PARK SERVICE SURRENDERS TO HAVASUPAI OCCUPATION OF NATIONAL PARK LAND AT BEAVER FALLS IN HAVASU CANYON.
When Congress passed the 1975 Grand Canyon National Park (and Havasupai Reservation) Enlargement Act, it documented its decision that Beaver Falls should be left in the Park, not added to the Reservation, as I have documented in posts dealing with the Act’s history.
In the past few years, the Havasupai have occupied Beaver Falls, established facilities there, and (at least at times) assigned a ranger to patrol the area. There have been incidents reported where the Havasupai ranger has asked hikers up from the river (always on Park land) to pay a fee to enjoy those Falls.
Someone has posted on the Lees Ferry bulletin board the following unsigned, unattributed, undated notice:
It reads: “NOTICE
If you choose to hike from the river to Beaver Falls, at Havasupai, you are entering Havasupai lands. The Havasupai are currently staging a ranger at Beaver Falls to collect entrance fees of $44.00 per person.”
Lets be clear: A hike from the river up Havasu Creek to and along Beaver Falls to their upstream end is entirely within Grand Canyon National Park. This is NOT Havasupai land. It is quite possible to visit the length of Beaver Falls without entering the Havasupai’s lands. No Havasupai ranger has jurisdiction over the Falls or the power to charge any fee to visit those Falls.
The Park Service should immediately remove this erroneous anonymous notice from Lees Ferry. It should notify river runners that Beaver Falls is within the Park, and no fee is owed to the Havasupai by any visitor coming up Havasu Creek from the Colorado to visit Beaver Falls. The Havasupai should be notified to end their unauthorized, illegal occupation of Beaver Falls, and not to interfere with Park visitors.