FIRST, SOME LONG DISTANCE GROUNDWORK
A lot of what transpired in November and up to the conference in mid-December was very much one-to-one. It consisted of many conversations, sometimes with those directly involved, more often with intermediaries, aides. What became a month-long effort was, perhaps, like a mosaic whose bits were laid not with a guiding narrative, but a variegated pattern that was concluded by the conference itself. If there is a guiding narrative theme, I am afraid it is one of narrowing possibilities. We did lay out and argue for overall compromises on the Havasupai question; but we could not get the political balance to tilt in our favor, so no one would take on the difficult task against the Arizona delegation's unity -- not to mention its (apart from Udall) personal anger and actively expressed disdain. So, by the time the conference neared, conversations were of a few tightening-up changes. On our additions, the opponents apparently felt so secure in having the allegiance of the Arizonans except Udall, that our arguments overall could gain no traction. Given our euphoria at the bill approved by the Parks Subcommittee 9 months earlier, the year had been a dispiriting one. So for triumphant narrative themes, one must go to the Havasupai and the hunters; for me, what follows is a story of day-to-day persistence under an increasingly lowering cloud.
I wrote those staff I thought key (Senate: Verkler & Van Ness; House: Pontius & McIlvane), promoting the view that there were alternatives, and formulated some, one that included joint US-Havasupai title to all the lands requested by the Havasupai, from the river south to include all NPS and Forest land to east of Pasture Wash, calling them the "Havasupai Grand Canyon Lands". The Havasupai would have their right to appropriate use confirmed, and without the House restrictions. NPS-Havasupai cooperation would be mandated for a tourist business, residence & school attendance at Grand Canyon Village, and employment opportunities. The pressing problems on sewage, power, health, and schooling would be acted on "immediately".
Two other alternatives I sent on rang changes on who had title, how to protect the Havasupai interest and the Canyon, and the implementation of necessary practical solutions. However, I must have been skeptical about our chances. As I wrote to Pontius: Get your shredder out, heres some more junk. It was too clear at this point that we were disadvantaged on both our issues. So I stressed my idea was now to work toward mutual advantage. I became even more aware that letters & calls just were not enough, our effort needed to be backed up by a presence (persuasive or not) once Congress reconvened.
A parallel effort was to engage friendly Senators' interest in the conference. (See at end for list of conferees and important staff.) Hunt found Haskell of Colorado not interested, but Abourezk (pro-Havasupai) and Metcalf (pro-Park) certainly were. At an election-night party, Verkler told her, "we" are just going to kill it. In October, I had written Senator Jackson urging him to steer the conference to consider alternatives to protect public ownership of the Canyon. We learned that Metcalf had made the request for a conference.
McIlvane thought the closeness of the House vote was significant, and believed the conference would deal only with differences. He was thinking about drawing up alternatives, but was feeling battered and beleaguered. Taylor was still considering what to offer in the conference. So early in November, I sent him two alternatives; our aim was to keep more of the Great Thumb in the Park, along with Beaver Canyon area.
Given that my offerings are not dated and show no indication of collaboration, they really merit now just mention, without discussion or detail, that the range of concepts included a congressional permit, mandated action on needed infrastructure, joint US-Havasupai title, boundary changes keeping more prime Canyon land in the Park, joint administration of the area, a combination of title for some of the transfer and a permanent permit for the critical Canyon areas.
A long conversation with an NPS legislative official brought agreement that they could write something about our northside additions. He was more interested in the Havasupai, and after talking with both Senate and House people, would rather the bill was killed.
I asked both the Park superintendent and the Forest supervisor to provide information about what they had done on Havasupai affairs.
Verkler was grudgingly willing to receive an NPS letter, but was more worried about Van Ness lobbying and Udall on Havasupai. He then provided a set-back on our additions, saying he "had crapped on the hunters once" (in the Senate action). They had told him there was a deal fixed in 1973. I objected, and suggested the legislative veto approach. He was not worried about Emerson or Fannin. Congress was coming back 18 Nov. On the Havasupai, he said Metcalf would fight like a son-of-a-bitch, and I told him we were trying alternatives. He was friendly, but would still prefer to kill the bill.
Hunt reported Abourezk and Haskell will be conference members.
Sterling Munro was non-committal on matters, saying Jackson had been called, and it was becoming likely he would stay quiet and let Parks chairman Bible handle the bill.
