Sunday, January 31, 2010


(In this entry, I want to bring together some summary items, to give all those separate posts a bit more coherence. First, an overall sketch.)

We started in 1882 with the cozy partnership of Powell and Harrison. The former was the prime mover, and came up with the "big square" to celebrate the Big Hole. They tried the Congressional route, but were stymied. In 1893, with Harrison President and a new power to reserve public lands, the Grand Canyon Forest Reserve was created, still the big hole inside its four lines. 

In a time of rampant exploitation of any & every resource, every year meant more people with more claims or dreams of many kinds were crowding in. But also, more people were learning about and coming to see the Canyon, suggesting all too often that here was a another resource to be developed. Amidst complaints from local sheepmen and miners about the Reserve, the GCNP idea gained solidity when Pinchot + Muir, big men in what was forming as the conservation movement, made a joint visit as members of the Cleveland-appointed National Forestry Commission. The Commission's favorable recommendation for a Park was made in May 1897. Funds for surveying the township lines were appropriated in June, and in January 1898 Examiner Edward Bender made a formal report to the General Land Office (GLO) lauding the Canyon and the Park idea. March 1898, Pinchot reiterated the Commission recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior. The GLO Commissioner made that move in May, and the SecInt called for legislation. Further support came from the new Forest Reserve Supervisor in October.

This surge then stalled, in part because the US Geological Survey, responsible for surveys and mapping, seemed to find excuses easier than action. Pushing for action on the survey continued through 1899. In 1900, the survey still not done, GLO drafted a bill authorizing a Park by executive proclamation. Specific boundary suggestions also came from outside the government. And, of course, development schemes and use of the grazing and other resources were increasing, including the phony Cameron claims that would be the proverbial millstone for the next 20 years. In 1903, the Reserve supervisor was still complaining about the survey not being completed. Apparently it took from 1901-5. Another reason to get it done was so that the Santa Fe's railroad sections could be identified and then exchanged in order to consolidate the Reserve lands. The Santa Fe had announced willingness to exchange and offered to help with the survey cost.  The arrival of the Santa Fe at the rim, moreover, brought a powerful, permanent, highly interested player on the scene, as did the arrival of Theodore Roosevelt in the Presidency, and Pinchot as head of the new Forest Service . As the new century was getting underway, we were half-way in time from Harrison-Powell to the GCNP Act of 1919. 

The keynote was, of course, the speech TR made in 1903 during his visit to and into the Canyon. In late 1904 and 1905, he included a one-line call for a Park in his Annual Messages. Meanwhile, following TR's election landslide, the on-site administration turned toward professionalism when the Forest Service was created in 1905, with Supervisors for the local forests. (These changed about in boundaries, but think Kaibab on the north side and Tusayan on the south.) After a few years of discussion that had nothing to do with the Canyon, a "Grand Canyon" Game Preserve was declared in 1906, mainly for the deer and buffalo north of the Colorado. 

In a more serious and relevant vein, in January 1906, the Santa Fe said it favored a Park now that the land exchange was complete, and asked the USGS for a boundary. It took a year; in January 1907, USGS Director Walcott sent a map and bill draft to the Santa Fe. In June, the Forest Service said it was ready to consider a Park and asked USGS for a boundary along the rim. The idea may or may not have been given force by rim railroad proposals and other scares over Canyon abuse. Since the Antiquities Act had been passed in 1906, although not superficially for such places as the Canyon, the USGS replied it could prepare maps for a Generous Park or a Restrictive Monument. Perhaps its dilatoriness had passed into ambivalence since its 1907 Park boundary is quite Generous. Its alternative was the Monument and a boundary map ended up before GLO in October 1907. The Monument was proclaimed, a New Year Resolution, on Jan 11 1908. it is much more Restrictively drawn into the rim than the Park proposal, although it is Generous with Havasupai land and in the west generally.

Taft replaces TR; the record is quiet until December 1909, although in truth the TR years had not been a time when the initiatives of 1897-1901 were pushed. The new SecInt, Ballinger, had been head of the GLO, and was therefore familiar with the recent history of GCNM and the need for a Park, which he supported. He had GLO check a boundary that used the Monument as base and added Kanab and lower Marble canyons. The Forest Service was discussing the Monument's problems, but offered no obvious input. This proposal was introduced, at the Secretary's request, by Senator Flint in January 1910.

FS and the SecAg seemed confused. Graves was glad there was action on the Park, but the departmental report tooted their own horn, criticized the Flint bill, and concluded a Park was not needed. By July, with assistance from local FS, a tight map was drawn, introducing the very strange northwest boundary along the river and Tapeats drainage. The schemers to build a rim trolley got their own bill. Hearings on it were held in June, with the usual pro- and anti-park sentiments being aired. The Forest Service led the fight against the bill.

The Generous found a champion in the American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society. May to November 1910, the ASHPS drew up a grand proposal and personally visited President Taft to push it. Asked to report on it, however, the USGS professional was decidedly negative, as was the SecInt. The local Forest supervisor was actually positive. The initiative dwindled away, although the ASHPS did bring it up again just as Taft was leaving office. There was then, over the next ten years of legislating, no visionary proposal that could have worked as a counter-weight to the niggling and grasping of the Arizona congressional delegation. 

