ON ESTABLISHING A NAVAJO-HOPI HERITAGE REGION
remember the dream. But I forgot to save and it disappeared. I'll see if I can re-do it.]
1. Restore Glen
Canyon, for opener, and go on from there.
To begin explaining what I have in mind, a word about distinguishing parks from wilderness and World Heritage.
The national park idea preserves nature to the maximum but not totally. Islands of development are OK in an over-all wilderness. NPS Director George Hartzog tried to reverse thisislands of wilderness in mass of development. This led to removal, not of wilderness, but of Hartzog.
The wilderness idea is to keep a place wild, humans to come only as visitors without motor or cell phones (I just added them), remembering that some wilderness has been so well protected that it was lost to lack of a constituency. An example in France: nothing but research was permitted, so we ended up with a reservoir. And Lake Powell here.
The World Heritage, bearing this in mind, accommodates both natural areas and artifacts, and there are more manmade areas in the system than natural areas. The requirement is that they be outstanding and stay that way.
Some national parks allow more human interference than others. Kings Canyon the least, Hot Springs (the first national park) the most, so much that it probably shouldn't be a national park. Point Reyes, the Smokies, and Gates of the Arctic have some development.
Dick Emerson (my best friend in the Mountain Troops) and his wife Pat were going to do a book on The Inhabited Wilderness, based on one Himalayan country, Bhuton, but Dick died early and Pat hasn't picked it up yet. I wish I knew what mix of man and nature they were thinking of.
I can think of one: Man puts his outdated view of progress on hold but keeps nature intact; few people, limited tinkering with nature, never enough that nature forgets what to do. Remember Bernadette Cozart's "Man must be the newest species on Earth because everything else seems to know what to do." Inhabited Wilderness Man remembers what to do.
I see all this working out in the Navajo-Hopi Heritage. It becomes a mix of nature and antiquity, with wildness ascendant, and man thinking at seven generations ahead, eight or more as people learn the value of there being a future. No bottom lines permitted, unless well-shaped.
All this is so logical that the most practical people in Page should buy it:
GATEWAY TO THE NAVAJO-HOPI HERITAGE REGION!
(Formerly Almost Escalante National Park}
The present Bureau of Land Management is given no role here bemuse as presently constituted is serves exploitive uses of land. It has specialized in land disposal or resource removal. It needs a new mission--to serve as the National Land Service, even as we now have services for parks, forests, and wildlife. The National Land Service would care for public and private land and become a foresight agency, which we now do not have, making sure that all land, now open and under siege, has a future, permitting the growth we must have and discouraging uses we can no longer afford. It would serve as a thymus, a fallowing system, conserving, preserving, and restoring, recognizing that current occupiers and users are brief tenants whereas the land must continue to serve until the planet gives up for its own reasons. If you need a symbol for it, perhaps it would be the LeTourneau Grader (that's the way it sounds, however you spell it) with a big red X around it, meaning vorboten; its motto, Give Earth a Break. Your grandson's daughter, or hers, may need it tooseven generations later.
In case you forgot, the BLM put a lot of cows on the land a century plus ago and the land hasn't recovered yet. Maybe BLM should have charged the cows what they cost. And maybe the miners who take the copper out should recover it and sell it again and again. Miners who took gold out should help make wedding fingers last longer. Loggers should repair the damage done to all forest species, and clearcutters should haul back the soil their system eroded, including the homes that got in the way, and the reservoirs it smothered. Think, BLM, of the deprivation you have turned loose on all the earth's people and friendly species who aren't here yet.
The 27 other points: Some quick details
(Referring to Page 1, unnumbered)
1. Restore Glen. For summary, see my Glen Canyon dam speech of 3-14-2000. It's shorter than usual, but a bit scary.
FLAGSTAFF & GCPR
We have a super opportunity here to remember the Glen Canyon that was, that is, and that can be. And to put all three into their global effectas seen by an 87-year-old who has known what was and is, and has developed good biases about what can be. These biases could please everyone here, and even a lot of people who aren't here but who care about what we are doing to the Earth and can do for it and for the creatures who think it's a pretty good place.
Feel free to agree that I have a confusing past. I wanted a higher Glen Canyon dam to help save Echo Park. Learning that I had the right figures but the wrong idea, I worked hard, with a lot of help, to delay the Colorado River Storage Project until it made ecological sense, which hasn't happened yet.
