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. 

Since we were now seeing the real possibility that the below-rim area of upper Kanab Canyon would be put in the Park, we wanted to follow up on the conversations we had had with Supervisor Pfefferle. John & I called the Chief Forester in DC, John McGuire. We were started and delighted when he called back, and moreover, was acquainted with the issues. We discussed whether the logging on the Tapeats rim was an immediate threat, and whether the worries about management McComb expressed were warranted. He did agree, to our relief, that the Kanab boundary (the one, however, that still persists today) in the Goldwater bill was artificial, and John was frank about wanting to add more. McComb and McGuire assured each other that they had made no change in their opposition on the Havasupai issue. With that settled, he suggested we call the regional forester. We did, but he had not been brought as much up-to-date as McGuire had. He would not make any commitment on Kanab, though he agreed the boundary was artificial. He did not want to lose the Tapeats rim. Good cop; bad cop.

Number one on our "matters at issue" with S1296-as-passed list was boundaries. We had sloganized our effort at adding lands, by shedding the "complete Park" concept, which would have added 766 kac to the Park, by accepting the more modest "rim to river boundary". The first try gave us the January NPS map lying on legal lines, and would have added 411 kac. We had dropped Kaibab Plateau lands, Toroweap Valley, any Havasu-Cataract addition, and Tusayan.  

Discussion continued, focussing on eight detail questions:
Lees Ferry was given up in favor of starting the Park at the Paria junction; this added 300 acres. There were four side canyons on the west side of Marble that ought to be added to the rim; 1900 ac. We lost the argument over adding the forested Tapeats rim. Although Kanab, Whitmore, Parashant & Andrus were separate entities, the questions for them were the same: how far up the canyon to go, and should any above-rim land be added? The answer, based on knowledge gained during the plane overflight, was to choose well-defined rim boundaries wherever possible (Whitmore was more ambiguous), which altogether added 165,000 ac. We wanted the top of the Shivwits, for administrative, protective, and access reasons, to be transferred from LMNRA to the Park, a matter of 57,000 ac. Finally, correctly adding the lower river to the Park unified the administration as well as the entire physical stretch of the Canyon's river (altered though it was): 4500 ac. Here are our working maps:
These maps suggest our dedication to following out the idea of "completeness" in 1) the details of moving the boundary up- and down-stream to include the entire main canyon as well as upper bits of Marble side canyons, and 2) the larger scale scope of the Kanab addition, showing just how extensive and complex this tributary was, cutting into and reaching as it did up into forested lands on the east and the plains of the plateau on the west. A geologic map would have emphasized how integral it was with the main Canyon, just as our plane flight had. Taking much longer, a ground survey would have provided a sense of unity, something reinforced by evidence left behind by travelers centuries, millennia, ago. Although the boundary we drew across each side reach was intended to show our restraint, adding upper Kanab was as justified as was going to the Grand Wash Cliffs and the Paria because it demonstrated the startling breadth of the Canyon.

Where Kanab emphasized unity and extent, Whitmore (and upper Toroweap, which we forbore pleading for) included a difference in landscape that underlined the richness of the Canyon's diversity. The lava flows of that area, the burying of most of Whitmore, suggests not a place of great age, but rock history as dynamic, later events changing, laying over the foundations. (A point made for me a few years before all this by the Canyon's senior geologist E. McKee as we stood at Toroweap and he pointed out to me indications of where the lava had flowed and even blocked the main gorge.) We were driven, I am saying, to gather under the aegis of one Park, a place that boggled the mind even as it made us resolute in its defense and popularization. However, except for the upper narrow parts of Parashant & Andrus, the only boundary that made political sense was the existing LMNRA.

Moving farther west was even more personal to me, for in 1968, I had spent several weeks exploring the Shivwits, down off it, looking out over Andrus & Parashant, and then down into them, and down even further, moving along the river exploring the erosional variation each side canyon made in the thickened limestones. From on top, I knew what dramatic views were to be had of a section of the Canyon mostly known only to local residents. Passing through the middle, I saw how to move through the country and discovered again its variety.
 For many travelers, moving swiftly along on the river to Diamond Creek, the west goes by quickly and incompletely. For me, walking the corridors of House office buildings and talking, talking, I was paying the dues owed for the pictures in my head I had gathered trekking along the shore and up into the Shivwits country. The boundaries we scratched out on these maps had to be justified in mostly abstract general phrases. It was easier, indeed compelling, for me to do that because I knew our rhetoric could work to do a real good of protection and presentation for the Canyon. We were, then as now, confident about the rightness of using the LMNRA north line to include the main Shivwits and its nearby projections. 

