Saturday, April 5, 2014

PL93-620 U2d Jul 1974: On to the Interior Committee; Sweating Out The Wait

The Narrative, July     (Note: the ad depicted below was added 12 May 2012)

At the beginning of July, after his visits, McComb thought the Committee was evenly divided between "pro-Park worriers, who were not anti-Havasupai" and "Pro-Havasupai who were as much pro-Udall or Steiger or Kennedy".  He continued his function of supplying Udall & his staff with data, particularly on the acreages involved, measuring what the Park would lose right down to the last acre (I always preferred rounding off). His newsletter of 2 Jul highlighted the transfer, just mentioning the dam threat and pro-Park additions. He expected action on 10 Jul, but shortly after we heard that strip mining legislation had caused a postponement. 

Brock Evans, Club DC Representative, considered John to be pessimistic, and to muddy the waters, intended to turn up the burners the week of 17 Jul (sic my journal). He involved another of the DC's office's lobbyists, and went to see Congressman Foley, a leading opponent of any transfer. Although my notes are not conclusive, it appears that he recruited or worked with at least half a dozen allies, and made contact with the whole range of conservation groups. This determined attitude was expressed in a 3 Jul letter from the Club Executive Director to those Club members who were in the districts of Representatives on the Committee, asking them to show concern for the Havasupai, but keep currently protected lands in the Park. Interestingly, the NWF, national group of hunters, wrote to subcommittee chair Taylor against the Havasupai (precedents, again), but said nothing about the additions, which were then stirring up AWF members, as I wrote about in post U2c.

Pontius reported that he had heard about the additions from the Forest Service and hunters, but seemed unimpressed. Udall was collecting proxies against Steiger's dam amendment, and had talked with his brother. He had also not heard any more about Havasupai lobbying. Udall's home-base newspapers seemed sympathetic to his "proper compromise": transfer, but specify limits. Another wrote, "Havasupais Need Canyon Land 'Gift'". Contrarily, another issue, 12 Jul, of "Conservation Report" repeated the long list of areas that might be claimed by other tribes. 

I was in Tucson all this time, having gone on my family trip instead of responding to the previous month's call to arms. When I came back, I had continued to churn out little pieces against the transfer: "Conservationists and the Havasupai", "Protecting the National Forests & Parks", "Do the Havasupai have any legal claim to part of the Grand Canyon?". I wrote to Taylor, as I had to Udall, asking that some of the prime areas be kept in the Park. Pro-Havasupai advocates used the on-going master-planning for Grand Canyon Village to argue that NPS didnt know how to use the land, and would devote the South Rim to mass tourism. It is of some note that throughout this period, there really was no negotiation on boundary details. The big change had come when Udall decided to keep the main gorge, including the ¼-mile rim setback, in the Park as a Use Area for the Havasupai, but there was little discussion of the suitability of other parts of the transfer for Park vs. Havasupai purposes. 

I heard from my old boss, David Brower, Friends of the Earth President, who was launching an intensive campaign, with a letter to representatives, an ad in the 8 Jul New York Times, and personal visits to committee Representatives--Taylor, Udall, and others. The ad was followed in two days by a Times editorial "Grand Canyon Raid", talking of the Udall-Steiger "highly undesirable amendments", and worrying about the effect of the "precedent" on the "scores of claims by Indian tribes against parks". Brower's own appeal was to offer the alternatives of non-public, better quality, lands along with improved concession revenue.
His talk with Taylor was brief, but staffer McIlvane was more expansive. Rep. Burton of San Francisco was all for helping and wanted to introduce a substitute that would involve buying private land. He wanted to lead on the issue. In the session with Foley, there was only agreement; he was a likely leader on the anti-transfer side. The visit with Mo had no fire breathing, Pontius said, and no change. A Republican Brower talked to was irritated about the Times ad attacking Nixon. In the other house, Senator Jackson, accompanied by his chief committee staffer, Jerry Verkler, met Brower. They wanted no transfer, a very important bit to know for the future. Kennedy, on the other hand, a strong pro-Havasupai activist, was not particularly friendly, indicating he would "give the Indians anything". Brower also saw a few other Senators. Later in the month, he appeared on a tv news show with Steiger, with no result that I recorded. 

