Saturday, July 24, 2010

GCNP Boundary: C. An honor-worthy artifact

The next boundary segment is a precious relic indeed. It runs north-south from the north bank of the Little Colorado down along 13 sections to the point where the boundary turns west. It is the only segment that remains as evidence of the original 1882 Powell-Harrison proposal presented in S. 1849. Their line used the longitude 111°45'. GLO preferred to use 2-½ miles due east of the junction of the Colorado and Little Colorado to locate the north-south line. However, when Harrison proclaimed the Grand Canon Forest Reserve in 1893, it was back to 111°45'. All this was before the land was surveyed and overlain with our grid of townships. Here are maps that show the original line: the first uses the mileage measure on an 1879 GLO base. The second uses longitude on an up-close view of the Forest Reserve.


Friday, July 23, 2010

GCNP Boundary: B. Marbled Memory, 1968-9 (edited 7/14/12)

Two major parts of the Colorado Plateau occupied me in 1968 as the Sierra Club's Southwest Representative. The first, of course, was the Grand Canyon, as the legislative struggle over Arizona water development, and thus the dams, was reaching its anti-climax. The second was the inner part of what was being called the Golden Circle: Canyonlands NP, Arches and Capitol Reef National Monuments, the lands remaining wild in Glen Canyon NRA. The two came together behind the scenes in 1968-9.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

GCNP Boundary: B. Navajo 3. Reorganized thoughts on Marble

These are the relevant parts of the 1934 Navajo Boundary Act: 
a) the Navajo IR goes along the south bank;
b) excluded are lands withdrawn for power (dams);
c) nevertheless the Navajo have exclusive use and occupancy of withdrawn lands;
d) until those lands "shall be required for power purposes";
e) or required for "other uses under the authority of the United States".

These phrases point to the Secretaries of the Interior as chief authority in positioning the federal executive on this matter. With scrambled purposes, just like the 1934 Act, they wore three masks: Indian Affairs (Navajo IR), Reclamation (hydro-power), and NPS.

What my two previous posts showed was that donning his Indian Affairs mask, the Navajo policy consistently was placing the western IR boundary to the river's edge . Most recently, any NPS extension to the Marble rim was subject to Navajo agreement, concurrence. On their own, the Navajo opposed Marble Canyon Dam and later established a Tribal Park on their Marble lands. This history gives enduring life to a & c of the above list.

Monday, July 19, 2010

GCNP Boundary: B. Navajo 2, The Park, the power, and a digression to the point

We have the establishment of a west boundary for the Navajo on the Colorado as a national purpose (1900 & 1933). 

Another such purpose was certainly protection and presentation of the Grand Canyon within the National Park System. For convenience we will refer to the entire reach, or partial tracts, as Marble Canyon or just Marble.

We must also look at the federal power withdrawals and reservations along the river that were made in 1914-20, and interpreted in later orders. Hydro power development, too, was made a national purpose. These two purposes were brought into conjunction in the Navajo Boundary Act of 1934, at a time when the Park possibilities for Marble were dormant.

The original Powell-Harrison attempt at a Park and the consequent Forest Reserve, included Marble lands. So did the Monument of 1908 and the Park line of 1919. Then, the adjustments in 1927 took the Marble lands out of the Park beyond the river banks.* Those ex-Park lands were first restored to the Forest Service, then put in the Navajo IR in 1930.**  The Park interest in the east side of Marble was extinguished, with NPS agreement and without any idea of lands in return. 

