YUCCA VALLEY – With 62 persons voting, representing more than a dozen communities from two counties, the Pioneer Loop Association, dedicated to tourism and recreation, was given a solid “yes” vote at its formation meeting Feb. 17 at the Glen Restaurant. Jim Ishmael, Resident of the Hi-Desert Associated Chambers of Commerce and host for the meeting, presided.
On the same day word reached proponents of PLA that the San Bernardino Planning Commission at a second hearing had approved the regional parks plan. It will now go to the board of supervisors for final approval. It was also reported from the state that Sacramento had given the regional parks master plan final approval, making San Bernardino County eligible for state and federal funds.
“All of this means,” said Jerry Moore, director for the Yucca Valley Park and Recreation District, “that 28-mile Pioneer Pass, the last remaining unimproved portion of the 150-mile recreational and scenic drive Pioneer Loop, will be eligible for state and federal funds through the county.”
I following the formal PLA meeting, an interim steering committee was named to meet Mar. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Banning at the San Gorgonio Inn.
Pioneertown delegates for the slated to name officers and draw up a working program are: Howard Rees, Apple Valley; Richard Anderson, Big Bear Lake; 0. R. Barnes, Big Bear City; Hal Bahr, Yucca Valley; Richard Me Henry, Redlands; Ed Glomb, Landers; Andrew McCoy, Yucca Mesa; W. B. Eaton, Banning; Bredk Nott, Joshua Tree; R. R. Verrue, Twentynine Palms: Wilts Severson, San Bernardino; Richard O’Flaherty, Morongo Valley; William R. Smith, Pioneertown; and Kelly Shugart, Desert Hot Springs. Yucaipa, Riverside, and Palm Springs—all represented at the meeting by letter or representatives, will later name delegates for the March 10 PLA dinner session.
It was pointed out at the PLA kickoff luncheon by principal speaker Mrs. Ann Brown of Fontana, director for the Devore Freeway Association, that ‘‘three of your most important units to push your Pioneer Loop Association will be committees for fact finding, membership, and speakers.”
Mrs. Brown also stated that the forming of PLA will cut short the number of years in which the unimproved portion of Pioneer Loop will be improved for safe public use.
Mel Edwards, public relations coordinator for the San Bernardino County Economic Development Commission, supported the role PLA can provide in “furthering the growth of tourism and recreational facilities in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.” Edwards also volunteered to not only represent the commission at PLA steering committee session, but would represent the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce as well.
It was apparent from those present at the opening PLA session, communities and cities outside the formal road boundary of Pioneer Loop will wish to take out memberships in the association.
“When you think of the Aerial Tramway at Palm Springs, the Salton Sea at Indio, the Colorado River at the eastern edge of San Bernardino County, the Raceway at Riverside, the Victorville fair, and Barstow with its Calico, to name a few,” Moore said in concluding, “The Pioneer Loop Association can be the beginning of a new tourism era for the great Inland, Desert, and Mountain Empire of Southern California.”