(Putting the bits about Senator Ted Kennedy together, It is possible to conjecture that Kennedy and his staff, with their connections may have contributed even more to the Havasupai effort than I came across. What makes these bits of evidence tantalizing is that Kennedy's more obvious base of action would have been during Senate action in mid-1973. He did co-sponsor the original Goldwater bill. And I have a memory that he made a connection with the Havasupai during his time on the Special Senate Subcommittee on Indian Education in the 1960's. Just suppose, when Goldwater's version ran into trouble in the Senate, Kennedy had made the kind of contacts he later made with House committee members, and went public with a statement for the "Congressional Record" as he did a year later. The entire history of this bill could have been different if a Goldwater-Kennedy axis had swung into action. Instead all that happened is that Emerson grumbled about how the Havasupai had not lined up any support to thwart the administration opposition, and then he just revised his bill to eliminate any land transfer -- another indication of how little the Havasupai and their allies did on their own behalf before the new lobbyists came on the scene in March 1974.) 

The Narrative, told from the Udall Archives (some repetition)

The next several paragraphs are taken from material in the Udall archives, and provide, with some repetition of what I have written so far, a view of events from his office. His archives make clear that, with his decisions made over the past four months, July was his month to repeat his defenses as each claimant tried to soften him up for change in preparation for the full Committee action.

In a standard reply, on Jul 11 he wrote to a Park defender: it does not appear private land can be purchased; I intend to support transfer without taking any land beneath the Canyon rim. Indeed, there will be a ¼-mile buffer. The land transferred will be subject to environmental controls and limited use by the Havasupai. The addition will be 185 kac, and will be the subject of a land use plan drawn up by the Secretary. "I want to do everything I can to insure that the environmental quality of the land transferred will remain consistent with its status at the present time". This would be, he wrote, a unique transfer with strong restrictions. 
  A curter piece talked of the Havasupai's "real need" and their "justified" claim. They agree the land should be protected, and the Udall provisions insure it will be used without detracting from the area's values. There will be a secretarial land use plan.

No surprise, the fire on both sides only made the inferno rage higher. McComb showed up as adamant:  a transfer is not the solution; they will gain no benefit. The Udall provision will not protect the lands, allowing areas for development without limit. Non-Havasupai would be able to use for recreation. No question this will encourage a host more claims to be raised. Six DC conservation group leaders joined on 14 Jul to send a telegram against the transfer, using the last argument, that the result would be to open up all Indian claims for Congressional review.

Sparks responded to the anti-Havasupai clamor in late July with a punchy piece, starting off that this was not a new request. Havasupai conditions were of the poorest. Who is raising questions? Environmentalists, but Udall has written the strongest protections ever. The Havasupai live in harmony, and the question is are they to have custody of the heart of their home. Precedent arguments are spurious; this is Congress. The issue is a people's preservation. They will not  build dams, factories, marinas, or garish commercial development, nor allow mining & logging. Environmental restrictions will prevent degradation. The opposition is composed of innuendo, malicious or uninformed. They wish Congress to confirm their area so they can solve their problems in their own way.

Continuing to sound their sour note were the Hualapai dam lobbyists. (See 8 Jan 2014 post.) And July was when the hunters starting nagging Udall about the "secret" of what had been going on for the past  eight months. (See post U2c for details.)

In the Havasupai debate, the Club at first replied with its "rational" arguments that the transfer target lands were of high Park value and low economic use; private lands would be better. We did know that the Havasupai figured that Congress would never appropriate the money for private land acquisition, and they had stronger arguments for acquiring "free" federal lands. The Club called for an environmental impact statement, though this would have been only another delaying tactic like the administration's now-abandoned one-year study. The anti-transfer groups harped strongly on the flood-gates that would open on all Indian claims. To this last, Sparks responded with four pages attacking the precedent argument,  provoked by the Committee staff's having produced a long background piece on how the Havasupai had fared before the Indian Claims Commission. His points were 1. No precedent can be created on Congress. 2. ICC action erected no bar to a transfer. 3. Congress has responsibility to resolve this problem. 4. This is no Pandora's box. 

