My journal has few entries for the three months between the bill introductions and Senate hearings on June 20. Hirst's account does not describe any action during this period by the Havasupai, either. NPS, however, having provided much of the foundation for the Goldwater bill, worked hard to settle the details of its own position.
In my work notes, dated 3/22, I made this list:
1. The G bill: decent base except for H. transfer.
A Havasupai economic development transfer
A Monument exclusion
B Lees Ferry
B Kanab and Whitmore-Parashant area
B river not in Wilderness; Hualapai concurrence
C weak aircraft regulation
C reclamation provision
good points: downstream, "entirety", "protect & interpret", Zone of Influence, cooperative interpretation
2. Process: Intro with sponsors; got Udall
Senate hearings: Bible, Fannin
a) will need big noise: no deletions
b) need alternative (Case) bill
Mark up of bill: Jackson; Bible- Church, Johnston; Hansen, Hatfield, McClure
House Committee: Udall will do it for them
(and a Havasupai) Scenario:
1 conservationists, NP, NF, et al. identified as villains -- campaign
2 ask for 166,000 + other 3
3 "Forced" to accept ~60,000 of access + Havasu canyon
(We will need:)
Vociferous support of Case bill & (generalized) support of NPS integrity
Detailed prospectus for lands proposed for deletions with photos
Alternative proposals for Havasupai:
1. Use rights confirmed; grazing capacity est.
2. Increase of head tax
3. Purchase of private ranch land
As I wrote in an earlier post, we checked with NPS, Stitt and Lovegren, immediately after the introduction. They had just had a big meeting in Phoenix with specialists and Collins of DSC & Rouse of DC, setting high priority on their needs: to settle on a position, DSC to draw the final map, all data by October or earlier. Stitt was to talk with Bean of Lake Mead and Johnson of Glen Canyon to pass on Phoenix meeting decisions. Bean, however, was sent the bill by Senator Bible asking for his comments, and he replied at length. He emphasized the differences between the Park and Lake Mead, mentioning motorboats, races and regattas, water skiing, private collection of resources, mining, grazing, and hunting. There was wild river in LMNRA, but it was less exciting below Lava Falls. Scenery is superb. Then there came a river section that was either slackwater or river depending on reservoir level, within the inner gorge and Sanup (Esplanade) & Shivwits plateaus. The inner gorge and wild river were appropriate for a Park, but not the other parts.* The reservoir has a reclamation withdrawal to 300', silt banks & tamarisks, so in spite of grandeur, it is not a natural area. While the name change is excellent, only the inner gorge and wild river should be in Park, with the reservoir shoreline to 300' left in NRA, with access and administration from developed spots on lake. Although he could not make a recommendation, the Sanup has actual and potential for hunting, grazing, mining. The Shivwits could go to BLM, but it would be better in LMNRA. Hualapai provisions are fine, but more compatible with NRA, too. Wherever zone of influence is, mining should be allowed.
Johnson of the northern NRA was also not pleased; he had not even been consulted or shown the bill. He objected to changing to Lees Ferry; Lovegren's earlier argument about needing it for river running was not valid for several reasons. The regulations were the same, but Park status would restrict public uses. Stitt told him he was only looking for the water surface up to the high water mark, but that would mean two jurisdictions. Lees Ferry is a transition point, and Navajo are on the east bank. If the Sierra Club wants this for wilderness, that is impractical given all the sight and sound intrusions. Congress just fixed the boundary in 1972, so changing it would be a breach of faith. He was completely opposed to the zone of influence for his NRA. Motorboats incompatible with Park, as is put-&-take fishing. The recreation costs can be charged to the development fund for the upper basin. Such a duplicate administration would confuse the public. Later, he amended his view to say that if the Lees to Navajo Bridge stretch were only in the zone of influence, that would be OK.
