Saturday, December 17, 2011

Migration 10: Flannery's a Good Guy, But ...

Tim Flannery's writings on natural history in the longest term are always stimulating. His book on North America evokes nostalgia for all the wondrous land- and life-scapes this continuent has hosted. He combines the naturalist's curiosity with the environmentalist's despair in Here on Earth, A Natural History of the Planet (2010, Atlantic Monthly Press), and I wanted to offer a few comments stressing my own pecuilar structuring of the past 100 millennia.

McPhee --> Brower --> Dominy

In The New Yorker of November 14, 2011, John McPhee, reflecting on his writing life, structures a "Progression" that takes off from the pieces he wrote using David Brower as a common denominator, Encounters with the Archdruid.

For me, the most memorable of the three encounters is, of course, the raft trip Brower, McPhee, and Archdambuilder Floyd Dominy took through the Grand Canyon. (Although the line I remember best comes from the hike into the North Cascades, when rain led Brower to the reassurance: "Clothes'll dry; skin's waterproof.") Dominy was Commissioner of Reclamation in the 1960's and building a Grand Canyon dam would have been his triumph. 

In this article, McPhee uses up a column encapsulating Dominy, including a long quote where the latter demonized Brower (p.40). What struck me while reading this passage is how it validates my strong and long-held view that people like Dominy -- builder types, construction mavens, hard-headed bull-dozers, engineers full of facts and numbers and blueprints -- are romantics: Dreamers who use their formulas and figures to fill out fantasies of re-making the world in their own images of concrete and steel, dams and developments. Oh, the products they do get to carry through on are solid enough, but what drives them are the visions they have -- the gleam of the tower, the sweep of the damfront, the endless spread of the house-and-lot. They see a landscape and fantasize smashing it with their gigantic thumbprints pressed into the Earth. They pretend they deal with the "real world", and yet all their hard facts are just selected out and shaped to give color and shape to their dizzy imaginings. They convince themselves they have their feet on the ground and everybody else's head is in the clouds. 

And so they end up like Dominy in McPhee's quote, saying "because (Brower)'s so God-damned ridiculous(,) I can't even reason with the man." When Dominy said "Brower hates my guts", he was projecting his own anger and frustration at his dream being thwarted. He put his dam fantasy for the Canyon up against Brower's vision of a natural Canyon, and he lost. No wonder Brower reminds him of a steer he owned, "an independent bastard" that he shot "right in the head", as "the only way I could get rid of the bastard". 

It was a pleasure to defeat him and his dam dream.

And he was wrong, anyway, about Brower hating his stuffing. Brower was not a hater nor a prophet full of "Pentateuchal" anger. What drove him was love, of the land and of people. He did not rage and rant; he reached out and inspired. He dreamed and spoke out so that lots of people could know they shared that dream, and that it was worth working for. Who could be surprised that he gave Dominy's ilk hissy fits?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Migration 9: The Clash of Migration and the Hulapai

The pre-Neoliithic has left us little evidence of human debate over migration: when to do it, where to go, what thwarted or directed it. After the revolution that brought farming, property, and the heightened struggle over land, the records proliferate. We can see the impulses to migrate, and the resistance to it; we can see the sweep of conquests and the variety of ways in which over-running peoples treated the more sedentary resisters. We can also see the strengthening of the hands of the latter in more recent times, until today migration is an epithet, bigotry toward migrators is acceptable, borders are made sacred, conquest has lost its glamor.

So it is possible now for the last half-millennium's natural spread of peoples (in this case from far-western Eurasia, i.e., whitefolk) to be demonized as imperialism and colonialization. Just as it is possible for these colonialists, once settled, to demonize later migrants in turn. What is curious is how Shepherd's screed (see my 25 Nov 2011 entry) against whitefolk trampling the Hualapai down fits into this post-Neolithic world. To the Hualapai, that area of northwestern Arizona where they ended up a millennium ago after their own extensive travels is their world, the place of their origin, their land from time immemorial. Control of the remnant called the Hualapai Indian Reservation is thus a primary issue for them, just as the whitefolk in central Arizona are determined to use anti-migration legislation and an army of border police to bolster their ebbing control of the state and its government. All over the world, we are creating these jurisdictional islands where the natural human characteristic to migrate is anthema, unnatural, even illegal. 

If we forego the romancing of the noble Indian, the Hualapai Reservation is more clearly seen as a "special-use zone" where migration by non-Hualapai is controlled and taxed, stifled and prevented. As curious as is this incidence of modern human anti-migrationism, it must be admitted that the same is true of Grand Canyon National Park, a special-use zone of the strictest order, where a stance against migration (and change and land grabs) is heightened all the more because the Park's condition is (supposed) to be maintained as it was just before whitefolk in their millions set sail across the Atlantic (and Pacific and Mediterranean and Indian…). Isnt it odd that these special preserves of Park and Reservation preserve what humans are genetically not -- static and fixed in place? Meanwhile, and in spite of those who want to turn places like Arizona in its entirety into such special preserves, the very legitimate, genetically speaking, migrators uphold the banner of the wild and freely moving Homo sapiens of pre-Neolithic times. Is New York City more of a wilderness than the Grand Canyon?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Migration 8: Bites Too Big

Several months ago, when I picked up on the migration angle, the Grand Canyon connection was very clear. I was reading books (by Chris Stringer, e.g.) that laid out humanity's history over the past 100 millennia as one in which migration was an essential component. Originating in a corner of Africa, we spread over that continent; we spread eastward along south Asia and to Australia; we spread north and west into Europe; north east into Asia; then with the right conditions, into the Americas; and, astonishingly, across the Pacific.

Into such a story, we can comfortably fit the migrations of the Paiutes to the Canyon's north side in the last millennium or so and the Pai to the south side, then, more lately, the Navajo coming south and west. And long before, the Hopi, carrying on the Puebloan traditions of settlement and villages that reach back more millennia, reinforce this view of humanity's multiple moves. In that scheme, the arrival of whitefolk -- Spanish, English & French -- is just another wave, one of many with sources in Europe and Asia, which continue from all over. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Migration 7: Flannery's Cooperation

If Flannery (Flannery, Tim; "Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet",2010, Melbourne) wants to counter Dawkins' selfish genes, he needs cooperation to work at all levels, and most especially the human. He needs to counter "ruthless selfishness" (17), and the example of the child using its smile to manipulate the parent. Which he does with an assertion of complexity.

HE IS AN INDIAN HISTORIAN; A book critique

Part 1

In WE ARE AN INDIAN NATION  A History of the Hualapai People (U. of Arizona Press, 2010), J.P. Shepherd dedicates his work to "the people of the Hualapai nation", and then spends several pages introducing the ambiguity and ambivalence that attend his book and the Hualapai -- just like the history & politics of the rest of us. 

"The point of this book, then, is that colonization and persistence can exist in the same geographical and interpretive space."(page 8) Of course it can, for under other names, these are the qualities that characterize the actors, players, protagonists, who engage with each other in the American political-legal system; the system, Shepherd would remind us, put into place by whitefolk conquest. And in this system, colonizers and persisters, dominant groups and challengers, rulers and petitioners, stand-patters and protesters, the status quo and the counter-culture; all come and go, form, shape up, exercise power in some way, fade or get a place at the trough.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Not About the Grand Canyon

IS TUCSON AIRPORT AN APPROPRIATE EXAMPLE?