Revival came when the great national conflict of Canyon purposes between electricity and preservation was resolved in 1968, first as legislation reserved dam authorization to Congress, and then by Presidential proclamation of Marble Canyon National Monument by President Johnson on 20 Jan 1969.  Here is the relevant boundary description (the first "thence" puts it just south of Navajo Bridge):

Thence easterly along the north line of T39N, R7E, to its intersection with the western boundary of the Navajo Indian Reservations as prescribed by the act of June 14, 1934 (48 Stat. 960).  
Thence in a generally southerly direction along the western boundary of the Navajo Indian Reservation (which is described by the act of June 14, 1934, as the south bank of the Colorado River to its confluence with the Little Colorado River, excluding from the reservation all lands designated by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 28 of the Arizona Enabling Act of June 20, 1910 (36 Stat. 575), as being valuable for water-power purposes and all lands withdrawn or classified as power site lands)*** 
to its intersection with the eastward extension of the boundary line of the Grand Canyon National Park in the SW1/4SW1/4 of sec. 27, T34N, R5E, unsurveyed;
Thence westerly along the said eastward extension of the boundary line and the existing boundary of the GCNP to the Point of Beginning
Beginning at a point in the NE1/4NE1/4 of sec. 29, T34 N, R. 5 E., unsurveyed, said point being the intersection of the boundary of the GCNP and the west rim line of Marble Canyon.

I moved the start of the description to the end here to join it up. A quick read of this "legal" description, however, underlines how a well-drawn line on a properly scaled map can be just as definitive as these township descriptions: "unsurveyed"? "a point in" NE1/4NE1/4, which equals 40 acres? Not to mention other parts, e.g. "northerly along the north south center line of secs. 9 and 4 to a point 500' north of the rim of the aforesaid unnamed canyon, said point being approximately 830' north of the south quarter corner thereof". Give me a line on a decent topo map anytime. However, here is what NPS map drawers provided. I added the west-side green line.

Marble CNM was not to have a long life, though it was in existence in the boom years of increasing river running. With the 1975 GCNP Act, Marble was abolished. The west side line was set "on canyon rim" (Segment P).  

Sunday, July 18, 2010

GCNP Boundary: B. Navajo 1, Reservation

In Berlin's dichotomy of strategies in literature, he contrasts the fox who knows many things and the hedgehog who knows one. Studying the Grand Canyon's political history suggests to me a similar contrast in the strategies of the Navajo and the Havasupai. The Havasupai, disadvantaged for so long, remained coherent; obdurate, stubborn, determined: a rock; weathered, battered and stormed at, yet enduring.The Navajo, moving into the region, and expansive, reaching out and out, competing with those settled here and others who were trying to migrate and use the land: a fire, set a few centuries ago, converting the land into fuel, sucking up the oxygen, growing and advancing, producing hearths, not scorched earth.

We will come to The Rock. Here, take a look at The Fire's accomplishments as of 1933:
Particularly, we are concerned with the western boundary, the segment running from Lee's Ferry (LF) down to the Little Colorado (LCR), with the 29 marking where a segment of the old Forest Reserve came to the river.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, this was an area of dynamic activity. The Hopi (Moqui) were long settled. The Mormons and other whitefolk were migrating in, looking to obtain land, farm, in some cases run what became vast herds of sheep. The Navajo ran their own herds, built and settled. Their reach went across the Colorado, both north and south of the Canyon. The patchwork of act and executive orders on this map shows how the United States government (after 1868, anyway) responded to the expansion and the conflicts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

GCNP Boundary: A. Start, the River

When Senator Goldwater introduced his GCNP enlargement bill in 1973, he set the upstreammost boundary point at the Navajo Bridge. On the screen shot (courtesy of Google maps) below,

that is the yellow line of US 89 crossing the Canyon (bottom of picture). Park advocates believed that the best way to unify administration of river traffic would be to include in the Park, Lee's Ferry with its boat loading and launching facilities . (The photo labels that as "Marble Canyon", which it is not.) However, the Lee's area is also used by upstream traffic into the Glen Canyon NRA, and the Park Service preferred to keep the overall jurisdiction with the NRA, while stationing there the rangers dealing with downstream river trips. Moreover, geologically, it made more sense to exclude rocks above the Kaibab limestone. The result was to use the Paria's entrance into the Colorado as the most suitable starting point, as shown on this shot (sorry about the shadow). The thin brown/tan Paria running southwest alongside the road here is quiet;        

it would be exciting to have the photo showing a big, muddy flood. The point, however, would be the same: Where is the "line" of the boundary? The Paria delta, and even its midpoint, have width, which would show up differently in different flows. And how does the line go across the Colorado? Perpendicular to a midpoint (itself not exact and stable), or following the Paria flow line? Should the line go far enough upstream to include any of the Paria at its flood maximum? And how is the line affected as the Colorado fluctuates, much less floods?

