Thursday, December 12, 2013

PL93-620 U1. Mar-May 1974; Udall Pivots; We Battle the Changed Wind

In the subcommittee-approved bill, we had achieved a signal goal: the entire river was under the administration of NPS at Grand Canyon. From the Paria to the Grand Wash Cliffs, from shore to shore, there was to be one management. We did not know why the Hualapai did not contest this; perhaps they were too focussed on their dam. We did know that NPS did not like having the "slack-water" from mile 238.5 to the Grand Wash Cliffs in the Park, as a matter of their "professional assessment", a position repeated in a 6 Mar letter to McComb. It might make sense, NPS suggested, if the reservoir's water level were stabilized, a "highly unlikely" condition. So they talked of "creative management". However, the regional director rejected the plan of LMNRA assuming some of the management, since there had been strong public input for single management -- which may have meant that he remembered Goldwater's Dec 1972 statement of desire for unified administration. Eventually, though, the superintendents involved eroded this position in favor of Lake Mead NRA having an important say in the lower Canyon along with the Park. That remains true today, even as the reservoir level has dropped so far that it no longer reaches the Canyon itself. Moreover, NPS has pursued a policy of trying to work with the Hualapai on river matters, giving them a say rather than insisting on the boundary matter as primary. It could be argued that the 1975 Act godfathered what has evolved: joint use and rule-making in fact. Had the Grand Canyon Wilderness been created in the late 1970's, Congress could have settled the management issue more definitively depending whether it included the slack-water in the Wilderness, or left it out, or hedged it about with conditions. 
  What we can take comfort in, regardless of the not-always-easy administrative relations, is that the entire river is inside the Park boundary. 

PL93-620 U1-1. Apr-Jul 74: Membership of House Interior Committee

Over May, June & July 1974, the Representatives listed below would be the focus of lobbying, particularly by Canyon advocates, Havasupai & allies, dam lovers, and hunters.

Interior and Insular Affairs Committee*
House of Representatives, 93rd Congress 1973-5

Dem: 21       
Haley   FL Chmn
Taylor  NC    Chmn, Parks Subc.
Udall    AZ
Foley   WA
Meeds WA
Burton CA
Seiberling OH
Owens UT
Kastenmeier  WI
Johnson CA
Kazen TX
Runnels NM
Bingham NY
Vigorito PA
Mink HA
Burke CA
Roncalio WY
Melcher MONT
Stephens GA
Jones ?

Rep. 18
Steiger AZ
Skubitz KA
Steelman TX
Dellenback OR
Ruppe MICH
Sebelius KA
Hosmer CA
Lujan NM
Towell NV
Martin NC
Ketchum CA
Symms ID
Bauman MD
Cronin MA
Young ALAS
Regula OH
Clausen CA
Camp OK
non-voting 2
(Won Pat)
(de Lugo)

*Source: From my journal, supplemented by Wikipedia article on the 93rd Congress for some party affiliations and states.

PL93-620 T4. Apr-Aug1974: Udall's Story; Grinding The Innards

The papers in Box 187, folders 16-18, of the Udall archives are legislative history gold. Though a mix of purities, and not always easily assayed, the materials in these folders provide the best picture we have of how Udall's Havasupai position --which is to say, the position that ended up as the law-- evolved and settled in April-May 1974. A warning: not all the papers were dated; I have done the best I can to figure out what led to what. Nor, not surprisingly, are the authors always obvious; Udall's office and the Havasupai group were certainly trading ideas and phrasing.  

Remember from the narrative post numbered T3 that Udall gives some credit to Edw. Spicer for the idea of a transfer combined with a master plan embodying environmental protections. What these papers show is the working of several minds trying to satisfy the demands of what might superficially seem to be just two views:  the Havasupai on the one hand, and Udall on the other. In this period, Canyon advocates, seemingly ignored, were making mostly futile efforts in the background. However, keep in mind that even the story I tell here is certainly too simple; more information would bring more complication. 