Nothing is quite so neat a microcosm of our security-based control-freak (S&C) society as an airport arrival-departure area. Larded up with uniformed shouters, bikers, threateners, and cloggers*, their basic stance toward people bringing and taking away other people is that of cattle-killing operators before the reforms of Temple Grandin**. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

On the Edge VI: A Green Alternative

In my previous entry about Mather Point, I was ambivalent about some of the features of the upgrade: the wide, black asphalt, straight, walk-ways in particular. Today, Mrill Ingram showed me some photos of a project that shared some of the goals, but is a step up in environmental consciousness. It is called WaterWash. Designed by Lillian Ball (she has a website), it is a recycling feature nurturing a wetland with a green infrastructure. I offer a few photos to compare with those of the Park Service's project at Mather.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On the Edge V: In the Flesh

On a visit to the upgraded Mather Point, Friday, 21 October, I walked about, listened, chatted with a few people, contemplated, made lots of notes, and took some photos with my Jobs-book. I left with the notion that I was having two legitimate reactions:

1. The changes at Mather Point and the new visitor center are greatly to be applauded; they bring a huge improvement. They are the ultimate realization of Mather's potential as a first-look orientation focus.

2. Why, oh why, couldnt it have been done with more inspiration from the Canyon and respect for the importance of the visitor's first look, that Spanish experience? (see my previous post, 26 October)
President Garfield said this about education: My definition of a University is Mark Hopkins at one end of a log and a student on the other. Well, that 1872 statement may need updating, but my definition of the first-look experience of the Grand Canyon will remain: A visitor standing on the edge, the Canyon opening out beyond.  A straight-forward, untrammeled, connection. 

But you decide; here is what I recorded:

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On the Edge IV: The 1990's, From the Inside

In "On the Edge III: The 1990's" (12 Sep 2011), I presented maps from the 1995 General Master Plan (GMP) for GCNP showing several alternative levels of development for Mather Point. I have very little personal documentation or archival material for that period, one in which I was distracted from Grand Canyon affairs. On the other hand, that period is so recent that I thought it might be worthwhile to see which participants might be willing to talk about the goals of the 1990's and what prevented them from being realized. 

I did recall having a talk, maybe in 2000, with Brad Traver, whom I remembered as the chief operational officer for the GMP's ambitions, particularly with respect to the vexed matter of visitor transportation. "Vexed" of course because of the difficulties caused by over 60 years of cultivating the private automobile as the primary mode for 2, 3, 4 & up million visitors each year to come to and get around in Grand Canyon National Park. "Vexed" for me because in the 1970's, during an earlier round of transportation planning for the Park, I tried hard to convince the planners that cars and the "Spanish experience" did not mix, while they remained tied to the idea that cars did and would rule. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

GCNP-Hualapai Boundary, Addendum 2/3: What Might the Park Service Say?

If the National Park Service were to continue to assert that the boundary of Grand Canyon National Park adjacent to the Hualapai Reservation goes up the left bank from the river to the high water line, how might that position be justified? And, which high water line would be used?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hualapai Reservation north boundary; addendum 1

Conceptually & emotionally, the Hualapai have often referred to haitat when discussing the question of the Reservation's northern boundary that goes "to" and "along" the Colorado River adjacent to the part of the Grand Canyon National Park boundary that is set "on the south bank" of the Colorado.

Monday, October 3, 2011

GCNP-Hualapai Boundary: Reflections on the Swamp

River Middle Muddle And The Water Line That Got High--With A Big Downer After

So where is the boundary? Lets check off the points:

1883 Executive Order says "to" and "along" Colorado River.
19th & 20th century surveys: stayed away from river boundary.
1910-20's: U.S. withdrawals of river + ¼-mile or more for hydropower, including reservation land.
1930's: Lake Mead covers variable amounts of reservation land as the reservoir fills and drops, etc.
1939: Hualapai interested in getting something from proposed Bridge Canyon Dam(BCD).
1930-40's: Supreme Court settles Hualapai title, but nothing defined for river boundary.
1949-50: Arizona federal legislators accommodate Hualapai demands for compensation if BCD built as part of Central Arizona Project; no statement on boundary.
This starts the period, still continuing, of Hualapai claim to middle of river; haitat.
1950's-60's: Indian Claims Commission process: Hualapai claim to middle of the river. ICC rejects claim and defines northern river boundary as on southern shoreline, but is not more definite. During testimony, evidence is given that Hualapai & Southern Paiute both used rivershore and crossed river.
Scanty archeological evidence from that period and since adds nothing definite about use and occupancy. 
1960's-70's+: Hualapai pursue participation in BCD authorization, but boundary not further defined since no need given the amount of land used.
1964: LMNRA Act sets NRA boundary well south of river; Hualapai reject including any of their land in the NRA.
1960's: USGS quads show boundary in middle of river and reservation land in NRA.
1972-5: Legislative history of Park enlargement Act  shows one goal is unified administration of river. Language of Act places boundary "on south bank" with supporting statements saying entire water surface was in Park. Intent was to end ambiguity.
1975 on: GCNP Sup't tells people boundary is at high water mark; view maintained by NPS since.
1975-8: Hualapai & allies, including attorney and Goldwater aide, realizing too late what the Enlargement Act did, led an attack on NPS view of boundary, but the language of all sides ends up as saying, in effect, "where ever the Hualapai boundary was, it still is; none of their land was taken", without explicitly refuting that river water surface is in Park, or offering any evidence that it is in middle, only repeating that Hualapai claim to the middle. Hualapai attorney documents indicate his uncertainty as to whether their claim to the middle would prevail.
1976: Interior Field Solicitor writes opinion that high water line is boundary, but opinion has errors and puts boundary at high water mark only by assertion; no documentation.
Focus of analysis is on bed of river, not river surface and its traffic, and secondarily that river is a navigable stream. 
1988: Updated USGS quads show boundary exactly on water edge of south bank.
1997: Interior Solicitor opinion supports 1976 conclusion, but undercuts it, and itself offers no documentation or irrefutable legal analysis.
2000: Park and Hualapai entered into an agreement to disagree and met over several years to discuss interlocking river activities and problems.
2001: Majeske article attacked solicitor opinions as invalid, but his arguments also lack analysis and documentation, including his conclusion that river is non-navigable, made once again by assertion.
201?-on: The best answer is the "wet foot--dry foot" doctrine: GCNP has jurisdiction over the river's water surface, fluctuating as it does, and the Hualapai own the land to the water's edge, fluctuating as it does.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hualapai, a summary history, to the dam

Dobyns & Euler open their 1975 book on the Hualapai (Walapai) by marking and lamenting the centenary of the Hualapai’s forced entry into the U.S. economy as laborers. This fits my own impression gathered from archives, that the Hualapai see their reservation, only a piece of their original territory, as a place on which to establish a viable economy. If the story of the Havasupai asks, in part, what would their lives & society have been like had the government established an appropriate reservation in 1882, the Hualapai story asks, in part, what happened to a people when they tried to use a reservation that was set aside for them to be able to abide in their ancestral lands. The answers have emphasized different geographic zones of the reservation, not all oriented toward the Grand Canyon. 