All this dancing on pins is just to illustrate in a small, (probably) inconsequential way that a boundary described by map or words can be satisfactory even when not an exact legal line, IF the parties are looking to cooperate on what is a practical, sensible, usefully informative and educational division. Looking at this photo, it seems easy enough to place a line, and also easy enough, given the questions I posed, to see how squabbles could arise when two parties with contrary interests feel justified in placing different lines. Here, that is unlikely to happen. By conceding Lee's Ferry to the NRA, while allowing GCNP duties to be carried out on NRA turf, conflict was avoided. More important, a boat trip, passing by the Paria, can understand and appreciate a geological beginning of what is happening as the Grand Canyon walls rise: Now we enter the Canyon; now we are in the Park. Not all the ambiguities of The Line will be so easily and satisfactorily mastered.

And right here at the beginning is the place to re-state, in an insistent way, that the river, starting from that Paria "line" and going down to the Grand Wash Cliffs, the entire water surface from left side to right side, was included within the Grand Canyon National Park by the 1975 Act.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

GCNP Boundary: The Segments of The Line

Following passage of the Park Act of 1975, the NPS, FS, and BLM conducted a Congress-mandated study to look at the Park-worthiness of some North Side lands that we wanted, but the law had not put, in the Park, namely Kanab, Whitmore, & Parashant-Andrus Canyons and the Shivwits Plateau. The "Adjacent Lands Study", final report in Nov 1981, contains much information in support of a more complete Park (though its unsurprising conclusion was that administration should not change). The Land Ownership map in that report, figure 3 on page 12, seems particularly useful for presenting the boundary segments for discussion. Here is the somewhat amended, clean, base map:

Amended in that I added the names for Hualapai, Havasupai, and Navajo lands. The last had been ignored, so it shows as white instead of patterned. Glen Canyon NRA had also been left off (and the boundary is wrong, though it is correct on the 1974 official map, in my last entry). The shadowy line down the middle is an artifact of the Canyon's shape; most good Canyon maps are of a size that requires splitting, scanning, and then re-joining them, and I am still practising at making the join invisible.

Here is that map with the segments A through P located, followed by a list of short identifications of each segment, my agenda for this project:

A The start, at the junction with the Paria River. Along with a comment on the river 
B On the east side of the river, boundary based on 1934 Navajo Boundary Act
C East side of river, then south of Little Colorado; adjoining Navajo lands
D South boundary; adjoining Kaibab National Forest Tusayan District
E Havasupai segment, including a comment on the Havasupai Use Lands
F Hualapai segment
G The turkey beak (or wattle?), on the south side of the river
H Snap Point; LMNRA and BLM lands adjoining
I Sanup Plateau; lands formerly in, and still bordered by, LMNRA; the Shivwits
J Andrus-Parashant-Whitmore area, adjacent to LMNRA
K Boundary of the old second GCNMonument 
L Division of Kanab Canyon; bordered by Kanab Creek Wilderness in Kaibab NF
M Tapeats Rim, adjoining Kaibab NF
N North Kaibab divider, adjoining Kaibab NF
O Marble Gorge, adjoining Kaibab NF
P Marble Gorge, adjoining BLM public lands

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

GCNP Boundary: The Line

To get started on a review of the GCNP boundary, here is a reproduction of the official map (113 20,021 B Dec 74 DSC) that Public Law 93-620, the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act, referred to in section 3 as comprising the Park from January 3, 1975. Not the first or the last word on the matter, it is only one snapshot.  A quick scan shows that at this scale and with no topography, the line is at times more an indicator than a depiction in accurate detail. Text was used to lessen the line's ambiguities, but is itself not always on target. (A more readable list of the map's texts appears below the map.) So translating the map's line accurately to a line on the ground (or even onto more detailed topographic maps) will require bringing to bear legislative history and myriad previous actions. The line is a sum of its historical parts.

