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.
This struggle for an appropriate reservation was conducted in large part as separate from the other aspects of the legislative history of the so-called GCNP Enlargement Act of 1975. While Park and Forest defenders opposed the Havasupai effort, the opponents of park and wilderness came from a different direction. What we –and the Hualapai for that matter-- won and lost ran on different tracks from the Havasupai effort.
My birds-eye view is this:
The spring of 1973 saw preparation of Goldwater’s legislation, the Havasupai having made their case and seen their desires introduced. They then had to watch as they were trashed by everyone including, in a re-drafting, Goldwater’s obviously lukewarm staff. This long first phase, with a continuation of the old pattern with exciting pro-Havasupai publicity accompanied by listless legislative activity, carried through the time of approval (of park advocate positions) by the House Parks Subcommittee in March 1974. The second phase began when the Havasupai enlisted the champion they needed, Joe Sparks, an Arizona attorney with energy and contacts. Alone and with Havasupai and their organizational allies, he obtained White House support, and then more importantly, turned Congressman Udall from support of another study toward a permanent solution, reservation enlargement. He spearheaded the ratification of the enlargement by the full House Interior Committee. The job then became defense of those gains in House floor debate –a closer vote than expected by anybody-- and again in the small, closed arena of the House-Senate conference, in which there were only Havasupai supporters, and finally in a quick march to secure President Ford’s signature. This dramatic arc to success deserves to be called iconic.
To switch from my view from high-up to the details as seen by those working for the Havasupai cause:
The lines the battle would be fought along were set down early. The Goldwater draft bill of early 1973 provided, he said, a 170 Kac reservation, the Havasupai proposal except that it left out the north end of the Great Thumb and any land near GCV. Here's the NPS map:
The "Topocoba" section would have come from the Park and the "Tenderfoot Plateau" from the Monument.The rest of the Reservation enlargement was National Forest land. NPS mapmakers calculated the total to be 145 Kac.
Reporting on the draft, the Havasupai newsletter, “Canyon Shadows” labeled opponents as a small but noisy group. Arrogant and cruel, these Sunday hikers were ignorant about Havasupai history and their attitude toward economic development. In February, Goldwater was reported as being under great Sierra Club pressure, in part because the issue was raised of the Havasupai having been already compensated by the ICC settlement. The Council(HTC) would need to return that money and the Havasupai would need to step up publicity efforts, including hiring a Washington lobbyist, one J. Thomas. There were conditions imposed in the legislation introduced in March that needed to be discussed. Thomas visited the reservation in May, and talked of his record and all the Indian advocacy support he could muster. His analysis was that the fight would be hard, and the best way was to ask for a larger amount and then compromise. The HTC liked what it heard.
In May and June, there were more meetings with the agencies about roads, power lines, and the need for a land use plan, staples of the NPS-FS strategy for study and more study. The future would be in grazing and tourism, and even Shaffer, a Havasupai ally, argued that a tram was a necessity. Then in June, Babbitt reported that the Goldwater bill had changed to repatriate less land than was presently under permit. Goldwater's aide Emerson had threatened the bill would die if the Havasupai did not support his new version. For a hands-off Senator like Goldwater, this threat coming from a trusted aide was weighty.
Indeed, after the hearings, Emerson claimed the subcommittee was unimpressed by the Havasupai case, and their prospects had dimmed. [Given his hostility to us Canyon advocates, too, one has to wonder if Emerson was not just a right-wing ideologue taking advantage of Goldwater’s hands-off style. All evidence and memory paint Emerson as a destructive element, a saboteur in fact of Goldwater’s good intentions. Of course, that could have been his assigned role in a good cop – bad cop routine.]
The Havasupai were also dismayed by opposition from the Hualapai; and with tribal lawyer Marks having been paid off for his Havasupai ICC work, yet still acting as the Hualapai pro-dam lobbyist, it looked like treachery. The Sierra Club had offered the idea of buying private land nearby, a dead-on-arrival proposal that would continue to be floated – and sinking. Emerson solidified his dissatisfaction by criticizing the Havasupai for making a weak case and not having gathered up more support from the Indian advocacy groups. So in preparing for House action, Hirst counseled having a single strong speaker, and using research to put NPS on the defensive. A bright light was that “60 Minutes” was coming down to Supai in August, 1973. Meanwhile, there was criticism of lobbyist Thomas. Hirst made a strong statement, asking if the Havasupai really meant to work for what they said they wanted; their reply was an emphatic yes. Since the ICC had indicated that it did not want any of the settlement money paid back, the HTC decided to use it to lobby for land. Goldwater’s bill was further negatively revised when being prepared for Senate approval in July, leaving the Havasupai with only a study aimed at selecting some private land, a more or less complete trashing of the January promises.
