Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Little Colorado Plan for Big Destruction, Desecration, and Dollar Devilry

For some time, there has been a typical boomer-&-booster financial scheme being puffed out of Phoenix out over Navajo country. After decades of quiet following the death of the Marble Canyon dam nightmare, another set of hypists have come trailing clouds of promises of instant prosperity for all, but which sound like a get-rich plan for a select few. 

And this time, they are going after one of the Grand Canyon unique spots, the confluence of the Little Colorado River with the main river. Most of this post is a 14 June article from the Navajo Times, , complete with scary drawings. However, before getting to that, please note that all the land involved is, in fact, within the Navajo Reservation. This marvelous place, where the aqua of the LCR mixes in with the brown (or green) of the mighty Colorado, was in the 1919 Grand Canyon National Park, but in the 1930's, although the rivers themselves stayed in the Park, their left banks went into the Reservation.

This is truly a defining moment for the Navajo, as well as for all of us. There is much that can be done within this Navajo Marble Canyon Tribal Park to help understanding and appreciation. However, destructive desecrations like dams or exploitation for industrialized tourism can only turn the Grand Canyon toward a future as just another Phoenix development. Dollar-crazed developers have lots of spoiled places to play in. The Grand Canyon, Navajo and National Park, provides a far better future for all the rest of us.

GCNP boundary: A Revised map from NPS

After over two years of work and intra-agency discussion, the NPS Land Resources Division has made available files that represent its latest thinking (see at end for my comment about accuracy) about where NPS boundaries lie that affect Grand Canyon National Park, i.e., for the Park and Lake Mead NRA. 

Lets Play Fair: The Hualapai-Park boundary. Again.

The 1881 & subsequent orders established the Reservation boundary as "north thirty miles TO the Colorado River, then ALONG said river" (my emphasis). The 1975 legislation put the GCNP boundary "on south bank" of the said river adjacent to the Reservation. Also, the legislation forbade taking any of the Hualapai reservation without tribal permission. It has never given this permission. 

In my 21 Jan 1975 letter to the Sup't, three weeks after the Act was signed, I wrote:

However, early in 1975, the Superintendent was saying that the Park boundary was to the historic high water line or mark (HHWL), such that by July, the Hualapai attorney knew this and was objecting. As indeed, I object, too.