I favor what William H. Whyte said in
this book, The Organization Man, in which he advocates
Retroactive Planning, where you act on what you viscerally know
is right, then do the research to prove it.
The opportunity here is to see how we can get ordinary people, us, to have time to pay attention to the immediate chance to restore the Earth that we face here, and what the global implications will be if our insight beats the experts, if that is what it takes. Let me make it clear that I have nothing against experts. I wouldn't be alive without them. Now and then their insight is impaired. That's why God created ordinary people.
Some very good clear-thinking people have concluded that Glen Canyon dam was built in a wrong and dangerous place, that the Law of Diminishing Returns was right, that it wastes water we cannot afford to lose, pollutes the river in ways we failed to consider, is extremely vulnerable to engineering and economic disaster, is not needed, and indeed defeats the purpose for which it was intended; moreover it has lost the world one of its most beautiful places, and can be restored at a fraction of the cost of not restoring it.
And when restored, it can revive what can be one of the world's most magnificent national park ideas and initiate the comprehensive restoration of the Colorado River watershed. Both of these goals will be of great economic value locally and globally and both are achievable.
I owe it to you to add another fact, which no one is old enough to deny and which is true even if they want to deny it. For a series of reasons I could go into if anyone cares, I can say that Glen Canyon dam would not have been built if I can kept the Sierra Club Board of Directors fully informed of what I had learned from experts and other insightful people of what was wrong with the engineering, hydrology, ecology, energy planning, and economic vulnerability the Bureau of Reclamation had not addressed.
We had the votes in the House of Representatives to stop it. My failure to keep the Sierra Club properly informed let them to stop the club's opposition to the Colorado Project. Without that opposition, the project sailed through in 1956.
Forty years later the Sierra Club saw the light, and hopes that you, too, will realize the importance of restoring Glen Canyon and exploiting the opportunity and letting the world know what it no longer needs to missthe wonder of the Earth that too few people knew.
Warning. Perhaps I should title this talk "Can Glen Canyon Be Restored Soon Enough?"
There was pain when Glen Canyon was inundated. There will be pain when it is restored. But neither pain will come close to what loss of the dam could cost in pain, loss of life,and economic chaos.
Remember, we came too close to losing the dam in June 1983, a big water year but by no means the biggest. Major damage was incurred when the dam exceeded its capacity. It will exceed its capacity more often, and waste more water, as the reservoir fills with sediment. The Navajo sandstone leaks badly now and is unlikely to get better. The Bureau of Reclamation was initially concerned about the damsite but built Glen Canyon dam there anyway. A big dam in California failed the day after its builder has said it was safe. My information is that if Glen fails when full, Hoover will fail too. If so, four years full flow of the Colorado River will head for the Sea of Cortez and way points in a few hours. The only good news is that Tuscon would no longer have to worry about the poor quality of its Colorado River water. And this could happen by accident, as it almost did in 1983, or as every thinking person must be aware, by intent. As was pointed out several years ago, a nuclear bomb designed by a high school chemistry student could empty Lake Mead.
The sooner Glen Canyon dam is retiredand Floyd Dominy, its builder, has explained how to reopen the diversion tunnels that made the dam possiblethe sooner we can stop worrying about the disaster that could happen, that must not happen, and the sooner we can get to work on the exciting alternatives.
I recommend that we count on our insight, not our luck.
Thank you for listening. If you have questions, I'll try by best to answer them or lean on someone who can and isn't 87 yet.
David R. Brower
2. Galapagos. The national park here raises a lot of income for Ecuador, but not enough to pay for the protection needed. The native guides are superb in what they have to say and the protection they give. We can hope that the wildlife returning to Glen will trust people the way it does in the Galapagos. The Conservation Foundation, Darwin Foundation, California Academy of Sciences, and Sierra Club were helpful. See also Eliot Porter's Galapagos: The Flow of Wildness.
3. Baikal. World Heritage status won in December 1988. Russians sought my help, mostly from Fran Macy, George Davis, and Gary Cook. George was very helpful in the Adirondacks, won a MacArthur Award, and I persuaded him to go to Baikal instead of Columbia for research. He got good grants, his book and its map were invaluable to getting Moscow and UNESCO support, aided by his huge map depicting the different zones of use that Mr. Davis foresaw. I would love to have him take on what uses could be considered compatible with our idea of the Navajo-Hopi Heritage Region.