Here is a listing of the map texts, starting in the upper right corner and going clockwise, east and south of the river first (my comments in ()):

  • Navajo Bridge (most of it off the map)
  •             Proposed Boundary on Canyon Rim  
  •              Note   Subject to Concurrence 
  •              of the Navajo Nation
  • Little Colorado
  • COCONINO PLATEAU (this referred to a tiny addition)
  • KAIBAB NATIONAL FOREST (repeated to its upper left)
    RESERVATION (two instances, one above the other)
  • Boundary on South Bank   of Colorado River
    (River Mile 164.8 to 273.1)

Now on the north side, starting up near top:

  • cross hatch box  HAVASUPAI USE LANDS
  • 273.1 RIVER MILE
  • Boundary on Canyon Rim
    NATIONAL MONUMENT (added to Park)
  • 164.8 RIVER MILE
  • Boundary on Canyon Rim (This is just plain wrong)
  • BOUNDARY approx 1/4 mile
      back from canyon rim (refers to where Park meets Reservation)
    Boundary on Canyon Rim
    MONUMENT (added to Park)
  • VERMILION CLIFFS (slanted)
  • GLEN CANYON NATIONAL RECREATION AREA (teeny bit added to Park)

So this, frankly inadequate, representation is where we start to parse out and explicate each segment of the boundary line. The task is to discuss each of the parts, bringing to bear everything I have been able to find (or remember) that defines a segment. These posts are not intended to be narrative histories; those will come later. This map being unsatisfactory, my next post will be another, with more information, on which the segments will be better delineated.

Monday, July 12, 2010

GCNP Boundary: Introduction

If successful, this history blog would, among other results, provide a clear view of the tangles that collectively bear the label: "Boundary of the Grand Canyon National Park". That view would, logically, develop out of the histories of how the Park and its neighbors came to be, and grew, and shrunk. However, I do not wish to wait until those stories are all told before trying to present for the reader a picture of what the Park boundary currently is, and what it might be.

From one perspective, an overall boundary survey will provide this author and any readers an outline, a guide, of what needs to be covered in the stories I will be telling. From another, it will gather references to documentation where it exists, and suggest holes to fill where it does not. From still another, a survey of what the boundary appears to be today, in 2010, will indicate where it is unsettled, where there are claims and counterclaims, and where it needs to be changed for a more correct, more comprehensive, "line". 

The line, in our political-legal system, is all important. We draw them, in the sand if we want them washed or blown away, with fences if we want to assert our territory, on paper if we want them to be legally recognized. They are both invisibly thin and weightily massive. They are compromises, and promises. They settle disputes, but sometimes only to provide a breather before the next attempt to move them. 

The Grand Canyon National Park's boundary, in particular, is a collection of lines resulting from decisions made, un-made, re-made, and still to be made. My initial listing shows fourteen divisions, some of which have sub-divisions with varying antecedents; I am curious as to how many segments I will end up with. I will present and summarize them here, and then write up each in its own blog entry, or entries. This project will be interrupted with episodes from the continuing Dams story--it will also be a relief from that. The project is of some current importance because it is on the Park Service's agenda, too. 

It may well be on others', for to say "Park boundary" is also to invoke the owner/administrator on the other side of the line. Here they are: 
For convenience, from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs, the Colorado River, and its Canyon, have a North Side and a South Side. Remarkably, given the huge percentage of visitors who go to Grand Canyon Village at the South Rim, most of the South Side is in three private ownerships. Some might prefer to say "sovereign" or "land held in trust" instead of "private" for lands of the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hualapai. My point here is that, perhaps, arguably, only 20%, by some measure, of the South Side of the Canyon is under the jurisdiction of the Park, that is to say, the federal government, the government of us all. 20%. The future of the other 80% of the South Side of the Grand Canyon lies in the hands of the Navajo, the Havasupai, the Hualapai. It is worth noting that the boundary contact of much of that 20% is with Kaibab National Forest, another federal entity. 

