The next panel is
Jim Lochhead, Executive Director of the Colorado
Department of Natural Resources. We have Melvin
Bautista, Executive Director of the Division of
Natural Resources of the Navajo Nation. And we
have Larry E. Tarp, Chairman of Friends of Lake
We appreciate the panel being with us. You know
all the rules. You can stay within 5 minutes.
Thank you very much. Mr. Lochhead, Executive
Director of the Colorado Department of Natural
Resources, you have the floor, as we say in our
business. We recognize you for 5 minutes.
STATEMENT OF JIM
LOCHHEAD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COLORADO DEPARTMENT
OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Mr. LOCHHEAD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and
members of the Subcommittees. I would ask the
Chair's indulgence. Given the late time that I
had for notice of this hearing, I wasn't able to
prepare written testimony, and I would request to
be able to do so after the hearing.
The purpose of my testimony today, Mr. Chairman,
is to help express from an upper Colorado River
basin perspective our grave concerns as to the
effects of draining Lake Powell. To fully
appreciate these concerns, Members of Congress
should understand that this proposal is not just
about one dam. Glen Canyon Dam was built and is
operated as a key component of a complex
framework of laws passed by Congress known as the
law of the river.
These laws were born out of the necessity to
provide secure water supplies. They are the
product of two interstate Compacts, a U.S.
Supreme Court decree, and a treaty with Mexico
allocating the river's water.
They reflect the fact that for over a hundred
years, the financial strength and national
authority of the U.S. Congress has been
absolutely necessary to avoid interstate disputes
and to secure economic stability for the Colorado
Floods in the lower Colorado River in the first
years of this century caused extensive damage and
created the Salton Sea, bringing urgency to the
desires of California irrigators for an
all-American canal and a dam that would regulate
the river. The California interests sought
financial support for these projects from
The upper basin States were wary that the lower
basin would develop at the expense of the upper
basin, and successfully blocked these efforts in
Congress. The upper and lower basins resolved
their differences in 1922 when they signed the
Colorado River Basin Compact.
The Compact divides the river's water between the
basins and also sets a requirement that the upper
basin not deplete the flow of the river below 75
million acre feet over any 10-year period.
Because of the
erratic nature of the river (you heard the
testimony on that previously) from year to year,
the negotiators of the Compact in 1922 knew that
the upper basin could not meet its burden without
the comprehensive development throughout the
basin of storage reservoirs.
The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928, by which
Congress ratified the Compact, also directed the
Secretary of Interior to develop a report to
Congress, ''formulating a comprehensive scheme of
control in the improvement and utilization of the
waters of the Colorado water and its
The depression and World War II intervened, but
in 1946, the Bureau of Reclamation completed its
report. The Upper Basin Compact of 1948 allowed
for Congress to implement that plan.
In the 1956 Colorado River Basin Project Act,
Congress authorized the construction of so-called
holdover reservoirs which would assure that the
upper basin could meet its compact obligations.
Lake Powell is the cornerstone of that system,
supported by units at Flaming Gorge, Aspinall,
In the 1968 Colorado River Basin Project Act,
Congress provided for the comprehensive operation
of Lake Powell and the major facilities in
conjunction with Lake Mead. This regulatory
framework was implemented in the coordinating
operating criteria by the Secretary of the
Interior in 1970.
Without the ability to properly regulate river
flow as provided by these facilities, Colorado
and other upper basin States would face the
prospect of a Compact call, which would entail
the massive curtailment of water use by millions
Throughout the development of this series of
laws, Congress has also worked closely with the
basin States and has explicitly recognized and
affirmed the water allocations established under
the law of the river.
In the Grand
Canyon Protection Act of 1992, Congress directed
that operations of the power plant in Glen Canyon
Dam take into account downstream impacts. Those
operations were the result of a $100 million
environmental impact study that was alluded to
But that law also affirmed the critical role Lake
Powell plays in meeting interstate water
allocation needs. The Act makes operations for
downstream purposes subject to the dam's primary
water allocation function.
