Friday, September 7, 2012

PL93-620 D. Feb-Mar 1973: In Goldwater's Court (add'ns 9/17/12)

So we had spent two months and been granted the reward of a Park boundary that would go to the Canyon's western end. Since it was almost all NPS land anyway, the final result would be a net loss of protected land since there were to be significant subtractions for what we considered to be the economic purposes of cattlemen, hunters, and the Havasupai. We had been consulted, however; therefore we were to be content. The trouble with that view was that we saw ourselves as the leaders for an expansion of the Park, working toward a presentation of the entire Canyon, an entity worthy of its status as a world-wide icon of the natural world. And what came out of the January 29th meeting was an undignified pastiche of you got some, you lost some. We wanted a Park that was taken another step toward an ultimate completion; Goldwater-Emerson was a settling of old accounts that would protect local interests: graziers, hunters, dam-dreamers. The Havasupai, of course, would have been the most pleased; for them, Goldwater-Emerson would reverse a 90-year-old injustice, bringing a repatriation of some of the land they had once lived upon without hindrance.

The alert observer might wonder if we should have "reconsidered our position", as Goldwater urged. No chance. McComb & I, along with so many other Americans, had already entrenched our "position" -- our belief in protecting the Canyon -- during the fierce, if thankfully short, climactic defense of the Canyon against the attempt by southwestern/Californian water interests to turn the Grand Canyon into an appendage of theirs producing electricity and dollars for future continued economic & population increase. Defending the National Park System and the Grand Canyon in its entirety was not a "position"; it was a bedrock principle, and we firmly believed that once pieces of that System were broken off for economic exploitation, it would be nibbled to irrelevancy and death. The Havasupai might have been cheated for 90 years, but to correct that wrong by sacrificing part of Grand Canyon National Park was itself wrong, and also unnecessary. Moreover, our sense of being right would only be strengthened the more we learned about Havasupai goals and actions.

The Havasupai would win in 1975, I am now glad to say, but only after a fine old political set-to. They earned their victory. 

We had now seen two Goldwater-Emerson efforts. Here is a summary listing, with the two major differences in bold:
Western Park boundary went downstream, but did not go to the Grand Wash Cliffs. 
The acreage was a bit under a million.
Plateau lands were deleted from the old Monument.
The existing Monuments were abolished.
The Havasupai Reservation was enlarged; in the December 4 version with lands only from the Park; in January 29, also from the Forest.
A scenic easement was authorized along Marble Canyon.
Any grazing permits affected could continue for 10 years.
There were detailed river management provisions in December 4; dropped in January 29.
There was support for tourism development on reservation land.
Aircraft noise was to be studied.
Land could not be taken by eminent domain, but state and reservation lands could be acquired by exchange.

There is a view of January 29th from a not unfriendly source: Chapman reported with comments agreed to by Stitt & Lovegren. The meeting had grown out of the December 4 Goldwater get-together at which Ingram and McComb "dissented" from the proposed boundary, and so were requested to work up another. They contacted 11 agencies or groups and put together a boundary they felt achieved Grand Canyon unity, for which they believed there was general concurrence. They set aside the "Indian" issue for its own bill. However, on the 29th, consensus was not achieved; the "Indian" issue would not be separated out; the Conservation Zone did not receive support. Grazers and Forest Service wanted deletions from NPS; FS said NPS light use of the forest would lead to fire & insect build-up.
 Comments were made counter-clockwise around the Ingram-McComb boundary. The river was to be included from Lees Ferry. Marble was added with a development-free zone behind the rim. They opposed deletions to the Forest Service, but accepted adding Stina Point to the Park. FS claimed there was trophy hunting in lower Kanab and wanted to limit the Park addition to 22 kac. We should insist on our 36 kac request, and then could compromise, particularly if Kanab is made a Wilderness. We have now changed our position from the GCNP master plan and want to keep the north plateau lands that Avery and the cattlemen want out; Eiseman mentioned archeological work. Cattlemen objected to the Conservation Zone, since a definite line was not necessary.
 Downstream, the Hualapai objected to the extension to the Grand Wash Cliffs, and we worry about the slack-water section. Goldwater then did agree to the Cliffs, but not the slack-water. We noted that river management would be affected by relations with the Hualapai. In the Havasu-Cataract section, FS offered Long Mesa to the Park, but the Havasupai insisted it was theirs. They want all the federal land there, and Goldwater was agreeable to 160 kac, including Great Thumb. NPS is opposed to giving up the campground and Mooney Falls, and FS wanted the Great Thumb for grazing and bighorn. The Havasupai also want water development. FS has agreed on adding Coconino (Papago) to the Park. Emerson claimed the Navajo had agreed to an easement of ½-1 mile. Goldwater said he would introduce a bill next month making some changes; however it would not go to the Ingram-McComb boundary.