PL93-620 T3. Mar-Jul 74 Udall's Story: Championing The Havasupai

The Parks Subcommittee approval of legislation has become, in retrospect, the opening of a genuine Havasupai offensive for repatriation of some of their ancestral land. In March, the Havasupai and their allies selected a new campaign chief to focus their efforts and marshal their forces. That effort, again in retrospect, had to turn Udall into their champion, defuse and neturalize NPS and Interior's opposition, and struggle successfully with us for the votes of a solid majority of the full House Interior Committee. That is, if that opening were to see success, they had to create a pivot that would turn the legislation from a patronizing gesture of good will to congressional approval granting their title to land. Not even in retrospect, their goal had to be the swinging of Udall from friend to backer-in-chief. Given his position & seniority (Arizonan, high up on the Committee, respected in the House, sponsor and natural shaper of this legislation), Udall's continued opposition to an out-&-out transfer would bring a majority with him. Likewise, if he shifted to support of a transfer, that action would serve as guidance for those newly being alerted to the coming decision. 

For orientation, here is the bill's remaining timeline: The Parks Subcommittee had acted on 4 Mar. The full Interior Committee marked up the bill on 31 Jul. The House debated and passed the bill on 10 Oct. The conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions reported on 17 Dec. After acceptance of the conference report by House and Senate, President Ford signed the bill on January 3, 1975. 

If the Udall files accurately reflect attempts to influence him, then the lack of appeals from the Havasupai in Jan-Feb 1974 would be significant in showing that they were missing this opportunity to make their desires known for subcommittee consideration. Nor did we hear of them being around DC in person. On this point, the Havasupai's lack of effort in the subcommittee, by not causing any hard opposition or occasioning any hard words, meant that most committee members could be considered as open to be cultivated.

Monday, December 9, 2013

PL93-620 T2. 1973-Feb 74- Udall's Story: Standing By; Pitching In

Bridge note: It has been tough these past 5 months getting the materials together and writing a coherent narrative to cover the events of January through early May 1974. Although I had collected personally much material including my detailed journal, I have chased other possible sources and the results proved sparse. The Udall papers provide little on the key months of January & February. The Havasupai sources, including their principal lobbyist, Joe Sparks, have not been available. 
The result is that this post, with the sub-label T2, brings the story from the Udall point of view through 1973 to the Parks Subcommittee action in early March in very skimpy fashion. Then the situation improves, with a fairly rich supply of material from Udall files covering March and April, the period of the Great Pivot, when Udall moved away from a study/plan to legislative language transferring land accompanied by strong environmental rules and guidelines. My entries labelled T3 and T4 cover this period as Udall files present events. Again, had information from the Havasupai side been available, the story could have been even fuller. Correlative with T3 & T4, my entry U1 treats that same material from the sources I have in my files. Taking those three together, and realizing the sources are not complete, I hope the reader will feel able to understand and judge this crucial legislative event, even if not in possession of all possible information. 

To go back to the start of 1973 (repetition, but from the Udall archive), while supposedly we were trying to work out a Park bill that would minimize controversy, Udall helped by having the Park Service draft what we came up with.  
Aide Terry Bracy reported to Udall that McComb saw the Havasupai transfer as the major problem in the Goldwater approach, which, while it had some attractions, McComb was trying to justify opposing. The Forest Service "reallyi" wanted to kill it. On the memo where Bracy discussed the Havasupai transfer, Udall noted "OR leave it out". Bracy urged Udall to make sure Goldwater knew how important Udall was in the House.  Another memo in March provided a view of a visit from Goldwater aide Emerson, who was hopping mad at criticisms of his work by conservationists. Bracy commented that Goldwater wanted all the press as step one in his re-election. Moreover, Emerson didnt know anything about Udall's House influence, nor had they approached Senator Jackson, though Goldwater had been bragging to people that he was the only one who mattered. Emerson's re-draft was "pretty good": the Park ran from Lees to Grand Wash Cliffs; a Zone of Influence allowed the Secretary to control development; there were air space rules, wilderness, and status quo on the damsite. However, the Havasupai transfer and grazing continuation were bothering conservationists

