Thursday, September 24, 2015

Havasupai Environmental and other Studies 1974-9

This round-up of Havasupai-related documents brings to a close my recounting of the studies ordered by the 1975 Enlargement Act.
 In review: The Suitability Study saved some of the old Monument lands for the Park. The Wilderness Study produced an excellent recommendation that was suppressed due to lobbying by motorized commercial river companies. The Adjacent Lands Study produced a deftly emasculated bureaucratic report that, completed in the early Reagan-Watt years, was disappeared. The Secretarial Land Use Plan for the Havasupai was approved, but no sign of monitoring or evaluation has appeared to indicate its success or relevance for the Havasupai today and in the future.
   As to whether the Act itself successfully altered the course of NPS administration of the Park, I have my doubts, and it would be a subject worth, as with the Havasupai Reservation enlargement, a full-fledged evaluation with public discussion. Breaths should not be held, but the agenda for future action is a full one.

As the period of congressional decision-making on repatriating land to the Havasupai was reaching its climax, in the summer of 1974, a document appeared that delighted opponents. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Standing Still: The Havasupai Land Use Plan from Draft (1975) to Final (1982)

Production of the Secretarial Land Use Plan for the Addition to the Havasupai Reservation, finally published March 1982, took, superficially, seven years. "Superficially", since as I previously wrote, there was little activity publicly visible after 1976. 

A more detailed examination of BIA and related archives would, I believe, show little re-consideration by the agency or the Havasupai of the content of the plan after mid-1975, since the only apparent activity after 1976 was researching and writing the EIS (which I will look at in more detail in another entry). That document was contracted by the BIA with the Office of Arid Lands Studies at the University of Arizona; work began in early 1977. 

The most accessible evidence of how little the plan changed after its public consideration in the period Oct 1975 - Mar 1976 comes from a look at the documents: The Working Draft of Oct 1975, the Draft of Mar 1976, and the Final of March 1982. In informal discussion, Nov 1975, McComb had learned that the Working Draft emerged from the work of Tribal Secretary Steve Hirst, which must have been along with local consultation since there was the Tribal Council's plan working group.  Whatever the source of the actual conceptualization and writing of the Working Draft, that 1975 document, as will be apparent in the analysis below, changed little in becoming the Final of 1982. From one perspective, it is remarkable that in a few months after the 1975 Act was signed, a land use plan was produced that not only remained unchanged over the next seven years, but as well as over the past forty years since the Act's passage.