The Senate Energy Committee Report describes Lake
Powell as follows: ''Glen Canyon Dam is the
keystone of the Colorado River Storage Project,
CRSP, and CRSP is the central vehicle for
implementation of the congressionally approved
Colorado River Compact. The Compact is in turn
the basis for allocation of Colorado River water
among the seven Colorado River Basin States.''
By storing water in the upper reservoirs at
Flaming Gorge, Aspinall, and Navajo, regulating
the water through Lake Powell, and delivering the
water to Lake Mead, the Bureau of Reclamation has
the facilities and operational flexibility to
meet the needs first envisioned over 100 years
ago. These facilities ensure a secure water
supply for over 20 million people, and a
hydroelectric and recreational resource.
As illustrated by the Grand Canyon Protection
Act, the Bureau also has the ability to manage
water to meet environmental goals. For example,
the upper basin States, Bureau of Reclamation,
Fish and Wildlife Service, and others have
developed a recovery plan for four endangered
fish species in the Colorado River Basin.
The plan is designed to recover these endangered
species while allowing the upper basin States to
fully develop our compact shares. Under this
plan, the operation of these upper basin storage
units has been changed to more closely
approximate the natural hydrograph. Without Lake
Powell, this reregulating flexibility would not
Other aspects of
this recovery plan, including habitat
acquisition, fish ladders, and stocking programs
will need to be funded through a combination of
hydropower revenues, congressional
appropriations, and State and local funds. We
need the help of Congress now more than ever to
meet these national priorities of Colorado River
By directing the draining of Lake Powell,
Congress would completely reverse its field from
a direction in which it has steadily engaged for
nearly 100 years. We believe that any proposal to
drain the lake should take these concerns into
consideration. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Lochhead. We
appreciate it. Mr. Bautista, we'll turn the time
to you, sir.
STATEMENT OF MELVIN F. BAUTISTA, EXECUTIVE
DIRECTOR, NAVAJO NATION DIVISION OF NATURAL
Mr. BAUTISTA. Thank you. Good afternoon.
My name is Melvin Bautista. I'm the Executive
Director of the Division of Natural Resources for
the Navajo Nation and also a member of the Navajo
Nation. I would like to thank Chairman Doolittle
of the Subcommittee on Water and Power and
Chairman Hansen on the Subcommittee on National
Parks, Public Alliance, as well as other
distinguished Congressmen for extending an
invitation for Navajo Nation to testify at this
We are gathered here to discuss Mr. Brower's and
the Sierra Club's proposal to drain Lake Powell.
To abide by the recommendation of the Sierra Club
as articulated would wreak disaster upon the
economic and social welfare of the Navajo Nation.
It would also detrimentally and fundamentally
alter a water preservation, delivery, and supply
system crafted by many decades of planning and
social compromise for the sake of a myopic,
selfish, impractical environmental deal.
In short, the
Sierra Club's proposal does not address all of
the complexities of water administration under
the upper compact and lower compact States. It
also does not address the adverse impacts on
Navajo water rights, Navajo economic development
concerns, or Navajo social welfare.
Water is life in the western region of the
Continental United States. Water considerations
affect land and economic development plans and
opportunities for all those who live here,
including the Navajo Nation.
The Colorado River is a primary water supply and
ground water resource in the Colorado Basin
States. The Navajo nation has reserved water
rights with a priority to date that relates back
to creation of our reservation by the Federal
The Navajo Nation entered into two treaties with
the United States in 1850 and 1868. It set aside
an exclusive reservation exclusive for the Navajo
Navajo water rights, however, must be quantified
by a court of competent jurisdiction as part of a
general stream adjudication unless the Nation
authorizes a settlement approved by Congress.
Thus the Navajo, like other water users in the
region, is currently engaged in the general
stream adjudication for a number of rivers and
basins on or near the Navajo Nation, including
the Colorado River.