This Goldwater decision helped me, as an on-the-spot lobbyist dealing with the Senate Parks subcommittee and arguing to keep all NPS lands in an enlarged GCNP. It gave me the advantage of not having to appear in a split role as anti-Havasupai and pro-Park. Nor had park advocates played the chief role in re-drafting the Goldwater bill. Not only did the Goldwater office not put up a strong defense of its bill, but the Senate Interior Committee staff was hostile to the idea of repatriating Indian land—not that it was a hotbed for park expansion, either. After all, the entire project was based on an agreement by the Interior Committee chairman, Senator Jackson, to let Senator Goldwater push his bill provided it did not stir up controversy. At this point, and for some several more months, the Havasupai were justified in bewailing their lack of vigorous supporters. And sadly, they then wasted many of those months in trying to subvert the Sierra Club position, thinking perhaps that weakening the Club effort to match their own ineffectiveness might end up in Havasupai progress. For instance, Hirst had been to Phoenix hoping to convince pro-park groups to help the Havasupai. This strategy, however, was a misreading of American advocacy politics, where resolution is achieved as a result of vigorous effort by determined parties to push their position. For this writer, the great mystery is why the Havasupai and its advocates spent their time on this negative strategy but apparently made little or no effort to reach their chief resource, Barry Goldwater. Had they re-energized the Arizona Senator in their cause, the result in the Senate could have been very different (I will compare this to our successful lobbying to keep the Kanab Plateau lands in the Park when I tell that story). It would only be after House subcommittee action in March 1974 that the Havasupai finally acquired someone with the vigor and leadership needed for their lobbying. For a while, they just spun their wheels in the muck of internal Sierra Club decision-making.
As if to head off trouble, as soon as the bill, now including only an agency study, passed the Senate on September 24, the Forest Service announced it would start studying. The HTC replied with ideas for getting private land from Boquillas ranch, then using water pumped from Havasu Canyon. Meanwhile, the Am.Assoc.Ind.Aff. did a flame-throwing pamphlet “Prisoners of the Grand Canyon”, calling for a 250 Kac reservation with access to traditional areas and a land use plan. Prospects could have seemed brighter in the House because they had well-placed friends, Rhodes (Minority Leader) and Steiger (on the House Interior Committee). The whole set of issues around living in Havasu Canyon year-round was reinforced in December with complaints about electricity, winter cold, trails, crowding, lack of road access and school. December was also darkened by lobbyist Thomas keeping their money but dropping their cause.
The Havasupai were cheered when a Phoenix Sierra Club quisling came to Supai, hoping perhaps to subvert the pro-park stand of the Club by having his lo-the-poor-Indian heartstrings strummed. More important, there had been a Flagstaff meeting at which some of the local Club members had confessed ignorance and anger about the issue, as Sierra Club lobbyist McComb was grilled on his imputed wish to kill off the Havasupai. This local group then voted to urge a return of land; a big win in Havasupai minds since the state-wide group would look silly if it ignored the well-informed local people, and they thought McComb would no longer be taken seriously. On New Year’s Eve, a group of Sierra Clubbers visited Supai to learn more, and heard about needing the plateau for grazing. Unfortunately, they did not much like grazing, wanting "careful management". They also were worried about a pipeline taking water out of Havasu Canyon. Hirst presented much of the case, slyly suggesting that all GCNP staff should be Havasupai (never mind the Hopi and Navajo, much less cousin Hualapais), so then the Club wouldn’t have to worry about over-exploitation. The Clubbers thought a freight tram would be good, but some Havasupai opposed it, since it would make them lazy. They were also dubious about a power plant. Hirst attacked anti-Havasupai lobbyists, and presented a vision for the Havasupai: 365 Kac including bought lands, sacred lands and paints, jobs in the Park, living the good life on plateau. A Havasupai chimed in that the whitefolk were only speaking for the Havasupai, not manipulating them. This superficially useful meeting was tempered by a report from DC in an Indian newspaper that the Havasupai issue was being put down the priority list by more important things and their having presented a weak case. Too many pro-Indian allies thought the whole issue was just emotional. Goldwater had by this time been steered toward a study by the administration, Emerson claiming he was forced to make changes in the bill by such pressure and Sierra Club opposition.