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

PL 93-620 T1. 1969-72: Udall's Story; Introduction

The legislative history I have been trying to lay out has stressed the role that Senator Goldwater played, a history which too often seemed to feature Canyon advocates as in opposition, on the margins. When the action moved to the House, Representative Udall occupied the natural central place. He was not new to the issue, of course, having been a principal lobbyist for Arizona during the 1965-8 fight to authorize the Central Arizona Project, and in that role, a principal lobbyist for a dam in the Grand Canyon, just as Goldwater had been. In contrast to the Senator, however, on the Park issue Representative Udall brought us into the main stream of action as it coursed through several House arenas. This series of entries, using the Udall archived files (see at end), therefore concentrates on how Udall and his staff saw events. They play off what I have already written from my own sources, but I try to emphasize the view as seen by a legislator who was thoroughly involved in the process. I will try not to repeat material I have already written about in posts, from April 2012 on, in the "A Complete Park" and the "PL93-620" series, preferring to cross-reference. 

Just as Goldwater had, when the dam effort failed in 1968, Udall began work -- indeed, with Goldwater -- on Grand Canyon National Park legislation. But out of such a very different political context, that whereas Goldwater and Canyon advocates were "enemies working toward the same goal", Udall remained allied with advocates even as he championed repatriating part of GCNP to the Havasupai. This divergence surely had several roots: Partisan difference, but more important, Udall's liberalism vs Goldwater's conservatism (as these terms were defined half a century ago), conservationists' previous work with Udall and his brother, the legislative style & skills of each, including their staffs' attitude and competence, all reinforced by the difference between Goldwater's remoteness from and the accessibility of Udall to Canyon advocates, not to mention the personal connection of many of us being Tucson-based.

It was in the very next Congress after dams were rejected, that Goldwater circulated a draft GCNP bill, about which in Apr 1969 Udall opined that it looked good; he suggested introducing it together. It became HR 12122 (see 11 May 2012 blog entry for details). In early August, Terry Bracy, Udall's principal aide, reported that Emerson of Goldwater's office warned that the Sierra Club may try to expand the proposal, Udall annotated his memo: "do nothing now". (This archive, unlike Goldwater's, has many Udall-Bracy memos to enrich the record.) However, by January 1970, Bracy had learned that the delay in the bill was caused by NPS and its "most ambitious" master plan idea of going west to take land from Lake Mead NRA. This was close to the Sierra Club proposal, and Goldwater was "furious" according to Emerson because he was already feeling heat from hunters, cattlemen, loggers, and Arizona's Republican congressional contingent, who were dead-set against going downstream to include the damsite. 

[Pause to recollect: Canyon advocates had proposed our "complete Park" legislation in 1966, and felt that our initiative, plus the political clout of having seen the dams into oblivion, gave us a certain premium in Park discussions. As matters turned out, Goldwater & Emerson believed they were the only ones who could mint coin in this transaction, a truly sad and costly misunderstanding.]

Friday, June 28, 2013

Its time to lay down the line…or toe it.

My entry of 22 July 2012 argues that the western Navajo boundary abutting Grand Canyon National Park runs along the river banks at the water's edge between its crossing of the Little Colorado, to its confluence with the Colorado, and on up river to Navajo Bridge.

However, "knowledgeable sources assert", as a journalist might say, that the line is set back from the river, perhaps even ¼ mile from the left bank of the Colorado & the right bank of the Little Colorado. Indeed, some suggest that the Park and the National Park Service have some sort of jurisdiction right up to the rim and beyond. 

Now it is true that the official NPS map office does misleadingly show the boundary up on the rim, since Congress once proposed putting it there if the Navajo agreed, which they havent. Maybe that is why I keep hearing rumors that NPS does make claims for lands across the rivers. This disinformation has infected some defenders of the Park, and perhaps might even have reached GCNP Superintendent David Uberuaga. 

