Sunday, November 25, 2012

PL93-620 L. Sep 1973: 3. BOOM! And When The Dust Clears...

The Monday, 10 September, meeting was convened by Jerry Verkler, Senate Interior Committee Chief of Staff, asking if we, meeting at the staff level, could reach consensus on the Grand Canyon bill, now that strip mining legislation was reported. A commitment had been made at the time of the CAP passage (1967-8) to reconsider GCNP boundaries. Hearings have been held, and Committee Print 1 reported by the Parks subcommittee.
Present to consider this question were three from Interior (Curry, Wheeler, Allen), five from NPS (Chapman, Stitt, Whitlock + 2), the Committee (Verkler + Hartung, and Harrison Loesch, minority counsel), Wildlife Federation (Clapper), Emerson, and George Alderson & me. My contemporaneous notes take up 2-½ pages in my journal. What follows are as close to quotes, fleshed out with grammar, as I could  record.

Emerson (E): We are trying to do today what Goldwater has tried to do over four years of meetings in his offices.
Clapper: Where are Monument deletions?
E: Isnt it true that NPS agrees to deletions with tight archeological safeguards?
Chapman: Our position initially was deletions as a basis of exchange, but no more. With (archeological) evidence now, we do not take the position for deletion.
Allen: And that position (against deletion) has not been changed.
E: I will settle that right now. (My notes say he "dashes away".)
Harrison Loesch(H): Goldwater has a very strong impression that the Secretary had agreed to change the position.   (I commented in the margin that we had "got to the nut awful fast".)
Curry: The letter from Reed to Church is the official position. (The letter was dated the 12th; see below.)
Ingram: We will fight against deletions at every step.
Clapper: The needs of wildlife management in principle require harvesting (= deer hunt).
Stitt (S): Slide Mtn cannot hold many(?).
George Alderson (G): Over-grazing or browsing?
S: Nothing recent.
G: Cattlemen want to get back in; would not that stimulate others to ask?
E returns.
Verkler (V): Lets review grazing.  
E  and S go back and forth.
V: Secretary could continue (grazing permits), yes.
E: Lets get it into open, and explore question.  Arizona & National Wildlife Federation are primary here; these are not Park quality lands. There are trophy bucks; antelope could come back; they are open grasslands. Need intensive wildlife management.
 (In journal, I comment: "taking lumps from Arizona delegation".)
E: You will get a new position, I guarantee.
H: The Department will accede to the deletions. Senators Fannin & Goldwater feel they have an understanding with Secretary Morton, even though there is nothing in writing.
V: The Committee will want to know what the Departmental position is.
E: You will know!!
Clapper: Im reflecting ideas of executive of N.W.F.
S: (In answer to question) water tanks will not be maintained.
V: So deer would migrate to where water is.
NPS man: Another point of difference is the lower river.
E: Goldwater will have to look at whole policy; there is now a national TV campaign on the Havasupai.
V: Will this bill be so controversial that it will have to be put on the back burner?
H: Not of utmost importance, but minority will go along. 
V: So much pressure to get a bill out.
E: Will go along with the Havasupai if certain things preserved, such as 270 miles of river.
H: Caveat: there is not total agreement on Indian lands.
V: So a letter from Jackson to Morton could ask what is the position?
G: Is deletion critical?
E: Yes. Critical to Arizona. 
H: Critical to Fannin (for intensive wildlife management & antelope restoration).
E: It is grassland.
S: No, it is pinyon-juniper.
E: Grazers are of great importance.
V: If deletions are kept, would Goldwater oppose the bill?
E: Yes.
H: Fannin would, too.
H (whispering to NPS's Curry): You know we had agreement with Sec. Morton.
V: If Senator had agreement with Morton, why did not people know?  I didnt know about this before. I sure do now. Jackson is calling me. I'll tell you today.
End of meeting.

We have another take from a memo on the meeting by NWF's Clapper; it ended up in the Arizona Game & Fish files. He had only an hour's notice, although the Sierra Club was able to come from the west. Verkler had obviously been heavily pressured by Emerson; Club & NPS had also caused meeting. I made it "crystal clear" AzWF favored deletions, and that set off fireworks. Stitt only partially confirmed our wildlife position, saying water supply was critical. Also brought up archeology. "Emerson jumped in and said Interior Dep't was going to reverse, and left, returning with firm assurances from Morton that latter would inform Committee." Fannin firm. Emerson lit into Club, talking about reneging. Talked about antelope, but Stitt said little grassland, as he knew since he, McComb & Ingram had recently walked over it.
  [So why didnt I record that in my journal? Oh, Kleio (or Clio), you are an erratic muse. And 
  also, if we had gone there, why didnt we make a photo album?]
Emerson then emphasized grazing, but since the permits could be extended by NPS, that undercut that argument with Verkler. Club is adamant; is AzWF? Goldwater seems to be, and no bill without Goldwater and Fannin pushing. Stitt said he would set up tour by AzWF and AzG&F. The discussion was "so heated that other issues were not treated".