The total of all these additions came to 228,700 ac. These changes removed such inconsistencies as using the 300' Reclamation withdrawal and grazing allotment lines, while strengthening the idea that only land "below the rims" was being added. We further argued that grazing was already declining, and a phase-out for any affected allotments was designed to be low-hardship. 

In line with the new boundary, we asked to change the section 2 definition of the Canyon to correspond to the additions we were making. Unsurprisingly, we also pushed strongly for a wilderness study provision, and even raised the possibility of studying adjacent areas in the Kaibab Forest (Cockscombs & Saddle Mtn.). The first was obtained as a mandate for a completed study within two years; short-sightedly, the mandate was only for a report to the President, not a submission to Congress. On the second, the Forest Service was not interested. We still needed a third change so state sections could be acquired by exchange; that was agreed to. 

Our idea of deleting the study of the old Monument lands was turned down, as welshing on the deal. We also asked to have a straight-out repeal of the reclamation provision, but that was asking for too much, given that Congressman Steiger was going to stage a fight for the Hualapai over the dam.  

Feb 19-22: Crucial discussions took place in this period with Udall staff in order to get a "tidy package" as Parks Subcommittee Chairman Taylor wanted. Udall now seemed quite willing, after the plane survey, to go along. There was still much back-&-forth. The description in section 2 was changed to agree with the map, starting at the Paria's mouth. We discussed a suggestion that maybe some of the Shivwits should go to BLM. The map on township lines for Kanab took too much above-rim area. Steiger was opposed to any wilderness study, so the Forest Service part was dropped. We even had to convince Pontius that the wilderness study provision for the Park Service was standard procedure and alright with Taylor. Discussions were made easier when McIlvane advised us to ignore the agencies for now and not ask for formal statements. The Hualapai were around in congressional offices, lobbying. We heard rumblings about opposition from the hunters. 
  March 4 seemed to be the target date. Pontius said Udall finally settled on changes in Marble Canyons, Kanab up to the rim, Parashant-Andrus-Whitmore within the LMNRA plus the upper ends; the Shivwits down to Kelly Point; take the lower river. 

The Havasupai were also a topic, though my notes do not indicate their presence in DC. Given the rise in publicity, Bracy did not want Udall to get stuck with an untenable position. Also, Emerson had called Bracy, pushing the idea of giving them some land. A consensus developed that a "study" was too nebulous; the Havasupai need for the use of more land was real. On the other hand, there was the claims settlement that had extinguished further rights, and anyway, land alone was not enough -- look at the Hualapai. What Udall settled upon was a change in wording in order to emphasize a goal of producing an actual plan for use of 100 kac, without transferring title to any land or doing a study first. There should be alternatives for action, on grazing improvements and residences, for instance, and funding should be presented. Using the Senate-passed provision for a one-year study as a base, the key wording would change "conduct a comprehensive study and make detailed recommendations…for expansion of the Havasupai Reservation"  to read "formulate, and thereafter expeditiously implement, a comprehensive plan allowing the Havasupai Tribe the use of not less than 100 kac of federal land", still within one year. Also, where the Senate had said nothing about protecting such land, the revised provision said the plan "shall include guidelines and restrictions to insure proper management and environmental protection for these lands compatible with the purposes of the Grand Canyon National Park." Interestingly, I was read this new version by the minority aide, Clay Peters. Since the land stayed in the Park and the Park was the protection standard, I suspect we found this acceptable. Interestingly, Peters was more worried about the continuing talk over the dam. 

Mo wondered if the full committee should consider the boundary, but McIlvane said Taylor preferred to handle that in subcommittee. Steiger was agreeable to the change in the Havasupai provision. Udall now sent a memo reflecting the Udall-Steiger discussions to Taylor on "desired amendments" with Steiger's positions. They chose to take up the bill as passed by the Senate. Steiger had not agreed to boundary changes, but agreed to the idea of a mandated Havasupai plan instead of a study and to allowing acquisition of state land by exchange. He still disagreed about a wilderness study. This was enough agreement for Udall & Steiger to ask that the bill be considered on 4 March. Formal notice for that mark-up was sent out 26 February, and that same day, McComb & I  went off to Washington to "do our best to help".

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