Verkler seconded this by saying that Jackson was ok on the issue in private, but was not giving any clear direction, and his aide Van Ness, pro-Havasupai (which we knew; he had been swept away by the 60 Minutes presentation: "justice had not been done"), was working on him, but there was "no focus yet'.
Fannin had asked for a conference on Kanab in particular.
Verkler was sure about Metcalf.
Pontius told me there had been a meeting of staffers, but just passing information, no resolution. I again brought up the study route and Havasupai boundary alternatives, which I had sent him.
For the other side, the Senate committee staffer for Indian affairs, F. Gerrard, [who would, a few years later as an Interior official, help drag down the Grand Canyon Wilderness proposal] lobbied Senator Metcalf with a long memo arguing that the House grant was "a substantial compromise of the Tribe's position". He noted the support of both Arizona Senators, as well as Kennedy & Humphrey. He selectively rehashed the history.e.g., "the Administration" -- not President Nixon -- reversed position to support Udall's proposal (mistakenly described). The "social indicators" revealed the need for expansion. The precedent argument was contradicted by the fact that the Havasupai's rights are "unique", since they have continuously used & occupied the lands. Also their aboriginal title had never been extinguished, and they did not forfeit their claim in the ICC process, as the House recognized. Sparks' exhaustive research satisfied Gerrard that "no other tribe enjoys such rights in a national park". The Club charge that the Blackfeet will go after Glacier NP is "utterly false". The conservationist "falsely charge" the Havasupai want development, using "inaccurate and specious arguments". Metcalf's sensitivity to "American Indian people" is known and respected. [As was his sensitivity to defending the National Park System, a neat illustration of the cross pressures exerted by this issue on sensitive-thinking people--which may explain why he chose eventually not to serve on the conference.]
Waiting for Congress to be back in session, I sharpened up our ideas of a "compromise" boundary that would leave the Havasupai with Havasu Canyon, and the plateau lands except for most of the Great Thumb. Here is a map of one stage in such attempts: The solid red splotch is the original reservation, and I note that, taking advantage of Havasupai disdain for it, I moved the upper Cataract stretch of the old Reservation into the Park -- talking about "what was I smoking?":
These attempts must seem compulsive now; Sparks knew that there was no need to change, given the support they had in the Senate. Why should he consider compromise? Still, one never knew when an opening might appear. Hunt supported my suggestions with arguments on the economic potential of the plateau due to the lack of permanent water and soil barrenness & deterioration. Scenery is the only value.
Pontius reported on a conversation he'd had with Verkler, who claimed he had "not given the bill any thought", although he was aware there were controversies. He was "not sold" on the transfer, but recognizing reality, with the likelihood of not getting what is in either bill, maybe there could be a number of alternatives laid before the conferees. [How disingenuous!]Pontius thought the Havasupai could only lose if there were changes, but I disagreed.
THEN, ON THE BATTLEGROUND ITSELF
From mid-November to final passage in mid-December, I was in Washington, subject to all the usual gossipy puffing and blowing. McComb had solicited money for my expenses, both from the Club and from local groups -- Audubon, FOE, the hiking club, and AQE, generous in the past -- though we grossly underestimated the time (one week) I would spend.
Lobbying our Congress is a physical activity (at least for cash-strapped citizen activists). The Capitol's long axis is north-south, Senate-to-House. For the lobbyists working both houses, getting back and forth thus requires a bunch of added steps. There are three House office buidings across the street from its chamber-- by age from the east: Longworth, Cannon, Rayburn. Udall, though by seniority entitled to move to the sterile marbled grandeur of the last, stayed on in the Longworth. I had offices to visit in all three, finding the Rayburn most uncongenial. My main focus in the then two Senate buildings, the venerable Russell and the Dirksen, was on the Interior Committee offices in the former.
The distance between Senate and House offices is about ½ mile, along the three House buildings about the same, and the two Senate location half that. So the drill is to have a list of people to visit, and then move more or less purposefully among the buildings as needs be to find in their offices, the people most important to see, or most comfortable to sit down and chat with as a respite. The halls do not contain places to perch and rest. No doubt, the more high-powered among the petitioning-for-pay community have ways and means to privileged access. We from the grass-roots wore out the shoe leather. The period under discussion was November-December, chilly, maybe cold. The toughest was the summer (think of all our going about done in June-July before the House Committee vote), with its heat and humidity. That was not totally escapable even with good planning and use of the tunnels between the buildings. Going outside along the Capitol's back was more direct between the two houses' structures -- and you could see the Supreme Court's modest palace, at that time home to commendable law-making.