The Canyon's North Side is almost entirely federal: the Park, Lake Mead & Glen Canyon National Recreation Areas, Kaibab National Forest, Bureau of Land Management. There are Wildernesses like Kanab, and there are Monuments like Grand Canyon - Parashant; their administration, under somewhat different rules, remains under the original agencies. 

Simple, huh? Four owners. With one divided among three agencies-- well four, or five, or six, or seven, or whatever, regimes. Different regimes, that is what boundary lines mark. So, starting up where the Paria joins the Colorado,… Well, no, lets back off a bit for a big view, and permit me to present again, OUR big view--whoever WE are, since we do not always agree--of how we might go about determining an ultimately appropriate Grand Canyon National Park. 

You remember the 1910 AH&SPS proposal (my 28 Dec 2009 entry):  a sweeping vision that was perhaps more inclusive than informed. Ours, formulated in the late 1960's, tried to indicate lands to be considered as defined by the physical Canyon, which we thought of as running from Lee's Ferry to the Grand Wash Cliffs, and then climbing to include all the length of the main gorge (including the part named Marble), over the rims and back to include important stretches of the plateaus the Canyon was cut into, as well as the major reaches of all those tributaries that give the Canyon such variety on intimate and sub-Grand scales. (See that 12/28/09 entry for a map.)

Right away, there is trouble. How much of the Kaibab, Kanab, Uinkarets, Shivwits Plateaus? How far up Havasu, Kanab, Paria, the Little Colorado, Parashant-Andrus, Whitmore, to go? How to deal with the different ownerships and agency regimes? By 1974, our vision had responded to practicalities, and we hoped the Park might look like this: 

And there we will leave the Introduction. Next time, the fourteen (give or take) segments.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Dams: Bridge and CAP; unravelling ties

Jan 47, the Regional Director, BC, analyzed the situation for the Commissioner in a New Year's greeting, that the Bridge tunnel route was not feasible under Reclamation law, that other Basin states will oppose if we do not have a program for them, and that Congress will see the tunnel as make-work. Arizona likes Bridge, but not on any serious consideration, and may change to favor Parker, since its costs will be less, and California is more likely to support. Since we may be instructed, then, to use Parker, not worth spending money on Bridge route, unless it is definitely chosen. It can be built, but not financially self-liquidating. Larson, who favored Parker, visited DC, and apparently favorably impressed the delegation about its advantages. DC to BC that McFarland would be visiting Phoenix and we should use "extraordinary" means to have a comparison report, including a press release. That release emphasized Parker's cost and time advantages--still saying both could be built--, and noted Congress would have to authorize. LADWP, at the same time, is pushing its Bridge-Glen strategy, in which Glen would regulate flow and Bridge was for power only, with no water diversion, thus protecting Boulder head. 

Feb 47, the Chief Engineer was stubborn; he wanted some work done on the Bridge route until it was definitely eliminated. BC retorted, "What would this tell us?", and told Commissioner that there was no way for the tunnel costs to be so low as to be competitive. The Parker choice was supported by Page who all along had thought it was the better strategy. Mid-February, Reclamation put out a feasibility report, still preliminary, on the route from Bridge, with a supplement on the Parker route, and a comparison of the two. They were physically doable; but not economic under reclamation law.

The disagreement was reflected in the state legislature, a pro-Bridger calling the decision for Parker the worst act since Pearl Harbor. Their argument was that the tunnel was a gravity route, not needing to pump water up 1000'. McFarland took the lead: He still preferred Bridge, but due to urgent water need, would go along with Reclamation. And this seemed to be the general position taken in an Arizona meeting; we like Parker least, but will go along. Governor Osborn was more fervent, urging all possible support for S. 433/HR 1598, to move expeditiously to meet need. (One might ask, what in fact were the negative impacts of not building the CAP in 1950?)

