-America," and aptly so for here the hills rise hundreds of feet from the water's edge; here a continuous woodland border provides a setting of tranquillity and great beauty, and here clean, cool waters are suitable for swimming, fishing, and boating. I know few rivers of such outstanding quality so near a large metropolitan


Secretaries Vdall and Freeman recognized these qualities by selecting it for thorough consideration in our joint wild rivers study. I had the pleasure of serving on the field study team. These studies grew out of recommendations by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, and the Senate Select Committee on National Water Resources. The Senate select committee recommended "that certain streams be preserved in the free-flowing condition because their natural scenic, scientific, esthetic, and recreational values outweigh their value for water development and control purposes now and in the future.”

The Department, in preparation for this hearing, has not attempted to develop any specific policy recommendations with respect to problems associated with steam-generating electrical plants like we are discussing here today. The Department recognizes, however, that these problems are increasing in magnitude and that additional public regulation may be necessary to safeguard the public interest and protect resources.

Several more general proposals possibly meriting reexamination in this context are Senate bills 649 and 1111 of the 88th Congress which would provide for stronger water pollution control programs and improved institutional arrangements for river basin planning. The Department of the Interior supported both of these measures. Suggestions to require licensing by the Federal Power Commission of all new powerplant installations over a certain maximum size might be studied by the subcommittee with the view of protecting when appropriate, the beauty of the landscape and other resources. And, perhaps, interest in the concept of a Department of Natural Resources in the Federal Government, as recently expressed by Senator Morse, is indicative of an increasing public awareness that governmental institutions to meet the mushrooming technology of the 1960's could stand reexamination.

In closing, I would like to bring to the attention of the subcommittee the splendid cooperation of Northern States Power Co. with our work on the wild rivers study. In this hearing where the public interest in the company's plant proposal is under study, I believe your record would be seriously incomplete if I did not wholeheartedly acknowledge this splendid cooperation. The company assisted us fully on every request we made to them for information. "Mr. Hibbard Hill, the vice president of NSP expressed the fine attitude of the company toward wild rivers preservation in a speech on August 13, 1964, and I quote as follows:

"I want you to know that NSP, which owns most of both banks of the St. Croix for nearly 70 miles above Taylor Falls, has for many years refused to lease or sell these lands in a manner to spoil their wild attractiveness, and several Fears [ago] * * * NSP began its own wild river study with a view to preserving these lands for recreational uses * * *

We are as anxious as any of you to preserve the wonderful recreational value of this St. Croix Valley.' When an emerging national consensus on wild rivers, and how best to protect them, has fully matured and, hopefully, is in operation, I am confident that Northern States Power Co. will stand ready to help achieve the goals in this regard that are determined to be in the public interest.

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior.

REMARKS OF HAROLD C. JORDAHL, JR., REGIONAL COORDINATOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, UPPER MISSISSIPPI-WESTERN GREAT LAKES AREA, BEFORE TIE SAVE THE ST. CROIX COMMITTEE AT ST. PAUL, MINN., OCTOBER 13, 1964 I have had a delightful day. Your committee took me on a boat trip through beautiful Lake St. Croix this afternoon. I wish you all could have been with mis on this beautiful autumn afternoon. I was not familiar with this reach of the St. Croix River and was truly impressed with its great scenic beauty.

When I received the call from Washington several days ago informing me that I should arrange my schedule to meet with you this evening, I did not realize the magnitude nor the difficulty of the assignment. In spite of several days of intensive review of available materials on this subject-speeches, news releases,

reports, clippings, correspondence, fact sheets, articles, argument and counterargument, and any other materials which I could obtain, along with many personal visits and phone calls to professional associates in State and Federal agencies—I am not able this evening to bring to you any proposals which simplify the problem.

At this time the Department does not know whether it is a wise or unwise de cision for the Northern States Power Co. to locate a large steam-generating electric plant at Oak Park Heights on the St. Croix River.

We need additional time to study this matter before we can make a reasoned judgment. It also appears to me that the same would hold true for other agencies-local, State, and Federal. Relevant facts need to be compiled, brought to bear on the problem, and analyzed and discussed in the public forum and in front of local, State, and Federal agencies which have a statutory responsibility for one or more elements of the proposal.

This is public business. The large attendance here this evening, the tremendous number of words which have been written and spoken on the subject, and the divergence of opinion dictate an intelligent analysis of all facts before irrevocable decisions are made.

Involved are the increasing electrical energy needs of the expanding Twin Cities metropolitan area, and the beauty of a magnificent river, often called the “Rhine of Mid-America.” Over the long run, a short delay makes little difference.

I might point out that the Department of the Interior is vitally concerned with providing our Nation with low cost electrical energy. Much of our past and present history deals with this very subject.

