The inadequacies of the Goldwater + Emerson approach to legislating had been brought into embarrassing view in the June 20th Senate hearing. Even after years of consultations and meetings, the testimony made obvious that major issues had not been resolved; the bill being considered seemed just the latest in the series of trial balloons since 1966. Unfortunately, the Senator seems to have been under the impression that he deserved agreement on his "compromise". However, of the two interests that should have been energetically supporting their approach, we Grand Canyon advocates hated the deletions and wanted a more complete Park, while the Havasupai, as the only strong supporters, failed to gather the kind of allies needed to counter their array of opponents.
Here is a recap of how the parts of the bill fared in the hearings:
Recognition of complete Canyon and unified interpretation: no controversy.
Boundaries: Canyon advocates were anti-deletion and wanted more; hunters, loggers, and other interests the reverse.
Acquisition: criticized for lack of eminent domain.
Indian protection & support: Navajo were indifferent & did not appear; Hualapai were opposed.
Havasupai: supported an enlarged reservation, but did not like not being deprived of the Globe Ranch allotment.
Zone of influence: universally attacked.
Grazing for 10 years: no comment.
Aircraft regulation: weak, evoking little notice.
Reclamation provision: opposed by supposed beneficiary Hualapai tribe.
Wilderness: rejected as inadequate.
P. Clemons reported to his Arizona Wildlife Federation that both the zone of influence and the deletions were opposed by most. On the latter the AWF should be ready to accept the archeological argument if the acreage was not excessive. The Havasupai legislation should be separated. The Kaibab was safe, and in general the AWF was in a stronger position than the Sierra Club, especially with Goldwater.
Newspaper reports had the bill "blasted" (Arizona Republic, 21 June) and "criticized" (New York Times, 22 June). The Republic set up the conflict in the first 8 paragraphs, with Goldwater presenting his Park after many meetings, then being "denounced" for a bill that was worse than none at all. Loggers and hunters were against or had reservations. The Havasupai were presented as only defensive. The Times noted support for the basic idea and displeasure from many about specifics. Loggers' attacks on the zone of influence were of prime interest, though it was noted that nobody approved of the idea. Conservationist and agency objections also gave a picture of opposition about which "a Goldwater aide" said the Senator "was not surprised".
The state of Goldwater's mind is better shown in this letter sent the day after the hearing:
We were sent a similar signal by Danson of the Museum of Northern Arizona: the Case bill has no chance; if Goldwater's is defeated, he will never introduce another. Saying stuff like that to us -- proud, even arrogant, over defeating the dams -- just entrenched us in our determination to fight for our Park concept. As throughout this effort, we faced that great political question: when to kick, bite, and scratch for your position, and when to make nice and pick up "half a cake"(Danson) or maybe just crumbs?
If Goldwater was "flabbergasted", it must be attributed to Emerson's having misled him, indicated by Emerson calling us "liars" in the Times of 23 June. It is unfortunate that the Goldwater archives are so bare of material on this critical boss-aide relationship. In any case, Emerson's hostility to us from the beginning meant that we had no illusions: We could not work with Goldwater himself because he delegated to Emerson; Emerson would not work with us. Uneasy relations shaped by the 1964-8 dam fight had been reinforced up through the hearings, and there was no attempt at repair. Of course, with McComb's friendly talk with Representative Udall, we showed we were already exploring a path to a better bill.
The summer of 1973 brought the proverbial war of words, in the press and out, while the bill awaited mark-up action in the Senate Interior Committee. Hearings in the House were scheduled for 20 July, then postponed; whether because of "the press of other business" or perhaps because the Senate had not acted. Besides the war, Goldwater and the Parks Subcommittee under Bible put out a revised bill on July 9, and it was the one considered by the Committee in September. I will describe the word war and the legislative action as two separate streams, intertwined though they were.
Here's a running summary of the exchanges:
We showed our disposition by attacking back. In early July, I wrote that the Goldwater bill was "anti-park", the Park losing every dispute to private & economic exploitation. Five years before, we fought "those people, including Senator Goldwater, who wanted to put dams in the Grand Canyon." Next, writing Goldwater on 3 July, I was "puzzled" at not being able to get across to him our feelings about the deletions. I was "bothered" that the zone of influence was so ambiguous, and "baffled" that he had not followed through on his concern for protecting the river, putting it under the Park's control and into the Wilderness. Our hopes for a "progressive" bill were withering under a confusion of compromises where the Park has given much and gotten little. And I wrote Udall asking him to consider a new bill.
Jul 3: In Tucson the Star praised Goldwater's "balanced" effort and his "affinity" for the Canyon. McComb replied that a reduction of NPS areas because of the deletions was unprecedented and would have such serious consequences that no bill was better.
