Tuesday, December 28, 2010

GCNP Enlargement: If at first... 1929-31...

To start this wind-up of NPS vs. FS, here is a bit of commentary on the first decade of NPS & GCNP: 

From my very limited perspective, this period of NPS history seems dominated by an almost entrepreneurial spirit, a vigorous outreach and search for place, both physically and in the rank of American institutions. Mather and his deputy H. Albright were certainly key, but the very freshness of the idea of a national park system, gathering and presenting for the public America's most significant natural and historical places, must have excited staff and supporters. Bureaucratization and its ills would come, but the period of the 1920's and '30's was populated by those animated by the XIXth-century sense of expansion, claiming frontiers, building a new world. 

However, the events around the 1925 operation of the Coordinating Commission must have been sobering and even galling. Given that the process was shadowed by Hayden's Restrictive rubric, the question remains of whether the internal discussion and political maneuvering that must have taken place over that year among the members of the CCPF were handled by the Forest Service in a superior way. Mather tried hard this time to enlist local support and placate Hayden beforehand. It did not work; as then-new NPS Director Albright wrote in March 1929 to new GCNP Supt, M. Tillotson: "As you know, I have always felt that in 1925 we got the worst of the decision on the proposed boundary changes." It seems -- and the intra-CCPF conversations are not recorded -- that at decision time the three public members were not convinced by NPS arguments.

I am not sure I would have been convinced either. I remain puzzled as to why the Forest Service clung to the Marble and Kanab canyon areas, and as well, why NPS did not argue harder to add them, once Evans had pointed them out. Instead NPS's major effort was directed at lands, forested and open, back from the rims, and supposedly rich with game. The Kaibab forest in 1925 was surely a wonderful place, but I consider NPS focus on it rather than on the Canyon itself a legacy of the Powell-Harrison concept of protecting the spectacular big hole. It is possible that quite literally Mather and his staff could not, did not, see the entire Grand Canyon, and thought 1919 was enough of that. Were they distracted then by trees and deer? Were they Easterners, still shrinking back a bit from the scariness of contemplating the full spread of the Canyon? If they had been run down the river for a few weeks, would they have gained a new appreciation of what the Canyon really is?

Monday, December 20, 2010

GCNP Enlargement: Debate and resolution, 1925...

Under the Coolidge administration, a National Conference on Outdoor Recreation was convened in 1924, with speeches. This fest brought about a President's Committee on Outdoor Recreation, made up of cabinet members. That group established by resolution a (Joint) Coordinating Commission on National Parks and National Forests (also called on "Park Extension"), 24 Feb 1925. Mather and Chief Forester Greeley were on this CCPF, and there were three public members, the chairman being a congressman from Pennsylvania. Hayden was not a member, but stuck to it like Velcro. Its charge was to provide an arena for the resolution of Forest and Park Service disputes over interagency boundaries, particularly when a tract seemed to have desirable resources both for exploitation and for recreation/scenery. Since there was only an overlap of functions between these agencies, these turf battles featured claims and counter-claims only hazily comparable. If there was timber, was it to be cut or looked at? If camped in, which venue provided the better, appropriate experience? If there were deer, should they be shot or allowed to wander among the tourists, a tame spectacle? Given previous over-grazing, what path to recovery should be followed, removal of utilization or more active measures? And so on. The practical question was whether this CCPF could be a place where the agencies discussed and compromised, with members who could help, or would Congress again get to wield Solomon's sword? In any case, Mather believed that GCNP was one of the group's two priorities. 

Personal digression: Were my  experience in the resolution of disputes centered on our National Park System spread across many of its units, instead of concentrated deeply on just one, I would know whether my observations of the past near-50 years can be generalized. In the present case of boundaries, I have seen again and again that all and every party in a variety of conflicts have seen Congress as the eventual, last, and even inevitable court of last resort. In the history of river management, to take a different example, there have been several instances of using the law court system to gain an advantage. And though environmental law is a fairly recent innovation, the President's power under the Antiquities Act to declare the first Grand Canyon National Monument went to the Supreme Court almost a century ago. These, however, are the classical exceptions proving the rule, for the foundation of GCNP's distorted, discriminatory river management system is a congressionally imposed and maintained political settlement, and only Congress can ever finally provide a resolution, in this case by pronouncing on a true Grand Canyon Wilderness. Likewise with the first GCNM, which was only a step toward Congressional passage --the 1919 Park Act--, just like its three successor Monuments. To boundaries, river management and Wilderness, add these issues: noise versus natural quiet, aircraft operation, air clarity, the Havasupai's land repatriation, authorization (or not) of dams, planning a traffic system for Grand Canyon Village using rail, grazing termination, uranium mining, the impact of Glen Canyon dam operations. All have reached Congress. Is this the way with all Parks? Or is there something about the Canyon that shapes the political processes that work on its issues, so that the interests, affected parties, stake-brandishers, end up aiming at congressional resolution? Yes. 

But we were speaking of the Park boundary, and in 1925; lets return to that day.

Monday, December 13, 2010

GCNP Enlargement: Talking It Over, 1922-4

In the summer of 1922, the Forest Service wanted a survey of the indefinite Kaibab boundary since administration was difficult, although NPS had said nothing. Kaibab Supervisor Roak complained about the drift of cattle onto the Park and the need to get a one-mile strip out of the Park for the water; otherwise at some point NPS will push cattle out. He was concerned about getting the Quaking Asp/Stina/Tapeats drainage out of the Park, but his boss gave him no encouragement, since "the controversy over this would be poor". In September, GLO agreed to survey the Kaibab boundary. Feb 1923, although NPS had a brochure that included a complaint about GCNP's boundary inadequately providing space for tourist development, the agency stated it was not presently working on any change. The Park map, with the Mathes mapwork back in 1902 as starting point, was being worked on by R.T. Evans of the Geological Survey, during which, Dec 1921, he had proposed saving survey money in the southwest corner by excluding Beaver Canyon from the Park, saying it was unknown when the Park was created. Evans was also impressed with the Tapeats-Thunder drainage, thinking access to it should be in Park. But the President's Forest flurry of 1921-2 seemed a solitary disturbance. 

By late 1923, matters were livelier, and a more gritty discussion was starting to take place. This back-and-forth between the Park and Forest Services was the sort of detailed debate that had not taken place ten years before. Perhaps it could not have; even a few years of on-the-ground experience for NPS helped it understand better GCNP's administrative needs; and perhaps just getting the Park established in 1915-9 was enough to occupy Mather and Albright's energies. A few years later, and Mather could respond to a broadening of the Park's scope with enthusiasm.

Sep 1923, Mather had been on another visit to the North Rim. He travelled from Fredonia  with C. McCormick of that town, who suggested getting the boundary "back a little on natural features". Mather was reported by the FS as talking to locals Oct 1923 about moving the Park boundary. Poor controversy or not, now it was NPS who was considering going west to get Thunder River. Mather also wanted to pick up the top of the Kaibab including VT Park and Pleasant Valley, and add the southern end of House Rock. Since the Grand Canyon Cattle Company had the only grazing, at first, people were disposed to sign Mather's petition. An FS inspector countered by meeting with local citizens of influence to tell them his agency protected features of high recreation value, which Mather claimed would be lost if they were not in Park. The inspector opined that tourists liked cowboys and their camps at VT. KNF contributed funds to the county. It would be more difficult for NPS to deal with excess deer, and the Forest Service had a plan. These arguments, FS higher-ups were told, moved general opinion against the Park.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

GCNP Enlargement: A President's Forest?