The effort to turn the Club into an ally was pushed in January, first in Phoenix on January 5. I find the Havasupai (Hirst) reporting on this entertaining, characterized as I was as being a non-member who had resigned over personal differences. Chapter chairwoman Garcia and I dominated the first meeting, and there was much shouting and arguing, particularly over the ICC settlement and that old chestnut of precedent (defined as being a sacred principle that will end the world if breached, which is always found later to have been betrayed without a fight at some earlier time). No Flagstaff allies were present, and one Havasupai fifth columnist finally demanded a closed meeting, at which point I insulted him and walked out. The show next moved to Tucson, where there was a joint meeting with the Havasupai (and the Hirsts) and Club members, all committed to defending the Park. Although the ostensible idea was to discuss whether there was any common ground, it was much too late for that—and anyway compromise is what politicians, not advocates, are for. In the event, one of us, Juel Rodack, head of Canyon advocacy group AWWW, vowed to fight to his dying day, accusing the Havasupai of destroying the Park System. My views were pretty well presented: the movement to protect the Canyon was irresistible; the Havasupai were only a few compared to all citizens who want to enjoy the Park. Moreover, the government was protecting Havasupai interests, and the Havasupai do not use the land. I didn’t need to come to Supai to understand the Havasupai, and they should stop trying to tear the Club apart. The government and the people would not stand for land being taken for the Havasupai. Hirst concluded that these people were rude and unreasonable. Sounds about right.
This conclusion was reinforced when a sympathetic Tucson Clubber visited Supai and was pessimistic about chances to split the Club since no one important would come visit and the issue would go on to the national Club Board of Directors, a pro-Park group. Poor Havasupai, fighting big, powerful NPS (a joke to us, but not to the Havasupai), and NPS said it had to kowtow before the big, powerful Sierra Club. The lesson for the Havasupai after losing this round was that they needed a full-time lobbyist in Washington. The HTC discussion indicated a stalling of momentum, a lack of ideas as to how to proceed. At that point, the Club’s state executive committee passed a resolution calling for the Havasupai to get “sufficient” land. Garcia resigned, and Hirst reported that the Club was now coming around to the Havasupai side; all that was left to do was to fight for support at the national level. Let's write, he opined, and tell them that the Havasupai take better care of the Canyon than NPS. After all, with Sierra Club Board support, the Havasupai will win! Hooray!
More straightforwardly, “60 Minutes” aired its pro-land-return piece on Feb 24. I can testify on the change in atmosphere it produced as I went my rounds checking on various Washington offices. The Havasupai had finally received significant national exposure to say how the government does not care about them in their hole and forgot who really owned this land. HTC Chairman Kaska spoke on the program for peaceful return of land that really belonged to them, but he emphasized that they would respond with guns if guns were used on them, so NPS should get lost. The host asked about protecting endangered people as well as flora and fauna, particularly because the Havasupai affirmed they will keep lands up. Ethel Jack talked of returning to the plateau in the winter, telling stories around the fire, and their need for farming land above and below in different seasons.
However, the momentum for our Park expansion position, including taking no land out of the Park for anybody, carried on under the leadership of Morris Udall through the House Parks Subcommittee approval on March 31, 1974. In “Canyon Shadows”, the subcommittee approval was reported as a major blow due to the pressure of fanatical southern Arizona environmentalists. No land was returned, and only 60% of the Havasupai request was even to be studied. Udall repeated the pro-Park canards about having already been paid through the ICC, and the possibilities of factories. He didn’t want to disappoint those environmentalists. He should be invited down and told that the Arizona Clubbers are on the Havasupai’s side. Things looked grim, so the Havasupai would have to get tougher. So up to this point, we had encountered no organized Havasupai effort; Udall had no problem with endorsing the position of further study for the Havasupai. This "year of success" and resulting complacency certainly led to our being caught so flat-footed when lobbyist Joe Sparks entered the fray, finally providing organization for the Havasupai. This happened after the AAIA’s Byler helped the Havasupai find and hire Joe Sparks and the two came to Supai in mid-March.