Jul 12: Avery, in the Republic, strongly supported Goldwater's bill that would "put all of the canyon in one park", but said the Sierra Club "refuses" to go along. There were areas of agreement, but the Club would not "get its way" on the deletions. It forgets that the object of the bill is the Canyon, not all the surrounding region. He ended "surely they do not seriously accuse Barry Goldwater of trying to destroy the Grand Canyon."
Mid-July: In a Goldwater "analysis" of his revised legislation for a southern Arizona conservation newsletter, Emerson defended the deletions as "not necessary for protection" of the Canyon; they are wildlife areas. An amended bill would remove the zone of influence and support for Indian development, and it would change the Havasupai provision to a study. Aircraft regulation would be strengthened & condemnation permitted.
Jul 15: McComb sent out a flyer to Arizona chapter members, with an urgent tone, given much possible action in July. Goldwater's bill had been opposed by most witnesses, in whole or part. Revisions are being made. The House has set hearings. Money is needed; letters to Udall are needed. The Case bill was summarized, and the Goldwater bill provisions contrasted with what "A good bill" would provide, namely adding important lands and deleting none, making a 2-million-acre Park.
July 19: Club Executive Director McCloskey sent letters to appropriate Senators at the "grave threat to the integrity" of NPS posed by the deletions. The "shortcomings" of this "legislative attack" on GCNP and NPS were "ominous".
And a special letter to Interior Committee Chairman Jackson from Club President Moss equating the dam and park deletion threats. This was an especially important matter, even though the Club had other concerns with the bill.
July 22: I prepared an article and background memo laying out the ways in which a "horrid fantasy" of degradation was embodied in the Goldwater bill, focussing again on the deletions, the bill's "most startling feature". I also worried that "crowding and destruction" by visitors to Havasu Canyon would accelerate. The "impossible Case bill", as Goldwater called it, was our "mature" alternative, a "real park" instead of an "anti-park" bill. It would deal with the rogue's roster of problems that beset the Canyon: rim logging, chaining of plateau lands, unsuitable development, river management, mining, dam promotion, wilderness, control of motors, the river boundary, and the threat of deletions.
At the end of July, the heat caused the pot to boil over, as the Arizona papers carried headlines like "Goldwater chides, quits Sierra Club" (Tucson Citizen, 30 Jul), and "Sierra Club loses Barry" (Avery in Republic, 29 Jul). The latter led by saying that the "Club's about face" on his bill had caused the resignation. "I don't believe the Club is actually interested in anything but demonstrating (its) muscle", Barry told Ben. McComb and Ingram had spent two weeks in Washington "buttonholing Senators" to kill his bill. We were described as having said we would go along with everything except the Havasupai deletions, and then launched a full-scale attack on his bill while backing the "extravagant" Case bill. Said Ben, "I don't think the Sierra Club can hold a candle to Barry Goldwater when it comes to caring what happens to the Grand Canyon." [Reminder: Both Ben & Barry supported building dams in the Canyon.] And now the Club, "completely unwilling to compromise", seems ready to kill the bill. He ended his column by re-telling the dam story so that he & Goldwater were against Marble Canyon dam and the Club did not oppose Los Angeles' attempt to build Bridge Canyon dam.
Jul 30: McComb teletyped to Goldwater that he was "deeply distressed by a number of false and misleading statements made over your name… you are being misled by your staff or others." It was completely untrue that the Club ever promised to support your bill. The deletions are the "biggest stumbling block". We "expressed reservations about these deletions at the meeting in your home." "I repeatedly made it clear to Terry Emmerson (sic) of your staff that there was no way in which the Sierra Club could support a park bill" with the deletions. "I am flabbergasted that you now feel 'double-crossed'." It is untrue Ingram & I have been trying to kill the bill; we seek only to amend it to stop the deletion for the benefit of several ranchers. NPS agrees with us that the lands should be retained.
This denial of the Goldwater charge was released to the Arizona papers, appearing on 31 Jul. One paper noted that Goldwater's resignation had come in a 12 July letter to the Club president, in which he said, "Frankly, I don't care to be associated with a group so uncertain of what they really want." And on Aug 1, McComb received a telegram that Goldwater would reply in the Congressional Record, which he did the next day.