Dealing with such objections gave the position drafters a need for more time, When the slightly revised Goldwater map (DSC 113-91,003) came out on 23 May, Stitt commented that he disagreed on the Monument deletions, on some of the deletions for the Havasupai, and wanted the river or riverbed to the high water mark upstream to the center of the boat launch at Lees Ferry.** In early June, "special problems" included the governor's opposition to including the damsite, the cost of the archeological surveys, not enough land left after the Havasupai expansion to protect that part of the Park, and conservationists proposing larger additions. Again, Bean pushed to keep the Sanup in the NRA to allow hunting and grazing. The latter is secondary and could be phased out, but the potential for trophy deer and bighorn is excellent. He did not think the name change was worth the loss of recreation opportunities. Also, there were primitive roads and the mining potential was unknown. If the Sanup was included in the Park, that would "reduce the NRA portion to a fringe area which would not be feasible to manage". So it would be better to turn the Shivwits over to BLM, or add lands to the north to make a viable unit. Chapman, with reason, was admiring Stitt for the manner his people were producing in a short time and with such public attention on these matters.
We heard that Goldwater was pressing for hearings, perhaps even in the House first. The Senate subcommittee staff suggested there would be no action right away; were they realizing this was not a non-controversial bill? An Albuquerque conservationist, visiting in DC in March, was impressed by S1296, "drafted in good faith and with ample consideration of most of the conflicting pressures". He told McComb, "You are to be commended…". "There should be "a nation-wide public record write-in campaign to support enactment".
From Museum of Northern Arizona Director E. Danson, after a DC visit in April: Goldwater had cut out some of the land for the Havasupai (see below). "Barry…was terrifically pleased with your idea of the easement which would allow him to let the cattlemen use the tanks on the north…and still keep the area from being ruined". He complimented and congratulated us on the concept, for if the bill passed, we two would have started something of real importance. Stewart Udall warned him that Sam Steiger would be the most trouble, as he is committed to the Hualapai and the dam. Arizona Senator Fannin is also committed that way. Goldwater told me, "I have told Sam that if he does not back this bill, and if he does anything to hurt it, I will personally work against his re-election." Since the Hualapai are receiving $50,000/year for dam support, lets offer them $51,000 to let it go. Danson also told Stitt he did not like the Monument deletions.
Goldwater himself wrote the Sierra Club president in May: My bill's most important feature is the enlargement to include virtually the entire Grand Canyon, from Marble through the Grand Wash Cliffs. You have some concern about the acreage for the Havasupai, but this "has already been altered and probably further changes will be made". "I don't think it is right, frankly, to conceive of five hundred Indians living on five hundred and fifty odd acres, and the least I would like to see is obtaining the hilltop for them and a piece of the land that now houses their generator." In the future, the campground should have adequate sanitary facilities and be expanded. So I want to thank "the members of the Sierra Club in Arizona, and I am one of them, who participated actively in creating this new concept". I hope there can be quick action on this bill.
What should we have been making of what we heard? Had we been energized by the January 29th meeting and the subsequent bill, instead of being depressed and given a stiff-arm, maybe we would not have focussed on the bill's manifest deficiencies. However, even putting us aside, anyone was delusional who ignored the strong anti-Indian sentiment, in Congress and out, and who waved away the very recent, very bitter, battle by Taos Pueblo to recover Blue Lake. Too much was at stake in too many Indian-connected land & resource disputes in too many parts of the country.
An April article by the Tucson Star's outdoor writer, Pete Cowgill, drove this home. Titled "Havasupais May Get Land", it started: Udall and Goldwater "have opened up a can of worms. Or maybe it's a Pandora's box." With a close connection to McComb, Cowgill accurately described the proposed reservation, but noted it would halve the miles from the reservation to Park h.q., and would include the scenic falls plus both major trailheads. "Can of worms" is McComb's quote. What became a major anti-Havasupai talking point was next: In July 1972, the Havasupai received $1.2 million for the lands it lost 100 years before, some of which the bill would return. What happens to the $1.2 mil?, Cowgill questions, and how much use do the Havasupai actually make of the land at issue? He then quotes at length Udall's introductory remarks about the transfer, which of course had been supplied in gist by McComb. (Udall, by the way, was not only a senior Democrat on the House Interior Committee; he represented the congressional district Cowgill, McComb & I lived in.) "In good conscience," Cowgill concludes, "no conservationists could take the position that the Havasupai Tribe may never build a road or a tramway to the area that has been his homeland for 1,000 years. We cannot wallow in our Cadillacs and freeways and at the same time condemn the Havasupai to forever ride their Indian ponies or walk. There is no manifest destiny for the Havasupai. As Big Brother the white man will have to determine what is best for the Tribe. This may be a 'Hell of a way to run a railroad'; but it is the only railroad we have. And nobody is going to like either the final destination or the fare it takes to get there."