Not satisfied with the restrictive boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park, Mather used his energy and connections trying to find ways to provide the public a more expansive view.  In November 1921, he wrote the President about his summer visit to the "very largest area of virgin forest in the country". The Kaibab forest was splendid and extraordinary, and should be preserved. Emerson Hough had been with him and suggested the name President's Forest to signal their high estimate of its national worth. As a Forest Service opponent put it, "Mather has broken out in another place". At the time, the designation Kaibab National Forest applied only to the Kaibab Plateau, north of the Colorado River, today's North Kaibab Ranger District. Although part of Arizona, there was only ferry access, and in any case, the use and settlement of the entire Arizona Strip was oriented northwards, part of the Mormon expansion in the late XIXth century. 

The visit stirred up rumors, which, 17 Nov, E.G. Marshall of Grand Canyon Cattle Company (GCCC) confirmed to Kaibab NF supervisor Roak. Mather and a Union Pacific man were the moving spirits, Marshall wrote, visiting me, and asking if I would vacate my grazing leases in favor of preservation ideas. On the 30th, Marshall wrote to the President: Mather has brought the idea of a Presidential Forest to my attention, and we are willing to vacate our lands on the Kaibab and to the east. We ask only for time to dispose of sheep and that no one else be given a grazing permit. There would need to be an arrangement for buying our lands for the government. 
Then as now, much of the Kaibab and House Rock Valley were grazed by a single large outfit. Then as now, there were strongly held ideas that the Kaibab deserved special treatment, not oriented toward exploitation. Then as now, grazing hangs on as an administrative adornment, rather than for wealth creation.

Monday, November 29, 2010

GCNP Boundary Story. The 1920's: Different visions

Last January 31, I summed up the story of the Grand Canyon National Park and how it grew, up to the signing of the establishment Act, February 26, 1919. Since then entries have dealt with this story from the viewpoint of the boundary today, and in some detail, how to map the Park boundary on the south, left, river bank. I did of course try to get away with showing off the cart as it appears today before telling of the various horses that got it here. That needs to be rectified by relating chronologically the several efforts after 1919 (and still unconcluded) to construct a National Park worthy of the Canyon. 

I would like to add "and that respected the lands of those with whom we the people shared the Grand Canyon -- the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hualapai", but decades of disagreement (and still unconcluded) preclude so pollyannish a view. As well, there has been resistance and opposition from resource users and administrators otherwise attuned: graziers, hunters, miners, loggers, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, even other NPS units. I would like to add "but today there are great and unprecedented opportunities for cooperation to bring about a unified presentation of the Canyon to the public", but while that sentiment is true, it too is pollyannish as a guide to the behavior we can expect. That guide is, as too often, the past, and so over the next several entries I will lay out the story of GCNP's boundary from 1919 up to the time when the battle lines were forming for the  legislative struggle over the 1972-5 Park Enlargement Act. I would like to add "which was energized by the vision of a more complete Park we Canyon advocates offered as a positive alternative to the destructive dreams of the dam-builders", but that is only partially true, completely neglecting the long-time Havasupai repatriation effort as well as the knotty left-overs of the post-1919 stories I will now get to.  

Here is the 1919 boundary map:

The complementary visions here were, on the one hand--Powell's--, that of the biggest spectacle, the great scoop out of the earth. On the other --Hayden's--, a park tightly drawn in toward the rim, taking little stock land and water, leaving only rim land for roads and developments. No expansive alternatives were being presented, not upstream into Marble Gorge, nor to the west, as in the 1910 ASHPS proposal.

The general policy governing the new National Park System parks was stated by Secretary of the Interior Lane shortly before GCNP's creation. On 13 May 1918, he wrote NPS Director Mather:  "The national parks must be maintained in absolutely unimpaired form for the use of future generations as well as those of our own time. They are set apart for the use, observation, health and pleasure of the people. The national interest must dictate all decisions affecting public or private enterprise in the parks." On 11 March 1925, Secretary Work instructed Mather that "National Parks and monuments must be maintained untouched by the inroads of modern civilization in order that unspoiled bits of native America may be preserved to be enjoyed by future generations as well as our own…The duty of the National Park Service by (its organic) Act to faithfully preserve Parks and Monuments for posterity in essentially their natural state is paramount to every other activity."

In 1921, the Forest Service Chief set forth the view he and Mather jointly held on cooperation between the two agencies. Proposed transfers of lands should be examined jointly, and a transfer made only where the dominant resource was a nationally important scenic feature, but not where the economic interest dominated or just for a road or accommodations. Therefore, the Chief told his subordinates, they needed to cooperate on roads, including timber cutting and grazing near them.

Nice, but with the north and south sides of GCNP carved out of, and confined by, national forest land, how long could the new Service and the new Park be content working under the constrictives' view of the Canyon?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Second Look: TR and the Grand Canyon National Park that Wasn't

In my March 21, 2010, entry, I laid out a timeline that TR might have followed in the 1902-7 period that would have resulted in the establishment of Grand Canyon National Park a dozen years before Congress, with Arizona as a state, ground that sausage. Using information from Brinkley (Brinkley, Douglas, The Wilderness Warrior  Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, 2009), I tried to suggest why TR did not. Brinkley emphasizes Pinchot's role in suggesting that Crater Lake was a less controversial first step, to be followed by a Roosevelt visit to the Canyon (1903). The implication is clear, that Congress was so hostile to Parks that obtaining a favorable outcome for a GCNP bill would be very difficult. So first, here is a list of what significant Parks Congress did create back then. Would a Rooseveltian GCNP have been so much harder?

Before Roosevelt:
Yellowstone 1872
Sequoia 1890
Yosemite          1890
General Grant   1890 (now in Kings Canyon)
Mount Rainier  1899

Here is what was done by Congress with Roosevelt as President:
Crater Lake 1902
Wind Cave 1903
Mesa Verde 1906 (contemporaneously with Antiquities Act)

I recently learned that the question of whether Roosevelt did not want to engage with Congress over Park creation can be gotten at another, more positive, way. Under the power he had to create National Forests (without Congressional approval), Roosevelt accomplished wonders. Brinkley and others all characterize Roosevelt as one who loved being the unfettered administrator. What if he had had that power for national parks? In "The Antiquities Act, A century of american archaeology, historic preservation and nature conservation" (ed. Harmon, David et al. (McManamon, Pitcaithley), U. of Arizona press, 2006), R. F. Lee summarizes (pp 28-30) the Act's history in a suggestive way.

Lee writes of the "enlightened" General Land Office Commissioners B. Hermann & W.A. Richards, who from 1900-6 "consistently recommended general legislation to empower the president to establish … national parks" as he could establish national forests. Lee writes that this proposal "met with a cool response from the House Committee on Public Lands" (pre-1904). However, a couple of years later, due to the work of E.L. Hewett and Representative J.F. Lacey (Rep., Iowa), the 1906 Antiquities Act was passed. It was not a broad measure. It did not entitle the president to set up national parks, as he could then set up national forests. Instead, it was written to enable him or her to protect antiquities ("Indian ruins") by proclaiming national monuments of a small and narrowly defined nature -- supposedly. 