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Wise Old Head

John C. Page had been Commissioner of Reclamation until 1943. A Nebraskan and a civil engineer, he had worked on the Boulder Project. In 1947, brought back, he was giving counsel on the CAP. Before this first (of many, many) congressional hearings on the CAP, he reviewed the statement of V.E.Larson, and offered him two pages* on how to conduct himself before the prickly servants of the people. John Page seems to have been a sensible man, and I think the letter is worth presenting at some length, perhaps as an echo of a by-gone time, since he seems to avoid cynicism even as he hits the target.

He starts by commending Larson's "story", "an excellent collection of data". He will not comment on the details, but has general comments based on his experience before committees, "as a result of which I have determined the psychology that prevails" there.

The purpose is "to sell the project" and "secure the Committee's favorable reaction". So the statement "should be presented in a forthright, out-spoken manner without extraneous diversions of thought from the main theme". I am convinced "the impression created by the witness … is of much more effect than the words that are actually spoken". Congressmen are "highly qualified individuals, all of them being too busy and whose thoughts are continually straying to other meetings and other hearings which they should be attending at that same time." So, "the telling of this story must be in a form which is forceful and to a certain extent a 'capsule edition'. The(y) have no knowledge of the matters involved, and in fact in some cases they have no desire to gain that knowledge, which means particularly that the impression created is all-important."

Details and explanations that should be in the record should be given in response to questions, and not volunteered. "Oftentimes it is desirable to plant the desired questions in the hands of friends, like Mr. Murdock, who can be depended upon to show an interest." Answering of questions has less effect of "diverting the thought of the Committee" because it is "considered more or less a side issue until the record is completely made". If questions do not bring everything out, permission may be asked to present for the record the "explanation and the methods of computation and the details" not in your opening statement. "On this theory, I consider your statement too long and somewhat involved, because no congressman could get a clear picture by hearing it only once." The record should be complete so each could study it individually in his own office, and "thus inform himself to the extent that he desires." "Some rearrangement would also seem to be desirable, having in mind that the statement must be a strongly presented outline of the whole program and the need". "The impression is best created if the statement hits the particular points so that the congressmen can get the story in complete and accurate form. I would reduce the presentation to a pungent, forceful capsule. This means leaving out all details and selling your story on the basis of a broad outline, giving it as an expert". "I would not qualify any of your statements nor present proof that they are true, except in the record … (including) all computations".

"Start your statement with a description of the project somewhat as shown on page 22 of your draft." Then "tell what each feature does;… stress the need for each one and for the completed whole". That way a congressman gets "a more favorable impression"; he can inform himself fully when you complete the record outside.

"I was conceited enough to think that I was a good witness before the committees, because they believed what I told them and seemed to consider me as an aid to them in attaining their own impressions." "One must instill a feeling of confidence … as to the trustworthy status of your statements".

Your manner will surely create a favorable impression, but I impress that you are an expert witness, "and uncertainty or lack of confidence in your story will weaken the effect of your presentation." "I wish you luck, but I do not anticipate that you will enjoy your experience particularly."

*Letter, Apr 22 1947, J.C.Page (Denver office) to V.E. Larson (Phoenix office), from Bureau of Reclamation files in Boulder City, now probably archived with NARA

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Dams: Touching the Dream; Losing the Future

Or: What are we doing, anyway?

Amid all these details about process and planning, working through these dozens of pages of notes from archives, it is easy to get lost; just trying to put a narrative together is a lot of effort, and often somewhat remote from the Canyon itself. However, this effort is all in aid of something more important than a story, and this is a very good moment to step back from the narrative, to re-state and re-relate my goal in GCFutures to what the would-be dam builders had in mind, what all developers and resource exploiters have in mind.