April indeed brought the smiles of success. With Sparks on the job backed up with Byler advice, "Canyon Shadows" reported he had done the impossible, brilliantly, along with several Havasupai working in teams, visiting the offices of House Interior Committee members. By May, there were six Havasupai and Hirst working with Sparks in Washington. After the March loss, they now had a chance with backing from Quakers, LWV, AFL-CIO, AzCLU, Nat.Coun.ofChurches, NEA, AAUW, Arizona Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth.
The effort to weaken Club support of the Park System continued; the national Club thought to be still strong against us only because of McComb, who refused to give in to its membership. At a meeting of the Club’s Southwest Regional Conservation Committee, McComb suggested a statutory permit [here we were, doomed by not knowing the history, repeating all the failed solutions]. A pro-Havasupai archeologist, Robert Euler, said the Havasupai needed a healthy cattle industry, and wasn’t it incongruous for whitefolk to be discussing the Havasupai’s fate. [Even here's a whitefolk who knows the history and is still doomed to repeat failed ideas; Euler was wrong on both counts.] The SWRCC ended up asking the national board to reconsider its position if research showed a need, i.e., just more study. But this time-absorbing mis-directed strategy of subverting park advocates was now becoming irrelevant as the invigorated Havasupai lobbying effort to bring their positive message to those who mattered was scoring successes.
The April trips organized by Sparks had their biggest triumph after a personal meeting with Udall, who went from ignorance to sympathy, saying that although he was against unrestricted use, he could go for giving Havasupai title to the land in trust (i.e., a larger reservation with reservations). [It is almost certainly true that Byler and his Association on American Indian Affairs contributed money and people resources to the Havasupai effort; this full story would require looking at the AAIA’s records at Princeton University.]
A potentially significant score was Sparks getting the White House to support repatriation, though only if a smaller area were involved. [The story of this success is recounted in a newspaper reminiscence which I am still trying to locate, and will have to report on later.] This didn’t please the HTC, which wanted all 251 Kac now under permit, and no fooling around with a so-called permanent permit. They also stuck for getting some private land to the west for tourist management. Sparks asked for two Havasupai to assist him. Meanwhile, in Washington, everyone was reported as working hard, even late at night, to get material to Representatives, although not all were sympathetic (and indeed, some, like Foley, were more ardent opponents than the Sierra Club). The IA was even supportive, criticizing NPS because its control of needed land curtailed development. If the land came to us, we could have jobs and get kids in schools. What is interesting about reading the reports of Havasupai discussions over the years is just how strongly the theme of land repatriation was maintained even in the midst of the what seemed endless floundering over what to do to improve the infrastructure. The theme united; daily life was another matter.
In May, President Nixon (still struggling to avoid the great goodbye) stopped at Phoenix and recommended all 251 Kac, saying he was reversing the administration position after consulting the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture, the Arizona congressional delegation, and the Havasupai. Steiger would offer the plan. The Havasuapi had waited long enough, Nixon averred. For some reason, an assurance that there would be no impact on the study of wilderness for the river was added. The HTC received the Nixon statement on May 8, along with a report that Goldwater was trying to get Havasu creek, its falls and campground, for the Havasupai. Unfortunately, he had not been able to get any NPS record of a 160-acre Havasupai area at GCV. However, the Havasupai were pleased about press reports that Arizonans were deluging the House Interior Committee with pro-Havasupai letters.
The IA cautioned the HTC not to talk of any private land, and when the tram proposal surfaced again in June, the IA advice was not to talk about that either, a position reinforced in July when Sparks asked for a HTC resolution against any railroad, tramway, or dams. The statement also insisted that no alternative lands would do, and the Havasupai would support reasonably necessary environmental restrictions. Sparks also got approval for putting the ICC award in escrow. This was a time of waiting for full Committee action, and hence one for rumor-mongering, e.g.: The committee chairman was mad about too much land being involved. But some on the committee would have gone nearly to the river. There were many big newspapers on Havasupai side. Udall was not entirely happy with the proposals, but was being careful to protect Havasupai interests. So he added Pasture Wash in place of springs below Grand Canyon rim. Allowed uses were specified. The Sparks-led Havasupai blitz was completely successful. The environmental groups were completely taken by surprise, not realizing until they were beaten that Congress would see through their propaganda. Sparks had circulated Club statements to expose McComb and Ingram’s lack of support. An anti-Havasupai advertisement was put in the New York Times, but without effect.