If so, then with the Escapade scheme of Phoenix developers slithering its way through the insides of Navajo Nation institutions, I suggest it is time for NPS to step up to the line, stake its claim -- or shut up about it. 

Here is a simple, cost-effective way for the Superintendent and any supporters of a ¼-mile or a rim boundary to back up their opinion, spelled out as a press release:

GCNP Superintendent to Inspect Site of Canyon Tramway Scheme

On July 4, the Superintendent will lead a delegation of Park officials, invited guests, and media down the Colorado River to its Confluence with the Little Colorado. They will disembark on the east side of the river in order to examine the locations that would be affected by the tramway  plans to deliver thousands of visitors to this unique and fragile beauty spot of the inner Grand Canyon.

The Superintendent and his Park Rangers will set five posts along the area with official NPS signs saying that the land within ¼ mille of the river is within the Grand Canyon National Park under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. Photographs will be taken. The Superintendent and selected guests will offer brief remarks on the environmental and scenic degradation the tramway scheme would bring if carried out. The Superintendent will also address ways of insuring that river and hiking use to this area of the Park will not degrade the environment.

Prior to the inspection, the Superintendent will hold a press conference at Desert View to explain the purpose of the trip to publicize and reinforce Park jurisdiction over a threatened part of the Grand Canyon. Navajo chapters neighboring the Park will be notified and invited.

At the completion of the trip, the Park will host a public gathering at the Canyon rim with the  theme "The Confluence Belongs to the People".

GCNP Boundary: B.(cont) NO Eastern Boundary

Posting the entry yesterday on the Park's river boundary in the western Canyon led me to think a bit more critically about exactly what legally defines the Park's boundary in the eastern Canyon. These points occurred to me:

1. The 1975 GCNP Enlargement Act abolished Marble Canyon National Monument.
2. The Act placed a "proposed" boundary subject to Navajo "approval" & "concurrence" on Marble's eastern rim and further south.
3. The Navajo have not so far concurred or approved. The 1975 Act, that is, made no change, no change whatsoever, in the Navajo western boundary. The easement concept is NOT in the 1975 Act. 
4. So: where is the Park boundary? At this point I am ready to argue that there is NO Park boundary (in the sense of a line) for the eastern, left-bank, side of the Grand Canyon from the LCR to Navajo Bridge.
   In other terms, the Park boundary is "undefined" or "undetermined".

5. However, the western Navajo boundary is describable, and the arguments in my 22 July 2012 post place it along the edge of the water/ on the east & north river banks. 
6. So we can say the Park includes the lands and waters of the Canyon over to the western Navajo boundary and by default that boundary becomes the eastern Park boundary or at least defines the extent of the "lands and waters" included in the Park. 

7. Some dispute that the western Navajo boundary is on the water/shore line, which is another way of saying that the boundary has not been taken to a final adjudication or negotiated to an agreement between the Navajo and the Fed.

8. Unless and until there is final resolution, we can only say with certainty that the Park includes the water surface of the rivers from Navajo Bridge to the point where the boundary crosses from the north side of the Little Colorado to run south. 
9. Since the Park did not include the land north and east of the confluence before the 1975 Act, and since the 1975 Act only proposed a boundary to include that land, the Park cannot have any jurisdiction of any kind on the area north and east of the confluence. 

10. In conclusion, we have an undefined eastern Park boundary and a disputed (by some) western Navajo boundary between Navajo Bridge and where the line goes south from the north bank of the Little Colorado. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

River boundary of Grand Canyon National Park

Back to one of my favorite topics-- the placement of the Grand Canyon National Park boundary as determined by PL 93-620, the 1975 Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act. In rooting around the Morris K. Udall papers stored in the University of Arizona Library, I  came across an 23 October 1975 letter from the DC office of the Interior Solicitor to Senator Goldwater. Reading it triggered the thought that it is a good idea to now and then repeat the truth, in the hope that people will believe it just as supposedly we believe lies that get repeated.