Aug 2: The statement took five columns, followed by other material, altogether just about three full pages, one page less than he took in introducing the bill in the first place. Along with a letter that appeared in the Republic on 4 Aug, "Why Sen. Goldwater, Sierra Club part ways", it was the pinnacle of Terry Emerson's steersmanship of the Goldwater effort. Whether he was always ill-disposed toward the effort or incompetent is of little moment; his treatment of us and his lack of understanding as he carried out never-ending revisions of provisions over the years, combined with Goldwater's own above-it-all, hands-off legislative stance, resolved themselves into a pathetic flailing about that tarnished even the idea of compromise.
The remarks placed in the C.R. by Senator Fannin for Goldwater (pp S15484-8, August 2, 1973) spoke of a Club "national propaganda campaign… of improper character". He offered background that conveniently started in 1969 and his meeting with some conservation lobbyists. More meetings followed, including at his home. He did admit: "I kept revising my legislation to fit the best ideas and suggestions". He talked of the two Club representatives [it is a measure of a carelessness about facts that I was always labelled as with the Club, although I was not even a member, much less a representative] who were "given the floor and held the attention of our group for a long and thorough expounding of the type of bill which the Sierra Club would like". [My comment in the margin about this misrepresentation is simply: "NO".]
He lists the three elements he thinks we wanted: from Marble Canyon to Grand Wash Cliffs within the canyon rim to be in the Park; a zone of influence; designating half a million acres as Wilderness. So, he believed, the Club leadership had been brought in so closely to get a bill that conformed to their goals, that it was a good compromise which they would support. That is, they would feel "a moral obligation" to accept "the reworked version". So I was "absolutely astounded" at their opposition at the hearing. They "reneged" on "the exact lines" on their map which they gave me and I sent as a guide for drawing boundaries. [This is such a complete falsification of Emerson's refusing our help at the end of that second meeting that it almost tempts me to believe that his aim all along was to provoke us to disagree, since he knew his boss paid little attention to such details as maps.] Now they have "blitzed" the mailboxes of their membership to challenge the very boundaries they proposed.
Second they have turned on the zone of influence they themselves proposed, using "ridiculous innuendos", and even though they told my office that the new version was stronger than theirs. Yet the zone was "a good conservationist idea", "a landmark precedent" which might have had a chance had they vigorously supported their own idea. [Just because it has a fleece like a sheep, walks like a sheep, and baas like a sheep, doesn't mean that a wolf in sheep's clothing is the sheep it ate.] The Club should remember it does not help the legislative process to recommend something one day and turn against shortly afterward. [!!]
The Club has sent a letter to all other Senators with unsubstantiated charges about the areas to be deleted. Their "gross misrepresentation" is refuted by a long list of areas that have been removed from the Park System (these are included in the postscript to the speech). He defends taking the plateau lands out by citing the previous Park Service position. The archeological discoveries will be protected; the lands are better suited for grazing and wildlife, e.g., reestablishment of antelope.
So the Club ignores the bill's purpose and that it "will protect 273 miles of the Canyon, three times the mlles now given park protection." They wish to make it seem as if being for this bill means automatically being against conservation. Goldwater then goes into a tirade about the opposition to the SST, with its "most ridiculous kind of propaganda", and then he dares recall the lie that by talking about the dams flooding the Grand Canyon, the Club was saying the Canyon would be full to the rim. [At this point, Emerson's envenomed hatred of the Club and probably all left-wingers and environmentalists had completely exposed itself.] He tries to scramble back by saying, "I am happy that we are proceeding without the dam".
The speech closes with an assertion of his lifetime of conservation beliefs. So the charges against his bill are "nonsense and scare stories and unsubstantiated charges". This is proven because an umbrella group, the Arizona Conservation Council, voted down a Club motion and endorsed my bill.
Of course, in the face of this assertion of rectitude, we withered and died of shame.
Aug 3: I sent a letter to the local Daily Star listing the virtues of the Case bill. And at this time, Case sent out a brief tape for broadcast on his bill tripling the Park. And as if to buck up our cause, John Riffey, Ranger at the Monument where the deletion lands were, went picture-taking with Dr. Thompson of the damage to archeological sites by chaining. In Washington, the Parks Subcommittee had the bill revised by dropping the zone of influence and the Park deletions for Havasupai expansion. But we had already been concentrating our efforts on saving the three Kanab Plateau areas for the Park.
Aug 15: McComb reported in his "Southwest Wildlands" newsletter that committee mark-up on the again-revised bill would take place in September. The two issues were to revise the boundary so that there were no deletions and so that rim lands would be included for adequate protection.
Aug 16: He circularized a selection of Sierra Club leaders in the states of Senators on the Interior Committee. It was aimed exclusively at retaining the plateau lands, and dismissed Emerson's list of precedents as either "minor boundary adjustments" or of "small areas which were not of national significance". This technique was supposed to elicit informed letters from people possibly known to the particular Senator's office. It could be a finely honed tool to get the attention, if briefly, for a particular item being considered.