One of early discoveries we made when trying to qualify Baikal was that the relevant cities were not talking to each other. Ulan Ide, Irkutz, and the three main cities on the lake were not in touch. Current resource users were not aware of potential changes. I was all for developing some eco-tourism. The locals saw tourists as trashers. I would then ask, "Do you want beer cans or bulldozers?" A Canadian friend explained what Audubon eco-tourists were like, and then cited what tourism did for Africa, where I lion's skin could bring $500, while a live lion would bring half a million dollars from eco-tourism. I haven't been to Baikal since 1993, but I remember the essence of my five trips. W hat we learned there led to Earth Island's Baikal Watch, headed by Gary Cook. Lake Baikal can help the Navajo-Hopi Heritage Region enormously. From the Biggest Lake to the Wildest Gesture the Colorado Plateau.
4. Pumalin [pooma-lean'] is Doug Tompkins' National Wilderness Park in Chile-his effort to buy Chile a national park with his own funds, rescuing the Alerce forest from timber barons. I suggested that he needed a constituency of tourists to help him sell the idea to Chile. He wanted a sanctuary for the native species, not alien tourists. For some time his goal was not understood by the Chilean government, but Jimmy Langman, my former manager, phoned me from Chile to say that Doug's idea is working out, and to tell me how to pronounce Pumalin. Doug's photographs are inspiring and I still have his big photo card telling me he was spending $5 million on his idea. The Rockefellers were not this generous in Jackson Hole. This kind of generosity can probably help round out the Navajo-Hopi idea.
5. Assisi. The recent earthquake was very destructive and the restoration very miraculous. Fragments that fell from roof the were identified in the rubble and put back where they came from. Navajo who are part Italian can bring back the prehistoric ephemera in such places as Davis Gulch and Lake Canyonwherever Tad Nichols and other photographers spotted them before the flood. Add Powell's initials in Music Temple. The old carved sheep trails up the walls can probably restore themselves; so can the old storage sites. The windblown sand that looked a little like talus slopes but slid into Powell as it rose will probably need to be assigned to future winds.
6. Condors. Switch some restored California nia condors to Glen; the transfer of some to the Grand Canyon seems to be working. I have not been enthusiastic about captive breeding, but if it works I could be persuaded. Can we find some bank beaver to bring back to Glen? Great Blues will probably find their own way back. Frogs will take longer and may need a boost. Flora too, if anyone remembers where and what they were. But does anyone know a natural enemy of tamarisk? Or want to borrow rabbits from Australia?
7. Rail. Write a book about this. Hope that soon enough we will realize that Detroit is determined to see our civilization go extinct. They sold 19 million more cars last year, as if we needed more. Already we cannot afford to live in cities, or to commute from where cities aren't. Should we hope that energy kills us before we run out of it? Do we realize what a tragedy it was that Walter Reuther was killed in an airplane accident on the way to Black Lake (I missed the flight) before he could persuade the Autoworkers to build mass transit instead of mass cars, and also the tragedy when Standard Oil, General Motors, and Firestone conspired to eliminate passenger rail service. No, they didn't conspire. They just did it. And wasn't the fine a mere $5,000?
Instead of regretting all this, let's restore passenger trains and make travel fun again, not just a counting of endless miles of yellow lines while the children wonder are we there yet and want to go to the bathroom now. To see what it was like not to let someone else's road rage kill me or mine kill them, I recently took the train to Sacramento. It was a ride shared by four hundred passengers and one experienced un-road-raged driver (though he did blow his horn rather often, but not at us).
What does rail have to do with a park? Or a World Heritage Region? The answer is easy. Trains once helped us put a park or two in place; Detroit has given us no place to park. We can learn a lot from what automobiles do for Zermatt, beneath the Matterhorn. What they do is not let you drive there. You go by train, and the train can always park when it needs to and doesn't jam Zermatt or let your car jam it. To go higher, you switch to a smaller train, a lift, or two feet. The first two use energy better, and the third improves your energy..