The first page of the letter just states the truth that the law allowed no change in any Indian boundary without concurrence. Here is the second page:
The last sentence of the first paragraph is another truth. It is also irrelevant. PL 93-620 did not attempt to alter the boundary of the Hualapai Indian Reservation as set by the Executive Order of 1883, which said that the boundary went north "to the Colorado River" and "along said river". 

What the 1975 Act did was to set the boundary of GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

PL93-620 S3. 27 Feb - 4 Mar 1974: The Best We Could Do, the Climax

Wed 27 Feb, my first visits in Washington were with a "friendly" Terry Bracy & Dale Pontius, followed by a working session on the boundary with Pontius and (again friendly) minority aide Clay Peters. Favorable changes were made on the Tapeats and Shivwits lines. In a review, Udall agreed. Discussion about his Havasupai amendment brought up the problem of implementation. 

The Hualapai had seen Udall, and when he would not agree to pro-dam changes, Steiger decided to offer a strong pro-dam amendment for them. (Because the Hualapai effort remained an outlier, if a vexing one, I will discuss its details in a separate post.) 

Parks Subcommittee Chairman Taylor and his counsel, Lee McIlvane, determined to keep the boundary decisions in the subcomittee. Based on lists of committee members, I was making the rounds. I made few notes, although I noted pro-Canyon Alan Steelman (R,Tex) would be glad to help in the mark-up. Otherwise, the coming event did not seem to be arousing any passions. As always, a visit to Steiger was friendly; he was still indifferent to the boundary changes we wanted; indeed he mentioned that he had heard from Game & Fish people, but waved it off. Then he made his pitch about more favorable dam language. I made clear a state-built dam was not any option, but he thought he had a 50-50 chance to get some change.  

Friday, May 31, 2013

PL93-620 S2. Jan-Mar 1974: The Best We Could Do, Part 2

The Parks Subcommittee staff now came center stage to prepare for the mark-up session that would consider and dispose of amendments. Lee McIlvain, majority counsel, advised that the likely date was mid-March. (Of course, our information on hearing dates in 1973 had been drastically off, and we still had to prepare.) There was a choice: consider the original bill as introduced, or take up the Senate-passed bill as a base and amend it -- or as we saw it, upgrade the provisions so that the law would be worthy of the place it was to celebrate. Aside from the official map produced by NPS, there were several other changes we were discussing. And then, of course, there was the possibility of hostile action by, for instance, the dam proponents. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

PL93-620 P* Nov 1973: Our Pipe Dream (not a peace pipe either)

One way that we thought more of the Grand Canyon might be designated appropriately was to recognize the quality & Park-worthiness of the Navajo, Havasupai, and Hualapai lands -- though of course at that moment in 1973 we were only thinking of the Havsupai Reservation as it existed. So at the time of the House hearings, I produced this festive suggestion to represent our ideas, the red being the entity created had the additions been made which Park advocates testified for. The Navajo green shows their tribal parks. The Hualapai had no such designation; what I drew is just my ideal.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

PL93-620 S1. Jan-Mar 1974: The Best We Could Do, part 1

To start the new year, I felt the need to write McComb's boss, Club Executive Director McCloskey, about my strong hopes for satisfying action on the Grand Canyon, due in large part to "John's efforts & expertise", and "your own solid backing … substantial financial aid from the Club as well as psychological backing in what has not always been a pleasant campaign." His reply was gracious to me, but most important expressed his "strongest confidence in John's judgement on (the Havasupai) matter."