Roosevelt promptly expanded this limited monument function to give himself (and his successors) an immense power: solo creation of de facto national parks. That is to say, many of the places named under the Antiquities Act over the next century have been of a size and range and quality that have all the characteristics of an American national park. The practical legislative effect of this promotion has been to move action by Congress so the presidential signature comes first, as well as last. In early 1908, TR proclaimed the Grand Canyon National Monument (the first of four, and we are not done yet), and 11 cranky years later, President Wilson signed a diminished, tarnished Grand Canyon National Park. Would we have done worse had TR, as I fantasized, pushed a GCNPark act through Congress in 1907? 

So, here's the point suggested to me by the several-year history leading to the Antiquities Act: TR was waiting. He had lots of other work to do, and he kept expecting the progressives in the GLO and Interior, and his conservationist friend, Congressman Lacey, to lead the way to his obtaining the national park power. And then he would create the GCNPark. Well, but,then all he got was a diminished "monument" power. Oh yeah?? He could fix that easily enough, and so he transformed the Antiquities Act into the Presidential National Park Creation Act of 1908. And at the same time redeemed his dream from 1902 of protecting the Grand Canyon forevermore. For someone so often characterized as impatient and rushing off in all directions at once, maybe this was an example of the smart man who knew how to wait.

And after 110 years of defending and expanding that dream, where is the Grand Canyon's TR we are awaiting for our times?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dams: Head in the Stars; a summary

The entries so far (April-November, 2010) have covered a half-century of dreams and investigations focussed on the Grand Canyon as hydropower generator. From the initial withdrawals and applications before the new Federal Power Commission in the 1910's, there had been a story of lunge, study, argument, and hold-up. 

The initial studies and surveys provided substance for the dream of a dozen or two dams turning the Colorado into a giant staircase. That dream was cramped a tad by those who had another vision, of a Grand Canyon National park celebrating at least a piece of unfettered Colorado River. More serious, efforts like those of Girand in the 1920's were blocked when California's needs were given primacy by the Boulder Canyon Project. Arizona then flailed about during the Depression, and just when it seemed to be a serious contender for the fine Bridge Canyon site, World War II intervened. This gave Reclamation the chance to wake up and get cracking on investigations. 

Reclamation's deliberations, however, were entangled in the demands from Arizona for projects to get its share of the Colorado to central Arizona, preferably through tunnels from dams at Bridge or in Marble Canyon. Even though Reclamation finally settled on a water scheme that did not physically involve the Grand Canyon, all parties had become stuck in the tar-baby idea that the Central Arizona Project (CAP) and Bridge Canyon dam were inextricably linked. When the former was put on hold by Congress in the early 1950's, so too was the latter. 

The hold on Bridge, and the 1940's expansion of Reclamation's dreams for the Colorado River Basin, gave that agency the chance to carry through an investigation of a Marble Canyon dam near Redwall Cavern. It was also ready to try to look hard at a 25-year-old idea as an alternative to the staircase, the Marble-Kanab tunnel. There had been a debate in the 1940's over how high Bridge could be, but the time was not ripe for a definitive confrontation. Nor did the 1932 establishment of a second Grand Canyon National Monument affect that debate; a Reclamation dam was assumed to have priority. The tunnel was not so immune; even in 1949, it seemed too egregious an insult to our National Park ideal, and a much too weighty an injury to the Grand Canyon. So Kanab was quashed; Marble studies went ahead, and Bridge awaited the revival of the CAP. 

When, chomping at the bit in the mid-1950's, Arizona tried to figure out how it could build its water project itself, it thought of Bridge first. However, although Reclamation could ignore the Monument and stiff the Park System on its "small invasion" of the Park, any FPC-authorized dam builder would have to be content with a low Bridge. That turned out to be irrelevant, however, as the ensuing noisy tug-of-war with Los Angeles over the Bridge site ended up deeding it to Reclamation, a common sense (for dam-builders) solution the hurt of which for Arizona was eased by its near-succesful run at an FPC-licensed Marble Canyon dam, a run notable for the red flag raised among Park advocates by seeing the bogeyman of Kanab waved about. I should say,  "the now more experienced" Park advocates, since the 1950's had seen a tremendous increase in their determination and sophistication as a result of their success in defending Dinosaur National Monument from dams, and discovering what had been lost in the undesignated Glen Canyon. 

The Arizona Marble effort ended in 1964. Those who thought of the Colorado in Arizona as Arizona property were shouldered aside. Those who believed in a federal, Reclamation, project for Arizona dominated the action. All efforts were to be concentrated on the CAP built by Reclamation, and on the Grand Canyon dams in Reclamation's portfolio. The time had come to authorize the Central Arizona Project, and its backers assumed, to dam the Grand Canyon to help pay for it. 

And there I leave it for now. Even though 1965-8 is the scene for the greatest of conservation, Grand Canyon, victories over the exploiters, and even though those are the years of my involvement, I am tired of the dam builders. The stage is set for their megalomania and hubris to bring an end to their dreams for the Canyon. Lets let them stew for a while, and re-join those who dreamt of a grander Grand Canyon National Park.

Dams: Kanab 1961: Deja Vu All Over Again

Kanab's last race, with LADWP and Reclamation taking turns as jockey, had a surreal quality. No one was seriously proposing to begin the battle to gain authorization of a Marble-Kanab tunnel hydropower project. The proponents hoped only to show that it was too good an alternative to an Arizona-built Marble power dam to be ignored. Yet, arguments for it were fatally tinged with fantasy just because no one could, seriously, propose it. Yet, it was such a seductive dream for the dam dreamers, they all were willing to see it trotted out, the ultimate element of a total conquest of the lower Colorado River. What if, these engineer romantics  with their plans and charts enthused… ; if only …

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dams: Some details on the APA and the Canyon, 1956-64

Having told the story of the APA's grabbing for the brass ring, only to have it snatched away just when its fingers were curling around it, there remain many pages of my notes on APA archives. Most bear on the intra-state relations and squabbles, but some fill in details on how the Grand Canyon figured in the APA dream. I am not writing a history of Arizona's fight for water, except as it dragged in the Grand Canyon, seen by water mavens as a source of water to fill a tunnel, as a power generator to pump water from elsewhere, as a cash register to fund their dreams -- the dream here is of verdant farms and proliferating houses with green lawns in central Arizona, and the Canyon slaved to those ends. 

Another comment about the FPC process being so much like a law-court: Its legalistic procedures provided innumerable openings for delayers. It seduced Arizona into believing that, because they had the law on their side (water rights, damsites in Arizona, withdrawals shutting out Navajo,…), their case was righteous. If it had been only a congressional fight, a case of political lobbying, might it have gone more smoothly, even more swiftly?

So here are some added details of the 1956-64 APA/Marble story.

Feb, right at the start, attorney R. Marks wrote to the governor that the Hualapai should take part in all conferences on a Bridge dam. 
APA staff recommended an early study of Bridge.