I do remember my spirits sagging over that visit, which included Thanksgiving and the need to press on, dependent on other people's whims and schedules. Lobbying is, though, an activity in American governance hard to beat for the entry & view of its workings -- and not. Doing it for riches requires a different mold of citizen, but I had the excitement of trying to shape the future context of a place I loved.
There was an incident early in my stay that sits in my memory as a reminder of human variety and vagaries. I had come into a conference meeting on some Interior Committee matter, and like any junior lobbyist anxious to watch and not be noticed, squatted against the wall. Sam Steiger was at the table, part of the negotiations, and shortly after I settled, he got up to come around the table and, hunkering down in front of me, said he had heard about my rattlesnake encounter the previous month (in, of course, the Grand Canyon) and wanted to know if I was alright. I did a bit of show & tell, and making some more encouraging words, he returned to his seat. In addition to this generous act from a fierce enemy of our interests, it is wonderful to contemplate the grapevine that had to run from a remote canyon in northern Arizona to the buzzing, blooming confusions of Washington D.C.
Sadly, when I recall Steiger's sympathy, i am also reminded of the article in the Havasupai newsletter chortling over the report of the attack, richly deserved, on an anti-Havasupai lobbyist by a rattlesnake in the Grand Canyon.
I was no sooner there when McComb telexed me with some report on what the conferees had done, including saying that Goldwater's original boundaries had been adopted. McComb speculated the statement had come from Emerson peddling premature rumors, but "all too likely that this will be the final version", including the Havasupai transfer. So much for our optimism.
At the same time, AG&F's Jantzen produced five pages plus data for Goldwater, first thanking him for sending Emerson to them. We thought the Senate version an "equitable compromise", and oppose the major House additions, including the Havasupai transfer (to which he gave all of one paragraph). The letter is carefully crafted to be able to make statements like "western fingers extend into … deer habitat", and using numbers like "41%" hunted on the affected areas, although 75% of the "areas" were not included. Nevertheless "most of the larger bucks and the best hunter success … come from the edges and the slopes … into these drainages". He talks of the moneys collected and spent on game and habitat management. He conceded that the bottoms of the canyons were not much used, but the "breaks" certainly were. And then he just extends this "analysis" to all the other additions with the usual data-less claims. He did point out that our Shivwits area additions were not all in canyon country. [That might have been a weak point, had they ever made the effort to collect data, but as it was, we were free to extol the Shivwits as a remarkable backcountry viewing platform over the western canyon, as against their unsupported statements about hunter use.] Jantzen continued that contrary to our statements, fencing would be required, since the rims were not clear cut. For good measure he threw in chukars & turkeys, as under AG&F care. We are opposed to any compromises, since these areas have long been in multiple use.
Emerson's work also produced a hunter letter to Senator Jackson, enclosing the AG&F analysis: "the greatest number of Mule Deer trophies … come from areas in or very near" to the additions. [Very near? 1000' above our additions?] So please support the Senate-passed bill (no mention here of the Havasupai).
Our answers were scornful: Their maps were wrong; we had left the heads of the canyons out due to hunting. Their statistics were suspect, since our additions were only 20% of areas they counted in, and were 1-2000' below. These bottoms are dry with little browse. Anyway Forest Service & BLM say grazing is poor to bad. Lets do a study, where any mistakes can be corrected. And although we were not hearing from stockgrowers, we would have had to admit that our additions scooped up quite a few more allotments than the Senate bill (21 added to its 7). In our arguments, we pushed the idea that the western Canyon, if in the Park, would attract lots more visitors -- not necessarily an argument we would use now.
However, to keep my spirits up, I also brought out our positive arguments for the additions, and I reproduce the page here as a reminder that 1-4 were added, and that 5-7 ought to be:
We were pleased when the local BLM office produced a document of management proposals for its, the western, share of Kanab Canyon: "highly scenic", "a unique natural area", used by "hikers as an access route" to the Park & River, "excellent potential" for wilderness. The primary uses were hiking, wildlife habitat, and grazing, the last of which was called "marginal … rough, rocky, and inaccessible", and it "interferes with bighorn sheep use" -- therefore elimination of grazing was recommended. So, although the continuation of hunting was suggested, the agency's words were supportive of our evaluation. It did not mention the new threat of uranium exploitation.
