At first, the summer looked crowded. The hearing complete, the Senate subcommittee on Parks under Senator Bible would work over the bill. Very quickly, we heard changes were being made by Goldwater's and Senate committee staff. There was talk of sub-committee "mark-up" of the bill with these changes in mid-July, followed by consideration in the full Interior Committee. A vote by the full Senate would complete action there. As well, the initial indications were that the House Parks subcommittee might try to hold its hearings around July 20th. Thus, McComb and I knew we would have to get ourselves to Washington in its most uncomfortable season, the muggy summer. And, since we wanted to push for changes that Senator Goldwater opposed, we would be introducing ourselves to new casts of characters, hoping we could convince a number of them not only to be interested, and not just to support a settled bill, but to help us make changes the bill's sponsor was against. My file contains pages of hand-written comments, notes, suggestions on whom to contact and how. Most, Im afraid, are undated and some, obscure. It is still entertaining, though, to read through and try to re-create that hectic quality of walking & bustling about the halls of the Senate's (as later the House's) office buildings, chewing over our issues and prospects, purposefully with the many, always busy, aides, and, with more freedom, among ourselves.
A prime group was the committee Staff, headed by Jerry Verkler. Then there were the appropriate aides for those Senators we hoped would be friendly to our views. And the same sort of groupings in the House. We needed to learn a lot fast; some was gratifying, such as hearing that Verkler was in tune with our opposition to taking land from the Park for the Havasupai. Or finding my former contact with Reclamation, Dan Dreyfus, had moved to the Committee Staff and was as competent and helpful as before. Preliminary soundings of conservation-friendly aides were reassuring. Then, of course, there were conservation organization allies, welcoming as would be expected given McComb's good reputation, especially George Alderson of Friends of the Earth.
The latest version of Goldwater's ever-changing bill S1296 appeared as "Committee Print No. 1", dated 9 July, which we saw on the 10th. A spite bill it appeared to me, reflecting Emerson's annoyance at having his work challenged. In section order:
The starting point was brought down to Navajo Bridge from Lees Ferry.
The language on using the deleted lands for exchange was dropped.
A section was added to "protect" any "significant archeological resources" on the deleted lands.
The prohibition was removed on acquiring land by condemnation.
State land could now only be donated,.
Reservation land transfers to the Park had to be approved by the tribe.
The zone of influence and the "Indian Development" sections were removed.
Interior was authorized and encouraged, not "directed", to cooperate with other entities.
Aircraft noise regulation agencies were now to "take appropriate action to protect the park and visitors".
The reclamation provision for the original Park was removed and the anti-dam provisions of 1968 were reaffirmed. New language allowed the Secretary to authorize reclamation use in the lands transferred from Lake Mead NRA.
The Havasupai Reservation expansion was deleted, replaced by a direction to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior to study and make recommendations in early 1974 on that expansion. The study was to include economic project proposals and the feasibility of acquiring private land.
The Wilderness provision was the same.
The amount of appropriations authorized was made explicit.
Please note, we were not invited to nor informed about the subcommittee meeting that approved this Emerson "vanity" bill. Nor, given the word war going on, should we have expected it.
In reaction, aside from a series of "NO"s, we drew up three positions:
Full Wilderness & elimination of motors
Navajo & Hualapai lands safeguarded; Havasupai rights confirmed
Control of development and activity abuse
Park wins over resource conflicts with reclamation, grazing, mining.
minimum: Amend S1296 to
Add lower Colorado, and more of Kanab, Whitmore-Parashant, North Rim; 350 kac
Study all values of Havasu Canyon area
Study all for wilderness; river in after motors out.
middle: A clean bill by section:
1. Add another 200 kac-- Shivwits, Marble rims, Toroweap, Havasu
2-3. Acquisition and concurrence
4. Interpretation support
6. Regulate motors, air & water, with deadlines
7. Repeal reclamation
8. Havasu exchange, support, confirmation of rights
9. Study all Park for wilderness
10. Authorize funds.
We thought it basically fair that any study of land for the Havasupai should also include studying park values and allowing citizen input. A full Wilderness study was also basic, as well as getting in the entire river from mile 0 to 277. Of course, the Case bill embodied our largest view--one that was steadfastly ignored in the Senate. Indeed, of the 17 changes I counted as urged in the hearings, 14 were made, almost all ones asked for by NPS. We were irked in particular that NPS prissiness led them to drop almost 20% of the river.