Fending off my suggestions on 23 Jul, Pontius replied that "my feeling is that he (Udall) has changed his position a number of times and would like to rest with his present proposal". If he gets receptive; based on lobbying going on, your points will arise. Ms. Hunt was lobbying to keep Beaver & Mooney Falls and the Great Thumb. Committee might not be next week; maybe the 31st.

The Havasupai transfer now brought out another Arizona group, for the cattle-growers were upset that the Rain Tank allotment, run by the Globe Development Corp. was going to be added to the Reservation. Globe protested on 3 Jul that it was not even a gray area of rights, but a simple take-over. They said: we would be glad to sell to the Havasupai (the land was in the Kaibab National Forest). We know the government could revise usage, but not take over an allotment to give it to a neighbor. Pontius talked to the Forest Supervisor, who opined that the area going to the Havasupai was not the most important part of the allotment. Globe had made some improvements there since 1969. The addition would be an economic plus for Havasupai grazing & farming. The Havasupai did use that area before 1917. Pontius noted that under the legislation, Globe would get 10 more years before permit termination.

It seems, overall, that all these pushes and pulls had the result of strengthening Udall's position -- if attacks are coming from all sides on everything, he could feel his position must have optimal merit. 

Narrative from my Journal, July cont.

On 10 Jul, Pontius told me that he had spoken with Sparks the day before, and he sounded resigned to the changes in the language Pontius and McIlvane had worked out (a smaller reservation, the Use Area, more careful restrictions). Taylor would continue to support the subcommittee version. Mail was now more pro-Park, and the Udall meeting with Brower was pleasant, without strong pressure. They also had a telegram from the Arizona hunters opposing the subcommittee additions, and a complaint from a Utah cattle-grower about losing an allotment in the western Canyon. The Committee meeting could be on the 17th. 

Club DC rep Brock Evans relayed to me the chain of people involved that had resulted in the New York Times editorial. Also the Izaak Walton League was now ready to oppose the transfer, and a National Wildlife representative was going around the offices opposing the transfer. Brock was working on a meeting 15 July of several conservation leaders with Taylor.  The Committee could not meet on the 17th; maybe the 24th.
 On the 12th Dale told me it would be the 24th, and memos were being circulated. He said the one from McIlvane was too strongly anti-Havasupai, so we toned it down. Jantzen of Arizona Game & Fish had been in DC to see Udall, who thought that maybe the hunters "need a bone", though McComb was firm they did not. Jantzen did not even talk about the Havasupai.

In a conversation with Steiger, friendly as always, he told me he was with Udall except that he would oppose including the Rain Tank grazing allotment in the expanded reservation. He thought he had the votes for the Havasupai, and that McComb had come on too strong. The Forest Service had shut up, but NPS was still mucking about. He assured me there was no trouble about the additions; he had not heard anything. [And, did I wonder, what would he do when Jantzen did talk to him?]

From Club lobbyist Harriet Hunt, I learned that there had been a meeting the previous week (first week of July) to divide up the committee members, but not much lobbying had been done. Taylor was assessed as not wanting to fight Mo, and would not follow Burton's lead in pushing for a private-land purchase. This was confirmed in the 15 Jul meeting, with Taylor saying it was up to Udall; he was the one who could change or hold firm. Taylor would defend the subcommittee result and raise the precedent issue -- though apparently he said this "weakly". Next, there would be an attempt to get some other big names in to see Udall to push three possibilities: accept what the subcommittee did, or allow the transfer with a "covenant", or push Brower plan. My opinion was that only the first would affect Udall's stand.  After listening to Hunt's report, I felt that things were being stirred up, but she was not certain the resources would be available.  

[As a reminder, I need to stress that I was doing all this on the phone from Tucson, away from the DC action, and it is the details in my journal that generate a sense of what seemed to me to have been feverish activity.]