There were other matters worrying NPS; some state lands near Marble should be added; river control was a "no mans land" along Hualapai land; they added to their case for keeping the Kaibab lands they had for entry control, fire detection, and the "prettiest meadows". Clemons of the hunter group worked with BLM on maps and what lands were available, and was also checking with Emerson.

Emerson went to work on a third version, meeting with NPS bill drafters in DC the first week of February. He told them that after conferring, Goldwater was committed to including some of what the Sierra Club and the Havasupai wanted. The map was to be revised to move the proposed boundary from mile 234 to Grand Wash Cliffs, without taking any Hualapai land. The Havasupai should get all the 160 kac they asked for. Goldwater wanted to discuss this new draft with the delegation on February 15. 

What should we be doing? Was our attempt to influence what Goldwater would support at an end? Certainly we were displeased with what the meeting on the 29th had showed. Avery was was not, telling me he was sure Goldwater would include the Canyon to the Grand Wash Cliffs, and that he was hopeful the Hualapai would be reasonable. While he was not a fan of the Conservation Zone, he said he had told Game & Fish they would have to give up some land used by bighorn sheep.  And he did not think the Supai would get all they wanted. My reply was that the horse was not only before the wagon, but might stop it moving, since other conservation groups would oppose giving up any Park land to anybody for economic purposes. 

At this point, I began to revive some connections that had been of the greatest value during the dam fight, first with Sterling Munro, Senator Jackson's Chief of Staff, and then Representative Tom Foley from Washington. I also wrote Senator Case in early February noting that some current events concerning the Canyon were of a threatening nature. I was working on a revised map and bill draft that would be responsive to a situation that included river traffic problems, aircraft noise, tourist-trap blight, interest by certain tribes in visitor facilities, and a broader mandate for NPS interpretation. Would he be interested?

Little else was going on. Indeed, it seemed so quiet that I speculated in my journal about plots. Would Emerson's hostility toward us lead him to actively advocate for the Havasupai and Hualapai? [No.] Were we supposed to be bought off and therefore ignorable? [Yes.] Such thoughts were not helped when McComb went to DC, and Emerson gave him a frosty reception, even cutting the visit short "because he had to catch his bus". Emerson did say he was drafting the revised bill, though we learned from others that Interior staff was doing the work. (Indeed, Goldwater's Tucson office called me about getting a map.) He was also confident Goldwater "could get Mo", securing Udall's approval. McComb warned him the bill would go nowhere if the Havasupai were given 150 kac and gained reinforcement for that view in a visit to the Forest Service chief.

In retrospect, we could see that Emerson had spent February re-doing the bill to make it more favorable to the Havasupai and us, while collecting senatorial sponsors. According to musing in my work notes, we were thinking more along the lines of how to stall or scuttle the Goldwater effort. Perhaps we could get Udall to introduce an alternative. Perhaps we could avoid an overt fight with the Havasupai, diverting them with a separate bill. I worried about the Goldwater bill being worth an effort, about working with him in the future, and being tarred with the brush of being blatantly the obstacle to the Havasupai. Throughout this time, then, my thoughts anyway were on the dark side.

March opened with a positive reply from Senator Case, since he had delayed introducing his bill  pending Goldwater's initiatives. McComb and Juel Rodack of a local conservation group spoke out against Goldwater's plan for economic development of the Canyon; Goldwater had dropped the dam, but now wanted to take lands out of the Park for commercial purposes. There was some publicity for the Havasupai; they "rapped environmentalists" in one article, and charged us with "gross misunderstanding" of their request for the "rightful return of a small part of our ancestral lands". Letters in their favor were showing up. We also learned that this activity was in part due to "a Headstart fellow working in Supai", our first awareness of Steve Hirst, teacher and tribal council secretary & bookkeeper.

