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1999 Friends of Lake Powell, Inc.
www.lakepowell.org
P.O. Box 7007
Page, AZ 86040 USA
(928) 645-2741  Fax: 928-353-2227

 

Panel #3 Q&A


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 Powell.
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 River basin.
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 Congress.
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 tributaries.''
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, and Navajo.
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 of people.
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 earlier.
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 be possible.

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 management.
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 RESOURCES
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 hearing.
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 Government.
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 Nation.
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 this litigation.
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 Government.
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 farming activities.
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 Lake Powell.
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 treaty.
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 permit.

 

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 you.
[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 LAKE POWELL
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 record.
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 Utah.

 

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 Dam.
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 side canyons.
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 our heartland.
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 back in.
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 gone.
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 bliss.
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 States.
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 terms—the 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.

 

Mr. DOOLITTLE. You have there flooded over Indian burial sites and other heritage and cultural sites, do you not?
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 area out.
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 drastic action.
Mr. BAUTISTA. We would not be interested in draining the lake, because that has very—it'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 our area.
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 the—of your own compact, I guess, with the Federal Government? How does that—where are we in those negotiations?

 

Mr. BAUTISTA. 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 opportunities?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it does. Many of our Navajo vendors who basically don't have jobs—the 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 the future.
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 lake.
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.

 

Mr. DOOLITTLE. 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. Green.
Ms. CHRISTIAN–GREEN. 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 on that?
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.

Ms. CHRISTIAN–GREEN. 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 draining—the 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. Chairman.
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 Nation.
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 reservation?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Unemployment runs approximately 45 percent.

 

Mr. SHADEGG. 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 not?
Mr. BAUTISTA. Yes, it does.
Mr. SHADEGG. OK. And it is dependent upon the power generated at the Navajo generating station.
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.

 

Mr. SHADEGG. 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 Powell.
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 for—at 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 very calming.

 

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 ordered.
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 the—what 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 no sense.

Mr. HANSEN. 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 group?
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? Between—forgetting Halls Crossing and Bullfrog and Hite and the money sitting at Dangling Rope, what would you estimate that as?
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.

 

Mr. HANSEN. 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.


 

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