GCNP/Hualapai Boundary documents

6 Feb 1976 Interior Field Solicitor, San Francisco

Hualapai asserts they own half the bed of the river.
Therefore, they are entitled to a portion of river traffic revenues.
10 Oct 1975, in reply to Goldwater inquiry, this office said PL93-620 did not resolve boundary disagreement.
Conclusion in this reply is that 1883 EO established Reservation boundary at high water level. Title to the bed was in US until 1912, when it passed to Arizona.
After moving about, in 1881, majority of tribe proposed a tract of no great use to whites, w/ no mineral deposits, little arable land, water in small quantities, and void of grass for stock raising.
8 Jul 1881, military reservation established; followed by EO 8 Jul 1883.
Colorado River is navigable by Az v. Cal (he says 1912, but it is 1931).
Did US convey title to river bed? No evidence of any intent to do so.  Goes through several irrelevant cases, without attempting to connect to Hualapai situation.
Doubt should be resolved in favor of Indians, but no doubt in this case that EO did not include the bed, as the language "clearly" sets forth (quotes text).
Language of "along" = border the river, and this is supported by description of land without any resources. Therefore the Hualapai did not consider any portion of the river to be within their boundaries; no evidence they considered land under river to be of utility to them.
Ownership in bed lies with State, but ownership and use subservient to the Federal navigation and other paramount Federal laws.
In footnote says that control of river implied by PL93-620 language that GCNP shall "comprise all those lands, waters, and interest therein", but more research needed.
========================================================================

Boundary of Grand Canyon National Park Adjacent to the Hualapai Reservation

The Grand Canyon National Park is bounded by the Hualapai Reservation between river miles 164.8 and 273.1 of the Colorado in the Grand Canyon. I labelled this boundary segment as F on the map in my post of 14 Jul 2010. (Segment G is also a joint boundary, but is not in dispute. My blog entries on the boundary run from July into October 2010.)

BASIC POSITIONS

The Reservation was first established by the Army on 8 Jul 1881, and given permanence by President Arthur's executive order dated 4 Jan 1883. Here is the text of that order:
Here is a copy of the map the responsible Army officer drew in 1882:
By the way, just for kicks, please notice that the east-side line running north "to" the river, doesnt quite make it. And C.F.Palfrey did not even attempt to draw a line down the river, it was boundary enough. Just saying.

Note, added 29 May 2012: Army Engineer Lt C. F. Palfrey, according to E Coues (translator of Garces), went down Peach Springs Canyon to the river on 19 Jun 1881, just before the Army set up the Hualapai reservation. Palfrey retired in 1895; no date of death found, but quite possibly he would have been alive to testify had there been a court case in the early XXth century. W. R. Price, who presided over this and the Havasupai reservation, died 30 Dec 1881.

GCNP Boundary Segment F-- The River and the Hualapai: Overview

This is an orientation to the entries I am posting at this time. The subject is that boundary segment of Grand Canyon National Park adjacent to the Hualapai Nation's lands established as a Reservation by President C.A. Arthur's executive order of 4 Jan 1883.-- the  segment as set by map "113-20, 021 B" in the GCNP Enlargement Act, 3 January 1975, "on South Bank of the Colorado River (River Mile 164.8 to 273.1)".

The boundary is on the river edge; the discussion of it is a swamp. 

I do not begin to believe that the materials I am gathering here will solidify that swampy ground, but I do believe the effort to gather them is worthwhile. For space purposes, I reproduce few of the documents, instead trying to summarize the books, documents, files, and other archival materials I have collected or come across over the past three decades. I have tried to make this my definitive statement.

One of my posts, Hualapai history summary to the dam, is a sketch from the 1880's to the late 1940's, to provide context on how I see the boundary discussion.

And let me say here that I have read and tried to honor the contributions of Dobyns, Euler, McMillen, & Shepherd for their expertise on the Hualapai. I have used what they wrought. It needs to be said that they, if they could, might dispute my summaries and interpretations of their writings, since I believe I am correct in saying that these are the writing of Hualapai admirers and advocates. 

My position is not so straight-forward. In 1976, HTC Chairman W. Whatoname Sr. wrote me, "From testimony you and your organization have given in the past on Hualapai dam, it is apparent that your interest in our reservation is adverse to our interests and our attempt to develop our major resource." True on the dam, and proud of it. And in arguing for a GCNP boundary line that placed within the Park the entire water surface of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, I may still be perceived as "adverse" to Hualapai interests. Nevertheless, my goal in gathering and posting on-line these boundary materials, as comprehensive as I can make them, is to give others the chance to consider the complexities of this issue. 

With respect to the boundary, my main presentation is the entry "Boundary F between GCNP and Hualapai". This contains summaries and discussions under the following headings:

Basic Positions
Some Legislative History
Re-starting the Arguments
Summaries of (Quasi-)Legal Opinions
Surveys & USGS Topographic Maps
Hydro-power Withdrawals 
Dams and the Line
Archeo-History
And More Recent History
Indian Claims Commission
Summary and Conclusions.

An associated entry, Park/Hualapai Boundary Documents, is a lengthier analysis of four significant documents: two Interior Solicitor opinions (1976 & 1997), A. Majeske's 2001 attack on those opinions, statement by Ass't Sec. for Indian Affairs with Hualapai context-setting (1977-8)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Grand Canyon, Its Political History, and This Blog

My interest in discussing this blog not having been acceptable to the organizers of the upcoming Grand Canyon History Symposium (they "wanted to ensure that all selected presentations stay focused around the topic of the Grand Canyon"), I still wish to put out my ideas about the suitability of blogging about the Canyon and its political history. Since this post is embedded in the blog with all the entries that I would have used to illustrate its value, I only have refer to various entries and topics; the reader can check them out.

My emphasis to start would have been that this blog is for sharing , one voice in a conversation about the Canyon that is Making available episodes, comments, and opinions about the political history of the Grand Canyon and what that history may indicate for the Canyon's future., as the blog header says. Here I would have talked a bit about the many entries I have made about the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. This is a perfect history blogging topic, heightened NPS right now is carrying out a review of the boundary, assembling what it calls a meta-file that brings together all that NPS believes is validly applicable to determining where the boundary is. In other words, the topic is rooted in the history of the past 130 years, is a live topic for the administering agency, will continue to be history-in-the-making since there are disputes that will not be settled (I bet), and is of immense practical importance now and in the future--since as I say in a number of places in my blog, the Canyon is the center of one web in the American politico-legal system, which accepts as a principle that lines-on-the-ground are essential in determining rights and responsibilities. (And of course, though this would be a digression, many of the "lines" that make up the GCNP's boundary are very far from being of the surveyor type. Not to mention that the wet-foot/dry-foot boundary between the Park and the Hualapai lands fluctuates all the time.)

Anniversary Two

Anniversary Number Two; Updated Table of Contents

September 20 is the anniversary of this blog. I have added 73 entries, for a total of 183. A year ago, I grouped the entries into categories. Here, I will repeat that summary, expanding it by interleaving what I have done in the past year.
The categories are more or less alphabetical; I have placed the Havasupai, Hualapai, and Southern Paiute together. 
If there is a - between two dates, then all the entries in that range are on that subject. (2) indicates there are two entries on that date. 



