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SECRETARY'S ANNUAL REPORT

May 6, 1916, TO MAY 5, 1917

To the Members of the Sierra Club:

The club can be justly proud of the work accomplished the last year. Many of its members have entered the service of the Government in one capacity or another as will be indicated in part, at least, by the roll of honor published in another portion of the BULLETIN. The club is so large that we have not been able to ascertain all of the names that should be placed on this list, and will appreciate assistance in making it complete. It is a source of pride and satisfaction to learn from many of the active members who became officers in the various training camps established by the Government that a considerable portion of their success in these training camps was attributed directly to the experience in outdoor life and ability to handle personal equipment derived while on Sierra Club trips.

The club also did a splendid work in securing passage of another bill in the last State Legislature appropriating an additional $10,000 to be used toward the completion of the John Muir Trail. Great credit is due Senator A. H. Breed for his tremendously effective assistance in this behalf. At the suggestion of the club the Legislature also amended the Golden Trout Law so that it is now possible to catch these trout commencing the ist of July instead of the ist of August, as was formerly the case. This condition virtually debarred any opportunity for the club members to catch golden trout on any of their outings, and was not supported by any valid reason.

The club also entered a vigorous protest against allowing cattle to enter the national parks unless a compelling necessity were shown. Some good citizens became quite hysterical on the subject, and without adequate information were demanding that the parks be thrown open indiscriminately to grazing. Instead of a shortage of feed as predicted, there never was a better grazing year known in the Sierra than that of last summer, and the urgent demand on this score was traced directly to cattle interests that have been trying to get permits to enter the park ever since parks were established. Under pressure, the Department of the Interior did allow a limited number of cattle to enter the Yosemite National Park north of the Tuolumne River and in the region about the headwaters of the South Fork of the Merced. Even this is to be regretted, for when these interests once get a hold on the park it will be difficult to dislodge them. The Sierra Club, under the guidance of John Muir, fought for years to get the sheep and cattle out of the Yosemite Park, and while the Sierra Club would not for a moment stand in the way of a real and compelling necessity, it would be derelict in its duty if it did not do all in its power to keep the parks from being ruined as the result of a specious demand.

We are indebted to Dr. E. P. Meinecke, of the U.S. Forest Service, for the gift of a large number of Alpine journals and publications, forming quite complete sets, many of which were bound.

The ist of May the total membership of the club was 1951, of which number 239 were new members, making a net increase of 155 members, but there were at that time 275 delinquent members who had been dropped for non-payment of dues, and who were given another opportunity to be placed in good standing. A good many members have resigned from the club since that date because of war conditions, or been dropped for non-payment of dues, and it therefore behooves the loyal members to work actively in increasing the membership so that it may not show a considerable loss at the end of another year. While the Board of Directors has not met so as to act directly upon the matter, it is unquestionably the concensus of opinion that dues of those members who are in active service of the Government will be remitted during the period of the war.

Respectfully,

Wm. E. COLBY, Secretary

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[An account of a four-day trip of the Sierra Club, Southern Section, through the San Jacinto Mountains to the Colorado Desert.] There is no finer alpine region in Southern California than the San Jacinto Mountains with their extensive meadows. Rising abruptly from the western border of the Colorado Desert, at places below sea level, Mount San Jacinto reaches an altitude of 10,805 feet. The new and attractive Government “Recreation Map" of the Cleveland National Forest mentions this peak as among the most rugged of our State. Last spring, from the heights of Catalina Island, members of the Sierra Club viewed this snow-crowned peak with his brothers, San Gorgonio and San Bernardino, nearly one hundred and fifty miles away, and they were eager for the ascent.

A delighted party of forty left Los Angeles the latter part of August, 1917, on a “Sierra Club Special Electric” for San Bernardino, sixty miles distant. Here they transferred to two powerful auto stages which carried them via Hemet to about a mile above the mountain resort at Idyllwild. In Strawberry Valley, amidst a friendly group of pines and incense cedars, the first night's camp was made. The party soon dispersed into prearranged commissary groups of five to seven persons each and the evening meal was prepared. At the camp-fire the interest centered about the legends of Tahquitz. This wicked Indian chief so enraged his people that they put him to death by fire, but his evil spirit escaped, and even until today it is said the Saboba Indians approach these mountains only with fear and trembling because of the mysterious rumblings around Tahquitz Peak. These rumblings were experienced by our party, but the thunder clouds overhanging the desert were held in suspicion.

Next morning breakfast was prepared at daybreak, lunches put in knapsacks, and dunnage bags left for the packers. By noon the party had ascended to Tahquitz Peak, 8826 feet in elevation. This granite mountain of vertical cleavage and rugged piles of weather-worn boulders affords a view of Hemet Lake, with the extensive areas of prosperous citrus and deciduous groves below. The trail now descends to Tahquitz Valley, with its fine forest of yellow, Jeffrey and sugar pines, also incense cedar and white fir. Wild fuschias (Zauschneria Californica), scarlet penstemon, purple aster and goldenrod lent color to the scene, while on the drier desert slope below were fields of that fascinating member of the mint family, Desert Ramona, growing in clumps of

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GROVE OF PALMS AT MOUTH OF ANDREAS CAÑON, AN OLD INDIAN

CAMP GROUND
Photo by C. J. Fox

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SPEARHEAD Found by John P. Dexter, July 27, 1914, in Hetch Hetchy, near Rancheria Creek. Presented by him to the Sierra Club. The original spearhead

is an inch longer than the reproduction

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