I compliment you for the manner in which you are approaching the problem. You are making a sincere and thorough attempt to bring together all relevant facts. Your reliance on professional advice to assist you in reaching a conclusion is in the best traditions of democracy, for what you are fighting for are those values which, in your opinion, are vital to your way of life.

All too often across the face of America it's the same old story of "too little and too late," when it comes to protecting those values which society finds desirable and even necessary for the full and abundant life. Our Secretary of the Interior, Stewart Udall, has summed it up as the “Quiet Crisis.” President Lyndon B. Johnson said in Portland, Oreg., earlier this fall, “and once nature is destroyed or beauty blighted, it can rarely be restored. It is gone forever. It is our children who will bear the burden of our neglect. We owe it to them to keep that from happening."

I am no stranger to the St. Croix River. Having grown up in northwestern Ohio where there is little in the way of clean, unpolluted streams, forests, hills and other resources which are necessary for a rewarding outdoor experience, it was a thrill and in fact an almost unbelievable experience for me some 15 years ago, to take my first canoe trip down the St. Croix River from Danbury to Grantsburg, Wis. Mrs. Jordahl and I, before we were married, canoed that same reach of the river. I recall vividly her first experience of running the Kettle Rapids. I had the immense satisfaction of taking my father-in-law, now a man of 69 years who has lived at Grantsburg a few short miles east of the river, on his first St. Croix River canoe trip. I watched him catch his first gleaming, heavy bodied muskie below the mouth of the Clam River. This same trip is now repeated with him at least once each summer.

I have floated the river many times since that first trip. I've fished for muskie. I've caught smallmouth bass in the pockets below the rapids, walleye pike in the deep holes, northern pike along the weed beds. I've seen sturgeon of 40 or more pounds taken at Norway Point and also, lunker channel catfish.

I've marveled at the physical stamina and sheer guts of the loggers and the “river pigs" of a short 60 years ago who drove the pine to mills at Stillwater and lower river cities. Pine logs lying on the bottom of the river or driven with tremendous force into the loose sands of the numerous islands and the riverbend banks still remain as markers of this bygone era.

And, as I've floated this river I've thought of the many hardships which the French Jesuits experienced as they penetrated this region and later the For. ageurs who came from Montreal, from the "Soo," from the Straits of Mackinac and from La Pointe in Chequamegon Bay. And before them, the import function the St. Croix River served the Ojibwa Indian Nation as a highway, and before the Ojibwa, the Sioux, the Fox, and the Dakota Indian. And for more than a century, this river basin was a battleground between Indian nations as thes fought for the rights to trap the mink, marten, beaver, and otter, and for the lush wild rice of the Yellow River Basin and other tributary waters of the St. Croix.

This great Upper St. Croix River Basin is indeed a marvelous resource; one which is not only important to us today, but one which will be even more important to those who follow us. I hope I am privileged one year soon to show my children this unspoiled river. I've seen joy and wonder in children's faces from the Twin Cities Settlement House as their counselors glided canoes through rapids, and beneath the shade of towering elms, basswood, and maple.

The reason the upper St. Croix River is not spoiled in large measure is because Northern States Power Co. owns most of the adjacent land ; land originally acquired for hydroelectric development which today is no longer economically efficient. The company has for many years refused to sell or lease lands which would spoil their wild attractiveness. The company has indicated their sincere desire to preserve this wonderful reach of the river. And although the signs of civilization are much more prevalent below Taylor Falls, the river here is also beautiful. Cliffs which tower hundreds of feet into the air and the clean, blue waters of Lake St. Croix with its woodland borders truly qualify this area as one of the great environmental resources in mid-America, and especially so because it's located almost at the doorstep of more than 2 million people. I might add that there are distressing signs of misuse of the lands along the lake and unless intelligent planning and zoning programs are nducted, the fine values of this area will be destroyed.

The beauty of the St. Croix River was recognized in the joint Interior-Agriculture Wild Rivers study initiated by Secretaries Freeman and Udall. Several hundred streams were given a preliminary screening. The list was narrowed to 64 and then to 11 for the variety of problems and opportunities which they presented. Included were the St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers. I had the pleasure of serving as the representative of our Bureau of Land Management on the field study team. The report which has now been submitted to the Washington task force is being summarized in a final report on all streams for transmittal to the two Secretaries. Cooperation from Northern States Power Co. was essential and I am pleased to report that they assisted us fully on every request we made to them for data and information. I might add that although the reach of river under study is located above the Northern States Power plant site, the Washington team does plan to give consideration to this problem.