So consider what trains have done to help you explore, enjoy, and protect the parklands of the Alps. And how, as we come to our senses about transportation, as we must, we learn how to adapt these changes now in our planning for the Navajo-Hopi World Heritage Region.
Play with Yosemite National Park as an example. There was a rail road from Merced to El Portal. We'll get one back in operation again, somehow. There is a road to the Mariposa Grove of Big Trees, to Badger Pass skiing, to Glacier Point for a bird's-eye view of Yosemite Valley, a road to Hetch Hetchy, which we'll drain next, and across the High Sierra to Tuolumne Meadows, Tioga Pass, and Mono Lake. The huge part of Yosemite National Park is wilderness. The World Heritage idea allows us to combine these uses, as in the Galapagos and at Lake Baikal. This is the sort of thing SUWA should be thinking about. You give up the wildness in small bits in order to build a constituency for the whole big bit. It works. And you'd better be sure the bits strengthen the whole. That is exactly what we did in Kings Canyon National Park. By letting the one road go to Copper Creek, three or more miles into the Kings Canyon park boundary, we got the cooperation of the most powerful highway proponent and got the park sixty years ago. No new road has been added since.
So think about how well-controlled, minimum impact rail access can give a fair sampling of some of the Navajo-Hopi Heritage Region "magnificent gestures" (Ansel Adams's term), possible including a loop trip with a bridge, perhaps in the vicinity of Hite. The Page to Wahweep loop, well back from the magical side canyons to where they become "run-of-the-mill Glen Canyon country" (Phil Pennington's term). Have two or three way- stations with good but modest facilities, using the Recovering America ideas by architect Malcolm Wells. He makes a great argument for saving the Earth when we build structures, putting the soil on top, up there where it was growing before we built, where the Earth has a chance to keep growing things on soil, which it prefers to asphalt and shingles. Post Ranch, near Big Sur and quite posh, does exactly this so you can enjoy living a little bit more in the Earth instead of just on it. Dorothy wouldn't like it. Without a tornado she'd never get to the Land of Oz.
One example I can't give is Obisco National Park in Sweden. In 1972 you got there by train, which went on to Narvik. From the park, you could take the train to the pass, walk to a fjord, take a ship to Narvik, and the train back to the park. You got out only when the train wanted you to. The park can't get such protection from a herd of automobiles. So Sweden builds a highway for the herd. So long, train!
All this can be coordinated with reforming the Big Oil, Big SUP, Big Tire members of the WTO (World Trashing Organization, which seems to chose to know nothing about The Natural Step, Nature's Service, Natural Capitalism, Global Conservation, Preservation, and Restoration movements, and would rather grow greedlock on the planet than find out what such schemes cost the Earth.
Let's take the train.
8. Powell down to dead storage. This is an easy beginning, but by no means enough. That leaves 6 million a.f. in the bottom of Powell, and extends to the mouth of the San Juan. Hidden Passage is two miles downstream from there, so about 4 feet of Powell would encroach on its magic entrance.
The further you go downstream, the deeper the damage, respectively to Music Temple, Mystery, Oak Creek, Wishbone, Aztec Creek (on the way to Rainbow Bridge), Driftwood, Cathedral, Balanced Rocks, Dangling Rope, Wildhorse Bar, Grotto, Dungeon, Dove, West Canyon, Crossing of the Fathers (about 50 feet under), Labyrinth, Cottonwood Creek, Warm Creek, Navajo Creek, Loper's Cave, Outlaw Cave, Wahweap Canyon , Glen Canyon dam (about 120 feet under; I need a detailed map).
But the Escalante River would be in the clear, which means that Cathedral in the Desert would be on its way back to treasure God put there.
The current issue of World Watch is superb preparation for Earth Day 2000 and gives all of us something to do. We learned several things in Seattle that we should not forget. Ralph Nader's program, were he to become president, is very good. Father Thomas Berry made a good statement a couple of months ago and I'll look it back up. Wendell Berry took on the late Rene Dubos and deserves inclusion. And so does the thinking of Lori Wallach, reported in the March 20 Business Week. I should add something from Vandana Shiva's latest book and Hazel Henderson's, if she has written another, or use her latest. Then I'll add what they will all have missed about Growth, as have Amory Lovins and Paul Hawken, and use all this to point out why we need Magna Carta II and it should stress Global CPR and The Public Trust Doctrine.
