Thursday, December 12, 2013

PL93-620 U1. Mar-May 1974; Udall Pivots; We Battle the Changed Wind

In the subcommittee-approved bill, we had achieved a signal goal: the entire river was under the administration of NPS at Grand Canyon. From the Paria to the Grand Wash Cliffs, from shore to shore, there was to be one management. We did not know why the Hualapai did not contest this; perhaps they were too focussed on their dam. We did know that NPS did not like having the "slack-water" from mile 238.5 to the Grand Wash Cliffs in the Park, as a matter of their "professional assessment", a position repeated in a 6 Mar letter to McComb. It might make sense, NPS suggested, if the reservoir's water level were stabilized, a "highly unlikely" condition. So they talked of "creative management". However, the regional director rejected the plan of LMNRA assuming some of the management, since there had been strong public input for single management -- which may have meant that he remembered Goldwater's Dec 1972 statement of desire for unified administration. Eventually, though, the superintendents involved eroded this position in favor of Lake Mead NRA having an important say in the lower Canyon along with the Park. That remains true today, even as the reservoir level has dropped so far that it no longer reaches the Canyon itself. Moreover, NPS has pursued a policy of trying to work with the Hualapai on river matters, giving them a say rather than insisting on the boundary matter as primary. It could be argued that the 1975 Act godfathered what has evolved: joint use and rule-making in fact. Had the Grand Canyon Wilderness been created in the late 1970's, Congress could have settled the management issue more definitively depending whether it included the slack-water in the Wilderness, or left it out, or hedged it about with conditions. 
  What we can take comfort in, regardless of the not-always-easy administrative relations, is that the entire river is inside the Park boundary. 

PL93-620 U1-1. Apr-Jul 74: Membership of House Interior Committee

Over May, June & July 1974, the Representatives listed below would be the focus of lobbying, particularly by Canyon advocates, Havasupai & allies, dam lovers, and hunters.

Interior and Insular Affairs Committee*
House of Representatives, 93rd Congress 1973-5

Dem: 21       
Haley   FL Chmn
Taylor  NC    Chmn, Parks Subc.
Udall    AZ
Foley   WA
Meeds WA
Burton CA
Seiberling OH
Owens UT
Kastenmeier  WI
Johnson CA
Kazen TX
Runnels NM
Bingham NY
Vigorito PA
Mink HA
Burke CA
Roncalio WY
Melcher MONT
Stephens GA
Jones ?

Rep. 18
Steiger AZ
Skubitz KA
Steelman TX
Dellenback OR
Ruppe MICH
Sebelius KA
Hosmer CA
Lujan NM
Towell NV
Martin NC
Ketchum CA
Symms ID
Bauman MD
Cronin MA
Young ALAS
Regula OH
Clausen CA
Camp OK
non-voting 2
(Won Pat)
(de Lugo)

*Source: From my journal, supplemented by Wikipedia article on the 93rd Congress for some party affiliations and states.

PL93-620 T4. Apr-Aug1974: Udall's Story; Grinding The Innards

The papers in Box 187, folders 16-18, of the Udall archives are legislative history gold. Though a mix of purities, and not always easily assayed, the materials in these folders provide the best picture we have of how Udall's Havasupai position --which is to say, the position that ended up as the law-- evolved and settled in April-May 1974. A warning: not all the papers were dated; I have done the best I can to figure out what led to what. Nor, not surprisingly, are the authors always obvious; Udall's office and the Havasupai group were certainly trading ideas and phrasing.  

Remember from the narrative post numbered T3 that Udall gives some credit to Edw. Spicer for the idea of a transfer combined with a master plan embodying environmental protections. What these papers show is the working of several minds trying to satisfy the demands of what might superficially seem to be just two views:  the Havasupai on the one hand, and Udall on the other. In this period, Canyon advocates, seemingly ignored, were making mostly futile efforts in the background. However, keep in mind that even the story I tell here is certainly too simple; more information would bring more complication. 