These studies grew out of recommendations by the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission and the Senate Select Committee on Water Resources, "that certain streams be preserved in their free-flowing condition because their natural scenic, scientific, esthetic, and recreational values outweigh their value for water development and control purposes now and in the future.” Chairman Crafts, Director of the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, has noted “that industrial, commercial, and other development of the Nation's rivers is on the increase. Once developed,” he said, "these streams may lose forever the inherent values for outdoor recreation and related values which they now possess." The Washington team has said that "undeveloped rivers offer unique values to all Americans. They are symbols of timelessness and continuity and of history. Rivers substantially in their natural state afford a needed variety of recreation and related experience possible nowhere else."

What the national policy shall be wil only be determined in time. Meanwhile, those who are interested in resources and rivers await the release of the report to the two Secretaries and the subsequent review by the President's Recreation Advisory Council early in 1965.

The President's ad boc Water Resources Council, which consists of the Secretaries of the Army; the Interior; Agriculture; and Health, Education, and Welfare, on May 15, 1962, transmited to President Kennedy a document titled “Policies, Standards, and Procedures in the Formulation, Evaluation, and Review of Plans for Use and Development of Water and Related Land Resources." It is better known as Senate Document No. 97 and is our major point of reference in river basin planning. It states that the basic objective in the formulation of plans is to provide the best use, or combination of uses, of water and related land resources to meet all foreseeable short- and long-term needs. Full consideration is to be given to (1) development, (2) preservation, and (3) well-being of people and reasoned choices will be made between them when they conflict. [Emphasis Because of your interest in preservation let me quote further; "* * *

proper stewardship in the long-term interest of the Nation's natural bounty requires in particular instances that

"1. There be protection and rehabilitation of resources to insure availability for their best use when needed.


“2. Open space, green space, and wild areas of rivers, lakes, beaches, mountains, and related land areas be maintained and used for recreational purposes, and

"3. Areas of unique natural beauty, historical and scientific interest be preserved and managed primarily for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education

of the people.” The guidelines further indicate that "all viewpoints" shall be fully considered and further, that from a national point of view, the analysis shall include a comparison of the proposed resource use and development with alternative means available for providing similar goods and services to the area and other areas. [Emphasis added]

Obviously, you feel that all viewpoints" are noot being fully considered. Otherwise there would be no need for this meeting. Likewise, "comparisons of the proposed resource use with alternative means" have not been made, in your opinion, or to your satisfaction.

As I understand the matter, the village of Oak Park Heights, the county of Washington, the State conservation department, the State water pollution control commission and the Corps of Engineers—five governmental agencies, each with certain limited and carefully prescribed statutory responsibilities and limitations—make up the decisionmaking chain dealing with this matter. Of course, the initial decision was a corporate one. After reviewing several bulky files of news clippings it is abundantly evident that this decision chain is not adequate to meet your needs. If reasoned choices are to be made between alternatives, I would concur.

Oak Park Heights and Washington County have the zoning power. Their parameters are quite limited ; for example, the beneficial tax impact and payrolls may be uppermost in their minds.

The Conservation Department will review it from its point of view and within their legal framework as it relates to the water diversion, while the Water Pollution Control Commission will examine the condition of the water as it returns to the river. The Corps of Engineer will evaluate the navigation impact.

What are some of the alternatives which might be explored before a reasoned judgment is made?

First. The present site selection.

Second. Selection of a site either above or below the present one. or at another location in the metropolitan area. I understand, for example, that Pig's Eye Island in St. Paul has been considered, but there are conflicts with other existing uses of land.

Third. Development of other energy cources at the Oak Park site or at a different location, for example, natural gas has been suggested, or atomic energy.

Fourth. Construction of a plant outside the metropolitan area and use of extra-high-voltage transmission lines. Another possibility would be a transmission line intertie with existing surplus sources of power from other regions. In a 1963 report of the Department of the Interior titled, “Fuel and Power Study-Lake Superior Region," it was noted that there is an immediate arailability of surplus power from the Manitoba Hydroelectric Board which might be imported into the Twin Cities area at a competitive cost. Also, the 1964 annual report of the Manitoba board has further suggestions in this regard. The same Department report explores the potential of using lignite from the Dakotas as a source of energy for electric generation, and although the report was most concerned with obtaining low-cost power for the lake head and iron range region, the possibility is evident that we might tie the Twin City needs to the needs of northern Minnesota with a consequent net gain to consumers in both areas.

There may be other alternatives. To make the decision, benefits and costs to society and to Northern States Power should be documented. And I include in such an analysis a weighing of intangibles as well as tangible evidence.

Some data needs which should be developed are as follows, and let me add that the present chain of decisionmaking may or may not develop these data (many of these questions require answers regardless of the location of a new plant, assuming, of course, that a new plant is the best alternative).

1. Impact on water resources ; effects of withdrawals on fish, wildlife, microorganisms; effects of thermal pollution on living resources, etc.

2. Effects on recreation ; fishing, hunting, swimming. Are there ways and means of reconciling problems which might develop between barges and pleasure

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »