Sunday, December 16, 2012

PL93-620 O. Sep-Nov 1973: Prospecting In The House

Picking up the House story, we go back to the week of 10-13 September, when Senate action was coming to a climax:
An afternoon visit with Representative Udall allowed me to tell the story of the week, and I emphasized the distance between an aide and a Senator and the latter's reversal. I showed them the Senate agenda item, and then asked him, "Would you see your way to crafting a good bill with 2-300,000 acres additional?" Udall replied that the problem would be subcommittee chairman Taylor who would not want any controversy. If there were only one amendment with no policy change, probably o.k. If, that is, its on the quiet. I asked about spending some time on this, with hearings in early 1974. Udall  said o.k. Later, his aide, Bracy, wanted me to believe he knew what would happen in the Senate; it would never have gone against conservationists. 

For Peters, minority staffer on the House Parks subcommittee, who was an optimist, I worked up an outline of what a good bill would have. First, fix some problems, like changing the start from Navajo Bridge to Lees Ferry, repealing the reclamation provision, adding park values to the study of Havasupai needs. Second, there should be a study of the entire new park for Wilderness. Third, we wanted additions: 23 kac along the river, 120 kac of side canyons, and 80 kac of rim country. Knowing that there was no way of getting an NPS recommendation for these, I suggested that NPS be quizzed about them during the hearing. Fourth, other protections were needed: no aircraft below the rim; jurisdiction over the entire river to NPS; protection of road corridors to Park; counter pressure by Tusayan developers to get Park water. Finally, there should be encouragement of tribal parks. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

PL93-620 N. Jun-Sep 1973: Havasupai Action During Senate Consideration.

This series of posts on S.1296 described what the Havasupai had to say at the Senate hearing. My 16 Jul 2011 post on the Havasupai repatriation, based on my notes made on materials in the Truxton Canyon Agency files, sketches out from that perspective the situation of the Havasupai and their allies during Senate consideration. I have inserted a copy of that post in the table of contents under the tab PARK.
  Even sketchier is Hirst's account (pp 264-70,), though it does offer officials' excuses for why the Havasupai expansion got dropped from the bill. Given what happened when their cause finally acquired a competent and connected lobbyist in March 1974, however, Havasupai lack of action in May-Sep 1973 provides a nice lesson in legislative sausage-making: you have got to keep furnishing meat and grinding that handle around if you want to get attention from Congress.
 Sketchiest of all are the pro-Havasupai secondary accounts such as those listed below; they largely ignore Senate action. 
 In any case, the Great Havasupai vs. Sierra Club head-butt took place in 1974, and I will recount it in order as the major event it became.

I have gone through the Spamer bibliography, hoping to find some account of the Havasupai effort that I had missed. Hirst ( Hirst, Stephen,  Life in a Narrow Place, 1976) remains basic. We will know there is a more definitive account when one appears that includes an interview with Joe Sparks.

In these accounts, it is not just the errors, omissions, mis-characterizations, and overall tendentiousness that grates on me, but the reminder of just how hard history is. I have written about mis-steps I have made both in memory and in sources, and even tried to correct some. Imagining what would be required to analyze accounts such as those cited here is daunting to the point where I can only urge anyone interested to read as much as you can stand, and  judge it all for yourselves. Or maybe, just pick the sausage flavor you like and stick with it.

Keller, R. H. & M. F. Turek, American Indians & National Parks, 1998
Morehouse, B. J., A Place Called Grand Canyon: Contested Geographies, 1996
Miller, Kristen

The story of the Havasupai: A look at their claim to the Grand Canyon National Park. Wittenberg History Journal (Wittenberg University, Springfield, Ohio), 39(Spring):55-70.