As we started working with Senator Case, Goldwater had personally asked for his support. We suggested Case offer to be a sponsor if the deletions were removed. He did, and Goldwater would not. So on March 15th, I sent him materials for a bill that represented our true feelings.
We wanted a plan for all the Canyon, though it might take years to implement; one that would strengthen what I saw as a trend away from commercial exploitation. Also crucial was setting up a framework under which all landowners and administrators could cooperate in the Canyon's protection and presentation to the public.
The draft contained eight sections: 
1 was the recognition clause. 
2 referenced a boundary map enclosing just shy of two million acres. It also made the eastern boundary the western Navajo boundary, and "reaffirmed" that the boundary along the Hualapai Reservation was the south or left river bank "to head off developing problems over divided jurisdiction over river traffic".
The roadside south of the main entrance was to be added to control undesirable development.
The Havasupai request for land would be taken care of by acquiring part of the Boquillas ranch.
3 started off as the standard method of acquisition of lands, but then did a congressional taking with compensation of what I called "the mess on the south entrance road", i.e., Tusayan.
4 allowed grazing for 10 years on added lands, but also reaffirmed any existing arrangements, including for the Havasupai. 
5 revoked and nullified any & all water-power provisions and withdrawals. 
The Secretary could regulate river traffic, and motor use would cease at the end of 1974. 
Aircraft were prohibited below the rim, and otherwise would be regulated. This was aimed both at mllitary planes and at tourist helicopters & planes flying anywhere as they pleased.
To encourage interpretation of the Canyon in its entirety, the Secretary could cooperatively develop and operate interpretive & information facilities outside the Park with concurrence of the owner or administrator, and make agreements for interpretation with the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hualapai.
6 The Vermilion Cliffs Natural Area was given legislative recognition and protection as the scenic
backdrop for the upper Canyon. 
7 tried to encourage creation of tribal Parks like those on Navajo land, as well as cooperation in protecting and interpreting the canyon. Money was to be provided for those parks with management plans that left the land within a mile of the rim unimpaired and closed to commercial enterprises except for interpretation and visitation.
8 supplied a map for creating a Grand Canyon Wilderness.
This to-the-max, even over-weening, proposal added lands on the north side for a "better fit with the rim plus sufficient protection and approach room". Also added were Toroweap Valley and Mt. Trumbull, a small amount of Kaibab Forest, and some of the Vermilion Cliffs. It was, in essence, a boundary we might have proposed back in December had we not been sidetracked by trying to build a "consensus" bill with the Conservation Zone to meet the goals of gathering together and protecting lands in the "complete" Grand Canyon. On our own, our bird was fully fledged, an alternative based on the concept of a "complete" Park. Not, of course, that it would fly.

And on the 9th, Emerson sent us a copy of his third effort, claiming 20 co-sponsors. He had also visited Udall's aide Bracey and left the bill, in which the latter found "some good things". Indeed McComb & I found some of our stuff in it. We also checked with Stitt and Chapman and found them together on their Havasupai position. The former had told Goldwater -- in January after his visit to Supai -- that NPS had not agreed to expanding the reservation to Beaver Falls. Sup't Bean of LMNRA was not part of the NPS front; he had expressed his opposition to including any of the reservoir in the Park. 

A few days later, Bracey was telling us Udall liked lots of the bill, too; it would get Goldwater on the record for an expanded Park, and maybe the bad provisions could be killed in committee, though the Senate would probably give land to the Havasupai. Perhaps Mo could introduce a second bill, supposedly more to our liking. Bracey thought Emerson a naïve egomaniac for whom Goldwater was god. Nevertheless, in spite of our pressing him to hold up, Mo intended to introduce the Goldwater bill. Bracey said we would have our chance before the committee. His opinion was the Havasupai wanted land (the Great Thumb, Boquillas) as "a mental thing". Not content with these reassurances, McComb sent a teletype (up-to-date technology then) to DC on the 15th with a message asking Udall when he introduced the bill to include pro-Park language that the bill would need careful examination and that conservationists will be upset at Park deletions. He would pledge close study, and if the lands were Park-worthy, they should stay in the Park. There are alternatives for the Havasupai regaining some plateau lands, since those in private hands are up for sale. We could consider keeping valuable public lands in public hands, and passing private lands into Havasupai ownership. Deleting Park lands for economic purposes was a drastic remedy.