In Arizona versus California, the Supreme Court
adjudicated water rights of five Indian tribes.
The Navajo Nation, however, was excluded from
Two theories have been postulated to explain the
exclusion of Navajo water rights. The first
suggests that the Special Master limited his
consideration of water rights on the main stream
of the rivers below Lake Mead. The second
envisions the surrender of Navajo water rights in
exchange for monetary consideration and a promise
of beneficial economic developments which made
possible a construction of a Navajo generating
station. Without Lake Powell, the Navajo
generating station would not exist.
Moreover, in 1958,
Congress authorized exchange of Navajo
reservation lands for public domain lands
occupied by Navajos. Glen Canyon Dam is located
on former Navajo reservation lands.
The Navajo Nation still owns the mineral estate
under Lake Powell. Lake Powell flooded Navajo
religious and cultural sites forever destroying
their use by Navajo people. The Navajo Nation has
been deprived of its minerals and culture without
compensation being paid by the Federal
First and foremost, a proposal to drain Lake
Powell would create hardship for the Navajo
Nation securing any readily accessible water
supply. The proposal, if it is accepted, would
literally destroy mining and agri-business
concerns that provide most of the financial
resources the Navajo Nation expends to provide
benefits to members of the Navajo Nation.
Secondly, the Navajo Agricultural Project
Enterprise and Navajo Indian Irrigation Project,
also referred to as NAPE, and NIIP, would be
jeopardized because it is a largely dependent
upon water availability from the mainstream of
the San Juan River and its tributaries for
Water availability for NAPE and NIIP would be
reduced foreclosing the possibility about ever
completing this project.
Third, the Navajo Nation believes dangerous and
toxic concentrations of selenium, salt, and
mercury left behind from a drained lake and
airborne by wind would detrimentally affect
health and safety of Navajo people living near
Fourth, there would be a significant cost
increase for the public by substituting other
resources to provide energy and electricity now
or in the future by hydroelectric facilities on
Lake Powell. More coal may have to be burned to
maintain electricity at production levels. This
may contribute to increased air pollution in a
strictly regulated clean air environment.
Fifth, since many,
if not all, of the native species of plant and
animal life have already been destroyed or
affected by Lake Powell, nonnative species would
merely inhabit the vacant space. It would be
prohibitively expensive to return the environment
to its original habitat. Instead, it has already
been drastically affected.
Furthermore, the current endangered species of
fish life would have greater risk by encroachment
of nonnative fish if Lake Powell was drained.
Lastly, revenues from the tourism industry
created by Lake Powell, the Glen Canyon area, and
the Navajo Nation would be drastically affected.
During the earlier years after the lake was
drained, there would be no tourism attraction.
Even if the environment were perfectly reclaimed,
there would be only limited tourist attraction
appeal, since the recreation utility potential of
the site would be greatly limited.
Many members of the Navajo Nation sell food,
beverages, jewelry to tourists. This accounts for
most of their income for each year. Draining Lake
Powell would absolutely destroy this means of
income for Navajo vendors and enjoyment by those
wanting to see and experience Lake Powell.
In conclusion, if Lake Powell is drained, then
the Navajo Nation still desires to proceed with
settlements of issues with the National Park
Service concerning the Navajo Nation's boundary
along the Colorado River. The Nation still
maintains that the shore line of the river in the
vicinity of the Grand Canyon National Park is the
northern and western boundary of the Navajo
reservation, which includes the center line of
the San Juan River as clearly defined in our
The National Park Service refuses to accept this,
even though an Arizona State court made this
finding when it dismissed the citation for
fishing without a license, State license within
the Grand Canyon National Park to a member of the
Navajo Nation. He did possess a Navajo Nation
The draining of
Lake Powell would do nothing but harm the
economic and social welfare of the Navajo Nation.
This would greatly complicate and further delay
use of Colorado River water by the Navajo Nation.