PL93-620 T3. Mar-Jul 74 Udall's Story: Championing The Havasupai

The Parks Subcommittee approval of legislation has become, in retrospect, the opening of a genuine Havasupai offensive for repatriation of some of their ancestral land. In March, the Havasupai and their allies selected a new campaign chief to focus their efforts and marshal their forces. That effort, again in retrospect, had to turn Udall into their champion, defuse and neturalize NPS and Interior's opposition, and struggle successfully with us for the votes of a solid majority of the full House Interior Committee. That is, if that opening were to see success, they had to create a pivot that would turn the legislation from a patronizing gesture of good will to congressional approval granting their title to land. Not even in retrospect, their goal had to be the swinging of Udall from friend to backer-in-chief. Given his position & seniority (Arizonan, high up on the Committee, respected in the House, sponsor and natural shaper of this legislation), Udall's continued opposition to an out-&-out transfer would bring a majority with him. Likewise, if he shifted to support of a transfer, that action would serve as guidance for those newly being alerted to the coming decision. 

For orientation, here is the bill's remaining timeline: The Parks Subcommittee had acted on 4 Mar. The full Interior Committee marked up the bill on 31 Jul. The House debated and passed the bill on 10 Oct. The conference to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions reported on 17 Dec. After acceptance of the conference report by House and Senate, President Ford signed the bill on January 3, 1975. 

If the Udall files accurately reflect attempts to influence him, then the lack of appeals from the Havasupai in Jan-Feb 1974 would be significant in showing that they were missing this opportunity to make their desires known for subcommittee consideration. Nor did we hear of them being around DC in person. On this point, the Havasupai's lack of effort in the subcommittee, by not causing any hard opposition or occasioning any hard words, meant that most committee members could be considered as open to be cultivated.

Monday, December 9, 2013

PL93-620 T2. 1973-Feb 74- Udall's Story: Standing By; Pitching In

Bridge note: It has been tough these past 5 months getting the materials together and writing a coherent narrative to cover the events of January through early May 1974. Although I had collected personally much material including my detailed journal, I have chased other possible sources and the results proved sparse. The Udall papers provide little on the key months of January & February. The Havasupai sources, including their principal lobbyist, Joe Sparks, have not been available. 
The result is that this post, with the sub-label T2, brings the story from the Udall point of view through 1973 to the Parks Subcommittee action in early March in very skimpy fashion. Then the situation improves, with a fairly rich supply of material from Udall files covering March and April, the period of the Great Pivot, when Udall moved away from a study/plan to legislative language transferring land accompanied by strong environmental rules and guidelines. My entries labelled T3 and T4 cover this period as Udall files present events. Again, had information from the Havasupai side been available, the story could have been even fuller. Correlative with T3 & T4, my entry U1 treats that same material from the sources I have in my files. Taking those three together, and realizing the sources are not complete, I hope the reader will feel able to understand and judge this crucial legislative event, even if not in possession of all possible information. 

To go back to the start of 1973 (repetition, but from the Udall archive), while supposedly we were trying to work out a Park bill that would minimize controversy, Udall helped by having the Park Service draft what we came up with.  
Aide Terry Bracy reported to Udall that McComb saw the Havasupai transfer as the major problem in the Goldwater approach, which, while it had some attractions, McComb was trying to justify opposing. The Forest Service "reallyi" wanted to kill it. On the memo where Bracy discussed the Havasupai transfer, Udall noted "OR leave it out". Bracy urged Udall to make sure Goldwater knew how important Udall was in the House.  Another memo in March provided a view of a visit from Goldwater aide Emerson, who was hopping mad at criticisms of his work by conservationists. Bracy commented that Goldwater wanted all the press as step one in his re-election. Moreover, Emerson didnt know anything about Udall's House influence, nor had they approached Senator Jackson, though Goldwater had been bragging to people that he was the only one who mattered. Emerson's re-draft was "pretty good": the Park ran from Lees to Grand Wash Cliffs; a Zone of Influence allowed the Secretary to control development; there were air space rules, wilderness, and status quo on the damsite. However, the Havasupai transfer and grazing continuation were bothering conservationists