ABC's: Basic considerations:  2009 Sep 26
2011 May 11

Archeohistory (pre whitefolks) 2009 Sep 26

Boundary segments, Park 2010 Jul 12 - 24, Sep 1 - 28, Oct 1-2 
West end 2011 Mar 27
Boundary mapping, River 2010 Feb 7 - Mar 7, Apr 4, 30, May 11, 19

Dams 2009 Sep 22
2010 Apr 4 - 30, May 2 - 7, 16, 17, 29 - Jul 6, Aug 2, 8,
                                          Oct 7 - Nov 17                
Ingram Journal 2011 May 21, Jun 3

Geology, west end 2011 Mar 22, Apr 2
Mars                                            Mar 27

GC, National Park origins 2009 Sep 20, 22, Nov 1, Dec 2(2), 3, 5(2) - 28
2010 Jan 7, 18(2), 22 - 31, Mar 20, 21
                                                 Nov 21
GCNP 1920's Enlargement 2010 Nov 29 - Dec 28
2011 Jan 4
Fixes 1940-50's 2011 May 13, 26, 30
Overview                                     May 30
GCNMonument 2 2011 Jan 12 - Mar 12
GC, Western & the NRA 2011 Apr 25 - May 5
GCNP
The Rim; Mather Pt.             2011 Sep 3, 4, 12 (2)
Stories Sep 15

Havasupai 2009 Sep 21(2)
2010 Jan 5, 6, Feb 8
2011 May 11, Jun 6 - Jul 27
Hualapai   2009 Sep 27
Southern Paiute 2009 Sep 29, Oct 20

Maps & reflections 2009 Sep 28, Oct 23 (3), Dec 3,

Miners 2009 Oct 2, 4, Nov 30

Migration Etc. 2011 Jul 29 - Sep 2, 10, 19 (2)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Migration 6: A Summary, and Some Conundra

Migration 6: A Summary; and some Conundrums 

Chris Stringer & Peter Andrews, "The Complete World of Human Evolution", 2005, provides a well-illustrated ride through the findings and ambiguities, telling me more and less than I want to know. Lots on apes and bones, but not on such as language, although it is called a defining characteristic that was likely not present early in our time.

As a leading proponent of the Out of Africa model of human spread, Stringer is of major importance for my picture of Homo sapiens as a species that moves, spreading out over the world, migrating. Interesting that when we use that word in reference to non-humans, we are describing repeating patterns, e.g., birds that fly south for the winter, and return north with spring. Human migration is, particularly by its opponents, on the other hand decried as a one-way flood. And of course, that is what the major debate among evolutionists is: what is the best model to describe how and when we got all over the world.

Here is their time-line for the model which has Homo sapiens developing from previous forms over about 400-150 Kya (thousands of years ago). About 160 Kya, we had spread throughout Africa, although much about that is "still tantalizingly unclear". Then, perhaps 100 Kya, we went across south Asia and to Australia by 60 Kya. Europe has evidence for 40 Kya, and the Americas, 15 Kya or even farther back. There are regional variations, with "relationships unclear". There was overlap with Neanderthals, who were throughout Europe, over to east of Caspian Sea. Did that overlap bring war, avoidance, coexistence, trade, interbreeding? Also "unclear:. Whatever, they were gone by 25 Kya. 

Migration 5: Mind and Monogamy

David J. Linden, "The Accidental Mind", Cambridge 2007, is a great read explicating the idea that the brain is not some magnificently designed grand achievement, but an accretion of evolutionary choices. In talking about sexual behaviors and the mind, he offers me the chance to connect the matter of relationships on the individual level into the context of us as migrators.

Linden summarizes, p. 148, with a question: 
"So, why have humans evolved such a distinct cluster of sexual behaviors with concealed ovulation, recreational sex, long-term pair bonding, and prolonged paternal involvement?" 
By the first, he is referring to the human lack of obvious estrus, so that sex had to become frequent to insure conception. The second behavior follows as a strategy maximizing the chance of conception: sex is so much fun, lets do it a lot. Though not mentioned, this is as true of the female as the male, so that the maximization is carried out by both individuals in coupling; both or either can be libidinous, attracted, and initiate the action. His third item, "long-term pair bonding", is out of place in his question about human evolution, since he is emphasizing biological rather than cultural evolution. The question of the origin of pair-bonding, marriage, can only be solved when we consider the time when males tying women to them became paramount, a recent cultural development. And "paternal involvement" ought to be written "parental involvement", since human child-rearing is one of the functions, not just of one or two individuals, but rather of the mutually supportive group, the social organization we so successfully evolved in. So what is my answer to his question of "why we evolved such sexual behaviors"?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lets Be Serious For A Moment

Scattered, and I do mean scattered, thoughout the files are a few items that deserve to be preserved (or not, depending on your degree of humorlessness) on their own. Two of these items come from that most serious of men, Superintendent Tillotson. First, there is this from 1933-- the condition of this document reminds me of how technology has changed in the 35 years since it was copied--, shortly after the Grand Canyon National Monument was established by Hoover's Proclamation:
The first paragraph is a classic, and Tillotson likewise in his note at the bottom that the "Area of floors is 273,145 acres". He adds that the Director's office should be billed, but his final comment is unreadable, even after repeated assaults using PSE8.

Monday, September 12, 2011

On the Edge III: The 1990's, heading to the 1950's

The development of the Mather Point area described in my previous posts has its origins at least in the 1970's, a time when I was very active trying to convince the Park Service not to spread intense development outside the Village. In particular, many of us thought that there could be work done at Mather to bring about a more natural condition as an approach to a first-time rim view. That discussion seems to have been put on hold in the 1980's, to be revived in the 1990's, a time when I was not active. However, I do have a copy of a major document from 1995 -- a Draft General Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement. It provides five alternative views, and given the date, perhaps provides us a midway point view between what the Mather Point area has actually become, and the proposals of the 1970's that we did not think were good enough.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Migration 4: Civilization, The Chinese View

The view of Homo sapiens as the migrating primate spreading out of Africa and penetrating much of the Earth in a few tens of millennia is summed up in maps like this one from Wikipedia, based on sampling of mitochondrial DNA. From http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/37/Map-of-human-migrations.jpg .

This single-origin thesis is challenged especially by Chinese work, in a view set out in "The Formation of Chinese Civilization", Chang Kwang-chih et al., 2002. Chang writes that theory in The West sees production and technology as the driver of civilization's development, whereas the Chinese see political processes as most important. However, their work seems most useful for the period beginning with the Neolithic revolution brought on by the invention of domestication. For what is presented in the book is a case study in the suppression of the mutual-support, migratory, hunting/gathering social organization humans had known in its spread up to 15 millennia ago. That is, the evidence and arguments presented in that book  show how the organization we now have, so foreign to the mutual-support migrating band, developed, layering over the genetic-based predilections that had made us such successful migrants. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On the Edge II -- Mather Renewed

Last June, Grand Canyon National Park celebrated the completion of much work to bring Mather Point out of the throught-the-windshield era of Park visiting. The covering press release can be found here:
http://www.nps.gov/grca/parknews/newsreleases.htm
The release links to photographs, too, which I have used below. I have not yet visited the site, nor did I make any efforts on this matter, unlike in the 1970's, when development planning was a big item on the agenda. So here I want to collect some NPS materials to get oriented about this significant change to the First Look.