As such, the Navajo Nation respectfully requests
that you reject the Sierra Club's proposal. Thank
[The prepared statement of Mr. Bautista may be
found at end of hearing.]
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Bautista.
Mr. Tarp. We'll turn the time to you. Do you want
to pull the mike over there by you, sir.
STATEMENT OF LARRY E. TARP, CHAIRMAN, FRIENDS OF
Mr. TARP. Mr. Chairman and members of the
Committee, I have submitted my written testimony
previously, and I assume it will be part of the
As the Chairman of the Friends of Lake Powell, I
thank you for allowing me to speak on behalf of
the people that support maintaining Lake Powell
and Glen Canyon Dam.
This testimony normally would be a trying thing
for a layman like myself. But while you cannot
see them, I feel I have a million people standing
by my side.
To begin, let me paraphrase our mission
statement. We support the preservation of Lake
Powell and Glen Canyon Dam for the generations.
We want to provide the public factual information
about social, entertainment, environmental, and
the economics. And we'll solicit membership to
create maximum public awareness of these issues.
We will fight off any attempts by groups that
seek to alter its status. We will support
environmental improvements and represent the
millions of people who love the area.
Let me tell you some facts about Lake Powell.
This is a fact: Lake Powell and the surrounding
area is one of the most beautiful places on
earth. Lake Powell is in northern Arizona and
southern Utah. Ninety percent of the lake is in
The lake surface
is below the surrounding mountains and is the
major reason for its extreme beauty. Blue waters
contrast the red sandstone cliffs. There is
nothing else like it on this planet.
Lake Powell was created by Glen Canyon Dam. Lake
Powell was named for Major John Wesley Powell.
Lake Powell is within the Glen Canyon national
recreation area, which has 1,236,800 acres, the
size of Delaware. It preserves 650 million years
of history with a mission to preserve the
existing scientific, scenic, and historical
features, which certainly include the Lake and
Lake Powell is 186 miles long with 1,960 miles of
shore line, more than the entire length of the
West Coast of the United States. It has 96 major
But before I go on, for the record, I must point
out some of the misleading information that
proponents of draining Lake Powell have issued.
First, evaporation. Claims of one million feet
have been voiced, even here today. The official
figures are half that. Most importantly,
evaporation is not elimination. It is a natural
part of weather. All bodies of water evaporate
when exposed to atmospheric changes. But the
water becomes clouds in the case of Lake Powell,
it rains on fields and farms in places East such
as Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska.
The proponents of draining would allow this water
to flow into the Sea of Cortez, where it would
evaporate also and water Mexico's crops and not
They talk about restoring the Canyon walls
knowing full well that not all the king's horses
and all the king's men can put the iron oxide
The bathtub ring, as it is so-called, seen as the
water recedes, extends from top to bottom and all
around the lake. We would be left with the
biggest, bleached, ugliest white hole on earth.
And the proponents of lake draining would be long
Statements have been made claiming the Power
Plant and Dam have as little as 100 years or so.
You have heard today that Bureau figures indicate
500 years for the Power Plant and up to 700 years
for the Lake with a do-nothing policy.
If no superduper
sources of power and energy are developed over
the next 500 years, I submit to you that dredging
is not rocket science.
They say simply pull the plug in Glen Canyon Dam.
Impossible. As the diversion tubes are completely
filled with concrete and their outlets were
redirected to make spillway outlets, draining the
Lake and leaving the Dam intact is not possible.
Their claims that the Dam is unstable and subject
to catastrophic failure are so slanderous, I
refuse to discuss them.
Also, for the record, you should know that the
Sierra Club's seven-member task force charged
with studying this issue were invited by the
Bureau of Reclamation, Mr. Bill Duncan, whose
name was in the record this morning, to come to
the Lake Powell, visit the Dam, and talk to the
people, and they refused. Ignorance must be
Now, let me go on. Glen Canyon Power Plant
controls the complete upper CSRP with six other
power plants. Lake Powell is the water savings
account as you've heard today for the upper basin
States and for delivery to the lower basin
The Power Plant generates enough electricity for
400,000 people. Lake Powell hosts about 3 million
visitors a year. As heard today, over 400,000
people a year come for boating activity.