Jan, APA told Hayden that because it was studying Kanab, it did not want the Park or Monument extended.
Jul-Aug flurry because of LADWP's application; Udall & Hayden (Democrats; D.C. delegation) urged caution to avoid any irrevocable step. 
Aug, Marks suggested that APA approach the tribal council. A meeting was set, and at year's end, the Hualapai petitioned FPC. Harza Engineering set up to begin work. 
Nov, Harza draft appraisal reviewed history, discussed diversions, including Bridge & Verde, and Prospect dam, but did not bring up he effect on Hoover. Drafts continued into 1958, with even more about diversions, none of which were financially feasible. AISC agreed to more study, but eventually became disenchanted with Harza's work. 
Dec Harza suggested APA apply for Marble Canyon dam, since its power would be competitive.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dams: The Sideshow: APA v. the World, at FPC Arena, 1956-64, part II. (replaces 31 Oct 2010 entry)

Then in November 1960, signs showed up of a compromise with LADWP. Hearings on Bridge were postponed on the joint motion of agencies from the two states, having agreed the dam should be high, and therefore federal. (Reclamation dominance over Bridge was thus secured; nevertheless, the applications were not formally dismissed until 1969.) APA was considering whether to make Marble a separate application. Hearing was now set for April 1961. There was a meeting of LADWP with Dominy of Reclamation, where LADWP emphasized Marble-Kanab. Dominy promised unlimited access to data on Bridge, Marble, etc. In December, still upbeat, APA was readying its FPC testimony, looking toward an April hearing. It met with S. Udall, Secretary-designate, who was told all agencies in Arizona wanted APA to press on, although action on Bridge would be withheld while they talked with LADWP. Udall seemed convinced of Arizona unity.

In January 1961, the schedule was set for pre-hearing, APA testimony, motions to strike testimony, answers to those, other testimony and strike motions, then action on motions. Real hearings in April. LADWP wanted a six-month extension to allow consideration of Kanab.  After the pre-hearing conference, the APA was miffed at LADWP which had used APA willingness to cooperate on Bridge to disadvantage APA on Marble. Early in the new Congress, Feb 1961, Nevada's Senator Bible introduced a federal Bridge bill, calling it like Hayden's 1951 bill. Congressman Rhodes attacked it. The Kanab study and Nevada actions worked to slow down the APA. There was also skirmishing before the FPC, with the Navajo moving to get the hearing delayed. And LADWP, with Bridge dropped, was determined to intervene on Marble. There was squabbling over whether the stream gage at Lees, below the Paria, would be damaged. LADWP strategy seemed to be to involve Reclamation, about which Dominy was willing. Negotiations continued, and in May, LADWP indicated it would offer Kanab in opposition to Marble, and wanted to divide Bridge from the CAP. The hearing did begin in May and the Bridge and Marble applications were promptly severed from each other, with LADWP and APA ordered to show why their Bridge applications should not be dismissed. 

[It is a measure of something, perhaps Californian greed, arrogance, intransigence or perhaps Reclamation's, that a deal was not done here explicitly to build a federal Bridge and allow the state to pursue Marble. The stakes were too high for control of the energy for such a compromise? Or just too deeply rooted an animosity?] LADWP was getting substantial help from the California Colorado River Board staff on the Kanab works. They were all putting in a large amount of work preparing, trying to make the project realistic, and writing cross-examination questions. 

Dams: The Sideshow: APA v. the World, at FPC Arena, 1956-64, part I. (replaces 31 Oct 2010 entry)

In previous entries, I have referred several times to efforts by Arizonans to convince the Federal Power Commission (FPC) to license Grand Canyon dams. The main story of what happened to the dreams of the dam men for the Grand Canyon does center on the federal government and the Bureau of Reclamation. However there were, from even before 1920 into the late 1960's, efforts to gain authorization for a dam built by a private company or a state agency. The downstream sites --Diamond Creek, then Bridge Canyon-- were targeted first. Then Marble Canyon dam became the state's focus in the late 1950's. 

One curiously twisted strand in all of this. A dam built by a state power authority would of course be a socialist project, at a time when Goldwater conservatism was rampant in central Arizona. The issue of publicly built power had been hot even before the New Deal and Democratic Party dominance in Washington (including Hayden and McFarland). Yet here was a public power project in a state with strong private power companies, as well as the Salt River Project, a locally based strong public power and water utility. As the years went on, the APA became more dominated by more conservative members, becoming a state enterprise founded on a kind of pro-Arizona patriotism championed by strong believers in private enterprise; solid Arizonan pragmatists mixing public and private to obtain needed power and water. 

One problem any analyst would have here is just how serious each of the contestants was. How much was the FPC still another arena for the political struggle over water from the Colorado? How much was it just to affect what would happen in Congress? For instance, it "seems clear" that Los Angeles Dep't of Water & Power (LADWP) in the 1956-68 period never wanted to get permission so it could build a dam itself. Yet, in spite of seeming aimed at derailing Arizona efforts, LADWP efforts could be innovative. It also "seems clear" that the APA's expensive effort to gain an FPC license for Marble became deadly in earnest, whatever its origins as a stick to beat the lagging federal water horse with. Of course, Reclamation always had to direct its efforts federally, at its department, Interior, and then the President and Congress. And, it "seems clear", Reclamation was dead serious about building any and all Grand Canyon power projects, even though its work often seemed reactive to the initiatives of others, such as Arizona's in the late 1930's, or the late 1950's, and that of LADWP in 1960-1. 

Whenever we advocates of a wilderness Grand Canyon--protected for itself and presented for the public--get smug about environmentalists' prowess in making the dams unpalatable politically and ethically, we might reflect on how much we owe to the squabbling and complacency of those hooked on the dam-building opiate. It is chillingly easy to imagine a less distracted over-confident government building Bridge starting in 1950, following it up with Glen in 1955, and capping it by the monster colossus of Marble-Kanab in 1960. It is also possible, though hardly easy, to imagine a clever, cunning, together Arizona scheming successfully with California and the fed to achieve its water goals, and ending up with the Grand Canyon dammed to a fare-thee-well. I admit, though, it is impossible for me to imagine powerful, arrogant, too-smart-for-its-own-good California actually cooperating with everybody else; if greed is its own reward, then those Californians who today experience the Canyon as it is are enjoying the rewards of their forbears' determination to control the Colorado's every last drop and kilowatt-hour -- and failing.

So now we must tell the story of the APA, how it grabbed for the loaf, and how it did not even get half. My notes on the relevant files and archives from several agencies are grouped under a variety of headings, organized here chronologically. My strategy is to set the scene using my notes on minutes of APA monthly meetings and on FPC files of the proceedings before it. These provide a framework, filled in with related detailed material from the APA and other participants. It will take more than one blog post.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dams: Marble + Kanab, - Kanab: 1960-3

Rising to a new peak in its mischief-making against Arizona's attempts to get FPC approval for a state dam, in November 1960, LADWP started thinking of seeking a meeting with Reclamation to discuss a recon of Kanab. This brightened Region 3 up, and it sought permission to review the "tremendous resource potentiality" of Kanab. The situation was that Reclamation over the previous decade had studied Marble, and decided on the 32.8 site; always hopeful about Kanab. 1956 on, Arizona (APA principal) & LADWP were skirmishing in the FPC arena, first over Bridge, and then, after pressure was brought to keep Bridge a federal project, APA focussed on Marble for its state dam.

