Saturday, March 12, 2011

GC's National Monument # 2: Finally, Adulthood; 1939-40

Hayden and the Secretary met the next day, 8 Aug 1939, to discuss Roosevelt's veto of the long and labored attempt to set a boundary for the second Grand Canyon National Monument. 
An NPS briefing memo said there was little question of good timber; even grazing was scant. NPS, through Tillotson, had compromised with the local people, since the grazing side was favored and the land was not needed for Monument adminstration. Reporting on the meeting, the NPS said Ickes told Hayden "the President was too vitally interested in this matter for him to attempt to change his attitude". So they agreed NPS would go ahead and investigate it on the ground, the two then parting in the most friendly spirit. Hayden seemed to understand that NPS had done everything possible to effect the desired compromise. He later opined there would have to be more negotiation and then another bill introduced in January. 

The NPS study team was to include an ecologist, forester, geologist, and landscape architect. Also, the impact of a Boulder recreation area might need to be factored in. 

It would seem that the veto, although surely unexpected, energized NPS staff. A month after, GCNPark Naturalist E. McKee (heavyweight in decades to come for his geological work) weighed in on the "proper readjustment … under discussion for a number of years" to Bryant. He approved the south boundary, and suggested enlarging the west side to include The Coves for the antelope and the volcanics display. He then argued that the north boundary "south of Kent ranch" cuts across canyon heads and was "entirely inadequate", eliminating many features that were logical and of scientific and scenic import. He spoke of the remarkable and spectacular recent lava flows down over the Valley's west rim, leaving windows of Kaibab limestone; one of the finest displays of its type. If the canyon heads were eliminated, the boundary would be unnatural with game trails unprotected, causing a wildlife problem. The Hayden line, ...

[and I pause here to remark that it was the Tillotson-Fredonia stockmen, or Roca, line that we are talking about. Had T suppressed opinions like McKee's during his time? It is not unjust to point out that he was often on the side of accommodating anti-Park considerations. Could it be that new superintendent Bryant was more pro-Park as a biologist, encouraging the views surging up in late 1939? After all Tillotson was an engineer, and of the Mather school, seeing tourist development as of guiding importance? Anyway …]

McKee went on, eliminated from the Monument one of the most scenic places in the entire Canyon; its junction with Kanab. It would provide a fine opportunity for a future "wilderness" area for pack trips into unexcelled scenery with primitive conditions and clear water. To leave it unprotected "right in the middle of a great government controlled feature which is admittedly one of the wonders of the world", seemed very illogical. He then pointed out that no NPS person had yet studied the plateau area east of Toroweap [now THAT does sound like a slam at Tillotson]. It should be studied most carefully before any decision is made about the boundary. Let the stockmen continue under permit rather then irretrievably throw out the land. 
McKee made here a strong Park values statement very unlike what we have been used to. He was followed by another, as the NPS group did go to the Monument to see the ground. 

A few days later, McCormick & sons wrote Bryant, noting that the matter had all been threshed out, but now possibly it was the case that the President thought too much was being eliminated. So we would like to suggest a line between Townships 34 and 35 (see map below; McC's line is south of the light blue). Since many of the waters are mine, he wrote, we would like a "Tillotson free use allotment", calling it a lifetime permit, and offering to keep up the improvements, and pay if someone else uses his permit. Otherwise, we will go back to the vetoed line. Nobody bit.

In September, while discussing with the Grazing Service whether it and the Park could cooperate, Bryant let on that NPS would probably want more land than under the McCormick line. NPS in DC discouraged cooperation, since its goal was to eliminate. The GS nevertheless furnished what it thought were the current numbers. 

