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.]

GCNP Sup't Lovegren visited in December to talk up the idea of taking in the damsite, though he had no desire for a hard fight. Bracy called the Club-Goldwater dispute "intentionally hyperbolous", but when the Master Plan appeared including the damsite, he called it "excellent", noting that all Republicans were opposed; the Arizona Power Authority still had dreams. 

With a new Congress in 1971, Goldwater again took the lead, making a "breakthrough" (Bracy's word) to move the boundary to Separation Canyon, and Udall was supposed to get the conservationists to agree. Bracy listed for Udall the differences: Lees Ferry for the upper end or only to Navajo Bridge, as NPS wants; You want more of an easement along Marble; NPS wants to add land in Cataract Canyon. This bill will upset the Hualapai; Navajo claim to the middle of river; loggers want more deletions of timbered land; ranchers & hunters opposed "as always". The conservationists are behind the Case bill, so we need to get together with them to muster support. That same February, McComb laid out Sierra Club desires, including trading public land in New Mexico for Navajo support. He wanted to include some of the Little Colorado gorge, Cataract canyon, the Kanab mainstem, and go to Grand Wash Cliffs. His suggestion for a scenic easement on the rim may have been the first mention of the expanded conservation zone idea. He advocated a provision to get NPS-tribes cooperation.

Mar 1971 Lovegren presented the Park's western extension as defined by grazing allotments. Bracy's memo on the meeting says that the conservationists "will scream", and "Mo's" note says "Im against it!" At a later meeting of the delegation, Udall argued that there could be no dam: conservationists, Administration, Aspinall, Jackson; all would oppose. Nevertheless Arizonans Fannin & Steiger set the stage for their futile effort to revive the dam, citing clean power, utility support, and Hualapai development. The state government backed them. This only made Goldwater more obdurate; he was now ready to include the damsite in the Park; still, Bracy worried about Udall's stand and how it would play in Arizona. (It was Bracy's job, which he performed superbly -- sometimes to our dismay -- to "protect" Udall by considering political consequences.) It was in this period of trying to settle on a Master Plan that NPS kept revising its ideas, producing several maps throughout 1971. 

So Emerson made changes in May, but then in June, NPS backed off on a western extension. Contrariwise, Goldwater claimed the Senate would not pass a bill that left the damsite out of the Park. 

In July, the delegation met with Lovegren and his regional director. The damsite was left out, but stillwater could not back into the Park. So the split between dammers and Goldwater/Udall continued.
The discussion over the Navajo rim laid out the positions: the Navajo claim to the river's edge; NPS claims a ¼-mile strip on the east bank. Bracy wrote, "Motel etc. development threatens canyon near Marble; Steiger says Navajo talk to Holiday Inn." 
NPS says give plateau land to Havasupai--water export and tram are threats. Could give money to the Hualapai for the damsite, but the obstacle is their attorney, R. Marks. Goldwater says he is tired of "bullshitting Indians"; he is now an "elder statesman and doesnt care if he opposes governor". 
Bracy's conclusion was that the dam was excluded from the Park, but all the potential reservoir was included with the provision that there could be no "still water" in the Park. (So even though this would preclude any dam, the issue of recognizing the damsite was left alive for Steiger to bring up later.)
 The Navajo boundary could come up to the rim, but only with concurrence. 

No action followed, although in 1972, McComb defended the Case bill (in what Bracy called a "damn good letter") as realistic & feasible: It would unify management of the Park from Lees to the Grand Wash Cliffs with a rim strip, leave no dam options open, close the Canyon to all mining. The rim would be protected, and the bill looked forward to the new problems of human use, not historical conflicts. Cooperation with tribes would be best, but no Havasupai transfer. 

After the long quiet period, Goldwater again took the lead with meetings at his house in Dec 1972 and Jan 1973; Udall was not involved. Bracy reported a McComb call that conservationists would unanimously oppose the bill presented due to its Havasupai transfer, and his conclusion that it was Emerson's bill. Bracy says the latter is a "competent technician…knows nothing of Arizona politics". They (McComb & Ingram) would prepare alternative, but McComb thinks this is the worst time for bill, being sensitive to the Senate race and the big question of whether Goldwater would run. Bracy opines Goldwater is the only force behind this legislative effort; NPS has had cold water thrown on its effort. So it must be for re-election or as a career finale. Suggests Udall approach Goldwater; but there is a "no" in the margin. Udall should take heat only if Goldwater not running. [So I conclude from this account that Udall had been well warned when in 1974 he decided to pick up the legislation and run with it.]

Udall had sent a surrogate, Ted Thayer, to the December meeting, and we get a fair view of the atmosphere. He saw that the river was no longer an issue, and the Navajo easement was not important either since Interior can stop construction. Ingram spoke for McComb, but not Club, and said there were two questions: recognizing an entity for interpretation and another for administration. When Emerson said to talk only about his draft, Ingram said we could not support it, and there was an "unfortunate argument" on who had been working longest for a park. Then Goldwater agreed to go for a broader concept of some sort. though he doubted NPS wanted new responsibility. McComb offered to work on a consensus bill, and there was an "inordinate" amount of skirmishing over precedence, with Emerson defending his pride of authorship, and Ingram & McComb obtaining a January meeting to consider a bill "around which everyone could rally". The road to getting conservationists to agree will be difficult, but McComb is not that far away from Goldwater. 
 Udall's thank you note says he was disappointed that Goldwater had not come to him for a bipartisan approach. Nevertheless, he did introduce what Goldwater came up with in March. Udall also sent our ideas to be drafted by NPS. Parenthetically, in section 1, we were careful to specify that "the boundary …shall be the south left bank of the Colorado River in the vicinity of the Hualapai Indian Reservation." 

Note on sources. 
The Morris K. Udall archives are stored in the University of Arizona Library's Special Collections, as MS 325. They contain much background material and working papers, as well as correspondence, much of that separated from the topical files. The order is not consistent, and it is necessary to interweave items from various folders and boxes. As always, I am not footnoting individual items.

Box # / folder # : contents
Box 175, fldr 1 : 1969 bill
183 / 4,5 : mostly 1971, a few 1972
187 / all : this is the main archive, almost all in 1974; contains 1973 hearing testimony
                some of the correspondence is here(fldrs 1, 12); other folders (there are 21) have various topics: grazing,hunting, House action, Havasupai (several), maps, Subcommittee, Owens, Conference, dams, Rain tanks. Also photographs & maps
125 / all (7 fldrs) : correspondence: much very important material, in a haphazard fashion, plus letters from public, pro & con, all mixed in.
266 / 3 : a bit from 1975-6

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