Krista Langlois and Amy Martin have offered their opinion that the boundary between Grand Canyon National Park and the Havasupai Reservation, where it crosses Havasu Creek, is "disputable". However, the documents generated during the legislative history of the 1975 Enlargement belie that opinion.
The documents are clear that the boundary crosses at the upstream end, top, of Beaver Falls. From that location, the boundary goes in two straight lines, east-north-easterly and south-westerly respectively, to Ukwalla and Yumtheska Points. (See the maps in my previous posts.) That boundary was explicitly set by Congress so that the stretch of Havasu Creek known as Beaver Falls and the adjoining land on either side of the Creek would be retained in the National Park.
Any Park visitor travelling down the Colorado River who stops at the junction with Havasu Creek and walks upstream and visits Beaver Falls can take that trip entirely within the National Park. Visiting those Falls from the river therefore does not require any payment to the Havasupai.
Since a Havasupai at Beaver Falls has been asking Park visitors up from the river to pay a fee, the Havasupai must somehow have forgotten or mislaid the documents relevant to their successful 1974-5 effort to have the United States repatriate a portion of their ancestral lands. Im sure they have and can consult such important material archived in Supai or some other appropriate place.
Langlois and Martin make the point that Beaver Falls was part of ancestral Havasupai land. That is true, as it is for lands running east from Hualapai territory, down toward northern Arizona's great east-west travel corridor, past Flagstaff, and out into Navajo and Hopi lands, and including parts of the Grand Canyon below the rim (e.g., Indian Gardens) -- some million acres or so.
However, the 1975 Act, in repatriating some of their ancestral land to the Havasupai, says about the remainder: Sec. 10(f): "By the enactment of this Act, the Congress recognizes and declares that all right, title, and interest in any lands not otherwise declared to be held in trust for the Havasupai Tribe or otherwise covered by this Act is extinguished. Section 3 of the Act of February 26, 1919 (40 Stat. 1177; 16 U.S.C. 223), is hereby repealed." [That second sentence refers to how the Havasupai were dealt with in the original Grand Canyon National Park Act.]
Furthermore, the repatriated lands (those "held in trust"), except for uses specifically provided for by the Act or in the Havasupai's Secretarial Land Use Plan, "shall remain forever wild" (Sec. 10(b)7. Beaver Falls is nowhere mentioned in the exceptions -- for the simple reason that the Falls remained in the Park.
Finally, I have a question about this whole matter. For decades following the 1975 Act, the Havasupai dealt with Beaver Falls as the Act intended, that is, they left that Park land alone. Just a few years ago, somehow they decided that Beaver Falls was not only not in the Park, but rather than being left "forever wild" should be tarted up and charged for. How come? What has led them to ignore the law they worked so hard for? Should we worry about other provisions of that law that protect access of "nonmembers of the tribe" to this National park?