Aug 17: Friends of the Earth sent a fact sheet to newspaper editors who had opposed the dams, saying another piece of the Canyon was wanted by the "forces of economic self-interest", in this case, cattle ranchers. The several-page wordy appeal was a long shot, given the lack of photogenic views and the overall benevolence of enlarging the Park.
Aug 31: After doing our own research, McComb sent another letter to all Senators, including an analysis of the areas cited by Goldwater for deletion. Again, given that the issue was a detail in what seemed to be a "bill doing good", likely not to have too much impact, except to let the principals know we were on the job. Also, Goldwater's attack gave us an opening to act aggrieved. Here, "the central and most important question" was the fate of the lands to be deleted, reduced from 97,700 acres to 41,630 acres. It contained a somewhat more detailed analysis of the deletions Goldwater had cited, bringing out how unusual his proposal was.
[I interject here a reminder about the fact that no one knew about or remembered how President Roosevelt in 1940 had deleted a huge chunk of this very Monument by executive order. And NPS supporters of the deletions like Tillotson were no longer around. We were very lucky; one can easily imagine a pro-Goldwater scenario of a last-minute discovery of the previous deletion; now that would have been embarrassing.]
We had to explain away previous NPS calls for the deletions because of "changed circumstances". And of course, it was a "grave threat" to other NPS areas. McComb also defended the Club against Goldwater's charge of being unwilling to compromise, by describing our attempt as being to find a middle ground. However, Goldwater took our ideas and combined them with "completely unacceptable" features. After all this twisty argument, it was good to just say a "truly good park bill" would add the side canyons and plateau lands, period. So McComb did not pursue Goldwater's Aug 2 screed further, only saying we regretted it had come to this, since we "do not doubt Senator Goldwater's sincere interest".
The analysis of the areas previously transferred went like this: Of the 57 areas, 36 were something called National Recreation Demonstration Areas, which were not even in the National Park System, and were mostly given to state or local governments. Fifteen of the NPS units were abolished as being small areas not of national significance; they totaled only 15 Kac. The rest were all boundary modifications for administrative convenience, and totaled about the same as the three significant pieces of the Kanab Plateau. Again, twisty arguments, leaving the carry-away point: What Goldwater wanted to do was take legitimate, significant pieces of Park-worthy land to satisfy the grievances of a few local ranchers.
Sep 5 McComb sent out a press packet that started: "A few years ago, Senator Barry Goldwater joined with others and supported the construction of a dam in the lower Grand Canyon--and the Sierra Club opposed him." Not quite below the belt, but maybe a kidney punch. It was definitely for devotees who would want to understand how legislation that looked at first like "an effort by the Arizona Senator to help protect the Canyon, looks on continued inspection like the proverbial Pandora's box". The bill takes quality land out of the Park; it contains a study to take more land out of the Park; the river, the heart of the canyon, is ignored; half a million acres of the Canyon is not even considered; the bill reaffirms the worthiness of a dam. Instead, there should be a bill including all the river and appropriate rim lands and side canyons.
The packet included maps, archeologist Thompson's statement, the letter to Jackson focussing on the deletions, various newspaper articles on the summer's word war, and the newsletter ("The Grand Canyon -- in Danger Again!"); all to emphasize that the issue truly was of national significance and had the necessary elements of controversy and side-taking.
Sep 4 & 6 Ben Avery put out pro-Goldwater articles, one with a warning that the Case bill was personally doomed by Goldwater as "impossible"; the other, "Stick to the facts", about the Club's "propaganda methods" to "defeat" the Goldwater bill. Interestingly, Avery contended "there was never any question these (Havasupai) deletions would not be approved". Sort of a confession that Goldwater intended to double-cross the Havasupai all along, though I do not happen to believe that. Now, Emerson… Avery also attacked McComb for mis-stating what happened at an uncrucial Arizona Conservation Council meeting. He also called the President's Office of Management and Budget "apparently under the thumb of someone in the Sierra Club". A few such Avery-facts, and it is clear that our once-ally, but always Goldwater-friend, had become a bit unstuck.
But the word war time was over; it was decision time
Sources: My files, some papers and copies from the era, including battle papers and reports; some from NPS archives.
Also Az Game & Fish Dept archives and Goldwater papers at ASU Hayden.
Newspaper articles. Of these, there were two Tucson papers, Arizona Daily Star, Tucson Citizen. In Phoenix, the Arizona Republic was the heavy-weight, in part because Goldwater friend Ben Avery was Outdoor writer and guru.