I give myself, along with other friends of and advocates for the Grand Canyon, credit for having a vision of a future in which the Canyon stands as an icon of the natural world, of our environment as support and nourishment of our non-material natures. So I write about trying to get a National Park to realize that vision, even though it is often wobbly. And as well, I give people who do not share my ideas credit for having a vision of the Canyon's future. The dam-builders were not just obsessed with a big concrete object that could generate power. They believed, and believe, in a vision of the Earth as here to be in the service of human needs and expansiveness. So often, as I have written, and will even more as the dam fight heats up, one of them will break out about how many more people can be taken care of, how many more people there can be, as an absolute good. More people living a more resource-rich life is not a cramped dream, although I am willing to argue that if it does not include, as a prime instance, an unexploited, trammel-free Grand Canyon, then that dream leads into a dead-end future, where more and more people will be chasing fewer and fewer resources.

So yes, the dam-builders have a vision for the Grand Canyon, and I need always to keep that vision in mind in order to make sense of all these bureaucratic bits and pieces that obsess them. To do that I will fore-shadow here because as I was writing that last entry about the Reclamaation staff trying to formulate policies that would justify what they wanted to do anyway --build canals and dams--, it seems to me that they were cultivating the seeds of the jungle in which they finally, in the mid-1960's, lost their way to their future. 

I do not know enough water history to know if their discussions in the summer of 1946 originated the concepts of integrating projects and pooling benefits from some to pay off costs of others. It is clear they were still grappling with the idea of a basin-wide pool of funds, and how to make it work. It seems dry, technical, and tedious, even though there is more than a whiff of cooking the books to make politically demanded projects look financially feasible. We may see this concept grow in the Canyon-related history, or we may not, for the Reclamation scene will shift to the upper basin plan -- which is not my business --, and it advanced the concept mightily.  Revenues from many projects were to be collected into one fund in order to pay off all the projects, including those which were not self-supporting. 

The projects did not even have to be physically related. Take the simple idea of building a Bridge dam that diverted water into Phoenix-bound canals. We saw the staff complicating that idea so that it included upstream dams for silt control that would benefit power generation at Bridge (and Hoover) which power would be sold to Los Angeles to build up a fund to bring to farms around Phoenix water that got pumped there using power from multiple sources through a grid. Brilliant. 

Now look at this idea of gathering projects and pooling revenues in the 1960's. No longer were they talking just about Phoenix and the Grand Canyon. The 1964, grandiose, descendent of that 1946 discussion would pool all the revenues, including from the Canyon dams, in order to bring water from the Columbia River. The vision of those engineers had been realized many times over; the populations of the Southwest were swelling mightily, and demanding more power, more water, more of everything so they could grow without constraint. And who gave a sniff about the few people in the Northwest; they could move to LA. As it will turn out when we get to that part of the story, people In the Northwest, people with political power, did care about their rivers, and the grand scheme to use Grand Canyon cash registers to funnel water from everywhere to the Sun belt died. 

And so, I am trying to say, yes, the engineers dreamed, and the dreams they had for the Grand Canyon misled them to way overreach, and thus lose, if not everything, then any chance of subordinating the Canyon to their purposes. Not at all modestly, I will argue that those of us who saw the future for the Canyon as being left "as it is" had an important role in the dam-builders 1960's crash-and-burn. But here my point is that they themselves lost their bearings. How they saw the Grand Canyon led them on to dream of a future, and then on, and on, and on, until the bloating of the modest foundation they built in the 1940's subverted and destroyed their vision of a Canyon totally harnessed to human demands.
Im glad to say.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dams: Trying to Decide, 1945-6 (upd 7/5, 8/5)