The Havasupai change mentioned above came when the rancher with an allotment on the Forest that had been included in the Havasupai transfer had objected, and Goldwater had agreed to leave it in the Forest. So in May, there was a new map with an altered eastern Havasupai boundary. The allotment too sacred to ranching to be returned to the Havasupai was the Rain Tank Allotment, indicated by the area with RTA, some 25,000 acres; its removal left the proposed reservation at 144,740 ac.
A letter from Goldwater to McComb in June called this a "correction". The Reservation had been "inadvertently" extended out of the Havasupai grazing allotment.
In mid-May, I noted that there was some sentiment in the Sierra Club state chapter for the Havasupai, who had asked the chapter for its mailing list; it was only willing to run a Havasupai letter. And McComb received a call from the American Indian Historical Society spurred by the Havasupai. On the other anti-Park front, the hunter group met with agency officials in early June. They seriously objected to any change, Wilderness or Park, to LMNRA. They opposed the Havasupai transfer, and pointed out that getting the $1.2 million and then the land back was "double payment". They wanted Mt. Emma out of the new Park and aimed to make a united front.
I commented in my journal that this would be seen as a critical period. Regardless, I was off to Baja California for a three-week family trip, and upon returning in June, ended up trapped by a kidney stone in the hospital right through the hearing, which was announced while I was away for June 20.
McComb, when the hearings were announced, shook off all questionings and sent out a 3-½-page mailer: "THE GRAND CANYON -- IN DANGER AGAIN!" Here's the map he produced, differing from the Goldwater map by showing the March eastern Havasupai line, and leaving off the words about the Park-Hualapai boundary being the south bank.
In his general introduction, McComb wrote of "the widespread conviction that Grand Canyon National Park should be enlarged to encompass the entire canyon". On Goldwater's bill: "Superficially the bill appears to extend protection to many deserving areas, but a closer examination reveals that the total acreage in the National Park System is actually decreased by some 47,000 acres." It had "numerous" other deficiencies. The new Park acreage was based on unlikely-to-be-granted concurrences. It deleted 97,730 acres for a few ranchers and the Havasupai. For "some inexplicable reason", it does not extend to Lees Ferry and does not include such highly scenic places on the Kaibab as De Motte Park and the North Canyon-Cockscombs, nor Tusayan, the site of some very unsightly development. Havasu Canyon would be deleted, when more should be added. Instead of being confined to lower Kanab Creek, the new park should include its vast upper reaches. The north plateau deletions contain significant archeological remains. Toroweap Valley, Mount Trumbull, Parashont and Whitmore Canyons should all be included, not just a narrow strip along the river. The critical Shivwits Plateau is left out. In sum, all resource conflicts are resolved in favor of development and extraction. Exclusions are motivated by economic development, while no grazing lands, no lands with mining threats or merchantable timber, no important hunting areas, and none of the rim essential for the canyon's protection were taken in. A large tract of NPS and FS land is transferred to the Havasupai, with only weak controls on development. Nearby private land should be purchased instead, and existing Havasupai rights left undisturbed.
The zone-of-influence is described, but it has "a very serious weakness". First, Congress must approve it in a "strong, useful form", and then the Secretary of the Interior must be convinced to restrict activities in all necessary locations. The zone is not a substitute for actual Park inclusion. The Wilderness is grossly inadequate; none of the added lands are mentioned; the river is not included. Also: no condemnation power, retention of the reclamation provision for the enlarged Park, no controls on development on nearby Indian lands. We expect Senator Case's bill to go a long way toward meeting our objections to the Goldwater bill. People are urged to write asking at least that park protection be extended to significant, unprotected parts of the Canyon, and that park quality lands not be deleted.