Also, NPS advised it did not like the bill introduced by Congressman Saylor since it included Navajo land for which "we see no need". It also included Hualapai land, instead of stopping at the south bank. Going from the grand to the miniscule, McComb, trying to determine the acreages to the first decimal point, was told the status of inholdings seemed to be 6,538.14 acres, but the Park "cannot realistically solidify on that amount" due to ambiguity introduced by legal requirements. Being a committed estimator, I wasnt too bothered by a wiggly 6,500 acres out of, say, 1,300,000. We were also thinking about a picture book of the lands and the effects of chaining, as well as ads to dramatize an issue that likely did not have the punch of dams.
Locally, I spoke with GCNP Sup't Stitt on 3 July, and he assured me they still wanted to keep the three tracts of Monument land, but did not care about the zone of influence, and worried that anything in the bill about the river would bring motor-boaters resistance. Similarly, worried about opposition to starting the Park at Lees Ferry, NPS just would work it out administratively.
My notes indicate we took a trip with Stitt to look at the proposed deletions. Here is McComb's detailed depiction of the areas involved.
Though detailed as to the country involved, my journal and memory are empty on the trip--not that they are 100% reliable, as I have related (6 Oct 2012).The sketch (copperplate script and all) below recorded my information from the time on the 3 deletions from west to east: Slide Mtn., Tuckup, Jensen Tank:
(Maybe, 40 years later is a good time to take these notes and go make a comparison.)
There was a 5 July Phoenix meeting of the Arizona Conservation Council, an umbrella of organizations which we hoped might endorse the larger Park envisioned by the Case bill. First, it heard a report from, of all people, NPS' Lovegren. Saying Interior "generally supported the bill", he went on to list disagreements: The Marble boundary should be changed to be on the rim. Originally, the Monument deletions were for trades no longer desirable, and in addition there were archeological values, so NPS opposed making the deletions. The Hualapai river boundary is on the south bank. NPS wanted the reclamation provision deleted. Goldwater went much further on the Havasupai lands; all Lovegren had wanted was to make the Park "purer", but as a result of pressures from the likes of McComb, NPS now opposed any deletions. Ingram's idea of the zone of influence was opposed by everybody, and NPS can do it administratively, as it can help with developments on reservation lands. Avery chimed in that the Monument deletions were still in the bill; the zone was out, and the Havasupai would get only a study.
McComb & I were not ACC members, so a sympathizer offered a motion to support the Case biil. However, Avery, still trying to bridge the Goldwater-Sierra Club gap, got it amended to support the "concept" of a unified administration of the Canyon under the Park Service, without being more explicit. Later, the Game & Fish representative won support for adding in the power of eminent domain and opposing any deletions for the Havasupai.
Whatever; this was now Washington business, and McComb & I would be off in July to seek friends, make our case against deleting lands from the Park System and for a 2-million-acre Grand Canyon National Park, thus confounding expectations that everything was settled. Here was our summary map of threats and hopes:
My journal indicates that we were in Washington from July 16 to 25. I listed nine Senators, Committee staff, Park Service and Interior officials, and the three key Representatives, along with others we hoped were friendly.
Since it was my first time in a few years, I conferred with people who had been helpful before, like Sterling Munro in Senator Jackson's office, Congressman Tom Foley, and conservationist George Alderson. We met with our Representative, Mo Udall and his staff, and delivered background material to those on the House Committee. This was all expectedly hopeful. From others, in offices of Senators on the Committee, whom we were petitioning cold, we heard a range from willingness to help to polite listening to cool.
When we passed Emerson, he assured us that everything was set, and he gave us a dig about taking out the Wilderness designation. As usual, he was arousing hostility, in this case, committee staffer B.Hartung, whom he had "bawled out". To counter-balance, a Jackson staffer got us in to see former NPS Director, now lobbyist, George Hartzog. He reacted well, wanted to check with MNA Director Danson, and could talk to Bible. Later, we found out that Hartzog was warned off. We continued making the rounds, often seeing people more than once, to initiate a contact, then to follow up with more material. At this time, the Club letter to all Senators was sent out. Had anyone been skeptical about our effort, by the time we went home, our seriousness must have been evident. In any case, it appeared work on the strip mining legislation would be enough to occupy weeks.
Rumors and I-heards are the sparkles in DC routine. For instance, Hartung had heard that CBS News was working on "something". We were told NPS did not really care about the deletions. Emerson was supposed to have suggested setting up a "conservation zone" for the deleted lands. Verkler advised us on good behavior, and to be satisfied with just the deletion issue, not trying to open up the bill.