Way back, 1957 and earlier, this was a simple place, Mather just another overlook, over on the right. Mission 66 to upgrade and add to NPS and visitor facilities was just underway.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

On The Edge I: An Introduction

Once I was standing at Mather Point, Grand Canyon National Park's premiere introductory view, and overheard someone say, "Well, I liked Zion better; the view from the bottom of the canyon is so good."

The Grand Canyon and its the Park are fortunate, in my eyes, that viewing from the bottom still involves a natural, back-country, often wild, kind of experience. The Grand Canyon is pre-eminently a rim experience for the casual visitor. And there is no one experience: Out west in Hualapai land, at what Martin Litton (q.v.) liked to call Batchit View, there is mass industrial tourism, Las Vegas style: highly mechanized, swiftly moving, and dependent on tricksy stuff like the Hong Kong entrepreneur's skywalk. 

But the Hualapai booty-required view is way outmatched* by the dusty drive and rock walk to Toroweap: Straight down, no handrails. And from there you can see remnants of one Grand Canyon dam I approve of, a great lava plug the making of which Powell vividly described. That drive is a freeway compared to the Kelly Point road out the Shivwits: 5 mph if you are reckless. And you end up this magnificent back-country trek thrust way out into and above the entire western Canyon. Fine camp, too. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

MIGRATION 3. Our Faustian Bargain: Domestication's Aftermath


There is probably nothing new to say about our choices as to origins. Born in sin, condemned to die?  Born in innocence, going to glory? Aggressive, ravening conquerors, triumphant over all the world? Basically well-intended, but falling to the ever-present 7 Deadlies? A golden age, followed by a silver, then leaden? Or progressing ever steadily toward utopia? Was the heinous third (1914-45) of the XXth-century an aberration, an example from which we have (not) learned, or business as usual? Hobbes or Rousseau? All these possibilities mist over any new entry in such a grand debate about human nature. The scientists dealing with early times cut through some of this by dealing with what they dig up or analyze in the lab or by computer. Yet they too feel the temptation to use the details, almost always contested in their interpretation, to construct a version of our story. And so even they fall into the pit of limited possibilities. 

I am clearly in the group that sees an Old Golden Age brought down by our succumbing to the wiles of the Great Tempter. Although there is little enough evidence about how we lived and what our attitudes toward life were pre-15 millennia ago, I am quite content to think well of us. We had language, well-honed economic skills including cooked food, the urge to travel, story-telling, art, music, dance, fire, clothing, shelter, trade, education. I am content to think we did without warriors, religionists, jealous husbands, neglectful parents, border guards. The mutually supportive small band was something we had evolved successfully into,-- language, omnivirousness, and sex the primary pillars of our often-wandering existence. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

WE MIGRATE! IN THE WORLD; IN OUR MINDS


A reminder: Grand Canyon blog though this is -- and I will get back to the Havasupai et al.-- I hope that some of this digression is useful in showing my view of what was, what we came from and are based in, to lay the basis for understanding what is and what is happening, and not just at the Canyon.

WE MIGRATE, ALL ACROSS THE WORLD, IN ALL ITS ENVIRONMENTS, ALL THE TIME, AS WELL AS DOWN INTO IT AND UP ABOVE IT. Migration is built into our genes as a survival technique, a positively selected-for characteristic of Homo sapiens as we evolved over the past 100-200 millennia. We searched for food, we gathered and hunted, and we moved about in order to maximize our chances of survival. There is everything human about the ability to pick up and move, to look for another herd of antelope or another patch of berries, to check out a more interesting residence across town, or a better job a few states away, or a life out of poverty half the Earth distant. We move, we travel, we tour about, we trade, we migrate. So, yes, the debate today over "migration" contravenes our very biological essence, but more on that later. First, there is something even more important, if not unique, about us, Homo sapiens.

WE MIGRATE IN OUR MINDS!! It is in our genetic, biological make-up that these brains (klutzy kludges as they are, according to neuroscientist David Linden's The Accidental Mind) of ours work as projectors and introjectors of the outside world; the world imprints our minds; we image the world. To do this, we have language & mind, curiosity & questioning, what-ifs & narrative/fantasy, and these capabilities made us the inventors of agriculture, ships, the electric light, and the iPad. And made us the migrators that took us out from Africa, and all across the world. So were we ferocious conquerors, beaters of chests, massive men dragging our women & children as we stomped across the new worlds, bellowing & conquering as we went? No way!

Friday, July 29, 2011

We interrupt this program to bring you ...


Yes, this is a blog about the Grand Canyon's political history and how it might be projected into the future. But enthusiasms are sometimes overwhelming.*
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I have for a long time been preoccupied by the element of humanity that I think of as our tendency to spread. Spread as in migration, wandering, touring, restlessness in literature; as in the spread of ideas, knowledge, experience; as in trade, economic activity over distance & peoples; as in conquest, imperialism, occupation, colonization.** Recently a couple of books, along with current political debates and actions, have particularly stirred me up. And this past week, the Grand Canyon connection was brought into focus by my reading about the 1990's-2000's story of unauthorized DNA sampling of the Havasupai. So I have decided to see if this internal ferment can be made coherent, and maybe even connected to Grand Canyon futures.  

Sometime in the 1990's, I read Bruce Chatwin's 1987 The Songlines, with its rhapsodic paean to "wandering" as an essential human quality. What came before that to lead me on this path of thought, I do not recall. However, I live in a country where a trip of 4000 kilometers is totally ordinary, and have done it many times on the ground and by airplane. Yet only a few of these journeys would be considered "migrations". I dont know that I thought of them that way, even though had I done comparable moves on most other continents, that is just what they would have been as I crossed multiple national borders. One of the enduring questions in discussing migration is why a journey by a third-generation American (grandparents from Italy) from Boston to San Francisco, or Chicago to Houston, evokes not a whisper, but a villager looking for work going from Oaxaca to Phoenix or Cairo to Rome is a criminal.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Explicating Section 10 of Public Law 93-620

P.L. 93-620 repatriated about 185 Kac to the Havasupai, a minimal kind of correction of a 100-year-old error. This was not a gift, but a hard-won achievement of the Havasupai and their allies. Hard-won, because the opponents were many and determined, and some of the congressional supporters equivocal. So much so that right up to the final weeks and days of the 93rd Congress, roadblocks were offered and changes made. The first year of that Congress had been a waste from the Havasupai perspective, leaving their prospects as gloomy as ever: Promises, promises; empty hands, empty hands.

Senator Goldwater's original bill did grant land, and with few restrictions. In the face of widespread disapproval (including, I believe, from within his own office), he gave up his effort, and the legislation as it went through the stages of Senate passage and consideration by the House Parks subcommittee was nugatory for the Havasupai.