On 6 October, NPS wildlife tech McDougall reported on a September investigation by the team of 5, including B. Thompson, who would be doing much investigation in this area as dam planning went on. They spent a day in Toroweap and adjacent hills (the Uinkarets), and another on Kanab Plateau--on the world's worst roads or where roads were said to once have been. They got near the head of Tuckup, to a high hill for a full view of the Monument. Thompson reported on boundaries, and McDougall was concurring. The biota was mostly sagebrush and p-j trees. Ponderosa was largely outside the NM. Sagebrush could be used by deer and antelope, though it was not preferred. Land was very much overgrazed, but quick-growing grass since the rains showed it can recover. Toroweap was now mostly Russian thistle; it could be good for antelope if left alone.
Antelope should be reintroduced; bighorn will increase. Deer will be present only in very small numbers; not enough browse. Boundaries should be adjusted for the first two; others will then be adequately provided for. McD then repeated his 1938 recommendation to add the Coves, since antelope use them and their routes need to be protected from hunters. They are west of Toroweap Valley, and north of Mt. Emma. This area also had a magnificent lava flow.
Next, the group proposed to keep a large northern extension, from along the summit of the cliffs above Toroweap east all the way over to Kanab. This would include all of Tuckup, a chunk of Kanab, and intervening canyons; all essential for bighorn protection. Cutting across the canyons, as in the Hayden bill, would make the area useless. This extension would require, to avoid injustice to stockmen, long-time grazing permits, but no permanent damage would be done if under NPS supervision.

Separate reports were done by Kuehl & Hamilton, who were also on the 16-19 September trip. They said that the recommendations were unanimous. Kent had promised horses, but then had gone away, so they had to use the car on terrible roads. But they could see from Hancock Knolls. Anyway there was rain and much lightning. The head of Tuckup and mouth of Kanab were important, but not the flat open area of sagebrush to the north. Hamilton wrote on the forest cover, noting the lower sonoran vegetation and pinyon-juniper. Trumbull had ponderosa and oak. Toroweap was sub-marginal for trees. Kanab Plateau had heavy, healthy p-j stand; it is encroaching on open spaces. Artificial planting will not work with the lack of water.

Here is the line that the Five proposed, supported by McKee. The lighter blue is their proposal; the darker blue was from the previous agreements. The red is no longer relevant, so what the local stockmen would be getting back into the public domain would be between the light blue and green, plus "long-time" permits for the Monument itself.

The DC reaction to this on-the-ground assertion of pro-Park values was to note there were no eliminations to offset the extensions, and keeping grazing land permanently was a questionable idea. The Forest Service prodded NPS, since it had heard Hayden was going to push his bill and it would want to have answers about "tree growth". 

Meanwhile, Hayden had introduced S.2981, (Murdock introduced same in the House) like S. 6, on 6 Oct 1939, hoping to work with Ickes to get a different result from the President. He wrote the Secretary of Agriculture asking him to study the land for tree growth. This went via region to Supervisor Mann of the Kaibab, with the opinion that the land was mostly sagebrush flats. Mann quickly replied that he had only been to Toroweap. He had seen scattered juniper. The land was not valuable for timber production; not even very many posts cut. It was best for grazing. Timber on Mt. Emma. He felt "safe in saying" that over half of area was grass and sage; rest is piƱon-juniper, and that not heavy. Tree potential was not high. And, he had heard, NPS planned to retain more than Hayden bill. This casual approach was sharply rebuked: The President and the Senator both want "detailed" examination: Make report by Christmas on one point: Has any of the proposed elimination potential for timber production? Appears to be far from market, low elevation, and little moisture, but this needed to be confirmed by a visit by ranger and supervisor. FS plans to coordinate with NPS to avoid conflicting reports. 

This process got mixed up with Bryant writing Hayden directly with the new ideas, assuming there would be another local conference, and Bryant being chastised. Mid-October, Bryant had written the Director suggesting section lines around Tuckup Canyon, to secure water rights, and Tillotson had agreed on the lava flow. Then he wrote Hayden, pushing field investigation results. NPS would like heads of canyons, as with Tapeats, and McCormick has proposed a new line. Hayden replied that Roca will handle, and has talked with Thompson. Moreover, Bryant (more militant than Tillotson?) opined in an Albuquerque newspaper that Bridge Canyon dam might "permanently destroy" the Monument's scenic beauties. In favor of another local conference, he wanted the lava flows to the west [not in the Park even today], but not so much of Toroweap with its private lands. He wanted all of Tuckup with a mile setback from the rim, and more at the junction with Kanab Canyon. 