For us, McComb & I, Udall & his aides, the main consideration in the House remained how to adjust the proposed Park boundary on the Canyon's north side to better approximate the idea of a "complete" Park, something we reaffirmed as Congress convened in January when Udall aide Dale Pontius told me on the 16th he was waiting for Udall to return and for NPS to send a revised map. We would need to check it for grazing impact. The Wilderness study provision seemed ok, but not a ban on aircraft impact. He himself planned to visit Arizona in a couple of weeks. We discussed the idea of authorizing a purchase of private land for the Havasupai, and noted that Hualapai lobbyists were around. Out here, Udall had told McComb he was interested in going on a trip in February, maybe with others involved. McComb resolved to go to Washington. However, a Udall visit fizzled, and Pontius reaffirmed he was coming at the beginning of February.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

PL93-620 R5. Jan-May 1974: Lobbying The Sierra Club: After A Little Tempest, The Teapot Goes Cold

Back to the events of early 1974:

In a January visit to Washington, McComb talked with Udall about flying over the area, and re-stated how adamant the Club was on keeping the Havasupai status quo. He had to repeat this to involved Committee staffers, too, who were "surprised" at what they had heard about the pro-Havasupai Chapter members. 

In Tucson, as I "offered information" to some of the uncommitted Chapter officers, others were trying to find a middle ground, i.e., using Canyon de Chelly National Monument as a model for mixed administration. However, McComb told Garcia that he did not want to be involved in the McIver-called meeting: "I am opposed to any Havasupai change." There was talk about a second Club-Havasupai get-together in Tucson. Another chapter member had visited Supai and came back bearing dire news about Havasupai conditions, which he would carry to the special meeting, where he hoped to bury any idea of buying private land and get the Executive Committee to support Havasupai land transfer. McComb argued with him, and as well tried to convince the two main Havasupai backers. Garcia worried to me about the extent of McComb's lobbying.

Friday, April 5, 2013

PL93-620 R4. Jan 1974: Ingram-- What He Was Thinking; How The Havasupai Saw Him

1. Before dealing with the climax of the Havasupai lobbying attempt on the Arizona Sierra Club, I want to provide a look at my own attempts to deal conceptually with their effort, at least as I wrote them down in several private documents. Not all can be exactly dated, but summarizing a few may give a sense of how we cast around over the many months of trying to shape worthwhile legislation to present and protect the Grand Canyon, while also trying to deflect the transfer of Park land to Havasupai ownership. Nothing made any difference; the Havasupai were no longer to be put off with part-way measures; sovereignty was their goal. And nothing could have led me to accept that goal given what I knew about the history, particularly recent events that accentuated the possibility of damage being done to the Canyon by development.

Monday, April 1, 2013

PL93-620 R3. Dec 1973 - Jan 1974: The Havasupai Lobby the Chapter; It Debates

A very large "Special Meeting Havasupai Tribal Council" took place on 2 Dec 1973 in Flagstaff at the Museum of Northern Arizona between 18 Havasupai plus 10 allies and 10 Club chapter members and McComb (for the complete roster, see below**.) Hirst wrote out very detailed minutes, while McComb's summary to me was much terser: "an unpleasant three hours";  the Havasupai were angrier; Hirst and Babbitt quieter. The anger focussed on McComb, whom they saw as the obstacle to getting the Sierra Club on their side: Why, they asked, can you not help us?

PL93-620 R2. Jun-Nov 1973: The Havasupai are ANGRY!

The Senate hearing in June gathered and concentrated everyone's attention. Meanwhile in Arizona, there was a series of meetings which, ignoring the land question, concentrated on infra-structure and development support. In early May, at Supai, the BIA and the Supai covered finishing the road from US 66, bringing transmission lines to Long Mesa and down to Supai, trail maintenance, a new school building, a revised liquor ordinance, upgraded irrigation, power at the Hilltop trailhead, beginning a study for a tramway, and starting a long-range-planning process to cover camping facilities, tourist lodge construction & the school. 
  CBS asked to meet with the Council in June about a tv documentary.
A mid-June meeting in Phoenix included officials from BIA, the Park and Forest Services, and a state planning agency; no Havasupai. They reviewed the road and power tranmission and then discussed multi-agency projects: a village and campground sewage system, trail improvement, camping limits, and a trail ride business. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Whitefolk: Havasupai Tormentors or Saviors?