This was all changed by the Havasupai campaign under the generalship of attorney Joe Sparks. The details of that story are yet to be set down, though Stephen Hirst's books tell it overall. In legislative essence, what happened is that in the spring of 1974, Representative Morris Udall, chief mover and shaker in the House for this Grand Canyon/Havasupai bill, was persuaded of the rightness of the Havasupai cause, while also remaining alert to the arguments of those who worried about what the Havasupai might do on the repatriated lands. Therefore, his, and his staff's, task was to grant the land, hedged about with restrictions that would allow the Havasupai to do what they said they wanted to do, but bar development adverse to the land's Park-worthiness; development, that is, of the exploitative type usually associated with schemes proposed by non-Havasupai. How to accomplish such potentially clashing goals?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Havasupai Reservation in P.L. 93-620 and Conference Report

In the bill as signed into law, Public Law 93-620, the Havasupai repatriation was section 10. 
There are two major documents, which I will reproduce here, and then comment on in my next post. These were to be the foundation for the Land Use Plan developed in 1975-82.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

ONE, TWO, THREE, VICTORY! Havasupai Land Repatriation at Last, 1972-5

The following is my recounting, from Havasupai sources, of their successful congressional effort to obtain some of their lands back. Inasmuch as I was a participant in the congressional hook-up and bashing over park and reservation enlargement, and as an proponent of NPS integrity and expansion, it might seem tendentious for me to offer characterizations and judgments about the Havasupai path to victory. However, their story is such a juicy one that the temptation is irresistible, and the Havasupai sources I rely on are plentiful enough in presenting the action from their perspective. The details I put down here come from my own records as well as materials in the BIA files. Stephen Hirst's two books (the later an updating) are reliable as a presentation of the Havsupai point-of-view.

Overall, establishing an appropriate Havasuapai reservation ought never to have had to reach the bitter stage that was the congressional arena in the early 1970’s. From the beginning of whitefolk land demarcation in 1880, the Havasupai were victimized. “Everyone” knew what land should have been reserved for them. The proposals to repatriate that land were successive and continuous, and just as continuously, deflected. The list of deflectors is a host, ranging from weak supporters to implacable (if very quiet) opponents.

Certainly, the army should have done the right thing originally, and not favored the whitefolk prospectors then intruding in Havasu Canyon. Certainly, the officers’ willful error should have been quickly rectified (though there were no champions before 1900). Certainly, the Forest Service reports should have been acted on before there even was a National Park System. Certainly, Park establishment and Havasupai repatriation should have been accomplished together. Certainly, promises made for a plateau reservation should have been kept in the 1920’s. Certainly, the 1930-50 period should have seen a legislative formalization of Havasupai use, as recognized by the Park and Forest Services. Certainly, Carl Hayden should have been a constructive force, not an obstacle. Certainly, the Park and Forest Services, the BIA, should have overcome their bureaucratic natures to protect turf. Certainly, Havasupai whitefolk representation should have kept the land acquisition goal firmly to the forefront.. Certainly, we as advocates for an appropriate Park for the Canyon, should have known more about the neighborhood and its residents. Certainly, sometime between the 1880’s and 1960’s, by someone with hind- and foresight and vigor, a creative solution should have been developed and implemented. Instead, as so often with deferred issues, there was what in our political system, passes for war.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Havasupai Reservation, Building to the End Game, 1960's-72

Without offering any easy explanations, the records for the 1960’s and early 1970’s describe a heightening in tension, anger, and determination over Havasupai and Grand Canon matters. Although whitefolk allies are evident, even more than in the 1950’s, the evidence of the Havasupai themselves powering actions in these years is also strong. Perhaps it was one of those times in a society’s life when there is a spectrum of vital, determined leadership. Those who served in WWII were now 20 years older. The 1960’s were the time of a national fight over the Canyon’s future, bringing a focus that continued into the 1970’s. Opposing the dams transmuted into struggling to draw a park boundary appropriate to the Canyon’s extent. Concurrently, the idea of pro-Havasupai legislation was mentioned in the 1950’s, resulted in bills in the 1960’s, and hooked up with the broadened concern for park legislation for the Canyon into the 1970’s. Still, it is not possible to understand Havasupai political life in the 1960’s except as an independent, more vocal, drive to redress the wrong inflicted 80 years before. And insensitive in its core, NPS provided more flammable material by its decades-long coveting of National Forest lands that the Havasupai claimed. Without making what-if predictions of success, the record seems weighted toward showing and inevitable slide toward a congressional fight over an appropriate Havasupai reservation in the 1970’s. 

[One can only muse, in my case in horror, when considering a Grand Canyon alternative future that combined two dams and their (motorized) recreation areas with excision of NPS land for the ranchers and hunters, as well as the Havasupai. The Havasupai fight for an appropriate reservation was painful, but at least it was fought in a context far more congenial to the Canyon’s integrity than would have been the case had the 1970's boundary struggles only been a portioning out of the spoils of the Canyon’s electrification for the better life in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles.]

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Havasupai versus the NPS, part 2, 1950's; Lawyers and Claims, 1949-72

After Sup't Bryant had overseen the dismissal of the Crow proposal for an appropriate  reservation, the Park Service felt comfortable dismissing any further assertion of Havasupai ownership rights as a closed matter. Little help though Bryant and Tillotson may have been, their passing from the scene in the 1950’s led into a time of increased vexation for the Havsupai, even as they became more assertive. 

A moment of recall: An inexcusable error was made in 1882. Making that error and then perpetuating it over the ensuing decades was the work of many hands, as again and again, proposals to rectify the error were shelved. The Havasupai were, of course, the prime victims of this policy of error, but as its implementation grew more and more encrusted and knee-jerk on the part of successive perpetrators, the policy obscured for many involved any route to useful and corrective action.

Not the Havasupai themselves, however. Even as the IA was in its 1950’s retreat under the Eisenhower administration, the Havasupai Tribal Council in 1953 again affirmed its resolution by asking for long-range permanent relief. It requested permission to state its position before the newly-formed Arizona Commission on Indian Affairs, saying "we are all in favor of political and economic independence, but we are forgotten, penalized for having permanent garden homes. Neighboring tribes have much larger reservations. Our hunting grounds on the plateau have been taken away, except for temporary grazing permits where there is no water. It is necessary for us to have a larger reservation so we can be dealt with on a par with others." In reaction, the IA man claimed an allergy to whitefolk trying to save the Havasupai; any lawyers were only interested in financial gain. The GCNP Sup't was skeptical because of the complex problems of kids in school, unsanitary conditions, and unemployed at GCV.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Havasupai and, or versus, the NPS, part 1, 1919-50

1. Reservation Proposals

An implicit promise had been made on the way to legislating Grand Canyon National Park. Tusayan Forest Supervisior Greene had reported a recommendation for a more appropriate Havasupai reservation and his Regional Forester had accepted the idea; indeed, the nod went all the way to the Secretary of Agriculture in 1914 before park advocates convinced Forest Service officals that park claims should be settled first, which they were, and without more than a misdirected nod to the Havasupai. What gave even that nod a wink is that the boundary of the park split up federal jurisdiction over Havsupai lands in a thoroughly cuckoo way. What remained under the Forest Service was the canyon-cut, treeless southwest corner of Tusayan NF, and passing that to the Havasupai was no big deal. Insofar as it was grazable, the FS had already granted a permit to the Havasupai, although the more desirable grazing land in the vicinity was under permit to or owned by whitefolk. However, now GCNP surrounded the reservation itself, while also including  Havasupai plateau lands, e.g., the Great Thumb, Pasture Wash. Tougher, NPS leaders looked at Havasu Creek and its falls as a jewel in the jewel. They fantasized about building a road over to Havasu canyon, and even down into it. So NPS had an active disinterest in any promise to deal with Havasupai concerns.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Havasupai Reservation, 1880's - 1919: Rude Awakening

So when the Price-Palfrey canyon bottom lines were formally adopted on 31 Mar 1882 by Presidential order, the Havasupai “had”, “owned”, a reservation, land held-in-trust by the federal government just for them. Navajo’s little plot was safe from encroachment. However.  When the days shortened, the temperature dropping, and the Havsupai went up onto the plateau to hunt and otherwise occupy their usual haunts, leaving their very own Presidentially granted patch, did they have a clue that living under whitefolk law was a life changer? With only a summer visit from the Army and the off and on presence of the prospectors to remind them of the whitefolk, did they feel “safe from encroachment”?  