The Lake now affords access to 325,000 people a
year that can reach Rainbow Bridge National
Monument. Before, it was about a 16-mile walk to
get to that monument.
The lake is also home to about 275 species of
birds, 700 species of plants. As mentioned
earlier, the Peregrine Falcon is there. And,
largely, the lake is the reason its population is
being removed from the endangered species list.
We have trout fishing. The lake waters supply the
Navajo generating station, as was stated earlier.
Electricity is equal to about $100 million a year
from Glen Canyon Dam. About a Billion Dollars a
year from NGS. And all of these dollars are
subject to Federal taxes, State taxes, County
taxes, and City taxes.
The local commerce
supports human services, hospital, schools,
libraries, and other essential services. Nearly
23,000 Native Americans live on nearby
reservations. Our public school enrollments are
63 percent Native American.
In closing, let me say that the people involved
in daily life, commerce, and the free enterprise
system surrounding the area will oppose until
their deaths any person or persons that attempt
to disrupt our personal rights, freedoms, and
opportunities for existence around Lake Powell.
According to the intent of the articles of our
Constitution, no one person or group has either
the right or the power to impose their belief on
others in this the great United States of
America. We, the millions of Friends of Lake
Powell, are citizens and voters and intend to see
that these rights are upheld regardless of time
and cost. Thank you for the opportunity to speak
to you today.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Tarp may be found
at end of hearing.]
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Tarp. The
gentleman from California, Mr. Doolittle, for the
questions for this panel.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Mr. Bautista, I appreciated
your testimony. And you indicated therein that
Lake Powell is basically on your reservation's
land. Didn't I read that?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. You retain the mineral
estate. I guess you've acceded the surface
rights, but you have the mineral estate
underneath it; isn't that correct?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes. When the exchange was
done to create the McCrackin Mesa in Utah, the
lands were taken from the Lake Powell area where
Glen Canyon Dam was built. So, essentially, the
subsurface estate still belongs to the Navajo
Nation as well as the area. We always had
arguments with the National Park Service in
termsthe terms are basically saying that
Navajo Nation still recognizes their boundary as
being the edge of the Colorado River and center
line for San Juan River. So that is where a lot
of the issues come from. Thank you.
You have there flooded over Indian burial sites
and other heritage and cultural sites, do you
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, we do.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. And, yet, unlike the Sierra
Club, you have not joined in this effort to drain
the lake to recover those sites.
Mr. BAUTISTA. Well, the attempts were made
to try to educate the Bureau of Reclamation at
that time when that was being done. And they did
try to work with us in terms of trying to take
many of the items that were down in the canyon
But, unfortunately, we lost some of the areas
where basically prayers and offerings were made,
so we could not do that anymore. The lake does
exist now. And the areas around those places
where we used for prayers are still used, but
further away from their original site.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I guess I'm just trying to
draw out here, you would have a real vested
interest, arguably, in draining the lake because
of these sites; and, yet, you have not elected to
do so, weighing the pros and the cons of such a
Mr. BAUTISTA. We would not be interested
in draining the lake, because that has
veryit's a source of water supply for both
the Navajos and the Hopi tribe. We're currently
in litigation involving the lower Colorado River.
And this is one area that both Nations have
identified as being a source of water supply for
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I noticed from your
testimony that, in the litigation involving the
lower basin States, the Navajo Nation was
excluded from having its rights adjudicated at
that point. Is that correct?
Mr. BAUTISTA. That is correct.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. So you're now involved in
the negotiation of theof your own compact,
I guess, with the Federal Government? How does
thatwhere are we in those negotiations?
