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.