Time out from history for a bit of speculation.

Friends of the Havasupai have often castigated whitefolk,-- their actions, aggression, and agencies-- for first banishing them to a small plot in a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, and then thwarting them for almost a century in regaining possession of only a small fraction of the land they used to occupy that runs from the Hualapai lands past Moenkopi and over toward the Hopi villages, as well as from the Canyon down south to the great east-west corridor that famed US 66 ran through.

In prospect, however, if not in fact, the Havasupai story, left to itself without whitefolk intervention and "protection", might well have been an even sadder episode of the XXth century. Consider:

Near-contemporaneously with the arrival and explorations of the Spaniards from the south, and their establishment along the Rio Grande, the Dine' -- the name "Navajo", "Navaho" is in much wider use-- were moving into the American southwest -- northern New Mexico, eastern Arizona, and lands bordering these areas. Early adopters of the ungulates, the Navajo were mobile and aggressive, riding their horses and bringing their sheep from the 1500's on such that by the 1700's, they were well-established near and surrounding the Hopi villages, coming up against the "Grand Canyon front". 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

PL93-620 R1. March 1973: The Havasupai Flank Attack Begins: Introduction and Scene 1

To ease into the turbulence of this dispute, here is some background.
First, photos taken at the time that I found in my files. Martin Litton flew over and provided two views of the village of Supai, here showing its setting along the bottom of Havasu Canyon, cut into the Esplanade, itself one of the sweeping features of this part of the Grand Canyon; the upper rim is off toward the clouds.

Next, a view directly down over houses and fields:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

PL93-620 R: The Havasupai Reservation Enlargement Act of 1975: Setting The Scene

Telling the story of Public Law 93-620 so far, through 1973 to the start of 1974, has been seemingly spinning out a single more-or-less coherent narrative thread. And truly, it would be possible to maintain this thread all the way through the final act of Presidential approval in January 1975. The legislation was conceived of and pushed as creating a Park more descriptive of the extent of the Canyon itself, although the range of opinion on the most accurate description was not just wide, but had been evolving over several years; well, over the decades, in truth. 
  This Park-centered narrative did continue through 1974, brought to a mangled conclusion in the final events. That narrative, responding throughout to our determination to "complete" the Park --and the push back by those who disagreed with us--, does have, as I say, its own coherence; it is a stand-alone story.

But that story is not the story of Public Law 93-620.

It is an ironic, to-be-remarked-upon, coincidence, though coincidence it is, that the history of the Canyon's Park began in the early 1880's, at the same historical moment that that other whitefolk creation, an Indian Reservation for the Havasupai, was brought into being and American history. Others, and I, have related the history of the increasing entanglement  of that Reservation and that Park, a history that makes clear why, on the one hand, legislation to enlarge a Park was necessarily also legislation to enlarge an Indian Reservation, and on the other, why the fight over the latter was so full of anger and seemingly irreconcilable positions. 
Which, I have to remark, is only to be expected in our advocacy-organized, invective-inviting, political system. 

PL93-620 Q. Nov-Dec 1973: Turning Our Way

After the hearing, with our back-home group intact, we visited with Udall, speaking both as Canyon advocates and constituents. His first tack was that we should consult with his principal aide Bracy. Knowing already how Bracy reacted to our desire to make the bill more Canyon-friendly, McComb objected on the ground that Bracy was too political, which Udall correctly interpreted as meaning we thought Bracy was overprotective of Udall. His value was to indicate problems; Udall would then make decisions on what course to take. So we should be giving him options, and he could choose what to offer and what someone else may have to handle. Rodack assured him we would push our large park ideas, and Udall went so far as to offer this course: after discussion with Bracy he would talk to friendly Representatives like Ruppe, Mink, Seiberling, Kastenmeier, O'Hara, Dellenback. Then he would be in Tucson for the holidays. He offered the thoughts that Goldwater would not run again and that Steiger was erratic. 