Position papers were being readied for the Committee members. Udall's memo, 11 Jul, (and placed in the Congressional Record of 19 Jul) first attacked the dam, then promoted the Havasupai expansion, as the two Major issues left after "a whole bundle of controversies were settled in the subcommittee". His position on the dam: "We fought that fight in the '60's and ended with a legislative decision denying further dam construction". Consideration of power & water needs and a dam's life expectancy indicate there is "no sufficient case to revise that decision". After noting the strong support he had against the dam from conservation groups, Udall followed with "I have an honest and basic disagreement" with those same groups over the Havasupai. He summed up the "equities on both sides of what has become an emotional national issue", and offered his four-point compromise: 
1. Transfer 185 kac of NPS and Forest lands, all outside the main gorge and with a boundary ¼ mile from the rim.
2. Establish a 95 kac Use Area inside the Park contiguous to the reservation which would be fully available to the Havasupai for "traditional uses". Together these designations would be larger than the Goldwater or Nixon proposals. "I believe (transfer of land below the rim) would be a serious mistake."
3. A land use plan, with final approval by the Secretary of the Interior, would not allow any uses "detracting from existing scenic and natural values." There could be residential and community uses on the plateau. So, protect Havasupai traditional uses below the rim and Park values above.
4. The Pasture Wash area now a grazing allotment, would go fully to the Havasupai within 10 years.  

The amendment to (discussed above, too) effectuate the Havasupai measure had a total of 13 parts and sub-parts. After the amendment was circulated, comments led to changes, and my notes indicate that there may have been concern about the tightness of some restrictions, viz.
Sec (b2) had said the land was available "exclusively" for Havasupai farming & grazing. The word  "exclusively" was dropped. 
Sec (b4) Originally, the land use plan allowed for "one compact and contiguous area" for residential and community purposes. The phrase was changed to "areas".
Sec (b5) had forbidden commercial timber production "except for timber used by the Tribe". The exception was deleted. 
Sec (b6) The language for non-member access at locations established by the Secretary, was qualified in the changed version, by "in consultation with the Tribal Council".

On 16 Jul, I talked with Udall about the hunters' complaints. He said he could hold the line on the additions, even with the fuss. Him: "You say there's no hunting there."  Me: "Yes, Mo, I do--I have been there." He opined that all the fuss might kill the bill, and he was trying get a day for action in spite of other House matters. 

Next, I chatted with Senator Jackson's chief of staff, S. Munro, hoping that Jackson might talk to Goldwater to ease that pressure on Udall. I got no promises, and McComb reported that the Senate committee staff chief, Jerry Verkler, said Jackson did not want the transfer, but was dubious about talking to Taylor or Udall. His staff, he said, was "divided" about this, a division I had already run into. The Club's McCloskey had stirred up former NPS Director, now lobbyist, Hartzog to make some visits. Verkler concluded that there would be a conference after House passage to reconcile differences. 

On the 18th, McIlvane suggested the 24th might be the date for action. He was ready to draft any alternative amendment, and had prepared the subcommittee report, but doubted that Taylor would add anything to that. The procedure in the full Committee would be for a general discussion, then Taylor would offer the subcommittee version, and Udall would follow with his amendments. It would not go section-by-section because of parliamentary procedure. Harriet Hunt & I talked over the idea of an alternative amendment, but sponsorship seemed dubious, though she had contacted Burton, Dellenback, and Foley. Others were trying to convince Owens, who had heard from one of his constituents about an affected grazing allotment. She said that Roncalio, in going for the Havasupai, had not even known they had received any compensation.
Goldwater took exception to the Times "Grand Canyon Raid" editorial in a 19 Jul letter sloppily replete with errors and good feeling that brought him back in line behind the transfer.

On the 19th, the Committee staff circulated the Subcommittee bill, its analysis, and other explanatory materials. There were 12 sections; section 3 being the Park enlargement to 1.5 million acres. Section 10 was the now-abandoned Udall attempt to help the Havasupai without transferring land. Section 7 was the embarrassing old "reclamation" provision from 1919, now updated to apply only to the Lake Mead NRA lands being added. Nevertheless, we could be pleased that the full length of the Canyon, plus significant north side canyons and plateaus, were gathered in, and everything would be subject to a new Wilderness study. In spite of our several tries, neither the subcommittee Havasupai language nor any other we had dreamed up, seemed likely to prevent the Havasupai transfer. 

