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?