After 300 years of Spanish presence and Navajo/Diné co-existence in the east, the Havasupai would have had horses. Many or few? Did they wander or keep close? All brought to the canyon, and then taken up in the winter? The animals must have been a great boon in the seasonal activities of gathering, trading, visiting across the hundred or so miles the Havasupai covered. What, then, did they make of the arrival & passage across the uplands of huge stock herds, demanding food and, more fraught, water? Were they worried by encountering the stockmen’s camps-- or their remains – , inevitably near their own sources of water? As they hunted deer –with rifles now--, did they take a cow or sheep or two as Ko-hot' had said they had.

So how long was it before the Palfrey-Price “error”,instead of avoiding conflict, resulted in it, with the self-entitled whitefolk telling the exiles to get back to their own hole and stay away from the grasslands the whitefolk had had little to do to overrun and degrade? In fact, this had started even earlier, with Mexican sheepherders, followed by cattle herds, and after the U.S. Civil War, the railroad all across the southern sections. Were the Havasupai curious about the railroad towns & the settlers, or did they retreat back toward the rim of the big canyon, out of which at least, no whitefolk were yet coming?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Havasupai Reservation, 1880-1; The Mystery Restated

There is no trouble in drawing the picture of Havasupai life before 1880 from Havasupai testimony, archeologists & anthropologists, visitors; all revisited in the Indian Claims Commission exhibits. As an adaptation to a region of plateau cut up by a canyon, immense in human terms, that life seems similar to that of some of the Hualapai bands. They hunted large and small animals, and were noted by neighbors for the quality of the buckskin they produced for trade. They gathered, including such high-end foods as piñon nuts. They gardened at places with sufficient water: below the rim at Indian Gardens, Havasu creek itself, on the plateau in the Pasture Wash area. They traveled (easily?) between canyon bottom (apparently mostly Cataract Creek/Havasu Canyon), esplanade, and the plateau above the upper rim, maintaining shelter appropriate to the seasons. Access to the river being more difficult than in Hualapai territory, there appears no testimony to northerly, cross-river travel. The extent of their living space went west to mingle intimately with Hualapai, south to the mountains and Rim where they may have contested with the Yavapai, and east to trade, visit, even live with the Hopi, and vice versa. In more recent times, the Navajo/Dine arrival must have complicated matters; the latter were not to be denied in their expansion. So whatever its antiquity and origins, Havasupai life was one enough in scale with the resources & climate that it lasted for some centuries.

The new wanderers, the whitefolk intruders & invaders, started poking around as early as the 1500's. The Spanish explorers had little interest in permanence or even extraction. Though they left behind horses, they did not use the area even for cattle. The XIXth century brought the more determined, imaginative exploiter. Explorers, certainly, perhaps some few hoping for fur, saw in the century. But the open reaches of the plateau laid it open to the railroad builders, the grass brought the cattlemen and their locust-like hordes, then the country seemed to be swarming with would-be miners, and the military returned, more permanently, to fight, keep some sort of order, to organize.

Summarized thus, it feels like a tsunami, this XIXth century episode of human spread (see Limerick characterization of the West also). The Hualapai, like many, were so closely pressed that they fought back. The Havasupai, perhaps more remote or warier, never got the reputation of fighters, and did not suffer the kind of removal that the Hualapai and Navajo did. Indeed the contacts with them were so ephemeral or unrecorded that there appears in the record none of the usual drama of conquest. Which makes what happened to them a mystery, unclarifiable as to whether it is one of perversity (ignored because they did not war) or inertia, corruption, or simply lack of enough interest to record information. 

The Havasupai Reservation mystery is simply put: Why were the Havasupai given such an inappropriate reservation, instead of one similar to that of the Hualapai? An 1875 newspaper report suggests the start of the path into this puzzle of the miniscule or missing Havasupai reservation of 1882.  That report, of prospectors talking about mineral in Cataract Canyon, led four years later to a claim for silver-bearing ore being staked in December 1879. So, being in and around Cataract and vicinity for four years, the prospectors were either summer-only operators or blind not to have known of Havasupai seasonal movement from canyon to plateau and back.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Havasupai to 1880 (from book draft)

(Written for part III, archeo-history, of a book draft, written directly from my digests of sources. The 5 January 2010 blog entry is a reworking, a second draft of this draft.)

There will be no surprise that in Grand Canyon affairs, political weight is derived, in part, from our narratives of how long we have been here, where we came from, who was first, who we are related to. Origin-stories, creation-myths, are potent psychological knowledge easily transformable into fierce political weapons, whether rooted in millennia-old passed-on-then-fossilized oral narratives, the hanging sign claiming “serving our community since 2003!!”, or even concocted to suit imperatives of the moment. So it is with the Havasupai in their century-long striving to gain sovereignty (to use the whitefolk term) over some of the lands that they used and lived on from “time immemorial” into the XXth century.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Book Before the Blog. and A Havasupai Story; Introduction

In the years before I was struck by the idea of using the blog form to translate my source materials and notes into narratives recounting the Grand Canyon's political history, I made several runs over 25 years at trying to start one huge volume that would collect and relate all those narratives. My last try had two products: an outline to guide the organization and size of such a book, and the sections of that book dealing with the Havasupai.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Ingram Events Journal, 1966-8, part 2, 1967

* As 1966 closed, and with the kitchen-sink strategy in disarray, Secretary of the Interior Udall ordered the Bureau of Reclamation to conduct a series of studies (30-some) on ways to finance and pump water for the Central Arizona that did not require either of the Grand Canyon dams. As always a professional agency, Reclamation complied.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Does It All Make Sense?

                 GCNP Boundary: Differing visions, evolving story.
                        A schematic attempt to pull it all together

I. Fixation on the Powell-Harrison Big Hole, from the 1880's 
    A. Vision:  "The Most Spectacular … ", to 1919
1. Right Religion, Wrong  Church, 1882-93
2. Recognition, 1890's
3. T.R., almost a hero, 1902-8
4. The Park, To Everybody's Profit, 1910's

GCNP boundary: Legislative Dead-end; 1957-66 (added to, 12 Apr 2012)

Secretary of the Interior F.K.Lane, at the time the Park was established: "It seems to be universally acknowledged that the Grand Canyon is the most stupendous natural phenomenon in the world. Certainly it is the finest example of the power and eccentricity of water erosion, and as a spectacle of sublimity, it has no peer."

That was the rhetoric for 1920: The 1950's were different. So what happened to this very bureaucratic attempt to patch and mend the Park and Monument?