The Udall position of returning land (though less than that in the Steiger proposal, which was bigger even after Steiger deleted land that was under permit to a whitefolk rancher) with conditions was approved by the full committee in a tense mark-up session open to the public, with Foley leading the charge against the Havasupai. The reservation was enlarged outright by 185 Kac from the Park, Monument and Forest. Another 100 Kac of the Park was designated as a Use Area where the Havasupai could carry out certain specified activities.
Here is the official map:
After this triumph, "Shadows" reported: There was a gearing up for a national campaign to get the bill approved by the full House. The environmentalists tried to hold a press conference, with their congressional allies callously excluding the Havasupai. The environmentalist position was that Havasupai should get no land since they had been paid for it. The problems were due to the IA, not NPS. Although the Arizona delegation was committed [interestingly, Steiger is not mentioned in Havasupai reports], the Club is big and wealthy and could undo years of patient effort. More money was needed for our lobbyists, since the pro-park groups were stirring up a bitter fight, using highly unethical tactics trying to scare people about our desires for development. They had 20 lobbyists swarming in the House claiming it was a scandal, and that there was a contract with Marriott hotels, represented by Sparks. Udall and Rhodes were dismayed by this campaign, since we never resorted to trickery to get our lands. “Meanwhile Ethel Jack went alone to tell the story in her gentle way.” The environmentalists tried one last dirty trick, offering a confusing amendment so that a “no” vote was pro-Havasupai. We barely squeaked by, on a close vote. There will need to be a conference between the House and Senate next, and no doubt the environmentalists will mount an unscrupulous campaign to discredit us. Our opponents are masters of delay, and are prepared to kill the bill. We don’t understand what produces this bigotry, so all we can do is forgive them, and continue telling our story gently and truthfully. The animal spirits of the Canyon are with us: “a Grand Canyon rattlesnake bit a Sierra Club member near here who has given us the most grief in Washington…snake is on our side too.” [True, I had been bitten by a rattlesnake, though not the Grand Canyon variety. And since I had been excluded from the House post-Committee effort, I was hardly the one who gave them the most grief. And of course, I was not a Sierra Club member. This may not be the best example of Havasupai speaking “gently and truthfully”, but retailing this incident provides an insight on their whitefolk allies. I put it in the same gentle category as the young AAIA hothead who confronted me in the Senate Interior Committee office, yelling about how we should go outside so he could deliver the thrashing I deserved -- until the staffers told him to behave himself. Perhaps this would-be thugee thought he had to finish what the snake had started.]
Meanwhile, Havasupai needs were underlined by the 20-30 gathering pinyon nuts on the plateau and all the cabins at GCV being filled. So another alarm was sounded in December that time was running out. There was also a serious effort to remove Pasture Wash from the land transferred. This effort was being staged by pro-Havasupai Steiger, who wanted to protect the cattle allotment of a whitefolk ranching outfit. The "Shadows" worried that our prospects are dimming, but we cannot give up. We must not let Friends of the Earth and the Sierra Club annihilate us after 13 centuries. Fortunately, the Indian newspapers are amplifying our voice.
Even more amplification came on New Years Day, 1975, in a CBS news report. The pictures were of the Canyon, including of GCV, the falls, a hiker. Then up from canyon and over the plateau, showing deer and Tusayan. Featured were Brower and Clark Jack. The story was of the Havasupai’s quiet claim from 1000 years before the Spanish. We pushed them into a box; not a Shangri-la, the land is too tired to grow anything, so income is from hikers. Now they are getting some of the plateau back; its where they belong. It is not good for much, but its full of wild game, protected by the Park; hunters backed the bill. The site is a developer’s dream, so the conservation establishment fought hard, with Brower saying it was not the Havasupai but a few sharp operators who wanted to exploit which would be unsound for the Havasupai, our Parks, and the world. However, Havasupai answer that we cannot do much with the land unless Interior approves; there are strict environmental guildelines, so do not worry. They will go along with what the bill says, but have not said what their plans are. So now the President will decide if the Havasupai are to be the caretakers they used to be.