Essentially, we are still involved in terms of
trying to settle many of the issues that the
Navajo Nation has in terms of water rights, not
only the Colorado River, but many of the
tributaries that flow into the Colorado River.
And in many cases, the Navajo Nation does have
the water rights, but we are trying to work with
the various people, government, local
governments, the city, the county governments,
and whatnot to try to at least work out a way
where we can share the water. So that's what we
are currently working on now in terms of
basically a settlement.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Does Lake Powell present
the Navajo Nation with significant economic
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it does. Many of our
Navajo vendors who basically don't have
jobsthe Navajo Nation is about 45 percent
unemployed. And people that live along the lake,
that's the only source of employment that they
have in terms of selling food, jewelry, and
whatever they can use to do that, and also taking
people on tours. Additionally, they try to assist
in terms of working with people that do come to
the area as well. Thank you.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. I also just mention, I
noted when I visited the Navajo Generating
Station, there were a number of Navajo employees
there. And I gather that you depend upon Lake
Powell for your water as well as for the
livelihood that your people would hope to make in
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes. That's true. In terms
of Lake Powell. And there is no water that comes
from Lake Powell. It only goes to the city of
Page currently. And we are trying to negotiate in
the water litigation, or excuse me, water
settlement discussions under the LCR, lower
Colorado River, to try and take water out of the
In terms of the Navajo generating station, we are
currently negotiating Royalty re-openers with
Peabody which supplies coal to the Navajo
generating station, as well as Mojave, to allow
us to sell more coal to them for revenue
generation. But Lake Powell is one of the key
ingredients of part of the negotiations.
Thank you. Mr. Lochhead, could your upper basin
States meet the obligation to deliver the 7 1/2
million acre feet to the lower basin States
without Lake Powell?
Mr. LOCHHEAD. Mr. Chairman, I don't
believe that we could, Congressman. And the
testimony of Mr. Bautista, I think, illustrates
also that there are a number of uncertainties
regarding the regulation and allocation of the
river system, the negotiation of tribal reserved
rights among them, that we are trying to work on
as States with the tribal nations and the
Colorado River states. Those uncertainties
present further challenges to our ability to
reregulate water for these allocation purposes
and additional demands on the system that would
need to be addressed.
Mr. DOOLITTLE. Thank you. Mr. Tarp, my
time is up. I just wanted to mention I
appreciated very much your testimony. I thought
you drew out a number of the important values
about Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you, Mr. Doolittle.
The gentlelady from the Virgin Islands, Mrs.
Ms. CHRISTIANGREEN. Thank you, Mr.
Chairman. I wanted to thank you for your
testimony, also. I wanted to ask Mr. Werbach, Mr.
Bautista in his conclusion of his testimony says
that the Sierra Club's proposal views the
destruction of Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell
with justifications that benefit only a few
members of the human community. Would you comment
Mr. WERBACH. Well, the Sierra Club pays
deference to the Navajo Nation and supports them
reaching their treaty obligations and hopes that
this Committee will help them do so.
We have spoken to some other Nations in the area,
Haulapai, the Havasupai, and the Hopi, all of
whom, while not having voted formerly on it,
their departments of natural resources supports
studying the issue and looking into options. At
this time, as we said, there are lots of issues
still at hand. And these are very, very
important. Native American rights are critical to
the success of this plan. Right now we want to do
the assessment and take it from there.
Thank you. And thank you, Mr. Chairman, for
holding this hearing. It has been very
informative. And I can see that there are many
difficulties and far-reaching impacts involved
with drainingthe possibility of draining
Lake Powell. But certainly, Mr. Chairman, I think
we have an obligation, not only to this
generation, but to those to come. And so, while
in the end, I may or may not support the draining
of the lake, I do support an environmental
assessment. Because I believe that the people of
Utah, California, Nevada, Colorado, and the other
States that are involved do have a right to know.
And so I would support Federal funds being used
to fund either in part or in whole the
environmental assessment. Thank you, Mr.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you very much.