Jan 1957: Local grazing board approves of eliminations
Feb: Letters indicating interest, and worry, of conservation organizations, Izaac Walton, Sierra Club, Desert Protective Council.
BLM reported there was considerable uranium prospecting in the general area. Deletions would be good for grazing, but they will not satisfy the local operators, and they will continue to demand additional restoration; we agree. "Sportsmen" were increasingly opposed to Parks, but most of land is now in Game Preserve, so little effect. [My comment: A strange point. As I wrote in a 3 Dec 2009 entry, this Preserve had no teeth, and was only a gov't declaration of its interest in wildlife.]
Mar: State Game & Fish Dep't worried about not being able to kill deer; NPS replies that there are few even hunted in the additions; deletions are more suitable for hunters.

Apr: Correspondence with Goldwater pointing to difficulties arising from the uncertainty over Bridge Canyon dam. 
Reclamation region suggested deleting Kanab addition because of its effect on the tunnel scheme as shown in House Doc. 419, 80th Congress, 1st session. Otherwise the power project would be in the Park.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

GCNP boundary: Tinkering & fussing; 1952-6

There was a stirring on boundary thinking when Regional Director Tillotson recommended in Oct 1952 that a study be prepared that would include all modifications in one bill.  New Director Wirth agreed in Jun 1953, saying that your view should be of long time requirements assuming "very much greater use", and not just present-day demands. Analyze scenic, scientific, historic, conservation, and administrative values. Assume a dam built to elevation 1877'. But note that proposals made in recent years for moving the boundary to get it away from the upper end of the reservoir "might constitute a more dangerous and damaging precedent than would encroachment". Moreover, if there are areas in that region that have Park quality, recommend them. Your study should be made based on the quality of the area and the lands needed for conservation and best use by the public. "If compromises must be made, they should be made, of course, at the Departmental and Congressional levels of responsibility and not by the Services's field party." 

It is worth remembering that Tillotson did not want to fight Reclamation on its demands, and perhaps he thought that Wirth would be more amenable to his point of view than Drury. However, although the latter was gone, Wirth had been present when Drury convinced the Secretary to make Reclamation back off the Kanab tunnel. Of course, it is true that Wirth's main contribution was the large-scale NPS development plan in its Mission 66. Still, while Bridge Canyon dam was on hold through the 1950's, this was also the period of the fight to keep dams out of Dinosaur National Monument, although that effort was led by forces external to government. Bryant was still sup't, and would be to March 1954, Tillotson dying a year later. And of course, since 1953, there had been a new federal administration, and the new Arizona Senator, Barry Goldwater, had a personal knowledge and experience of the Canyon. All in all, the mid-'50's could have been a chance to take a good, hard look at how the Park System should treat the Grand Canyon, or a chance to duck one's head. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ingram Events Journal, 1966-8, part 1; added to 6/3/11

December 1965, the Sierra Club Executive Committee had approved hiring me as the Club's first Southwest Regional Representative. Although I did not keep a journal then, I have been able to extract from my files a kind of record of events during those crucial years of the fight to keep dams out of the Grand Canyon. As a break from the NPS-focussed GCNP story of the 1950's, I will formalize that record here, although the mix of memory and scraps of paper makes for a "reader beware" exercise. And I expect that I will need to revise this as time goes on. First, how did I get there? 

Made a passionate devotee by the Grand Canyon in 1962, I went in early November 1964 to a Santa Fe conference hosted by the new Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club. I found compatriots with far more knowledge of what was needed to defend the Canyon, including the Club's Executive Director, David Brower, there with his wife, and Eliot Porter, the photographer, whose book of Glen Canyon, The Place No One Knew, was an eloquent headstone not to let similar destruction come to "the place everyone knows". Somehow, conversation led to an invitation to lunch from this inspiring group. Inspired, yes; I then spent much of the next year learning about how to fight Reclamation and its dam plans. At the second Santa Fe conference a year later, Brower was there again. We chatted and his ideas about expanding the Club's reach by hiring regional representatives led me to ask what such people did. He filled a page with a list of duties and challenges for a Southwest position, and at the bottom, wrote, "Are you interested?" Silly question. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

GCNP boundary: To tidy up. 1940's-57. (edited 17 May 2011, 10-1 Apr 2012)

Throughout the posts of 2011, I have tried to develop a story of the Park Service looking westward from the 1919 Grand Canyon National Park itself. Although there was no over-arching agency plan, and only a few presented a view of the entire Canyon in its Park-worthiness, nevertheless, by 1964 and the LMNRA Act, there had been extensive investigations leading to some kind of recognition for the Canyon from Nankoweap to the Grand Wash Cliffs. However, this story is probably misleading. The center for NPS at the Canyon was in Grand Canyon Village (as it still is). It was here that the overwhelming majority of people came to visit, and where administrators' attention (and dollars) were mostly fixed. For NPS, the 1919 Park had had its boundary changed in 1929, but not entirely satisfactorily. So even without an overall view of the entire Canyon, GCNP staff was accumulating a little list of fixes. The studies done during World War II on the Colorado River Basin  also stirred things up. 

Havasupai Regrets; Hualapai Comparisons

I have been asked whether I regret my role in the 1972-5 effort to enlarge GCNP insofar as it entailed a defense of the Park vis a vis the successful campaign to repatriate some of the Havasupai's pre-1880 lands. Indeed I do have regrets.

I regret that an extensive, plateau-including Havasupai reserve was not set up in 1880. Imagine, given that they were never pushed & pulled or battered (compare with the Hualapai and Southern Paiute), the Havasupai would have had a chance to have maintained their seasonally oriented life. Whatever might have been the effect on later Park boundaries, I regret that the responsible USArmy officers, the whitefollk miners, and even the Havasupai themselves did not see their way clear to set up the same sort of reserve that those officers were at that moment establishing for the Hualapai. And which took 90 more years for Congress to create.

(And of course I regret there was no National Park from the Powell-Harrison proposals of the 1880's. And suppose there had been, and a decent Havasupai res, too? How about this for a fantasy:)


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

System clash; spinning some thoughts

Franicis Fukuyama has written for decades as an expounder of neo-conservatism, though during the Bush debacles, he re-thought some of the conclusions that old-fashioned line of thought led to, with accompanying actions (aggression/invasion of Iraq). His reputation is that of an erudite political intellectual, an academy-based explorer of socio-politico-culturo-economo ideas. His latest book The Origins of Political Order  (I will use FF) grapples with the whole sweep of human history. (Though I want to say right at the start, not with the consciousness of a "history of humanity" that infuses J. Diamond's work.) He makes connections into non-human behaviors, and from there, offers thoughts about primate/hominid/early human(homo sapiens) organization. 

Continuing into the last 100 millennia, he writes about family, band, and tribal structures and how they bear on human's developing sense of ways to deal with the frictions and difficulties of a social animal. He spends time on Hobbes/Locke/Rousseau, and with the anthropologists. Sadly, his viewpoint is that of the whitefolk academic, a product of the proud European tradition that we are what evolution has been aiming at all the time: an excellent, and the best, civilization anybody could imagine. He makes the incredible error of thinking that one can think about "primitive" human social structures, when such arrangements disappeared tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years ago. More on this later.