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.]