In January 1911, at the President's request, there was the first of many FS-Interior conferences. Agreement was reached on the very Restrictive boundary that had come up from the FS field. Flint admitted as much when he introduced it as a  substitute bill, drawn up he said in response to local stockmen's complaints. However, through the rest of 1911, there were more conferences and more proposals. In November, Forester Graves seemed to accept a far more Generous boundary, back from the rim. Then activity on the Park dies in 1912-3, as Arizona becomes a state with Hayden, Ashurst, and Smith as the Congressional delegation.

Lane is the new Secretary of the Interior under Wilson, and in 1914 appoints a Parks man, Daniels. He meets with Graves, who hears steadily from local FS about the need for boundaries that do not disturb interests. FS still acts as principal, worrying about Cameron claims, tourist facilities, water power, and providing Havasupai with appropriate reservation. The last is approved, then shelved until Park matter is settled. Graves and Daniels agree on trying to do something about the Canyon's problems. In early 1915, Graves circulates to the field a more Generous proposal from Daniels; it is heavily criticized. 

Mather joins Parks team in 1915. In meeting, Graves seems to agree with Mather on a Kaibab boundary farther back from rim, part of an agreement to improve the 1911 very Restrictive bill. There is May meeting with Graves and Mather. More discussion follows. Outside organizations appear, pushing park. Another conference in December, with Mather wanting lines pulled back from rim for road and some forest. Graves argues strongly against, and wants to stay with Restrictive 1911 lines. in early 1916, Hayden notes disagreement. Provisions of a bill protecting interests start getting put together.

February 1916, Mather to Hayden vigorously pushing his draft for more Generous boundaries, while noting the provisions to protect interests. Arizona Governor strongly in favor of Park, but locals are stiff in opposition over grazing. Both Senators offer help in getting Parks legislation. Hayden champion of local interests over Park considerations. In December, FS and NPS agree, prospects are most black, due to opposition from SFRR enemies, stockmen, power and mining interests. Nevertheless, they keep drafting and re-drafting the boundary description, including Hayden suggestions apparently. Also, the substantive provisions are being worked on. The year has been spent, perhaps because of Mather's activism, in trying to improve (or make less inadequate?) the legislation drafts.

Instead of black, light seems on as Hayden produces draft lines that are close to what FS wants. Interior accepts. On Jan 24, 1917, he introduces HR 20447 and Ashurst S.8250. It is a Restrictive boundary covered by a fog of protections for special interests. Hayden brags in press release about his accomplishment. It is not clear, nevertheless, if Hayden is totally committed to legislation, since he keeps consulting locals to provoke opposition and asking administration to check out matters already vetted. One substantive change comes from passionate pleas on behalf of Havasupai; however, he ignores idea of enlarged reservation. 

The bills are in the respective Public Lands Committees. No action in House, but reported in Senate on February 20. Ashurst then offers some more special interest amendments. Both departments support legislation, with FS sniping. Efforts to placate locals continue. A new Congress convenes, to declare war, Ashurst re-introduces bill as S.390. Hiatus.

January 1918, Hayden back with more requests. Pushback on reclamation provision adds a protection for the Canyon. Relation of southern boundary and road discussed some more. The impression is given of tedious repetition. Some Ashurst amendments dropped; some adopted as Senate committee reports bill on March 20. April brings more haggling over boundary details. May 16, bill is passed by Senate. Hayden files it in House; referred to committee May 21. Hayden offers more amendments, including Havasupai provision, and some useless overhead.

Summer, and Interior is pushing Hayden, and he is asking for more changes. He flogs Havasupai issue to the point where it appears that he is just delaying. October 18, the House committee reports bill, with report as written by Hayden. Then more waiting, and more urging. Finally enacted February 26,1919.

Issues that were dealt with in NP legislative sausage-making
Boundary: trying to draw it as tightly to the rim as possible to protect resources for local exploiters versus trying to get room for a scenic drive on south, administration, and some forest.

Not taking any grazing land for the thousands (!) of stock; not blocking their access to water
Tiimber (though no one was cutting in a large scale way yet)
Water power, Reclamation. Two relatively new matters, punched up by recent surveys of the Colorado for potential development and the Reclamation Act:  

The oldest scheme of all: Mining

Who administers; should Arizona have a piece?
Who gets any revenue
Bidding criteria

Private patented land; location & whether developable 
Bright Angel trail: ownership, toll, purchase from county
Railroad right-of-way

Another line to follow is the Congressional bill mileposts: date introduced, Congress - session, introduced by, action
1882 May 9 47-1 S.1849 GCNP Harrison hostile SecInt report; rptd amended by comm 5/29
1883 Dec 10 48-1 S. 541   "     " introduced as amended May 1882
1886 Jan 5 49-1 S. 863   "     "         "

1910 Jan 61-2 S.5908 NP bdy Flint at request of SecInt.
1910 Jun 61-2 HR 2258 GC Scenic RR ROW; hearing held
1911 Jan 11 61-3 S.10138 NP bdy Flint replaced S.5908; at request of SecInt

1911 Nov 62-2 HR 6331 ?? to Hualapai?

63 HR 16673 water power

1917 Jan 64-2 HR 20447 GCNP Hayden
" 64-2 S. 8250 GCNP Ashurst
1917 Apr 65-1 S 390 GCNP Ashurst

63: 4/13-3/15
64: 12/15-3/17
65: 4/17-3/19

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