Monday, August 27, 2012

PL93-620 B. Jan 1973: Our Offer

In the new year, our first priority was to write out and circulate our ideas. We worked through at least four drafts, developing some of the language and ideas that lasted and some that certainly did not. We had a fundamental concept of unifying the Canyon in the public's mind, a single interpretive entity, even though there was no possibility of having one administrative entity, especially if it was the toughest on non-Park uses, and even if a number of the uses would not be disturbed. So our basic strategy was to get as near to a "complete" Park as we could, and then use the tools of interpretation and regulation to present and protect the Canyon in its full glory on those adjoining lands not included in the Park. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

PL93-620 A. Nov-Dec 1972: Working Together, Or Not

Public Law 93-620 is what the Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act of 1975 became after two-plus years of legislative effort and a Presidential signature. This entry begins its story.

The months before October 1972 were full of Grand Canyon action -- but on river traffic management, not Park boundaries. I have told that story in a 2003 paper book, Hijacking A River, A Political History of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. The river controversy is important for Park legislation because it so engaged Senator Goldwater's attention in 1972, in part because Fred Eiseman had stirred the issue up. Fred, who lived in the Phoenix area, had maintained a Goldwater connection since he had been a boatman on a Goldwater Grand Canyon river trip, and he regularly ran his own trips in the classic mode using rowing dories. As I recounted in my post of 18 May 2012, Eiseman wanted Goldwater to do something about the rampant commercialization and motorization of river trips, and was worried that bad relations between Goldwater and the Sierra Club would prevent action by the Senator. A Park advisory committee on river matters brought Eiseman and Sierra Club Southwest Representative John McComb together, to the point where Eiseman appealed to McComb to join him in setting up a meeting with Goldwater to work constructively on joint concerns about the river and the Park boundary.