However, my journal post-visit summary starts off that our effort "was done wrongly". We did not dramatize sufficiently the issue as one of protecting the Park System. We should have had "definite indications" for Committee members of potential attack points in their states. Also, I had assumed "a behind-the-eight-ball attitude" because we were defending the Canyon instead of the Park System. That is we were defeatist in making it an Arizona issue, instead of being aggressive about NPS. Still, I thought we should continue to oppose the Goldwater bill; otherwise we would just be asking for "more, more". We should go on fighting in the Senate against a weakening of Park System protections. We were advised to ask Senate allies to lay down a marker of being informed about any further action, so the bill would not just slip by.
Five of our possible allies were only neutral. Pluses were that Senators Metcalf and Haskell were activists in the sense we hoped for. Moreover, Metcalf was insisting on taking up the strip mining bill first. So we had time to work more on Senator Church and ask Hartzog to try Bible again. We thought of NPS contacts who could talk to key Senators. Fortunately, with us back in Tucson, Alderson was in Washington to continue lobbying.
Our hopes were realized as Metcalf and Haskell wrote Bible 27 July saying they were concerned about the provisions deleting areas from the current Monument. Therefore they wanted to be notified when the bill came before the full committee so they would be able to have this issue discussed.
We also checked with Udall; there would be no hearings before the Senate Committee was done, and if we succeeded in having the deletions deleted, he would try to work with Goldwater on acceptance. We became more emphatic about our message that this was an NPS bill, a bad NPS bill, not a Grand Canyon bill.
Before the August recess, newspaper notice, slight compared to the on-going Goldwater-Sierra Club counter-charges, was taken that Bible's Parks Subcommittee had reported the once-again-changed Goldwater bill for full Interior Committee consideration. The article said it kept the Monument deletions and eliminated the zone of influence and the Havasupai Reservation expansion, leaving them with only another study. August was mostly action-free, though the underlying disquiet was indicated by our talk with Stitt, who said he was being pressed on the deletions; we told him to hold firm. He told us the tv program work was on the Havasupai and was "stacked". Meanwhile, we worked on ways to ask people in key Senator's states to contact them, using all the great array of available technology-- letters, telephone calls, telegrams. Although we probably believed that shoe leather would be the key.
With all indications that heat was increasing and the full Interior Committee would act soon, 5 & 6 September were crucial days, as John & I --calling offices from Tucson-- and George Alderson in DC worked on NPS "holding firm" backed by senatorial support. We had a few days, since we were told Bible would not be back until the next week. Alderson called me to call Curry, who dealt with NPS legislative matters, and I found total confusion about whether NPS had been contacted about its current position against the deletions. So we needed to get an NPS statement by having a Senator send (hand-delivered, actually) an inquiry. I called George, and he worked to set it up with Church, with copies to Goldwater and Bible. The letter was to question inadequate language protecting the archeological remains, the NPS precedent, and the need for proper management. As it appears in the archives, an NPS note was added that a strong letter was needed for the administration position, and inquiring about any new archeological information.
Meanwhile, our side let loose: a joint telegram opposing the deletions' threat to the integrity of the Park System, sent to Senator Jackson from ten Arizona conservation organizations;
our reply to Goldwater's attacks sent to all senators; the Club packet of information to newspapers.
Oh, and Goldwater was reported to have responded sourly when another Senator asked if the delay on his bill meant the Grand Canyon was "sunk in a legislative abyss".
On the 6th, committee staff chief Verkler suggested that he set up a meeting with NPS, Goldwater, and the Sierra Club. Stitt was summoned from the Park; Chapman from the western regional office. Stitt suggested he & I fly together to DC (McComb could not go); he was thinking there might have to be a compromise. Not only that, but someone had uncovered the 1939 Hayden bill for the Monument deletions (see my blog entry of 11 Mar 2011). We heard that Alderson had delivered the letter from Church to Interior for reply by the Monday, 10 September, meeting. The attendees were to be Verkler;
Curry of NPS legislative staff, Chapman & Stitt, and Wheeler from Parks Ass't Sec. Reed;
Ingram, McComb, Alderson;
Emerson, Loesch from Senator Fannin;
Kimball from Nat. Wildlife Fed.
The 10th would be the pivot for the lever long enough to lift the big weight, the hinge for the door to swing wide open, the added heat that caused the pot to boil over, its lid flying.
What is it Margo says? Fasten your seat belts, boys; its going to be a bumpy night!
Well, I added the "boys", just to remind us of the way it was back when there were only boys squaring off--as you will see in the next installment.