January 1961, a new, now Democratic, administration took office, with Stewart Udall, formerly Representative from Arizona, as Secretary of the Interior. The next several months would involve Reclamation in three intertwined matters growing out of 1950's work: responding to the APA's FPC application, educating the new Interior officials, and responding to LADWP's initiative on Kanab. Then by 1964, these cards would all be shuffled into the new deck created by the decision in the water suit, Arizona v. California, and the administration's (and many others') response.

Work on Marble had been suspended in 1958, but in 1961, Reclamation made a new estimate of power capacity, 625 mw for 32.8 mile, 700 for 39.5. The APA asked for some Reclamation data from the 1940's. In March, Reclamation commented on the APA's Marble dam that the latter seemed to be aware now of tailwater encroachment, but still were not planning on Paria silt trap, and were not studying Kanab. 

In January, LADWP had made its request for Reclamation materials on Kanab, and followed this up in April with an estimate of two routes, the "Park route" and an "upper tunnel route". The significant features were the tunnel through the Park north of Tapeats, with a vertical shaft there and an adit at Fishtail. The construction could go about 50' per day. There was a range of estimates of capacity and cost, including assuming it could be peaking power. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dams: Marble - Kanab (but not really minus) 1949-59

In recounting Reclamation's venture into Marble Canyon, there are several factors that occur to me to investigate as I begin. 
First: Although it could always be considered as a separate project, a dam in Marble was entangled with the idea of diverting water from that stretch through an immense tunnel to drop into a power station at Kanab Creek. The best height and location in Marble for this combination was one important factor, even after the 1949 decision by Interior to abandon investigations of the tunnel, since the idea was too strong a temptation for dam-dreamers to abandon. 
Second, if the dam was to be built on its own, how far downstream and to what height could it be built to obtain adequate geology and optimum economic feasibility? This factor was complicated when the Arizona Power Authority decided to apply to the FPC for the Marble site Reclamation did not favor. As always, Reclamation was attuned to competing ideas, moving to block or co-opt them. 
The third factor was that Marble's reservoir not interfere with Glen's operation, and indeed there would be the question of coordinated operations. 
A fourth might have been the impact on the Park downstream. This was certainly controlling in the decision to shelve Kanab tunnel, as I have written; were there explicit worries about Marble by itself? Overall, in impact on the Canyon, this would have been a monstrous intrusion, along the rims, down in the canyon, from the rise and fall of the reservoir, and the flows below it. It will be interesting to see if and when NPS and NGO Canyon defenders started asking questions and raising objections. 

In earlier posts, I mentioned speculations in the 1920's-- LADWP's about a Kanab tunnel and La Rue's Redwall damsite at mile (below Lee's Ferry) 30 (he didnt like those just below that). One of the Arizona water factions ballyhooed a diversion from Marble east and south to the Verde. The debate over the location of a Glen Canyon dam also figured in, but all these took a back seat after Arizona and then Reclamation targeted Bridge from the late 1930's on. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dams: 1949, NPS Thinks about Bridge, Again

Dams: NPS 1949 Thoughts on Bridge

In a 4 May 1949 report, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. formulated for NPS Director Drury what he must have thought of as a fundamental view about Bridge and the Park, seeing a kind of contract. Olmsted, born in 1870, was dedicated to the Park System ideal, involved in its creation, and putatively as knowledgable as any Park supporter of the ups and downs of Grand Canyon Natonal Park. He was used heavily by Drury to provide guidance in the 1940's as pressure from Reclamation mounted for an ever higher Bridge Canyon dam. He jousted over Bridge's impacts in 1949 with Bestor Robinson as the latter formulated the position of expedience, whereby the Sierra Club could accept the dam as inevitable. These two could be considered together, and perhaps I will do that in the future, as exemplars of different rhetorics in how to be reasonable in the defense of wild & natural America, and end up promoting unreasonable loss.

In his report, Olmsted first offered a founding myth: Powell focussed attention on the Canyon. Then there came a growing stream of scientists and tourists. Niagara Falls was made a state park to protect against commercial exploitation. So in 1908, with Grand Canyon National Monument, the government decided to reserve one particular stretch of Grand Canyon as most outstandingly important, so that this one supremely significant stretch would be held inviolate against the advancing tide of economic exploitation. "That 1908 decision was made, and the Government assumed that unconditional obligation to protect and preserve the peculiar combination of natural conditions of that selected portion of the Grand Canyon for the purpose indicated, unimpaired by any subordination of that purpose to considerations of commercial profit or economic gain, with a clear understanding that this was likely to involve foregoing otherwise possible economic gains of large though as yet unmeasured magnitude, as for example from future developments of water-power when economically feasible."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Dams, 1949: Marble-Kanab

In June 1945, there was a flurry of publicity from Reclamation's Boulder City (Region 3) office concerning a concept of "gigantic dams, tunnels, power plants and canal systems" for the Colorado River. The story had arisen from feasibility work for bringing river water to the Phoenix area, during which someone had suggested that putting the river in a tunnel in Marble Gorge and sending it to a powerplant in Kanab Creek could generate a lot of electricity. There had been reconnaissance in early 1945, with a visit to the mile 36.5 site finding a sizable fault, but farther downstream there was a site about mile 42. However, in July, the engineers had concluded that even with the sketchy data available, appraisal did not suggest that the Kanab Creek development should receive early consideration. Aug 45, the report on CAP alternatives mentioned Kanab tunnel, but later, reports concluded Marble was inferior, with not as good economics. (From Reclamation reports archive, BC)  (See my 7/2/10 entry.)

In 1948, a check of mile 42.4 in Marble disclosed no conditions precluding construction, though the profile was not ideal. More serious steps began in Apr 1949, looking at access to the river in the mile 29-38 stretch, since river travel would not be feasible until late summer. A trail was considered, and then a tramway overlooking mile 30. April saw an "urgent" request for money to make investigations in Marble/Kanab to tie into power production studies for Glen. BIA and Navajo approval was secured, and DC approved funds in May. So far this was all a quiet assessment, much like other engineers' appraisals over the previous quarter-century.

This all changed on 19 May 1949, when Reclamation issued a notice of initiation of investigation on the Marble-Kanab Project, to wit: To utilize the head of 1260' while avoiding dams in Grand Canyon National Park. Water for the Park would go through a powerhouse at Marble. Plans were needed for a high dam, long tunnel, two powerhouses, river regulation and transmission corridor. Also to determine location, given the difficult terrain, for roads and powerlines. Also to find the power system for the most satisfactory release of water through the Park. (My 10/7/10 entry has a map showing the scheme.)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dams, and Parks III: the quiet 1950's

In April 1950, Drury's position was opposition to Bridge above 1877'; agreement it was an essential unit of river development; applause for abandonment of Kanab tunnel(another story)-- though Reclamation denied Kanab had been definitely abandoned. Phoenix and the National Park Ass'n exchanged the usual shots, after a 1949 article by NPA. In August, an article by Bernard deVoto in the Saturday Evening Post (both a big deal 60 years ago) about "ruin" of the National Parks moved Drury to say distributing it at Parks would be improper. The American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists opposed Bridge because of its effect on vertebrates and the Park; in comment, NPS agreed but dam is departmental policy, and quotes Robinson's P.Henry quote as encouragement. This reply brings a minor flurry as Tillotson worries the opinions were out of line. The ASIH wrote to Hayden anyway, deploring dam, saying they see environmental study as vital to understanding for proper use. 