We visited Steiger, and listened to the strong moral, human-value case he made for the Havasupai claims. The Forest Service was an obstacle, he opined, but would be run down by the Goldwater "train". And even though he had heard from cattlemen, and would be alone in the committee, he was going to be tough fighting for the Havasupai, and thought we would lose politically. He was clear that the Park was the obstacle. The land would be protected if repatriated to the Havasupai; there would not be any "hot dog stands". McComb suggested it was a matter of management, but Steiger scoffed at the notion that we would jeopardize the bill because of the Havasupai issue.

After some had made their planes, others of us spent the next day visiting committee members' offices. Representative Tom Foley remained a steady opponent of repatriating the lands to the Havasupai. There were 13 other visits, some perfunctory hellos, others with sharp questions. We found good friends, and also more who were anti-transfer. In only a couple of offices did we get to talk only to an aide. Overall, the Havasupai were the principal issue, and that was true in our talks with committee staff as well. 

Though relating them will not complicate this story, administrative matters did take up NPS and our time, primarily the river management issue, with meetings continuing. Master planning and Village development work were also on-going, and there was continuing pressure from the Tusayan development south of the Park to get access to water from the Park, which neither the state nor NPS were willing to allow. The Grand Canyon's political landscape is always a busy place.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

PL93-620 P. Nov 1973: House Hearings

The House Subcommittee on National Parks and Recreation held its hearing on Grand Canyon National Park bills (HR1882, HR5900, S1296) on 12 November 1973, Roy Taylor of North Carolina in the chair. The witness list, 25 in all, started with Udall and Steiger, then NPS and the Forest Service, the Havasupai, and the Hualapai with the Az Power Authority. There followed a mix of Canyon advocates (10) and loggers (4). Interesting omission: No one from the Az Wildlife Federation (hunters) had signed up. More important, I do not have a copy of the printed hearing record, if it exists, but only the transcript, which does not have material submitted for the record like reports, bills, statements. It does contain what people actually said. Worst of all, it is a very poor, often unreadable, xerox copy.
   According to the transcript, the witnesses differed slightly from the list. Udall was in a strip mining mark-up. NPS featured an associate director with Chapman and Stitt; The Havasupai sent Lee Marshall and Steve Hirst; the Hualapai, chairman Mahone and counsel Marks. That was in the morning. The afternoon crowded in 8 Canyon advocates, 4 loggers, and 2 from the pro-dam APA. Because there was floor action on the Alaska Pipeline and eulogies for Congressman Saylor, the hearing had to be short, and statements limited to about 4 minutes. 

Udall absent, the hearing started with a Canyon skeptic. Steiger made clear he was no co-sponsor, though he understood how important the legislation was to Senator Goldwater. He then praised Goldwater's Emerson for his paper on the Bridge Canyon damsite, and promised to further protect the Hualapai-APA interest. So there we are, the first testimony on protecting the Grand Canyon is about protecting the f---g damsite. Thanks, Sam, for your many years of fine service in Wrecklaiming Arizona. (The blue are my personal comments.) Steiger's next point was in line with his previous actions in favor of expansion of the Havasupai reservation. Here, he came down in favor of the Havasupai "in opposition to the interests of the cattle growers" (please remember that statement), as well as those of the Forest Service and conservationists. In an exchange with Taylor, Steiger came out against the Havasupai study, saying boundaries for a larger reservation were already delineated and a study would be "just a cop out". Asked about the zone of influence, he cited its vagueness and administrative problems for the Forest Service, as well as timber interest opposition. There followed a confused colloquy about grazing tenure (which the change in language in the Senate had been intended to clarify), with Taylor thinking it was all about "Indian grazing rights". This gave Steiger the chance to champion both the Hualapai & their dam site right and the Havasupai. He then went on to describe the latter's grazing permit on the plateau and how dry the area was. Taylor, still acting as if Steiger were responsible for the bill, asked about the lack of condemnation power (already fixed in the Senate), but neither had information on any private land that would be involved. Taylor then put Goldwater's statement in the record.