And with this statement, any echo of the effort we had made to construct a widely acceptable bill died away. Stiffed and frozen out by Emerson, and considering deeply over several months the realities and consequences of S. 1296, we chose to go into opposition, taking our stand for a "complete Grand Canyon National Park" proposal, instead of an Arizona-style anti-NPS and pro-Havasupai bill.
As the hearings neared, the hunters too were meeting on their position, while the Arizona Power Authority took notice.
Meanwhile (7 Jun), NPS was preparing departmental views for the hearings. Stitt wanted to put more teeth in aircraft provisions. In draft testimony, Bean suggested adding Blue Mountain on the Shivwits, but giving the rest to BLM. The extension of the Grand Wash Cliffs south of the river was a good addition to protect against a road. NPS emphasized the desirability of control over boating three times, and would not be for the deletions because of the archeology and not needing the land for exchange. Additions were the Monument, lower Kanab, Marble subject to Navajo approval, Coconino, the riverbed subject to Hualapai approval. Notable changes also were to drop the reservoir backwater and to cut back on the transfer from Tenderfoot and Topacoba. Lees Ferry was back in. NPS wanted condemnation power, but not the zone of influence since it already had the power to make cooperative agreements. Repeal the Havasupai 1919 use clause. The wilderness provision should be separate. The May 1973 DSC map, 113-20,000H, shows these changes(sorry about the misalignment).
Compared to the Goldwater bill, this map:
Starts at Lees Ferry and has no Monument deletions.
The Topacoba deletion is reduced, leaving more of the Great Thumb in the Park.
The 300' reclamation withdrawal is written on the map, though it is not clear that it is to be the boundary.
Moreover, the south bank boundary has no concurrence note, unlike the Riverbed section. The lettering for the Riverbed is moved upstream to emphasize that it refers to bringing the boundary of the old Monument from the north bank across the river.***
On the far west, the northern boundary has lost the bump at Snap Point.
The deletion acreages are Tenderfoot = 14,700; Marble = 3,550; Topocoba = 41,200. They forgot to take out the Rain Tank Allotment.
Total of the new park: 1,239,795 acres.
*Such comments and evaluations forcefully highlight our belief in the importance of seeing the Canyon as a complete entity, length and width and depth, geology and its history. For us, it was not just a collection of more or less gorgeous pieces, some of which should be set aside, and the rest thrown away. We did not choose winners and losers, but wanted the Canyon to be comprehended and appreciated as an integrated acme of the natural world. We said: Set aside the Canyon, and then work to make uses conform to it, instead of cutting out the impacted pieces to make a Park based on "purity". Even damaged, as some parts were, we hoped that presenting it "complete" would lead to healing and strengthened protection. The continuing debate over dam impacts and their mitigation illustrates the vitality of that hope. For that matter, the impact of the current drought on re-invigorated flow from Separation Canyon to Grand Wash Cliffs (and beyond) illustrates the vitality, and variability, of the Canyon's natural world.
** The notes I have from these NPS files show that Stitt was always thinking that the boundary was at the high water mark, while we saw it as lying along the water's actual edge, giving jurisdiction over the river surface to NPS. For the ordinary fluctuations of the now-controlled river flow, this difference would not matter much. However, in 1975, the Stitt view seemed all of a sudden to be that it went to the "historic" high water mark, which could go some distance up the bank, and would have taken Hualapai land under a common-sense interpretation of their reservation boundary going "to and along the river". Some part of this difference may have arisen because of NPS wanting to use "Colorado Riverbed" to place the boundary; again we were thinking of managing traffic going down on the river surface; when you got out of the boat on the south shore along the Reservation, you would be on Hualapai land. Fortunately, the "riverbed" usage was dropped from the map.
***I emphasize these seemingly inconsequential changes because the map named in the final Act, crude and detailless, is still the official description of the boundary, so a shift of position or wording is meaningful, not just tidying up.
Sources: My journal and files
Notes on NPS archives in DC and GCNP; also Az G&F and APA