There, Now I have warmed up. Let's go!
First, as has already been said, if we don't defuse the population bomb, nothing else we want to do will work. But that's just part of the problem, as pointed out by two people we should listen to too. E. O. Wilson said, though he denies it, that the Earth can sustain a population of only 200 million people if they all have the appetites of the U.S. and Japan. David Pimintel allowed us only two billion if we want the Swedish life style. Whichever number you choose, the six billion now here us is more than the Earth can handle. The business world, academia, the church, and the environmental movement generally ignore the addiction to growth. I used to blame it on the Industrial Revolution but now blame it on whoever wrote the opening book of the Bible and advised us to multiply and subdue the Earth.
Maybe it was just a bad translation. It was certainly bad advice. And we had to wait until 700 B.C. before Isaiah straightened us out (but no one was listening) with "Thou host multiplied the nation and not increased the joy." He also said that wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging, which explains why we have solved the problem of multiplying quite successfully but are flunking badly in the joy business. I will solve the problem for you later on in this opening opus with a raging martini.
All I'll say now is that there will be no solution until we take the Law of the Minimum seriously. And that law may take us first. It doesn't matter how much firewood you have if you run out of water, which we are about to do. You probably haven't heard the rumor yet, because I am just making it up, that Monsanto is going to patent all the water they haven't poisoned yet. That's going to be a problem because you can't go more than a day or two without water.
But don 't worry about Monsanto, because Detroit and Big Oil are patenting whatever air they have left us that is breathable, and you can't make it more than one or two minutes without air.
But don't worry about either of these
problems. We can't get by if we have all the air and water you'd
like if we run out of judgment, and we already have. We ran out
of that we we traded in our democracy and depended on legal bribery
instead of government, and jettisoned our intuition in exchange
for the science that gave us nuclear power and genetic engineering
but no means of protecting ourselves from either.
Will science save us from the insurers?
For purposes of self-therapy I have invented the quip "we cannot afford the luxury pessimism" but find it of no help as I read the returns of the recent election's failure to control sprawl or gridlock in what we had thought was the environmentally conscious San Francisco Bay Area. Indeed, we and Wall Street seem to have learned from Alan Greenspan that all we have to worry about, in this "American Century," is how high to raise interest rates to avoid inflation.
"MEET FREE TRADERS' WORSE NIGHTMARE" is the way Business Week introduces Lori Wallach in its March 20, 2000 issue, going on to call her an activist who makes "savage jabs at the excesses of globalization" and has business worried. She answers, "We are not a campaign. We are not a fluke. We are a mainstream public-interest movement, and we are not going to go away."
"Nightmare?" Business Week explains why. She is Harvard-trained lawyer, legal tactician for a growing coalition of free-trade skeptics, once described as "Ralph Nader with a sense of humor," a fierce debater, masterful vote counter, and skillful organizer. ( See the illustration by Dante Otfinowski/Matrix.)
ILLUSTRATION (a list of Lori's new constituents)
If you read carefully, you'll see the
Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth as part of the links
But we all could handle what Lori did
for us when she was explaining NAFTA to us. The logistics of
the North American Fair Trade Agreement weight a lot. After contending
with the eight or so pounds of the volume, she gestured a look
of futility and threw the big heavy book on the floor. I was
close enough to the gesture so see that he book had been thrown
before, perhaps often. I think she wanted the audience to laugh.
She was not disappointed. Her boldness paid off. I'd love see
her on every board on serve on. But she could not catch up with
my wife, who also knew how to get an audience's undivided attention.
Before she had let me know her, she was at a party where she
told everyone, "There's going to be an earthquake."
And there was. Anne has never told me, in our fifty-six married
years, how she knew.
Dave Brower, 3-31-2000
P.S. (as if you need any more) In a letter I have just written on Bruce Babbitt's Yosemite plan I have quoted the following from the e long lost 1865 statement by Frederick Law Olmsted about Yosemite:
It suddenly occurs to me that Olmsted's statement covers the Earth. Anne would shorten it all to "the greedlock of a few." I would add that the genes of those millions are, and should be, in our custody and not Detroit's.
David R. Brower 3-31-2000