October 1950, NPS to Reclamation that no benefits are created by reservoir over and above those existing, and we did not want to argue what is added vs. what destroyed. It prodded more in early 1951 about limiting height and clearing up ambiguity about additional works. Drury says NPS is concerned about Park, not Monument, and that we do not want to be associated with recreation development since that would look like approval of dam. When NPS did its recreation survey of Bridge in 1952-3, it ignored the Hualapai in spite of requests by BIA. 

Dams: Bridge's quiet time, 1950's, part II


The Arizonans continued to develop plans, and fence with LA, over Bridge and Marble-Kanab, but there was no agreement on how to proceed, so each pursued their permit  separately at FPC. They came to Washington thinking there could be a start on legislation in 1961. There was agreement to supply money for studies, so Arizona put up money for Reclamation to update CAP-Bridge. 

In April 1961, then, work began on an updating of the decade-old information on Bridge-CAP. NPS, Fish & Wildlife and the Army Corps of Engineers were asked for material. This was coincident with LADWP offering Reclamation money to revive studies on Kanab. On Bridge: There was a report on drainage areas for silt. The capacity was set at 1500 mw from 6 generators. Within two months, there were flood studies and power plant design, with projected power operations involving actual pumping of water and peaking capacity both. There had been a degradation in the river bed of 10' due to Mead's low level. Cost estimates were ready by October. The dam was set as a variable radius arch. The lower 14 miles of the Park would be affected by backwater & silt, which could reach 89' at the boundary. There is then extended discussion of sediment impact, made muddy because of use of 1947 report before silt traps like Coconino dam. Conclusion was that impact would be cut 60% by Marble and Coconino dams. Draft report went to DC in December. 

Dams: Bridge's quiet time, 1950's, part I

What was an activist bureau like Reclamation, full of macho and vinegar, to do when its centerpiece, Bridge-CAP, was put on the shelf? Fortunately, the upper Colorado River Basin states were raring to go, and although there was still much controversy, the planning and legislation were done by 1956, and real work could begin. More to the point for this blog, there were the plans for Marble Canyon dam and the Kanab tunnel power project. Then in the middle of the decade, Arizona and Los Angeles really created much noise by activating FPC consideration of non-federal dams in the Canyon. Marble-Kanab and the FPC each deserve to be considered as separate and parallel stories, even though of course, they have points in common.  
Before that, however, here is the collection of not always connected items the files hold, largely from Reclamation's files. There is already a short entry for what NPS was doing in these years. 

A 1951 Reclamation study gave Bridge a 40-year period before storage impairment.  However, it concluded that "it would be unwise to admit useful life …would be impaired…(the reservoir) would still serve a very useful purpose in providing power head". And anyway they knew by that time they were going after Glen.

California went on sniping about Arizona's water supply. It took aim at goundwater. Reclamation was not concerned about an impact on CAP justification. Valley National Bank of Phoenix offered no comfort in March 1952 when it put out a pamphlet to reassure people about Arizona's future: "water supply was definitely adequate for all ordinary purposes including almost unlimited municipal growth. Arizona has ample water to support ten to twenty times its present population…A sharp distinction must always be made between water for agricultural use and water for municipal use. We must frankly confess that reports of our drought are sometimes exaggerated. However, we hope someday to get the additional water to which we are entitled… we can make better use of it than the next fellow." 

Throughout early 50's,  Reclamation corresponded with electric machinery manufacturers. In 1948, 1950, 1952 and 1954, APA had asked FPC to hold up on its permit, but in abeyance,since decisions were being made elsewhere and no one would be hurt by the status quo; FPC agreed, Dec 54.

Nevada started a pro-Bridge flurry in Oct 1952, but it was all electoral politics. That state made other moves like this in the coming years, possibly as a California ally, according to LADWP archives.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

GCNP Boundary: Another NPS comparison: Segment I, east off the Shivwits

I have been taking a closer look at the somewhat ambiguous place on Segment I (the Shivwits rim), where it leaves the Shivwits and crosses the Esplanade to reach the rim of Parashant-Andrus Canyon. Here is the GCNP website map, with the area circled in red:
I have been comparing it to the official 1975 map, which is admittedly a bit slap-dash:
But look right where that lower, horizontal, orange line points--  match to my first green cross on the NPS map. On the official map, the line continues NNE to the rim, then bends back NW to point to the word "Boundary". My line of green crosses tries to follow the NNE part of that line. Contrariwise, the GCNP map does what the BLM map does, drops off due east, crosses over Mollies Nipple (not shown on the NPS map; out of modesty, I guess) to reach Parashant rim near the river. Here is BLM:
But the official map doesnt show any sort of due east indentation. The official line rather seems to go around that last point then, with a little bulge, head for the side canyon one higher up, as my green crosses try to show. This is supported by a close look at the township lines on the BLM and official map. On the official map, that bulgy line is way on the west side of T31N R10W, not cutting it in half as does the BLM map line. My green-cross line is supported by the grazing allotment maps (see my 9/13/10 entry) as well, which show a NE-trending line in T31N R10W for the 8/9-228 "afton snyder" boundary.

There is also a misleading aspect to the BLM & NPS maps, which shows up best on BLM: Their north-south boundary on the east side of the last point before the line goes due east is not located on the rim. In that area, there is a treed slope before the much-more precipitous Kaibab drop-off is reached. Moving the Park boundary about ½ mile east would bring it to the sharper rim and point it that much more toward the second side canyon up.

Friday, October 1, 2010

GCNP Boundary: Comparison with NPS map on GCNP website

On the NPS website for Grand Canyon National Park, there is a very nice map utility; it brings up a map of the full Park showing topography, the boundary, and important cultural features. Since the official map is undergoing work by NPS cartographers, I do not know the status of the website map, but in looking it over, I came across some interesting comparisons with my own conclusions. Here is a map and description of each, with a reference to my post(s) on that Segment.

Segment B. East side of Marble Canyon (posts 7/18-21/10)
The NPS map shows the boundary all the way up on the east rim of Marble, which under the 1975 GCNP Enlargement Act, can only happen if the Navajo concur. I do not believe they have, or will. However, this is a good place to make this point: There could be administrative arrangements made that the public would not know about without digging, and indeed it has happened that congressional action has been taken in big package bills, which again, the public may not know about. My position remains that the boundary lies on, goes to, the left bank of the Colorado, so that the entire river surface is in the Park, but no land on Marble's east side.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dams GCNP: a review of the formalities 1946-51

In the story I have been telling about Bridge Canyon dam, the major emerging theme is that the dam, justifiable on its own, became inextricably wound up in the project to bring Colorado River water to the Phoenix area. Inextricably and fatally; first because, as a team, Bridge and the CAP would only be authorized together. Second, since in the 1960's the dam's central role in financially supporting grander water-import schemes became ever more obvious.