President Ford quickly decided, signing the bill into law on January 3 1975, as reported three days later by “Canyon Shadows” (Hirst was editor):
WE WON! is the full-page cover. The President’s signature marked the stunning climax to the effort begun 66 years ago. Nearly identical to Udall measure, the boundary runs from Yumtheska to Uquall point including Beaver falls & campground. When the Globe Ranch permit expires, we will get 25 Kac more east of drift fence. This return of Pasture Wash is the “most precious victory of all”. On the plateau Havasupai will be able to travel freely, build homes, gather food, hunt, have stock; there can be limited improvements in keeping with “the Havasupai way of caring for the earth”. The 95 Kac permanent use area is a further part of the reservation under NPS administration & regulations, from which Havasupai can never be barred, and where we can follow traditional practices: plant-gathering, religious observance at sacred springs & rain shrines. Can also travel over other federal lands. [The Havasupai right to agricultural use within GCNP was voided, and the desire for 160 ac near GCV was not granted.] Havasupai victory was total, including regaining Pasture Wash, removed in 1917.
The low point was in March. After months & months of exhausting research, work & talking in DC, the House Interior Committee reversed Parks subcommittee in October. Then it took the near-miracle of hard work & persistence by Representatives Rhodes, Udall, & Steiger to get the bill through the full House before the election recess. A conference was needed, and nothing happened until Sparks got Ethel Jack and L. Rogers to DC with Byler and other allies. When the Senate finally appointed conference members, Sierra Club had saturated the Capitol with more scurrilous nonsense and large number of Representatives were dubious about Pasture Wash [opposed by Steiger!] and the Great Thumb. Havasupai took around photos of the old life on plateau, to tell the truth of it to save the day at the last minute. The conference finally met on Friday 13th, our lucky day, when it adopted the “exact wording of the Udall measure which had passed the House two months earlier”. [Not quite.] In a last delaying tactic, the House Committee staff held the measure up until last minute. “Only the fact that Leon & Ethel sat in the committee room the entire day and would not budge until the report was submitted saved us.” On the last day of business, the conference reported bill received a “large voice vote”. Sparks and Byler escorted that report to the Senate where Senators Jackson and Goldwater obtained final passage. Then we waited tensely for the President. At the last minute, Representative Rhodes and Senator Goldwater had to stave off a serious veto threat; then our victory was complete.
Thanks go to all our friends across the continent. We salute the old people who taught us the way, and remembered what books did not record, including Lee Marshall back in 1971-2, when we were almost alone. Though environmentalists almost defeated us, we thank the Sierra Clubbers in Arizona who supported us when they had everything to lose & nothing to gain. BIA Area Director gave his personal interest and worked quietly & continuously with Congress. John Crow “almost got us the land in 1943”, and this time went to Congress as a private citizen to help change key Representatives’ minds. Words nearly fail giving thanks to Senator Goldwater, who listened & understood; Representative Udall, who admitted he was mistaken & designed the wording of victory; Congressman Rhodes, who first began helping the Havasupai and assured final success in House; Senator Jackson for final passage in Senate; Senator Fannin; Representative Steiger “who stood by us on nearly every part of our argument and spoke up for us often” [except for trying to keep Pasture Wash out of the reservation]. AAIA’s Byler found lobbyists Sparks & Barron, ( who also worked on Taos Blue Lake and said this was tougher) and never gave up. Sparks showed us how DC works, and exhausted his own health & wealth, and more than anyone else won the fight [I agree there, and it makes the point that 1973 was a wasted year because of the lack of knowledgeable organization; so where was Byler then?]]. Biggest thanks to Jack & Rogers; they worked because they wanted their people to have their land back; our heroes. Had to overcome some of strongest, shrewdest lobbyists in the country [blush]; but we had a well-documented case and outstanding spokemen.
Now we must develop a use plan. We must preserve wild, unspoiled land as we have always wished to do. We can do all: conserving and preserving lands, while meeting needs. The rest of country can learn from us. We must be patient about Pasture Wash, keeping stock west of fence until permit runs out. Globe has been nice to us; they never destroyed houses and have returned cattle. The article concluded rhapsodically, as befit this major achievement.
Sources: BIA archives at Truxon Canyon Agency in Valentine AZ
Hirst, S., Life in a Narrow Place, 1976