The papers we circulated emphasized that our additions embodied a "rim-to-river national Park", resulting in an entity with "good administration … consistent with the multiple needs of a National park (and) a minimum interference with other established interests". The public would be able "to understand and enjoy" the Canyon "nearly in its entirety". Awareness of the great values on its north side will be enhanced, giving the public an increased appreciation of its variety and stupendous dimensions. Coherent interpretation will be possible, with one set of rules & regulations, in place of five. After discounting the opposing arguments as "disproved" and marginal, we noted that the House bill ordered a study, which could lead to the Secretary recommending eliminations. We went so far as to draft a reverse: our additions would be marked as a "study area", and become part of the Park in one year unless the Secretary found them "unsuitable". Another example, perhaps, of a good approach brought too late to the table.
In wondering if a conference might not kill the bill, Van Ness thought Udall would be the key.
McIlvane was non-committal about what could happen. Some Club staffer had heard from someone that there would be no conference.
Seiberling said he would ask Taylor for what the House position was to be in conference, and would push McIlvane to be more open. He sounded ready for confrontation.
My conversation with Mo seemed hopeful -- maybe the boundary should be ½ mile back; perhaps two falls should stay in the Park, and more of the Great Thumb. But he wanted to get Goldwater's approval before suggesting anything. "This isnt the way I wanted to go," he told me.
From Verkler, this was to be "one last big battle" [leaving like Pontius & Bible]. Goldwater is the most knowledgeable, and as a matter of principle, there could be no "end run", no action without him. NWF's Kimball (hunters) was around talking about our additions. I opined that Udall and Goldwater would "fix up" the bill. Turning to the conferees, he said Fannin & Hansen would be the Republicans. [If you cannot stand the suspense, I put the complete list of "Managers on the Part of" each chamber at the end.] For the Democrats: maybe Johnston. Possibly could keep Abourezk off. He would check about Church, who had helped us during the Senate tussle. We talked over the problems of killing the bill, and I stressed a revival next year would need alternatives. He took a call from a Senator's office making inquiries after being talked to by the AAIA lobbyist, and told him to "forget it".
I spent some time trying to find ways to encourage Church's interest, including talking with the aide of our friend, Senator Case.
A talk with Pontius brought out how much was dependent on Udall consulting with Goldwater. We discussed keeping Mooney Falls in the Park and well as upper Great Thumb.
On 20 Nov, there was the "Metcalf disaster": his staff aide had been sympathetic, but Metcalf had switched to the Havasupai side, though he was willing to talk to us before saying anything. I suggested maybe we could find a positive position. I then warned Verkler, and prepared a proposal. When I checked with Van Ness, he had already heard, and suggested that Gerrard was instrumental.
Next day, there was more bad news from a Republican staffer: Goldwater and Fannin were adamant against our additions, but there might be a chance for a study, though he wasnt sure about a study following a conclusion. Reportedly, Goldwater had told Jackson that NPS did not want the additions and could not take care of them. Also there were many, many unhappy hunters. I replied that we had tried to meet with them, and that we had been careful with the boundaries. He had also been informed about the uranium prospecting. Pontius had too, and noted that so far there were no claims. He was trying to meet with McIlvane and Verkler on Havasupai alternatives. Foley said he would talk to Udall & Taylor, in aid of our alternatives.
There was no luck with Church so far; he did not want to be involved, but possibly was not pro-Havasupai. The Club's Evans was trying to reach Church, too. He opined this issue will keep coming back, so we are better to cut our losses, since no one wants to fight this next year.
I met with Metcalf's aide, and offered an alternative for him to show to Gerrard, a trusted adviser of Metcalf. We fenced, and he agreed he would show the ideas to Gerrard for his confidential (ha!) evaluation, and if he said "no", I could see Metcalf. Later he told Hunt he understood Club had changed its position.
I summed up for myself that if Metcalf would not help, then I needed to work on Verkler for Bible & Church, just preparing to push on additions and avoid a Havasupai fight, if there is no backing for alternatives from Senate side.
22 Nov, I hear that Gerrard has said no on alternatives, since as long as Park is involved, the Havasupai cannot get programs for the land, and he will furnish Metcalf with memo (see above). I have a not-friendly exchange with another Indian affairs committee staffer; he gives me legal "this and that". Trust status needed so Havasupai can administer; I tell him this scuttles effort at compromise. I now feel we had best get out with all we can. Verkler verifies Metcalf position.
