Friday, July 4, 2014

PL93-620 X3. Dec1974- Jan 1975: The Conference, Its Labor & Results

My journal ends with the conference, though I stayed on through the 18th during the writing of the conference report and its adoption by both Senate & House.  

The Republic and the AP reports next day both headlined the Park; it was doubled, it was enlarged. The Phoenix paper, appropriately, had it as a "favorite" project of Goldwater and "steered through the Senate" by Fannin. The Park acreage was given; then the Havasupai's, mentioning the "strict controls". Fannin & Steiger were reported to have protested the restrictions, "demanded by … Foley", saying they would deny the Havasupai use of the land. Steiger tried to remove 15 kac (the reporter did not say they were for a whitefolk grazing allotment). And all it said about our tragic loss of the northern additions was that the conference managers used the original Goldwater boundaries (which was not true, for our defense of keeping in the old Monument plateau lands had altered that boundary).
The AP report was straight-foward: the Park was doubled, and its components were listed. The Havasupai reservation was "transformed". And although additions of the Shivwitz, Parashaunt, Kanab & Andrus had been dropped, the conferees stipulated they should be studied for possible future addition. Seemingly, the storm having broken, there was calm. 

During the writing of the report, we pushed various emphases:
We hoped for an explicit restatement of the inclusion of the complete river, of its length in the Canyon & its surface, including mileages when the boundary was on the south bank. Instead, in the wilderness study section, the report orders "the entire river from the mouth of the Paria to the headwaters of Lake Mead" to be studied, as were the Havasupai Use Lands. 
We thought the Secretarial Havasupai study should take a year (it took 7), and that exceptional care should be taken to keep non-tribal commercial activity out and to regulate any hunting activity. 

So, after a week of drafting, and one supposes, getting approvals, the report was ordered printed on 17 Dec as House Report 93-1611. Here are the title page and the supporting text explaining the changes:

For fun, here is the signature page from the report draft:

Congressman Taylor brought the report to the House floor on 17 Dec, and it was reproduced in the Congressional Record.

Senator Goldwater, 18 Dec, submitted the report to the Senate, and asked for its immediate consideration. Senator Byrd, for the Democrats, asked if his side had cleared it, Goldwater averred that the Interior Committee Chairman, the Conferees, and the full Committee had cleared it. So Goldwater moved adoption, and it was agreed to. A blip of ceremony, and it was done. 

That day, Congressman Udall called up the report on the House floor. Dellenback inquired as to exactly how Udall planned to proceed, and pressed Udall on whether there would be debate. Udall said there could be, but there were no changes in the report. Udall then spoke on the report recommendations, to "highlight the controversial issues".   In summary, he believed the conferees made "a reasonable compromise", and he urged adoption. There was a voice vote; Dellenback suggested there was not a quorum; the count found 230, and Dellenback demanded a recorded vote; that was refused, and the report was agreed to. More than a blip, then, but then, Udall was more of a legislator than Goldwater.

The bill would next be engrossed and sent on to President Ford for his signature or veto; so I went home. Later on, McComb provided some data when asking for reimbursement for my expenses: I was there from 17 Nov through 18 Dec; it cost $1295.32, and he raised $549.47 locally.

Then the calm broke.
On 18 Dec, The New York Times editorialized (authored by Wm Shannon) on "Not So Grand Canyon", saying, "Under the guise of protecting the rights of a tiny Indian tribe, a bill is on its way through Congress --(this was the day of final congressional approval)-- that would drastically reduce the acreage of public lands in the Grand Canyon and virtually declare open season on the area's Desert Bighorn sheep." The Enlargement Act is "designed" to do the opposite. Although there are some new Park lands, there would be a net loss of 55 kac "to the public". The clue, charged the Times, "to the motives of some of the bill's sponsors, who are not necessarily known for their solicitude on behalf of Indian rights, may well be sought in the prolonged efforts by the hunting lobby to get its gunsights trained on the area's wild sheep. [I remember little or no discussion or controversy over granting the Havasupai power to license hunting, just as on any reservation. Though added with other changes to section 10, I recorded no disagreement.] "An inexcusable departure", the screed went on, from a policy which "bars hunting on public lands". [Having started out wild, the opinion piece has now left Earth orbit.] "A shabby exercise in hypocrisy", the bill transfers only grazing land, rights they already have. "The surrender to hunters of huge areas of wildlife preserve is in essence a land grab in which the Havasupai are being used as a front." A vote for this "Diminution Act" is a vote to carve up a natural treasure owned by all Amercans. 
[This somewhat crazed essay was matched a couple of weeks later when one of the Havasupai lobbyists, not Sparks, wrote the Times a single-spaced 5½-page rant against all its anti-Havasupai editorials. At least I think it was a rant; I no longer have the patience to even read it. But should anyone ever be curious, a copy will be in my archives of this history.]

