Tuesday, May 27, 2014

PL93-620 W2. Sep-Oct 1974: Troubles, Uncertainties, Waiting

[ General comment: A lot of what follows is just so much hot air; people gassing to pass the time until a definitive step was taken. Like much of DC chat; it needs now, and at the time, to have a lot of salt shaken on it. Entertainment? Trying to prove worth? So after I clear this away, I will take up the content of the Committee Report in a separate entry. I will then go on to summarize the hunter/AG&F effort. Then finally, we get to the floor debate of 10 Oct.]

If the government was trying to prove it could not help the Havasupai, then information I picked up supported that notion: grazing was limited by the cost of pumping water. They could only sell their cattle cheap. There was no forthcoming appropriation for an electric line. Work on improving Hilltop wasnt done because there was no initiative. The attitude toward helicopters and any tramway was adamantly negative. 

The Club's McCloskey reported to Evans that he had talked with Congressman Taylor, who suggested Udall was getting cold feet, and would not fight very hard if we pushed further amendments, maybe even being willing to shrink the transfer boundary. Hunt's office visits in DC were finding less & less sympathy in the Senate. Pontius was meanwhile trying to be soothing about the land use plan and the report.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

PL93-620 W. Aug-Sep 1974: A Re-focussed Battle; Attacking the Precedent

Udall had demonstrated his leadership that had led to a bill, complete with some compromises, that could command a majority in the committee against the opposition of the forces determined that federal land should not be transferred to the Havasupai (or any tribe, by implication). There had been an even larger majority for the other changes he had made in the Senate-passed version.

The next necessary accomplishment, not in any way automatic, would be to bring this bill to the floor of the full House of Representatives, maintaining the bill's content while building another majority for it. There were technical steps: The Committee had lacked a quorum on the 31st, and so had to reconvene for the vote. The Committee Report & minority views had to be written, and the package presented to the Rules Committee, the body that determined what procedures were to be followed during floor debate & voting. The day for floor action could then be scheduled -- in this bill's history, no mean feat given how often it had been delayed and postponed.  These preliminary steps to full House action took up August, September, and half of October.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PL93-620 U2f Jul-Aug 1974: Outside My Grand Canyon Bubble

It is amazing, and I had completely forgotten the simultaneity of events,  that anything was accomplished that July and early August, 1974, since it was the time when the House Judiciary Committee debated (on tv) and voted articles of impeachment against President Richard Nixon. 

I certainly remember watching the late July proceedings of that committee, yet these incredible events had no echo or seeming influence on my journals concerning the House Interior Committee and its consideration of the Grand Canyon bill. The Nixon demise is almost a separate set of memories; for me set in and with the family of Brock Evans, in whose house I stayed during that period. I do remember vividly the commuting exercise necessary to get from that house to the capitol district.

Nor was this the only "distraction" that I failed to record, for I spent a fair amount of time in the National Archives on Pennsylvania Ave--my first Researcher card is dated Oct 1973-- reading through and typing up notes on all the government papers I could find relevant to the  (particularly XIXth-century) human history of the Canyon -- maps, Forest Service, Park Service, Geological Survey,  Bureau of Indian Affairs, et al., the foundation of what I ambitiously hoped might someday become the Canyon's comprehensive political history.