In writing up the background, the staff emphasized the Havasupai issue as between respecting the Indian Claims process and Congress exercising its power to enlarge the reservation. The familiar arguments were a comfort to read, but they had, of course, already been rejected by the Havasupai, since they were not be to fobbed off by the subcommittee "assurances that (the Havasupai) grazing privileges will not be terminated." Nor would they be impressed by the section on "Importance of this Issue" that only reiterated the fear that many other tribes would follow the Havasupai lead. 
   The second issue placed the Hualapai's economy against the "adverse public reaction nationwide" to the dam. 
  Finally, the question was raised of moving "multiple-use" land into the more widely available land of a National Park for those areas with grazing permits. The explanation noted that studies were to be conducted, and the permits could continue for 10 years. Not noted were the complaints of hunters, only now gathering volume.

We, too, were preparing hand-outs. On the legislation, our 7 points stressed the positives of the Park expansion: the major portion of the Canyon would be under one administration, there could be aircraft noise regulation, there would be a wilderness study. 
We did have to stress that "no Indian land is taken", nor any "important" grazing, timbered, or hunting lands. There was little private land involved, and the "peripheral" grazing could continue to 10 years.   Separately, we warned about the falseness of Havasupai arguments on precedent, uniqueness, their abysmal conditions, their blaming NPS instead of the BIA, and saying that the land is not part of the Grand Canyon. 

Steiger's letter to committee members echoed Udall's on the Havasupai matter, up to the point of the Globe Corp.'s allotment, which he thought ought not to be taken from them to be given to a neighbor.

The "Conservation Report" of 19 Jul noted the delay to 24 July because of a party caucus. It then featured the "growing tide of mail" against the Havasupai transfer, in part because of an editorial in The New York Times, which was quoted at length: reinforcing the hard-nosed side of the argument, it referred to the Nixon endorsement, "little-noticed". Even the study provision had been a weakening provision.  "Deeply wrong in principle" since parks and forests are "inviolable". Help the Havasupai in other of the "numerous acceptable ways" available. Equally hard-headed was the Club's Evans writing to the Washington Post (it had endorsed the transfer). Again the precedents: reopening a "final, settled" claim; giving public lands to Indians for their economy; opening up the Park System to more claims. And again, the damage the Havasupai might do, citing pro-dam and pro-tram resolutions, and casting doubt that the Secretarial land use plan would be any restraint on "recreational development". He noted the Burton proposal to buy neighboring fertile private land.

So would there be Committee action soon or not? McComb, back in Arizona, visited Jantzen of Game & Fish about 18 Jul, since now we knew that Jantzen had written to Udall complaining that 1 million acres were being threatened. McComb told him we had not grabbed any land, and Jantzen halfway conceded that the canyons we advocated for the Park were not real hunting territory. He also admitted he had not said anything about the Havasupai. Later, when Pontius told him about mail from Arizona hunting groups, McComb led the way on a telegram from 11 Arizona conservation groups backing Udall additions. 

I had a summary from Harriet Hunt on the 21st. Burton had written a letter, all on his own, about the private land purchase. Udall cast doubt on the 24th meeting date. Hunt was supplying material to Dellenback for study. Evans had found O'Hara to be pro-Havasupai on account of Udall. She found a couple of others, now more alerted, amazed at the Havasupai addition. However, another went their way. Still another contact had bad news about Burke. There was some comic relief when a staffer threw the Hualapai out as manipulative. Although Ruppe and Brower had disagreed, Evans divined from a later visit that he was anti-transfer. Harriet said her general impression was that "people were sick to death of the Havasupai issue and Fraser Barron (one of the Havasupai lobbyists) being always around." 

