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.

D. Boundary in common with Tusayan Ranger District, Kaibab N.F. , on the east (post 9/1/10)
The red circle shows where the Coconino Plateau addition should show up. This is the strange one that succeeding maps in the 1960-70's added 320 acres to, without congressional recognition. The Park, going to the other extreme, drops the whole thing.

D. Boundary in common with Tusayan Ranger District, Kaibab N.F., on the west  (post 9/1/10)
The circle here indicates the boundary on legal lines, whereas the legislated line (on the Kaibab NF map of 1982, revised 2003) follows a road survey. Again, it is always possible that the agencies came to some agreement, and even had a congressional rider validate it. 

F. River boundary with Hualapai (several posts, and more to come; 9/6/10)
I have circled the language in red. It occurs on the map twice more, as if repetition will help. The Park is relying on opinions from the Interior Solicitor's office. I believe, and will argue in future entries, that the Solicitor opinions erred when they ignored an Act legislated by Congress. This matter is clouded because the Hualapai and their lawyers have argued that the boundary runs down the middle of the river, again ignoring Congress's action in clarifying what had been ambiguous. To repeat: Congress intended that the river, its water surface, be under the single administration of Grand Canyon National Park. In an effort to assert their primacy over Congress, the Hualapai and NPS agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding in 2000 (now expired) that allowed both of them to make their claims but not to fight about it. It would be better if they just accepted what Congress did, and stop pouting and stamping their feet.

I. Fort Garrett Point (posts 9/9-12/10)
The official map is clear, even at its scale, that only a bit of Fort Garrett Point (red circle) was left in LMNRA. What makes the whole thing so vexing--and is shown very nicely by the topography on this map--is that we should have been more conscientious in double- and triple-checking what we wanted to add in 1973-4. On this map, the proper boundary is rather obvious, coming up from the river east of the Grand Wash Cliffs, then across the Sanup to Fort Garrett Pt., and so to the Shivwits rim going east, thus leaving in LMNRA Pearce Canyon draining west into the reservoir.

J. On the Canyon Rim: Andrus Canyon (post 9/13/10)
The red encloses Andrus and lower Parashant Canyons. The boundary is not shown on the canyon rim, where the official 1975 Act map tells it to go. If you look closely, you can see rim outside the boundary on the east side and on the south side of that lowermost tributary. Given that the boundary was drawn to protect grazing allotments that LMNRA ended, there is every reason to follow congressional command.

Those are the differences I have found so far. More information will be forthcoming as the NPS Cartography group completes and makes its work available.

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