McComb tells me that the Metcalf memo has been placed before Jackson.
Pontius and McIlvane havent seen Verkler; he wasnt ready. Pontius fussed about the hunting aspect, and said Udall has a letter from Phelps-Dodge showing their area of exploration. I talked with various allies; Foley said that it was "cut your losses" time, but he would talk with Jackson. End of week summary: Hopes for a good compromise have ended. I will continue to state our position, but do nothing to urge or impede a conference, and still try to fix up any Udall compromise. So just defend our gains, and trim losses.
A historical note: Only at this point do I learn that back in April the Havasupai had secured a briefing for all the staffs, another indicator of Sparks' effectiveness. Did he give them breakfast, too?
Second note: One day, and I did not record this, Sparks & I were chatting in the corridor. He made the suggestion, offer, that we join forces and get the key Senators to just accept and pass the House bill as is. The Havasupai were obviously satisfied, and we would avoid losing our additions to the hunters' opposition. It was a measure of my mind-set that I did not hesitate in turning the offer down, feeling that we had a position on the transfer and had to follow it through. I have often wondered about this since; aside from any principles, it would have been a better, more future-oriented, outcome. On second thoughts, though, I truly doubt that I could have brought along my environmentalist colleagues. But then, I did not try.
The 25th was not an encouraging day, either. There was no interest in Church's office; he was away until the 9th. When I told Verkler about my confrontation with pro-Havasupai staff, he talked about being tired after 10 years, and leaving soon. McIlvane was still convinced bill should just die. I was still hoping about toughening the alternatives to be offered by the House, and having Metcalf back them.
On the 26th, Pontius passed on some proposals to Verkler; there was to be no stalling.
Verkler told me about a discussion with Senator Nelson and aide: Nelson: Im not committed. Aide: Im sold on the Havasupai and Congress has the power. Verkler: But is it right? Aide: AAIA lobbyists said Jackson was committed. Then Jackson appears, and when asked, says: "No, Im not; not to a transfer." Van Ness: Last May, you were. Jackson: No, I said I would help, but not necessarily give title. [So whose rumors can you trust about what?]
27th, Verkler shows me Goldwater's letter to Jackson against the additions with b.s. reasons: NPS cannot handle and tens of thousands of hunters from all over West hunt there. Asks for conference. When McIlvane asked me about Jackson's reaction to proposals, I have to say it was superficial. McIlvane's changes would be to keep the Great Thumb in the Park. A legislative veto would be added to a two-year study on our added lands, and allow hunting and grazing. A change to 10d would allow compensation for improvements in the Rain Tank allotment the Havasupai wanted to take. He wanted to add further restrictions on development.
Verkler opined conference is possible; and he wanted language to tighten the transfer. McComb & I worked over some changes. Hunt had talked with Abouezk's man about Havasupai going to school and having tourist concession at Grand Canyon Village. They discussed soils; he had been told by AAIA lobbyist the addition was wanted for dry farming & grazing. She left copy of the federal-state study that had caused so much trouble.
I see Metcalf, who had been of major help in 1973 over keeping the old Monument's plateau lands in the new Park. He told me about the Gerrard memo, and said he had talked with Dave Brower and listened to Gerrard (whose ideas I considered absurd), but was not so far committed to any position, yet, only to the idea of a full discussion in conference. [Do you get the idea that just maybe "Im not committed" is political-speak for "I dont want to tell you what Im going to do"?] He was very friendly and spoke kindly of my effort, but he would not be "whip-sawed". [Of course, he was; there were many who were in general pro-Parks and pro-Indians; the cross-pressures could have been painful, and were certainly exploited by lobbyists.]
Over a thankless Thanksgiving, McComb told me he was trying to set up conference calls to Goldwater and Fannin. Sparks told Pontius the Senate was all wrapped up; I told him not all were committed.
Hunter intransigence was shown in a letter in the Republic from a hunter decrying emotionalism by Park expansion advocates, and supporting the Goldwater boundaries. McComb answered as December opened by pointing out that the letter "lumped together" the Park additions with heavily hunted non-Park areas. Virtually none of the fees collected were spent in our additions; they were simply not of interest to hunters on the ground. The bill was careful, he said, to draw boundaries excluding multiple-use areas.