Thinking back, it is hard for me to recapture the sense of frenzy water induced in developers then. Southern California had long depended on water brought from the Colorado, the Owens Valley, and northern California. Denver largely depends on water tunneled under the continental divide. In the 1960's, the dreamers wanted more northern waters, from California, the Columbia Basin, and even Canada's Rocky Mountains. There was talk of capturing part of the Great Lakes. And Texas' High Plains, sucking up their aquifer, babbled about the Mississippi. At the end of the decade, a National Water Commission was created to embrace the whole scene. However, this flood of water megalomania subsided in the next decade, due to many factors: I can think of the lessening impulse of population growth, the political obduracy of people living in potential source areas, national attention being captured by environmental concerns as well as other national issues--and, unquestionably, the crippling of Reclamation's power and future by losing the Grand Canyon cash cows.

That was not the scene in 1946-52; the future was seen in a rosy glow of eternally escalating national growth and wealth. Perhaps it was easier to let the Supreme Court decide the water issue, when there was Marble dam, and more broadly, the tremendous waterworks for the upper Basin, to plan and build. There was plenty else to do, if Bridge and the CAP had to be put on hold, which did not mean there was no activity. But before we go over what Reclamation was doing after the excitement of 1949-52, I need to review the scaffolding of congressional documents Arizona used to try to build success. First, the facts:

S. 2346 introduced 18 Jun 1946 by McFarland & Hayden; 79th Congress; Democratic;.
S. 433; 29 Jan 1947; 80th Congress -- Republican, with Democratic President Truman.
Hearings held
S. 75; 5 Jan 1949; 81st Cong; Democratic and Truman re-elected
Hearings held
Reported on 3 Aug 1949 by Senate Comm. on Interior and Insular Affairs
Passed by the Senate 55-28.
S. 75; re-introduced 8 Jan 1951; 82nd Cong; Democratic; bill reported 12 Mar 1951; also HR1501 (15 Jan)
Passed the Senate 7 Jun 1951; referred to House Comm. on Interior and Insular Affairs.
Died then, as the Supreme Court was given the task of adjudicating the water dispute.

The committee report of Aug 1949 scotched all previous argument over whether the hydropower was needed, since demand "will continue to grow far beyond present means of supply". Glen Canyon dam was given a boost, for power, silt trapping, and river regulation. The report argued the need for water in Arizona was great enough that authorization should proceed, with judicial action on water rights moving concurrently. California dissented, using hyperbole (grandiose project, excessive costs, unprecedented subsidies, admittedly infeasible…), numbers, and ridicule. It favored constructing Bridge which "has no physical relation to the central Arizona project".

Senate passage in the 81st Congress set the stage for the 82nd. Again, there was a committee report; it used much of the previous one's language. Glen was again boosted; it "should and will be authorized and constructed at an early date as a separate and distinct project". The report did note that the Indian protections were worked out with and agreed to by the Hualapai. The Park Service was given credit for the language that Bridge's height was to be "not more than" 1877' (back to Kanab Creek). The tunnel was thoroughly dropped, California having made special fun of it.

Neither report spends any time on the scenic and recreation aspects, mentions the Grand Canyon, or refers to the decade-long debate over the dam's impact. 

Here is how all these bills start: "Authorizing the construction, operation, and maintenance of a dam and incidental works in the main stream of the Colorado River at Bridge Canyon, together with certain appurtenant dams and canals, and for other purposes". In S2346, this main focus on Bridge is stated as to construct a dam "to an elevation of 1877 feet", with a tunnel and main canal from the reservoir above the dam. That was 1946 (and repeated in S433 of 1947); Arizona still liked the tunnel from Bridge best; an all in-state project. 

The arguments and reports of 1947-8 brought change: the 1949 bill, S75, authorized 1) a dam not less than 1877 feet", 2) "a related system of main conduits and canals, including a tunnel and main canal from the reservoir above the dam". Indeed, the tunnel was specifically deferred until Congress appropriated money for it, while in the same sentence an aqueduct from Lake Havasu was authorized pending the tunnel's construction. Injury was added to insult when the list of costs included the Lake Havasu pumping plants and the Granite Reef aqueduct, but not a $ for that "tunnel and main canal" from Bridge's reservoir.

Only in the 1951 bills do we get 1) a dam not more than 1877 feet" (from "of" to "not less than" to "not more than"; Victory! for the Park; yes??), and 2) a related system of main conduits and canals, including a main canal and pumping plants for diverting and carrying Colorado River water from Lake Havasu". Deleted from even a mention, the tunnel bubble from Bridge reservoir has evaporated, leaving behind it the concept of linkage as still central. Possibly, people still thought of the dam as providing power to pump the water out of the Colorado, and certainly, Reclamation intended that power revenues would be used to help pay for the waterworks. And though, later on, optimum operation of the dam would preclude its power being planned for pumping water -- thus breaking even that link --, revenue generation would remain, and become the fatal Achilles heel,--as the legislation's purposes put it, the dam was for the "sale of electrical energy as a means of making the project herein authorized a self-supporting and financially solvent undertaking".

The purposes from first bill to 1951 Senate passage were "first", river regulation, navigation, & flood control; second, for irrigation and domestic water uses; third, for power.  

S433, 1947, added "a dam on the Gila River in New Mexico"; later on, this was specified as Hooker dam, which would have flooded the Gila back into the Gila Wilderness. An unneeded water-waster, it has never been built, but remained in CAP legislation through enactment in 1968, an indicator of Arizona's affection for its sister state.

After the Do-Nothing Republican 80th Congress, McFarland and Hayden got serious in 1949. Glen Canyon damsite was protected and reserved for the upper basin. As far back as 1946, in response to Los Angeles' attempt to link Glen and Bridge, Reclamation claimed it was in favor of building them together, and conscious of the silt problem, planned to go after Glen. In fact, Reclamation did some work in 1947, particularly in trying to determine the sequencing of Glen and a dam in Marble Canyon. In 1949, Reclamation was having trouble coordinating its upper and lower basin offices over Glen, the Boulder City office going so far as to say that Salt Lake City's work was of no value to it, and disputing over high Marble could be before there was significant head loss at Glen. In any case, work had to be suspended due to lack of funds. Glen Canyon dam is not mentioned in the 1946-7 bills. 

Section 14, written by the Interior Dep't, was added to the S75 version reported from the Committee by McFarland on 3 Aug 1949. It is the longest section, and dealt with Indians, at Hualapai instigation, as I wrote in my 8/8/10 entry. There is no mention of a specific tribe. In response to continued dissatisfaction expressed by Hualapai lawyers, more changes were made before S75 was reintroduced in 1951 and passed by the Senate. The section first gave the U.S. tribal lands as needed for the project, unless the tribe agreed to sell. Next, and the section of most bother, the Secretary was to determine compensation, in money, property, or rights to electric energy. To this 1949 amendment was added the right for the Indians to sue for more money if they were dissatisfied. The Secretary was empowered to decide in some cases how to dispose of the compensation, and in the case of cemeteries, to relocate the graves. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

GCNP River boundary 26: corrections

After reviewing the Park boundaries, I found I needed to fix 6 of my TIF river boundary maps to thicken the Park boundary (I used my brush stroke red2 at size 20) where necessary and make certain corrections.
Here is a list of the maps affected (The N & S indicate which half of the prinitable JPG version the correction would be on when the printables are redone, if ever.):
34-35 N vtsw: thicken  (36113a2)
35-37N wpse; thicken  (36113a3)
41-42N trav: add NP line on Shivwits  (35113g4)
45-47N dvls: thicken (Twin pt)   (35113h6)
49-50N cmbf: remove incorrect NP line up in corner  (36113a8)
50- S snpw: NP line was wrong; had to be moved to 2 miles north, then east.  (36113b8)

I also went into the JPEG list of half maps set up for printing and deleted the uncorrected ones. Replace only if necessary, since that require tilting and cropping the TIF maps.
I also removed all working copies of the tif group, so there is only one full correct set on my computer (and backed up, too)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

As of Sep 2010, GCNP Boundary: Summary, including questions (added to, 9/24)

This entry will list each boundary segment by letter, name, boundary sharer, and entry date(s) -- all in 2010 --; then summarize any relevant comments, and in particular, describe any open questions, ambiguities I found, possible disputes, and a brief comment if the boundary might be changed to bring about a more complete GCNP. I use abbreviations for two comments I find apply to several items:
Natural-Line Ambiguity Ameliorated By Friendly Sharers(NLAABFS);
Needs Congressional Correction (NCC)

Introductory entries were made July 12-14. Here are the official map and the segment index map, which better shows the boundary sharers.