More interesting in this message for what was developing as our strategy and tactics was McComb's request for information from the Indian Claims Commission on the details of the lands involved in the Havasupai case, since the historic uses by the Havasupai could help resolve the conflict. Although we always had the resolve to resist any Park deletions, this request was a concrete step to start finding any information we could to build our case that the Havasupai did not need Park lands. We were committing ourselves to a broad-based effort opposing the Havasupai.

At this time also, McComb circulated his views on the Goldwater bill to pro-Park groups. "Many of the features," he wrote, "are indeed very attractive", especially the extension to the Grand Wash Cliffs and a zone of influence (Emerson's name for the Conservation Zone). The protected NPS lands would go from 898 kac to 1,170 kac. Some 30 kac could be added in the unlikely event of the Navajo concurring. The Park would start five miles downstream from Lees Ferry. The "zone of influence" would allow certain uses to be restricted in lands adjacent to the Park, e.g. logging, mining. Wilderness would be designated, but on the current Park's lands only. The Havasupai Reservation would get 56 kac from NPS lands and 110 kac from the Forest. "I view with great alarm the proposal to delete nearly 100,000 acres … of park quality lands." (his underline). The 100 kac included the Monument northern plateau lands. These lands belong in the Park, McComb wrote. The transfer to BLM is "completely unjustified", and the Havasupai desire could be satisfied by purchasing private ranch lands. There were three other "deficiencies": 1. upper Kanab, Whitmore & Parashont canyons should be added; 2. Wilderness should include the river, and there should be a study of the added lands; 3. eminent domain over private lands should be authorized.  Except for this last, this was our declaration of war aims: no deletions, more additions, expanded Wilderness provision.

McComb visited the Forest Service region to check on their opposition to the Havasupai transfer, but nothing was settled. He investigated the Boquillas situation, finding a giant: 500 kac acres plus leased land, with all kinds of improvements (200 miles of water line, e.g.) to run 15,000 cattle; severely out of the Havasupai class.  More sad, he heard only "give-away talk" when he checked with Lovegren about a discussion with Chapman & Stitt. However, when I talked to Stitt on the 23rd, he said he had recommended no deletions; another allotment had been freed of grazing, and anything BLM got it would chain. He was firm about no more canyon land to the Havasupai, and about limiting campground use, which the Havasupai wanted to increase. He was not totally certain about the Great Thumb and Tenderfoot plateau lands; he wanted to keep the rims clear of development, and for the bighorn. I, on the other hand, pushed him on what we wanted to add on the north side[ he said he wanted to look at maps first. He was OK with the Grand Wash Cliffs boundary, but did not want BLM to get any LMNRA land. He raised the question of motors on the reservoir, not seeing the need to ban them. 

Meanwhile, the die had been cast; the so-called 'GCNP Enlargement' bill was introduced on 20 March 1973 by Goldwater as S. 1296; its House companion by Udall as H.R. 5900. In an accompanying post, I will summarize its provisions. 

It was reported & editorially supported in one Tucson paper, calling the bill a "cooperative effort" of hunters and conservationists. The other put more emphasis on the provisions affecting the Havasupai, Hualapai, and Navajo. And Rodack's local group immediately sent a letter opposing "any trade-off of park quality lands". Various meats had been in the grinder; now spice was being added.  Avery reported in the main Phoenix paper, starting with the Havasupai reservation expansion. He wrote there was a Navajo-Goldwater agreement for a mile-wide no-development strip. He mentioned next that the three tribes could be helped by the Secretary. He put forward his idea for a Hualapai tribal park leading to the development of a third access area to the Canyon. In the seventh paragraph, he stated the size of the expanded Park, and then listed the additions and deletions; all was "the result of several years work" by Goldwater, Udall, hunters, the local Sierra Club chapter, and other conservationists, including "several" meetings at Goldwater's. He said compromises were made but with adherence to the principal of identifying the Canyon within one park. He mentioned the earlier Sierra Club proposal, but said this time McComb & Ingram took the lead in trying to help reach a compromise, which included a "conservation zone", changed in the bill to a area of no adverse development. There would also be a Wilderness. Prominent senators are co-sponsors.