On the same (too late) day, a letter to Congress enclosing the editorial went from Brock Evans for the Club, Ann Roosevelt for FOE, and a couple of other handy allies. The bill will remove prime parkland, including the refuge for Desert Bighorn Sheep, hunting of which could lead to their reduction. The usual arguments were then summarized, and the call made to vote against this bill. [It seems that, at the end, the initiative on conservationist action on the bill was once again in the hands of the anti-Havasupai forces.]

McComb, 20 Dec, reported on the effort to stop the conference report in the House. There was a rule for a 3-day waiting period, and they hoped to stir up some opposition. However, Udall got the rule suspended, and the report was approved in the House, as well as the Senate, as reported above. He noted he would prepare a memo looking back and then forward in "our efforts to protect the Grand Canyon". He also forwarded to me, with a note "to ruin your day", a "thank you" from Fannin for McComb's mail and phone calls on the northern additions.

The Park Service went on record, 24 Dec, in a memo to Ass't Sec. for Parks Reed, recommending a veto. Reasons: 1. A dangerous precedent. 2. Bighorn habitat; they could be hunted, including in the Use Area [that was a misinterpretation]. 3. No support for economic & social benefits. Archeological surveys needed. 4. We do not want reservoir back-up water in Park.  Consolidation of management is a good aim, but it is not worth foregoing responsible management of park values.

On New Years Day, CBS news spent 3½ minutes rehashing the usual Havasupai history -- we pushed the Havasupai out of sight -- not the Shangri-la it appears -- the tribe still dependent on tourist handouts. Now they are going to get land back, though opposed ironically by traditional allies. Land is no good for crops, but full of wild game, herds of sheep and deer -- the hunting lobby was a strong backer of the bill. And the fear of development like tacky Tusayan caused the conservation establishment to fight. Brower was quoted (at a desk) saying: the record doesnt reflect the Havasupai attitudes, but the "rather sharp operators who are helping lead them into what we think is an exploitative course." The Havasupai say: Not to worry. Clark Jack: "We are willing to go along with whatever the Congressman says in the bill and as well there will be some public hearings. … And I believe they will come up with reasonable solutions". The Havasupai havent said what plan they have. President Ford will have to decide if these first conservationists are still the caretakers they used to be.
(This was accompanied by helicopter shots of the Canyon and from G.C. Village, Havasu Creek, a hiker, Supai, Clark Jack, the snow-covered plateau, deer, Tusayan development, Brower.)

The next day, the bill still unsigned, Brower & FOE, authored both a telegram and a night letter to the President, who was urged to veto the bill. The "unfortunate" precedent endangers national park protection all over the world. Let it go into the new Congress, which did not fully consider the transfer's ramifications.

No matter. Quietly,on January 3, 1975, President Ford approved S. 1296 becoming Public Law 93-620, Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act.   [A copy is in my post of 26 Jul 2012; at the bottom of the table of contents under The Park tab. The official map is in my post of 13 Jul 2010, under the tab for Boundaries, "the official congressional map".]

Yet that quiet is noteworthy. It is usual for presidential signing of important laws that the backers and hangers-on gather about the Big Man's (so far) desk, and as the signing goes on, receive the ceremonial pens. There are smiling faces, photographs, a press release, handshakes all round. So far as I know, this did not happen. If indeed, there was no recognition, no ceremony, the biggest cheat was on Barry Goldwater who, after all, finally got a bill that in some sense, he --what, fathered?, god-fathered?, presided over? He did deserve a bit of a blow-out. The Havasupai had one, at Supai, according to their newsletter. 

And of course, quiet is only momentary in Grand Canyon affairs. In 1975, there would be press coverage, evaluations, and planning. And today, 40 years later, the language prescribing the boundary at the top of Beaver Falls has seemingly newly come to light, suggesting action to correct years of neglect. Then there were the major studies: the Secretarial Havasupai Land Use Plan, which later required an Environmental Impact Statement; the old Monument plateau lands had to be evaluated for their suitability as parkland; the north-side additions would be looked at for their worthiness to be added to the Park; and of course,  the wilderness study & recommendation. 

Ah, yes, the wilderness study we had worked so hard to get expanded & included. Now, lets see, where was it? Section 11, right? [To be continued.]

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