On 2 Dec, late, Verkler told me Bible was going to leave a week or so, but he wanted to be on the conference, so it would have to be called soon. Pontius confirmed; Verkler had told him he would call it soon, and that someone in the Senate had to offer the study and other alternatives. Pontius said Udall was going to put out alternatives for others to fight over. He said there was pro-hunter mail from AG&F with specifics.
I talked with Steiger, to keep up with the bad news. He affirmed he was for the transfer with Rain Tank removed. He would go for the Senate Park boundaries, being with the hunters and cattleman on this one, and Udall was with him. He claimed he had turned Goldwater and Fannin down when they asked him to sponsor the bill.
Hunt could now not get in to see Abourezk's aide.
The 3rd was a "big day". In a meeting with Verkler and staff, I had readied a map and draft for a congressional permit for the Havasupai with arguments. They then went to Bible. I talked to our ally, Senator Case, finding nostalgia & interest, and thanked him for his support.
Back with Verkler, I heard Jackson, Bible, & Church had been chosen--Metcalf had oked these choices. Bible had asked Church; he had been delegated by Jackson to lead and probably would carry proxies. He would try to reach Goldwater and Fannin, but Verkler had to carry the ball, and though i kept pushing on our additions, he was not favorable. He had checked with Republican Hansen, who was non-committal.
McIlvane said House conferees were not chosen yet. I checked with other contacts hoping to find people to carry our message to the individual conferees. I worked with Pontius on answers to the hunters' arguments.
McComb telexed he had talked with AG&F staff and they were stonewalling him on data. He reported that anyway, they were dubious about any study -- it would take them lots of work to get information on hunting, but the above-rim focus for hunting was clear. They also admitted that the road into upper Kanab (Snake Canyon) was miles above our boundary. McComb was still trying to arrange a conference call with Fannin, although his aide suggested the bill "was not going anywhere". His efforts to find people to talk to Jackson and Hansen, had produced no leads; Church, maybe. Bible was unreachable, reported as "increasingly reclusive"; no wonder; this was his last few days after 20 years as a Senator.
"Amazingly", on the 4th, things seemed to go well. The House Democrats chose Haley, Taylor, Udall, Foley, & Meeds. When I hear Foley is hesitating, I plead for him to accept. Verkler, meanwhile, gets a Republican staffer to take alternatives to Fannin. I inform Pontius of this, and try to check out the Republican House side. Church's aide likes a congressional permit; he heard me out on the northern addition, being basically favorable. There are several back and forths as I tried to hear what was being done. Verkler seems content with situation.
Using telexes, the main Club office had agreed to a letter, 4 Dec, drafted by FOE reiterating conservationist arguments against the Havasupai transfer. It had been approved by the Club's McCloskey and FOE's Brower, and other signatories were hoped for. McComb delayed it, saying he wanted to wait until the conference was over, and since conference reports are voted up or down usually with no amendment, it is not clear to me what the point was, and I responded that the letter should be held up.
Sometime in here, in an incident one late afternoon in the Senate Interior Committee offices that I did not put in my journal, I came into contact for the first time with a Havsupai lobbyist named Fraser Barron. Compared to my usually congenial chats with Steiger and Sparks, this encounter gave me a better gauge of the feeling of Havasupai allies. Barron did not so much start a conversation or argument, as an attack. Visibly angry, he escalated his rhetoric and abuse, culminating in a challenge to go outside and physically fight the dispute out (like Old Western confrontations he had seen in the movies?). I admit I was non-plussed, being somewhat cornered, but having no intention of engaging to fisticuffs. Fortunately, in the office were two or three staffers, who after a bit of spectator enjoyment, stepped forward and separating us, ended the confrontation. I had heard about the intensity of the pro-Havasupai lobbying causing a backlash; I now had a vivid measure of the raw emotion driving those allies.
On the 5th, I learned that the Republicans would be Skubitz, Steiger, Sebelius, & Regula.
Joe Sparks bought me breakfast and preached: this is a unique case; he had researched it. The Club had been willing to go along with a transfer; he had seen it. Although the BIA is a problem, NPS was worse. After idea of congressional permit was brought up, he went ("ran", my notes say) to Fannin's aide. The night before, Fannin had agreed, but Sparks changed his mind.