Here is a good moment to ruminate on what had been happening; my next journal entry is mid-May. 

We had a seven-year-old, firm position on completing the Park and protecting the Canyon within it. Other offerings between 1966 and late 1972 seemed partial attempts that did not measure up to the concept of presenting the Canyon in its entirety. Certainly the legacy of Goldwater's efforts in the 1950's, dependent on NPS bureaucratically careful additions and deletions, had left him, and NPS for that matter, with a laundry list, but no alternative view. Seemingly they had particular difficulty where Navajo land was concerned, trying easements and such. Other Arizona interests would have preferred inaction. 

I think it fair to say that the controversy over river traffic management introduced an odd distortion, when Eiseman, trying to keep Goldwater involved in that issue, set up a framework for compromise discussions, an expectation on our part that Goldwater wanted us to contribute. There was also, Goldwater said, Chairman Jackson's admonition to keep things non-controversial. Thinking that over, I have to wonder. Jackson was too shrewd a legislator--his committee had been dealing with Parks for the North Cascades and the Redwoods in those years; he knew what pro- and anti-Park interests were like. So maybe he was just joshing Goldwater, or maybe Goldwater was just stringing Eiseman and us along. And when I factor in Goldwater's relying on his aide Emerson,… Well, I think we were indeed bushwhacked, and while I have high respect for Fred Eiseman's zeal, I think the overall effect of our two months of work on an Arizona/conservationist approach was negative. Expectations were raised on what turned out to be a foundation of dry sand which, when the winds of conflict picked up, got in everybody's eyes. 

Certainly, our zeal was not affected; we still wanted a real Grand Canyon National Park, and we intended to fight for it. We now knew that Emerson was an enemy, and that Goldwater did not give a damn what we did. We had also spent a lot of worthwhile time talking with people, though few of them mattered much over the next two years of sausage-grinding. Perhaps a positive view is that it was an initiation; we certainly got much practice preaching to different congregations.

Which brings up the obvious, if uncomfortable, point: What about those we did not talk to? Especially the Navajo, Hualapai, and Havasupai? 

The Navajo: I do not know. I did not know then, and do not now, how such an exercise would be carried out. Maybe there were contacts, lawyers, officials, who might have offered us advice. All I can conclude is that we were daunted; and it still puzzles me that Goldwater seemed to have such a bias against them.

The Hualapai: No problem there; the Hualapai, their lawyer Marks, and their allies the Arizona Power Authority, were still beating their drums for a Grand Canyon dam. It is hard for me to believe, having watched them in action, that there could have been even a civil meeting about  common ground in GCNP legislation. Certainly, in the years since, there have been changes that could provide a justification for working on common issues. Indeed, there are my posts on the river core team meetings that show a joint forum can work, as well as its fragility. But in 1972-5, such an enterprise was inconceivable. 

The Havasupai: Could the Havasupai and the Park's advocates have sat down and discussed how to resolve the issues as they were posed in 1972-5? Surely not. The Havasupai had to overcome almost a century of being conned; they had to demonstrate within the American political-legal framework that they could no longer be fobbed off with excuses and unfilled promises, and would no longer be kicked around. And even in 1974, it was a near thing as we will see. And as we will see, I believe it was necessary on our part to defend the Canyon and its Park. This country came so close to committing a monumental, anti-human, degradation of the Grand Canyon, that I firmly believe those of us who fought off that disgraceful dam idea are as entitled to celebrate the Canyon's defense as the Havasupai and their allies are in celebrating their 1975 land repatriation.

With December 1972 and January 1973 arguably a very false start, what can be said about the period leading up to the March 20 1973 introduction? First, it demonstrated that Goldwater's big difficulty was himself and his staff. We kept on reaching out, to NPS and Udall, to pro-Park allies and groups. However many sponsors it had; whatever good features it included, S. 1296 did not have behind it the kind of legislative strategy and tactics that could save it as a basis for a final product. Instead, anyone was free to ignore or cannibalize its bits, an analysis of which is next.

Sources: My journal and origiinal materials collected in my files

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