Also on the 10th, McComb produced a memo reflecting our new tilt: The lands should be retained because 1. deletions from one part of the Park System would bring demands for deletions elsewhere, . He argued that the threat to the System was real; building it has required the greatest effort, as any legislator would know, as any would know about pressures for development on existing units. 2. The lands are worthy of their Park status for their geology, their scenery, their being the natural access to the middle Canyon, the ruins being discovered, their pygmy forests and sagebrush swales. Deleted to BLM, they would be chained and ruined.

On the 11th, I checked with various principals. First, I was told by an NWF aide that Emerson called AWF's Clemons in Arizona, saying he would come out to help AWF president write to Committee members, and to generate AWF mail. Would be in Tucson Wednesday & Thursday. 

Stitt told me he was to see Morton or somebody else high up the next day. He wanted to get AWF to the deletions.
Curry told me he had talked to Morton informally, and Morton had no recollection of an agreement. Also, Curry had intercepted Goldwater's call to Morton. Had read position letter: "Great". Spoke of Senatorial pique. Uptight with Arizona. There was absolutely no justification for deleting the lands; the burden has to be on the deleters. 

Most key was my conversation with Verkler in his office. He had gotten a "mad call" from Goldwater Monday night. Right at that moment, Goldwater calls him, all apologetic. He wants to get a bill out. V suggests a study. G says there was "no need for study b.s.--Get the bill out.--I want to protect the Canyon." V explains that he held the meeting on Jackson's orders. The grazing is taken care of. 
As Verkler is telling me he would talk to Fannin's aide to get him settled down, Ass't Sec. Reed returned V's call and said that Morton had seen Goldwater at a reception for Governor Connally, and there was no trouble.  Verkler opined that was due to NPS/Interior aides Curry and Wheeler talking to Morton first. 

There is an entry, with someone saying to me, most ambiguously, : "Verkler doesnt like me much." However, I do not know if the "me" refers to the speaker or to me. In any case, later that day, Verkler gave me & McComb the job of drafting the changes in Comm. Print 1 on grazing and deletions. He also said that Fannin was o.k. Action on the bill was now on the agenda, maybe but not likely that same week. We did our work and gave it to him. Since McComb was not in D.C., and I was to stay in D.C. to do the legwork. we did this by tele-phone or -type. The grazing revision in my writing, is in two parts, reflecting continued fussing. 

The first amendment to Comm. Print 1 was a change in the acreage constituting the new Park, which John had figured as 1,268,739 acres and a new map number, 113-91005, June 1973. A provision for archeological salvage was removed as no longer needed. The date for the Havasupai study was changed to a more practical one, a year after enactment. On grazing, it now had two parts, lifetime for the old Monument, and ten years for LMNRA graziers.
   A little side note: the boundary had been set in 1971 along grazing allotments at Senator Bible's behest, as I have recounted in earlier entries. However, when Goldwater agreed to go to the Grand Wash Cliffs, apparently no one thought to remember this behest, and a large allotment on the Canyon's mid-level Sanup Plateau was affected. The Gubler & Fry company, which had the allotments, were unaware of these changes until after the legislation was enacted; they were very unhappy.

So we had Committee Print No. 2, ready for the Sep 13th 1973 agenda as item #7. The operative description was that the deletions were retained on Departmental recommendation. Senator Goldwater does not object. Grazing rights were defined. Deletion of the Havasupai reservation enlargement was the second major change. There was to be a study. 

My summary for the two days: Verkler, Goldwater, & Fannin were o.k.  Bible, not so sure yet on the new draft he had been given. 
[You can read all of the above as another lesson in how underlings can get carried away, beyond where their bosses want to go. Or maybe that weak, nice-guy bosses are tough to work for. Once again, how sad that Emerson never put anything in the files so the Goldwater archives would have recorded his thinking.]

That same, busy, day, I visited the minority staffer, Clay Peters, on the House Parks Subcommittee, a Saylor appointee. He wanted to know if there would be a new bill from Udall, and that Saylor was really interested. [Not to spoil the stories, but here is one of the imponderables: Saylor soon became ill and died without becoming involved in House consideration of the bill. In the longer, more difficult, road to House and final passage of this legislation, his absence poses one of the great "what ifs". Without him, Steiger, anti-Park and pro-Havasupai, dominated the Republican side.}

The 12th started off with the aide to Metcalf, a staunch ally, saying that things would work out, and M did not want any more lobbying. He was committed to bringing the issue up; that's enough.
I was also told by a Committee aide, concerned about hunters unsticking the bill in the House, that something should be worked out to keep the AzWF and NWF happy about wildlife management.
 In checking with Committee members' aides, I was talking with Church's Yamagata, who had not yet received the letter from Interior, when a messenger appeared with it. First, the letter reaffirmed that the Department report and hearing testimony recommended the lands be included in the expanded Park. And that remained the Department's position, for their richness in unexplored archeological resources. They no longer were needed to exchange for other lands.
Later, he cleared this position with Church, though since the Senator would not be in town at the end of the week, his proxy had to be obtained for Chairman Jackson for possible use. 

