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.

In mid-1973, I drafted a letter to Chairman Paya, gooily cast in the tone of person-to-person conversation, expressing a willingness to talk over iniquities done to the Canyon and the Havasupai. However, my review of their history, or rather of the distortion of their history as we understood it, seemed intended to put them on the defensive as against the greater claim the Canyon had on my loyalty.

In a later paper, I asked if there was a way for both the Havasupai and the Park to "live and prosper". "Yes", I said, but the 11 suggestions I listed were semi-practical fixes aimed at improvements without ceding to them control over additional territory. These were the kind of proposals they had been hearing for years, unrealized fixes that only illustrated why they needed sovereignty to deal with the multiple bureaucracies they faced.

Still later, I called the conflict "tragic", the Canyon's advocates attacked "by a hysterical campaign whose ultimate result can only be to make it easy for outside capital to exploit this strategic location for more elitist vacation hideaways." I actually formulated the answer to the dilemma over control of the land by suggesting that the 300 kac "of interest to the Havasupai (be) administered by them as part of the National Park."

Still another set of notes insisted that the Havasupai matter could not be part of  the legislation because the area they asked for included prime Park land, and they could already use the lands, and there was concern over increased intensive use. That is pretty honest, but no path away from head-to-head conflict, which continued to the end as we fought a land transfer to the Havasupai, and then sought to limit the uses to which they could put it.

2. For another perspective on my views, I am indebted to the 3 Feb Havasupai newsletter, Canyon Shadows, The Voice of the Havasupai (edited, I believe, by Steve Hirst).  Rather than my paraphrasing, here is a scan of the relevant pages covering the 5 Jan executive committee meeting and the 10 Jan Tucson get-together:

No comments:

Post a Comment