Monday, January 18, 2010

The Park --> Legislation in the 1910's --> Introduction

Sources and Methods

When we began this exploration of Grand Canyon National Park's past, the story was slimmer; the agents and agencies, the events, often seeming connected so it was relatively easy to tell a story: Powell, Harrison, Pinchot, Muir, Theodore Roosevelt. (Yes, that could only be so because I suspended for a while the telling of others' stories.) Yet, as previous entries have unfolded, complexities and doubts arose. The Roosevelt years proved richer in participants even as TR lofted soft, inspiring words rather more than wielding sticks.

The intensive preparation for and legislation of the National Park ratchets up the complexities. My notes come from the various archives of the Forest Service -- D.C. office, Region III, the Kaibab and Tusayan National Forests,-- the Park Service--including before it existed, suggesting the papers originated with GLO or the Interior Secretary--, and Arizona Representative Carl Hayden. Each of the archives has topic  subdivisions and repetitions. Related material is as scattered as were the physical archives. This means that chronological order has to be imposed by sifting completely through all the items from each group so that I can gather related events together.

So after the couple of efforts to isolate items (the ASHPS proposal, three more modest ones I had maps of), I now think the only way this effort will make sense is to go through the papers as I have them, extracting items and placing them in date order. At least for a while, it probably will not make sense to put this material on the blog until the density of detail for each year, or some time period, is such that the story seems unshakeable in its flow.

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