Verkler was now pushing to get the bill ready and going. He had heard that Emerson was still saying that Goldwater was saying V tried to sabotage his bill. Back in Arizona, the AzWF took its turn to get all hot and bothered. It sent a telegram supporting deletions. Apparently, when Emerson said deletions would not be deleted, AzWF Clemons was so upset he wanted to kill the bill. He wanted to get all NWF affiliates to telegraph all Senators, but it would have cost too much. In contrast, Emerson was said to be now resigned. We did see a few of the telegrams from Arizona and Nevada hunters; there were surely more.

Meanwhile, staffer Bierne & I got straight from NPS how the grazing worked (5-year permits, renewable for life) and re-wrote the language. There was some fussing about wilderness being dropped. However, when I checked with the ever-calm Sterling Munro, he saw from his position as Jackson's aide that proxies were secure and everything looked fine for passage. When it appeared that Church's proxy would also be needed, I saw Verkler's good staff work on how to sew it up. I called McComb about the agenda. According to my work notes, my to-do list of contacts for Senators to be present or provide proxies was complete.

Thursday, 13 September, was the day for Committee action. Grazing language was still being haggled over by the minority, though we had distinguished the old Monument permits from those on LMNRA lands. Verkler made the comment that Bible was a great man, but did wish to go along with a state's Senators. As part of nailing it all down, the Committee staff wanted a telegram of Club support, so we got Executive Director McCloskey to send one. At another point, I was checking in the office of South Dakota's Abourezk,  when he came in and told me about being called by a local wildlife representative. 

In the meeting room, Verkler and Emerson talked, the latter saying he just wanted to move it along and protect the Canyon; V suggested it was all a "cross-up". The question for getting legal action would be whether there was a quorum; at the start there was not. Verkler told me Jackson would not be there. My journal comment is "Plagued by tension & errors", the latter referring to my discovery that some lines in the Havasupai section had been dropped and there were wrong section numbers. [Such things DO matter.] 
 When Bible arrived at 10, he was complaining about Verkler not telling the truth, as a quorum was inching in: Fannin & Nelson, joking around; Haskell & Bartlett. Bible first brought up the Shenandoah Wilderness, then S1296. There was praise for a retiring staffer, Bible saying, "I won't be too far behind you." He commented then on the bill: Goldwater & Fannin staffs were trying to reconcile differences. Not everybody was satisfied, but overall it was a good bill. I talked with Goldwater and he is satisfied, in spite of "a little difference". Fannin now spoke, supporting Bible, and saying Goldwater has practically lived there and worked for proper preservation. He has cooperated completely with all groups and satisfied them that this is o.k. Lots of work has now all been brought to satisfactory conclusion.
  Haskell, our ally, now said he understood the deletions are deleted. Bible replied that they had received objections from the Club, Wilderness Society & others, and believe that Print 2 meets their approval. Verkler chimes in: "Everybody's happy." Senator Nelson left. Chair: Without objection, bill will be reported as amended, subject to Verkler polling Committee. But Verkler says, to protect legality, I can fix the record, but not the facts. Senator Johnston arrives. Since quorum is not present, Bartlett asks about the access to wilderness areas, and V replies it is limited to horse and foot. (At this point, I comment that Emerson now comes in, as always too late, and talks to a staffer. McClure arrives, and Nelson is back. Fannin goes out. Fannin comes in. Metcalf arrives, and my journal records: "QUORUM! (10:35)". Present are Metcalf, Nelson, Haskell, Johnston, Bible, Fannin, McClure, Bartlett. Verkler tells Emerson bill is reported; the latter goes over it with a staffer then leaves, avoiding my eye.
  Other business is carried on, Verkler commenting to me at one point that he did not like exchanges for state land; like "buying it". Four other items were reported and session ended at 10:55.  I went up and thanked Metcalf and Haskell, as well as Verkler. He said that the bill would be filed next week and then onto consent calendar for floor action.
 I noted making another nine thank yous -- Im pretty sure I was more or less euphoric. Case's aide was there, and we talked about the House. Later, I went over there to see Udall and Peters. 

That evening, I went to my favorite French restaurant for a celebratory dinner, even braving a half bottle of wine.

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