A Start and The Colorado River Navajo, Hualapai   Jul 16
  Congress placed the entire water surface from the Paria to the Grand Wash Cliffs in the Park; some bureaucrats, lawyers, and others want to ignore the law.
  Also, the point is introduced here, in connection with the Paria junction, that placing boundaries on natural features, whether in words or on maps, inevitably leads to varying ambiguity on the ground. This is countered by the sharers being friendly  and cooperative; thus obviating the need for fencing, should that even be possible. This is the doctrine of natural-line ambiguity ameliorated by friendly sharers(NLAABFS), which applies with greater or less force on almost every segment.

B Marble Canyon east         Navajo                     Jul 18-23
  My definite view is that the Park boundary comes to the left bank, that the Navajo boundary comes down to the water's edge, and the wet-foot/dry-foot doctrine applies. The U. S. gov't (NPS) never demonstrated the amount of national interest necessary to justify use of the qualifying clause in the 1934 Navajo boundary Act.

C Ancient relic Navajo       Jul 24
  A matter of historically based amusement, that shifting from latitude/longitude to legal section lines (from unsurveyed to surveyed) may have scraped some Park into Navajo land. No matter, the boundary is now well defined.

D NPS Village and rim Kaibab NF         Sep 1, 10
  Is it acceptable that a 320-acre error by map drafters becomes the law? Apparently.
  One assumes that the NPS and FS were partners in setting the line that was only defined with reference to a road survey, and that there is no disagreement. 

E Havasupai Havasupai         Sep 5
 All quiet on this front, in spite of NLAABFS, and oddities in some of the line descriptions.

F Hualapai Hualapai         Sep 6
 Congress put the river surface, to the south bank, in the Park. The Hualapai have claimed to the river centerline; NPS to a highwater line. Both are wrong, as I will argue fully in a later entry.

G West end, the wattle Hual,BLM,LMNRA       Sep 9
 An unthought-through addition, I blush to say, that needs congressional correction (NCC). There is NLAABFS along the fluctuating shoreline of Lake Mead, where the wet-foot/dry-foot doctrine rules. For the time being, G is being correctly defined on maps.

H,I West end & Shivwits LMNRA, BLM         Sep 9
 As with G, H was carelessly defined, NCC, has NLAABFS, and is as correctly drawn as matters.

I Shivwits LMNRA, BLM         Sep 12
 Clear enough in principle, but resulting in mapping differences over odd details, though probably made irrelevant by NLAABFS. 
NCC to include plateau top.

J Andrus-Parashant, Whitmore LMNRA         Sep 13
 In spite of its weird history, the line is well-defined by the "Boundary on Canyon Rim" notation on the Act map after dropping from the Shivwits rim. The canyon rims are fairly obvious, and NLAABFS. Incorrect maps do exist, however, as traps for the unwary.  
NCC to fill out Esplanade and incised canyons.

K GCNMonument #2 LMNRA, BLM, KNF      Sep 16
 The boundary has been contested but stable for 70 years, except for the Coconino Plateau going to the Havasupai. It is now a combination of section lines and NLAABFS. Does upper Toroweap Valley NCC?

L, M Kanab Canyon, Rim Kaibab NF         Sep 17, 19
 Primarily there is NLAABFS with the usual discrepancies in details between different maps. The Act map's notation "Boundary on Canyon Rim" is more puzzling than useful here. 
The argument, however, would not usefully be over different interpretations of the map lines, but how to add the rest of Kanab to the Park, NCC

N Kaibab Plateau Forest KNF         Sep 20
 A long-settled matter; partially NLAABFS.

O P Marble Canyon west KNF, BLM, Glen NRA   Sep 20
 Boundary on the rim including side canyons as shown on Act map;  NLAABFS.

Monday, September 20, 2010

GCNP Boundary: O, P Marble Canyon west: KNF, BLM

These two Segments define the west boundary of the Park along Marble Canyon; O is shared with Kaibab National Forest, P with BLM lands in House Rock Valley. Here is the official map:
The map instruction puts the boundary in both Segments on the Canyon rim. 

GCNP Boundary: N Kaibab Forest Park

There are those who hate the idea of a loggable tree being in a National Park. Or a shootable deer. And thats the story of the Kaibab Plateau's magnificent forest and animal populations. Just as in Kanab's story, the first idea was a Park for the Canyon, but instead the Forest came first, and when the Park did struggle to get born, the Forest Service and its utilitarian friends had the upper hand. Here is the original GC Forest Reserve in red, and the 1908 GCNM marked by green diagonals.
You can see what a deep cut was made in the northern boundary to put the boundary on the rim, and thus most trees in the Forest. And notice too, on the eastern end, Segment O, Marble Canyon, and how its boundary was pushed downstream. 

First anniversary review

September 20 is the first anniversary of this blog. Since I have pontificated at several points about what I am trying to do, I will skip any sermon here and just note that I have about 110 entries. 

What I thought might be worthwhile would be to group entries into categories, to make locating themes and historical lines easier, and remind myself of what I have worked on. The categories are more or less alphabetical; I have grouped what are sometimes called "Indians" together. If there is a - between two dates, then all the entries in that range are on that subject. (2) indicates there are two entries on that date. 

I am continuing on the Park boundary segments until they are done (another week or so), although there is much more to say about most of the topics listed.

ABC's: Basic considerations     2009 Sep 26

Archeohistory (pre whitefolks) 2009 Sep 26

Boundary segments, Park 2010 Jul 12 - 24, Sep 1 - 17 (continuing)
Boundary mapping, River 2010 Feb 7 - Mar 7, Apr 4, 30, May 11, 19

Dams 2009 Sep 22
2010 Apr 4 - 30, May 2 - 7, 16, 17, 29 - Jul 6, Aug 2, 8

GC, the National Park 2009 Sep 20, 22, Nov 1, Dec 2(2), 3, 5(2) - 28
2010 Jan 7, 18(2), 22 - 31, Mar 20, 21

Havasupai 2009 Sep 21(2)
2010 Jan 5, 6, Feb 8
Hualapai   2009 Sep 27
Southern Paiute 2009 Sep 29, Oct 20

Maps & reflections 2009 Sep 28, Oct 23 (3), Dec 3,

Miners 2009 Oct 2, 4, Nov 30