In early November, Cammerer in DC demurred, saying such a Tuckup boundary would be hard to fence, wanting to keep the boundary north of Tuckup, and without the stockmen's jogs. Bryant's line would not gain much since grazing would continue whatever. He then pointedly pointed out that Roca wanted the negotiation in DC, not out in Arizona with Hayden involved since the latter "would be at a loss", Roca having done all the work. Also, he chided Bryant for his "embarrassing" view about the dam. Having given in to Reclamation, Cammerer also worried about Flagstaff & hunter reaction to a Boulder recreation area not limited to the reservoir. He chided Bryant for his efforts. [And we wonder why superintendents dont want to take risks.] Bryant defended himself; one can only sympathize when DC replied again that the Secretary has to speak first. [This internal dispute is a fine example of the stuffed high-level bureaucrat who thinks only of protecting himself from criticism; he had not the slightest idea of how to take advantage of the veto opportunity or defend the Canyon against dams.] Here he is:

Arno B. Cammerer
Born Arapahoe, Nebraska

"we cannot give out information that a project is at such and such a stage. Only the Secretary and President make decisions." Yeah, right. And cats only drink milk. Fortunately, he was shortly to be replaced by Newton Drury, a far more pro-Park NPS Director.]

However, Thompson was pushing his team's conclusions, and apparently the weight had shifted, since NPS asked GLO to check the lands with the boundary as recommended by the study  team. Director Cammerer was now saying stockmen could have permits until finding grazing land elsewhere, and he echoed the field report on keeping more land. GLO responded that it was already decided to eliminate some grazing land by presidential decree rather than go through Congress. Squillace, in his review of the Antiquities Act, questions whether this was legal, i.e., the President can proclaim a Monument, thus giving Congress the chance to make a final determiniation, BUT reducing or eliminating a Monument would take that chance away from Congress, so the President has no such power. However, he then talks about the cases where it has been done. What makes this all rather a personal, pointed matter is that in 1973, when Senator Goldwater & staff were trying, once again, to remove these lands from the Monument legislatively, and I was lobbying to keep them in by adding them to an enlarged Park, apparently no one knew about or remembered this history. Almost certainly, given the poisonous attitude of G's staff, there would have been an attempt to get then-reeling President Nixon to keep G happy by copying FDR's elimination by proclamation. Those who dont know their history are doomed not to be able to repeat it. But more on that at the proper time.

In December 1939, with NPS & FS studies already nearly done, Ickes seemed in no hurry . He wanted a delay in any legislative action, and in early 1940, Hayden seemed to concede the point, suggesting action would come later in the year. 

Late December, a solid memo was produced by the Kaibab NF ranger, with photos showing ponderosa near Trumbull, and detailed map. Soil is mostly clay, and no precipitation data. On the west, there are several groups of commercial ponderosa on hydrographic divide on west, though not of great quality. Could be managed for local limited market. The watershed is important, draining into Lake Mead. Land was once in a National Forest, but the tree value was limited and secondary. Kaibab NF Supervisor Mann told Bryant in Jan 1940 that the Mt Trumbull area was a headache and should be given away; there was no regulation of the grazing. He did agree that the Kanab creek area should be controlled. In January as well, NPS was surveying the stockmen to find out what numbers of stock they were running and noted that McCormick's interest was "negligible". At this point, McCormick's pot-stirring just got him labelled as a "pest". 

Ickes reported to Roosevelt on 18 January 1940. His letter came with a report featuring big pretty maps, and photos showing the boundaries proposed. There was a strong emphasis on wildlife, arguing that if side canyons were not included, it would be like leaky tanks for animals, which would be killed in excluded portions. Also waterholes would be used commercially. The lava flows and antelope potential were featured. The local ranches were all excluded, but anyway the locals were being overrun by wealthier ranchers from the north(!) Although
the area was not suitable for the production of commercial timber, there was a fine panorama of p-j forest.  
Ickes' letter was more workaday, emphasizing that ponderosa would not grow that low and there was too little water. The Monument should comprise a workable administrative and conservation unit, so the boundary adjustment keeps some lands for the canyon heads and lava flows, bringing the desired total to 201 kac. The Attorney General had already written an opinion, December 26, 1938, that a president may adjust a boundary under the Antiquities Act if land is not required for "the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."