Checking around on 22 Jul, I found no encouragement from the subcommittee staff. We were told Dellenback and Seiberling might help, but no one was clear how. Runnels insisted he was not pro-Havasupai as his staff said, but "open". Foley, clearly on our side, would send a letter and talk to both Taylor and Senator Jackson. Regula was still studying the matter. Others found other excuses to avoid taking a stand yet. A rumor trickled out that the Interior Secretary had been ready to write a letter in favor of the Hualapai's need for the dam, but was persuaded not to. On the 23rd, there were still more fragments of maybes and signs of pressures. And the 25th did not bring any more definite news, just reports on people talking to people, and who relied on whom. The Senate staff chief, Verkler, was even more convinced that a floor effort would be needed. 
Friday, the 26th had a blip of interest: A reporter from The New York Times had gone to Supai and concluded they come and go, and like it in the canyon. Also, some pro-Havasupai lobbyist was quoted as proclaiming "we are really going after you". But the committee members remained more ambiguous -- or ambivalent. 

Sparks put out a letter and memo to the committee members on the 26th. He summarized 32 legal issues, but his main plea was to "allow these people to solve their problems in their own way, in the heart of their ancient homeland, by confirming to them their use area". We quickly produced a point-by-point refutation of the legal issues, which given that the use of half-truths was rife on both side, probably added up to far fewer than 32. In any case, that kind of detail was not the point anymore. 

Out in the country, there were pro-Havasupai editorials in Missouri and San Francisco, and the Sierra Club was lambasted by Havasupai friend Tikalsky from Colorado. The Havasupai meanwhile formally repudiated their 1966 support of a dam and their 1969 approval of a tramway. We continued to use this weapon against them.They also re-stated their wish to have only the lands in the Park and Forest. The Star in Tucson suggested instead of the Udall transfer, that there be a lease-in-perpetuity. 

After all of July's work, on Friday 26 Jul, Brock Evans summed up in a TWX (then top technology) to McComb in Tucson, about the committee meeting, now set for the 31st: "We do not now have the votes"; "count is 17 to 9 against us". Still up in the air is who actually attends, and the use of proxies; "it does not look good."  "My view that you should be back here if you possibly can be. Or, if there is any way that you can get big guns (McCloskey, Brower, Callison, etc.) to come back to talk to the undecideds. Otherwise I think we had better start thinking about a floor fight."

In the Udall archives is this memo by the Havasupai lobbyists:

The 2nd & 3rd sentences start with Steiger and count.
Interesting that they knew what the Sierra Club headcount was. I have no formal memos like this, but I do have papers with the working lists we put together in the couple of weeks before the vote. Handwritten, they are not so readable, but I offer two, the second just before the vote, for comparison.

High caliber or not, McComb & I returned to DC that weekend. My journal for Monday and Tuesday contains notes about last-minute efforts and several work sheets of which committee members might be susceptible to them. The counts never seemed in our favor, (see above) since we could see who had to come out against the Havasupai transfer, but had only doubts that they would. There was a meeting, presided over by Representative Foley and Brock Evans, in the nature of a pep talk and looking at the long view. The Washington Post editorialized for the Havasupai on the 29th, and Evans answered back the same day -- his statement a reminder that the lands in question were part of the Grand Canyon. He also wrote Congressman Meeds that Udall's proposal was not in any way a compromise. It would take lands from the Park System and undermine the Indian Claims process.

Foley & Dellenback sent a letter to committee members Tuesday the 30th, with emphasis on the Havasupai claim having been settled, so giving them land would signal others to re-open their claims. And indeed, this was the issue that seemed to be pushed the hardest.  Yet any possibly good news was offset by indications that the other side was being just as vigorous and more successful. (A maybe from Melcher; a decision for Udall from Bingham; an arm twist of Sebelius by Arizona's Rhodes, an open mind by Colliins; and so forth.) All these teasers were complicated by the question of which members would actually attend and which use proxies. Reading through this storm of notes provides not so much information about who was trying what with whom when, as the sense of us all rushing around & around. Over all of it hung Pontius' (=Udall's) evaluation that the Democrats were split on the issue, and the Republicans solid for the Havasupai, an evaluation we could not shake. 

Sources: Again, the principal source is my journal and the piles of papers I collected that summer. I worked through the Udall archives separately, and have inserted some from that material here in its own section.

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