McComb reported he had talked with the Forest Supervisor who agreed with him that hunting fees were not spent in the area of our additions. He was willing to draw up a large-scale map to show how the hunters were "lying" by lumping hunting and non-hunting areas together. Meanwhile, I urged him to quash the too-negative letter drafted in San Francisco by FOE.
Drafting was now going on in Interior of language for the conference. The good news was that the wilderness study of the entire new Park was included. However, Goldwater's Emerson called the Senate staff and said he was adamant on everything! Sparks was worried about losing Rain Tank. I asked some old-time conservationists to contact the Republicans who were so far uninvolved. I heard that Brower was coming. Bible told Verkler he would have his support all the way. I continued to worry, even though Bible had talked with Goldwater who seemed agreeable, regardless of Emerson bombast.
On the 6th, I found out the Havasupai amendment drafted was all wrong, and I called to work it out. Verkler was away for two days. Fannin's position was now unknown.
The FOE letter was re-drafted to go to conferees to feature the additions first, while removing anti arguments from the Havasupai comments, asking only that Havasupai uses be confirmed while keeping the lands in federal ownership.
McComb, incensed at the AWF lying, wrote Udall about a new AWF article headlined "41% of Kaibab hunting done in proposed Canyon additions"; appropriately, it featured a photo of Steiger being "briefed" by five hunters. He assured Udall the hunting was done and the hunting fees spent in areas outside the additions; hunters are being "badly misled" by their leadership.
The new week came and the 9th brought talks with House Republicans. Sebelius wondered what Skubitz wanted. When I checked, I found that he was ready to go with Steiger. We have a new draft of an alternative, but staff says Fannin wont buy it and will tell Bible so.
McComb reported by telex on talks he had had with Fannin's office, the cattlegrowers' ass'n chief and others. The upshot was confusion over how committed Fannin was, with McComb urging each one to keep pressing against the transfer. He also told me of a conversation he had had that Havasupai lobbying had caused backlash, and the majority now wanted the bill "put under the rug". However, Pontius was pushing for a conference on Wednesday.
Church doesnt want to be there; I press for an independent voice. My count shows Church & Jackson as pluses; Fannin & Hansen, minuses. In the House, I count on Haley, Taylor, Udall, Foley, & Meeds. The Republicans dont look like any help. I visit Meeds; he is on the phone to Sparks, who is asking him to do something. He tells me he is giving his proxy to Udall. Taylor tells me that Udall is the man to convince about any changes on the transfer. No conference scheduled yet, but it has to be soon since Bible is leaving, and we have to settle, according to one staffer. I replied that it might just kill it. McComb got called by a Fannin aide with useless arguments. I noted that there seemed to be no hunters in DC, anyway.
McComb's telex on the 10th said he had talked with a Fannin aide who assured him he was for the Havasupai and against our additions, which needed more study. McComb argued on, even against her listing of the line-up of hunters, cattlegrowers, & miners against us -- a fine Arizona coalition. When McComb complained about not being able to talk to Fannin, there was a back-&-forth that revealed that only hunters and Sparks had access to him.
On the 11th, there was bad news following Verkler checking with Bible & Fannin. One of his staffers was unreliable and left Verkler fighting alone on changes to the Havasupai language. Bible would be a "disaster". McComb telexed that Udall was tired & frustrated over lack of action on strip mining. So McComb did a pep talk on the additions. But in talking with Pontius, he admitted it was hard to be honest and encouraging at the same time.
The 12th, I think I find Regula favorable to keeping our additions and Sebelius against Havasupai. I have a nice chat, as always, with Foley. Later, I tell Church's aide his Senator will be needed. Pontius does a funny little number with Haley's indecision about being on the conference, and when on, giving proxy to Udall. The conference convenes
WHAT THE CHANGES TURNED OUT TO BE
My files contain a collection of papers dealing with possible changes and amendments, mostly without indication of date placement. So I will just discuss them all here, hoping sense will emerge, and conclude with a comparison of how the House bill was changed by the final, conference version.
My papers show a mix of suggestions, not always identifiable as to authorship; not surprising, since what I was doing was writing up suggestions are passing them to Verkler; he would be the one who would see that Senate conferees would suggest them.
Anyway, here is my cut-&-paste showing suggestions to Verkler for revision in section 4:
I was not convincing about the need to add in section 5 a ban on "nontribal tourist development", nor about the need to protect the meaningfulness of the phrase "forever wild" by having only sections 4-6 uses apply. In effect, the Havasupai, under section 1-3, could claim they used all the added lands for traditional uses & grazing, so none of it could be forever wild. Section 5, allowing tribal businesses, would have been stronger if restricted to former Forest Service lands; but no go on that, either.