The proclamation was ready in early February. A month later, the NPS Director told Ickes that he had talked with Hayden and Roca, who agreed to the new boundary. Given that it was quite different from what Roca, Tillotson, and the locals had negotiated, this seems more of a shrug than an o.k. NPS pointed out that Monument would be a help locally by protecting from over-grazing, and Roca answered that if there was injustice in NPS administration, there would be a review. Also he preferred that included private lands be exchanged, like the state's sections, instead of purchased. At a March meeting of the Grazing Advisory Board, everyone showed up, and the areas were divided up based on water rights. There would be a range survey after the proclamation.

The document now went to the President. FDR signed the proclamation on 4 April 1940, excluding certain lands from the Monument that were not necessary for the care and management of the objects of scientific interest. 

April 1940, Hayden claimed the "proclamation line" was what locals and NPS had agreed on the previous Fall. At this point, he had accepted Reclamation's view that the Monument status should be left alone until questions about silting and Arizona power needs were answered.
In June, he conceded the boundaries after Roosevelt's deletions were good enough not to require legislation. He also had a chuckle because FDR thought the land was in the Kaibab National Forest, and perhaps, too, when the state cattle-growers congratulated him for restoring parkland to public use.

Reclamation asked about the change, wanting to protect US investment in the Boulder project and to build Bridge for additional power. NPS simpered that it would love to cooperate, just send us your plans. GLO agreed to survey the new Monument. 

Working with the Grazing Service, NPS wrote lifetime permits, renewed annually. In June 1940 at a Kanab meeting, NPS issued 12 permits for the life of the holder covering most of the Monument lands north of the river. There would be reductions to get to carrying capacity. All were very amenable. In 1971, there were 7 permittees. 
The new ranger emphasized his attempts to regularize the grazing, which was to be mostly winter use on plateau. DC pushed a swift reduction. There was some indication of NPS being tested.
A 1941 trip to the neglected south extension found easy travel, only a little wildlife, and mostly sage.
In 1944, nothing had been done about antelope. 1945 brought a complaint to Hayden from a stockman about NPS anti-grazing, allowing a build-up of fire hazard.

Tillotson, Bryant, and Thompson revisited the question of boundaries in 1944-5. Tillotson, in a public hearing, repeated his opinion that the Monument was too big, asking that land above the rim on the plateau go to the Grazing Service. Later he tried to clarify. Bryant talked about getting land from the National Forest on the south (at the same time as efforts were being made to repatriate such lands to the Havasupai). Ben Thompson did a report in January 1945, putting forth a doctrine that Kanab and Havasu canyons are the Canyon's natural termini. [Easy for a bureaucrat to wave his hands and make a canyon disappear; fortunately, the Canyon has refused to this day to reject its western half, just to satisfy tidy minds.]  In 1947, Bryant was questioning the "lava flow" addition, because of "continued agitation". Even in 1952, Tillotson thought the Kanab plateau lands should be cut out. This discussion, perhaps, was stimulated because these fellas, impressed as they were by the dam-builders' claims, still understood in some dim way that the Park & Monument still did not measure up to the Grand Canyon itself. The next couple of decades, until the dam idea was rendered toxic, would see these timid evidences of disquiet. And not until the late 1970's would the Monument lands including the Kanab Plateau be safe. Even today, NPS has not found its way to present, administer, and protect these lands north of the river so as to provide a comprehensive public view of the Canyon in the context of its Arizona Strip hinterland. 

In 1947, the  state cattle-growers fulminated against the Monument, perhaps trying to make up for its lack of smarts 7 years earlier. "A vast area", "inaccessible", "no water", "lots of expenditures", "no attraction of public interest", "vicious policy of NPS" on permittees, "upsets of economy". Who says the tea-partyers are new? NPS cleverly replied by saying they were waiting for Reclamation's plans. 

Sources: National Forest Service Archives for Kaibab NF (Laguna Niguel) and Albuquerque regional office (Denver)
NPS DC office archives
NPS GCNP archives

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