Informative and provocative I probably would add
to that. The gentleman from Arizona, Mr. Shadegg.
Mr. SHADEGG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Bautista, I want to thank you for taking the time
to travel here all the way from Arizona. I
appreciate your being here. I made reference in
my earlier comments to the fact that both you and
the Hopi share an important aquifer which lies
under your reservations and which I believe is,
in part, as full or has the capacity it currently
has because of the existence of Lake Powell.
I note in your testimony that you talk about
adverse impact on Navajo water rights, Navajo
economic development, Navajo social welfare, and
go on to say that, in point of fact, the proposal
would create great hardship and would literally
destroy mining and agri-business that provide
most of the financial resources of the Navajo
The Navajo Nation does not have a particularly
strong economic base at the present time, does
it, Mr. Bautista?
Mr. BAUTISTA. That is correct.
Mr. SHADEGG. What is unemployment on the
Mr. BAUTISTA. Unemployment runs
approximately 45 percent.
And if we were to rule out all of the recreation
activities which now provide jobs and other
associated jobs, the operation of the dam, the
operation of the Navajo power plant, all of which
or most of which have native American hiring
preferences, that would be devastating to your
employment base, would it not?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it would.
Mr. SHADEGG. Let me talk briefly. Peabody
Coal has a Black Mesa mine that employes many
Native Americans, both Navajo and Hopi, does it
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it does.
Mr. SHADEGG. OK. And it is dependent upon
the power generated at the Navajo generating
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes.
Mr. SHADEGG. So if we were to lose the
Navajo generating station because we had no
cooling water, we would literally shut the mine.
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it would.
Mr. SHADEGG. And, also, it is dependent
upon the water from the aquifer that I have
mentioned. If we were to lose that water, there
would be no way to pump the coal and slurry where
it is taken to the West; is that right?
Mr. BAUTISTA. That's correct.
Mr. SHADEGG. So we really can lose that
mine in two different regards.
I note, and I'm glad you touched upon it, that in
your testimony, you talk about the dangerous and
toxic concentrations of selenium, salts, and
mercury left behind from a drained lake and which
the airborne wind would detrimentally affect the
health and safety of the Navajo people. Are you
familiar with the experience in California with
regard to Owens Lake?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Not that familiar with it.
Let me just point it out. And I want to ask some
of the serious environmentalists who are here to
talk to us today if they have thought through
that issue, because, in point of fact, the
experience at Owens Lake demonstrates that, were
we to dry up Lake Powell, we would leave the
sediment with all of these toxins in it,
including, perhaps, nuclear toxins in it, which
would be blown around by dust. And we can get
into Owens lake later, but I appreciate your
testimony and appreciate you coming here and
thank you for that.
Mr. Tarp, I would like to turn to you. I believe
you are familiar with Stan Jones, one of the
premier chroniclers of Lake Powell.
Mr. TARP. Yes. He is called Mr. Lake
Mr. SHADEGG. He is called Mr. Lake Powell.
This is one of his many books. I would, Mr.
Chairman, like to put this into the record.
Because it depicts some of the beauty of Lake
Powell. I know that I spoke with Stan Jones
forat length Sunday morning. And I know
that Mr. Tarp spoke with him at length. So I
would like to put that into the record.
Mr. HANSEN. Without objection, so ordered.
Mr. SHADEGG. He's quite an
environmentalist in his own right; is he not?
Mr. TARP. Yes, he is. If I might just read
a small statement that he gave me over the phone.
He said: ''I submit to you that Glen Canyon and
its 100 or more side canyons do not need to be
restored. Why? Because they were never lost or
destroyed by the waters of Lake Powell.
Every canyon is still there and in its full
splendor. Yes, there may be 100 or even 200 feet
of water on the floors, but when the walls go up,
some straight up over 1,000 feet, it actually
enhances them. Rather than think of it as
spoiling them, think of it as having a reflective
base that appears to double their height.
Plus, they are completely accessible by water.