I wanted a sentence added to 10e saying the Havasupai Use Area should be available for wilderness designation. It was left off; however, the conference report did include the instruction, although as you might expect, later on, NPS objected to including the Area in its wilderness recommendation anyway.
Language was prepared by Udall to study our additions --had they been added -- within two years. The Secretary could recommend excluding any, and only if either the House or the Senate disagreed with the exclusion within 90 days, would the lands be retained in the Park.
Here, for comparison are, left, the final law (language reached in conference) and, right, the House-passed version of S.1296. These are the changes made in the Havasupai section 10. I repeat this insert with markings in the law highlighting the additions.
Of course, Verkler was also responsible for the amendments to reduce the acreage and change the map, doing this (take a breath) by receding from the Senate's disagreement with the House, and agreeing to the same, but amending it to do what the hunters wanted, thus ending its disagreement with the House by changing the House's language back to what the Senate had.
THE THING ITSELF
In the corridor, I could identify two Havasupai and three lobbyists, plus ten others, some young, some Indian. Sparks, emollient as always, came over to tell me that in the future there will be things we can work together on. [Maybe so, but he would not agree to be interviewed for this history.] Gerrard was there, saying after this, conservationists and Indians have to get together to see what they have in common, since joint liberal support is needed.
Everybody present, except Haley, Hansen, Jackson. Bible was chair and stated how it will go: they will talk about language, tightening up, but it will be pro-Havasupai all the way. There would be a new hunting provision added to the non-tribal use section 6.
The effort to remove Rain Tank from the Havasupai transfer was defeated. After workiing for an hour, the Conference recessed to write language. Foley's word to me was that it was delicate; the Havasupai allies are running it and may stop cooperating at any time on the changes being put forward. I have more suggestions for Verkler, and I see pro-Havasupai staff working on Church's man, but Church had left anyway.
They reconvene at 2:30, and by 3:40, it is done. When Udall comes out, he comes over to me and recounts how he had retreated step by step on the additions: First, he offered his change, keeping the lands with a study followed by a legislative veto. No, the opposition said. Then how about taking Kanab out and leaving the rest, suggested Mo. No, they said. Leave out the additions, but include a study in the bill? No. Then finally, he got a "yes" to ordering a study in the conference report.
Later Pontius told me that Church had been good, and had worked on the language. Regula had lasted one vote for the additions, and then been pulled over by Steiger. Taylor had been with Udall, but on the final choice changed to support a study in the report in order to get the bill out.
McComb also telexed, saying he had talked to the cattlegrowers' rep, who was "discouraged and pissed" at not getting Rain Tank removed. Pontius told him Verkler had used the AWF map. The conferees had discussed whether there would be any Havasupai boundary change. Steiger did get three votes for taking out Rain Tank but lost, and anyway, averred Pontius, "Sam lies". [Ah well, dont we all?]
I called Merle Stitt, the Park Superintendent, to pass on the news. He told me about their plans to deal with the Havasupai changes. I told him that the entire river surface was now in the Park. He was sorry to lose Mooney Falls, but was favorable on administering any part of the Lake Mead NRA lands transferred to the Park.
To keep my spirits up, I jotted down an agenda for the future.
1. GCNP to administer all of LMNRA Canyon lands
2. Add Kanab to Park
3. Work on a bill for Tribal Parks & Assistance.
That agenda remains open and undone.
Committee of Conference Managers (Goldwater, not being on the Interior Committee, could not be chosen)
Haley (Comm. Chm.)
Taylor (Subcomm. Chm.)
Udall (bill sponsor)
Foley (principal Havasupai opponent)
Meeds (Indian Affairs Subcomm.)
Skubitz (ranking Republican on Comm;
did not vote on Havasupai on floor)
Steiger (Republican leader on this bill)
Sebelius (voted no on Havasupai)
Regula (voted yes)
Jackson (Comm. Chm.)
Bible (Subcomm. Chm.)
Church (of Idaho)
Fannin (of Arizona; pro Havasupai & hunter)
Hansen (of Wyo)
Involved Staff: McIlvain, Verkler, Beirne (Parks), Gerrard (Ind Aff)