Reports in Reclamation files, Boulder City,  indicate steps during wartime:
Jan 1941 Sec approves NPS doing study of recreation in CR basin.
Oct 1941 was a preliminary rpt for elev. 1772', w/ silt encroachment by 1987. Field investigation conducted Sep 41, showed four sites. Followed by Nov & Dec rpts on state application. A major consideration is that federal cooperation necessary, and more favorable if coordinated. 
State report in Mar 42 shows good geology and various designs. Upstream silt control required. Marble not big enough, but a Glen project would increase power availability. 
1943, drilling and drifting were done for the foundation and abutments. A 1947 summary describes what would be done: Limestone at 4200' would be crushed and dropped to a lower shelf. Two draws would be filled for processing and storage space. A railroad would come from Peach Springs Hindu rim; a 25-mile highway down Peach. At dam, Bright Angel would be stripped. Power plant would be inside dam. Operations would require coordination between Hoover for storage and Bridge for power. The Park Service would have developments at Bridge Canyon City, Peach Springs Wash, Granite Park, Mt Dellenbaugh up on Shivwits (as they do, and a very nice place it is).
Oct 43, Reclamation does study on transport routes, preferring Bridge Canyon with tunnel and maybe railroad.
Apr 44 report on investigations that show that dam to NP boundary is far less economical than  higher one, perhaps to 1840-85' with adjustment of boundary.
Jul 1944 Reclamation and Arizona agree to make CAP alternatives study.
Nov 1944 on CR, Menace becomes resource. Rhapsodic PR-style on power and American way of life, it includes Kanab tunnel idea. Became House document 419.

As the war was ending in mid-1945, Reclamation, and Arizona, were pressing hard to prepare for authorization to send Colorado River water to central Arizona. In January, a conference of state and Reclamation officials decided to compare routes in one report, followed by a preliminary project report on the one chosen to authorized. They expected attacks from the numerous water factions in and outside the state, some for different routes, some for using the water elsewhere. Internally, Reclamation was racked by indecision over how to account for the impact on power generation at Hoover dam. In February, the name Central Arizona Project (CAP) was adopted, replacing  Colorado River - Central Arizona Diversion Project, (which surely would have been shortened to Colorado River-Arizona Project by opponents).

A word on Reclamation organization: The Commissioner was in Washington; there were Regional Directors involved in Boulder City (directly responsible for work in Arizona) and Salt Lake City. Denver seemed to be field support. Later there would be a Phoenix Development Office; lets say, respectively, DC, BC, SLC, DNV, PDO. All of these offices contributed paper to each other, a ceaseless multi-way flow of expertise and opinion, data and argument. This multiplicity of centers was emphasized by the role of J.C.Page, Commissioner from 1936-43. In 1945, Arizona's Governor Osborn asked that Page be allowed to help with the planning, and he did contribute, particularly in analyzing the situation. Also in 1945, M.W. Straus became Commissioner, serving until 1953. This tenure spanned the first out-in-the-open fight to protect the Grand Canyon from dams (as well, of course, as the beginnings of the fight over Dinosaur National Monument dams). His previous career as journalist and Interior appointee emphasized the political nature of the position. The other supremo, Floyd Dominy, reached even greater heights of political influence from 1959-69, rising however, from within Reclamation following the internal political route of supervisorships. It is a pleasure to record that he was one of the chief orchestrators of the pro-dam effort that finally collapsed in defeat in 1968.

Mar 45, emphasizing that the Kanab tunnel idea was now an integral part of planning, DNV gathered estimates on the idea, with design changes such as a new tunnel alignment and putting the power house at the junction.  DNV then produced cost estimates for all three big tunnel routes, Bridge, Marble, Kanab. The high temperatures (well > 100°) had to be taken into account; perhaps with elbows near the San Francisco Peaks. Different sizes were considered. Mar 45, on its own, LADWP carried out a speculative study of a Marble-Kanab tunnel power project, based on Reclamation data.  Both Glen and Bridge dams were assumed, with a 42.5 mile tunnel, which was the main and unprecedented feature. The study came up with cost estimates; the tunnel itself was a little more than half, but there was no detailed geology yet.

In April, there were estimates on the various dams, even with the "meagre information provided", a reminder of how little field work had been done. Page advised considering a smaller diversion as well, to avoid the appearance of settling any water rights. He raised the matter of Boulder power output. 

This map showing the facilities involved in CAP alternatives was produced by BC in May. There was also a Bluff silt site on the San Juan. Note there was no diversion to Tucson. The Parker and Bridge canal routes over to Phoenix differed.