And still by land as well or by foot or by pack
animal, if you prefer. The water access can make
this trip short, full of additional splendor, and
In a week or two
of concentrated boating effort, a person or group
could see nearly all 100 of them. Without water
access, I doubt a person or group could see them
all in a lifetime.
I invite Adam Werbach, his family, and Mr. David
Brower to come to Page, and we will personally
show them the variety of splendor they never have
nor never would see if they had to walk in, ride
the river, or come on pack mules.
Mr. SHADEGG. I thank you for that.
Mr. Chairman, when I spoke with Stan Jones on
Sunday by phone, he pointed out something to me
that I was unaware of, and that is that there was
a preinundation study of the lake and of the
wildlife, both in the canyon and on Navajo
Mountain. That study is, I believe, some 25 pages
long. And Mr. Jones could not get it to me in
time for this hearing.
He did, however, on Monday fax to me a three-page
statement in which he lifts direct quotes from
that study, which demonstrate, I think, quite
vividly that, in the absence of a constant supply
of water, there was really very little wildlife
relatively speaking, very few birds in the area.
And there are a number of quotes. And without
objection, Mr. Chairman, I would like this
inserted in the record.
Mr. HANSEN. Hearing no objection, so
Mr. SHADEGG. Let me just conclude by
saying, as I mentioned earlier in my testimony or
in my opening statement, I have camped in or
explored virtually every canyon on Lake Powell
from Wahweap to Bullfrog.
Speaking about Stan Jones' comment about the
reflective ability, in the canyon immediately
south of Rainbow Bridge on thewhat would be
the southeast side of the lake, I have explored
that canyon all the way up to where the boat we
were in, which was 8 feet wide, was touching
sandstone on each side.
We went off the front of the boat in a little
what would be the kind of raft that you would lie
on in a swimming pool and went further up the
canyon to where we could touch both sides of the
canyon and look. And, at that point, we were
floating in water and looking straight up for
sandstone cliffs that went 300 to 400 feet above
our heads. It is magnificent. I suggest draining
it would destroy an incredible natural wondering
enjoyed by millions of people annually and makes
Thank you very much.
Mr. Tarp, you heard Mr. Werbach say that, in the
eyes of the Sierra Club, this proposal was
critically important. How important is it to your
Mr. TARP. Well, I think a lot has been
said today about the water rights and what would
happen, and I won't get into that discussion. But
I believe the economics of the issue, the
enjoyment, the human bonding, I think about a
family going out on a houseboat for 3 or 4 days
enjoying life together, sitting around the
campfire together, which doesn't usually go on in
a family home.
Getting back to the economic's side, I recently
found out, although I was not able to include it
in my testimony, the assessed value in the city
of Page today, as of June is $370 million. And I
submit to you that, without Lake Powell, the city
would be valueless because, A: it has no other
water source, and B: obviously they would have no
source of revenue without the recreational
activities associated with the Lake and Dam.
Mr. HANSEN. It's hard to put that in
dollars, isn't it? But yet, as you look at it,
the State of Utah claims they bring in $409
million a year because of the dam.
Every time I go down there, I stand at Waheap and
look at the slips with just the boats there, for
example, and then look out at the boats that are
anchored. I've always tried to evaluate how much
money is sitting there. Has anyone ever made a
guess on that? Betweenforgetting Halls
Crossing and Bullfrog and Hite and the money
sitting at Dangling Rope, what would you estimate
Mr. TARP. Well, I can only estimate. But I
would say, on the south end of the lake, between
the slip's and the buoy's, there are
approximately 1,000 boats. And I would suggest to
you that, with all the peripherals, insurance and
the other costs, they probably have an average
value of $100,000 or more each.
That's rather expensive, isn't it?
Well, I thank this panel for being with us. And
we'll excuse you. And, Mr. Wegner, it's your turn
now. We're going to get to you.
Now, Mr. Werbach can give you instructions as you
go back and forth there.