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Witness Panel 1
Mr. Donald MurphyDeputy DirectorNational Park Service
STATEMENT OF DONALD W. MURPHY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 556, A BILL TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO JOINTLY CONDUCT A STUDY OF CERTAIN LANDS ADJACENT TO THE WALNUT CANYON NATIONAL MONUMENT IN THE STATE OF ARIZONA.
JUNE 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Administration’s views on S. 556, a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly conduct a study of certain lands adjacent to the Walnut Canyon National Monument in the State of Arizona.
The Administration does not object to the enactment of S. 556. We also believe that any funding requested should be directed toward completing previously authorized studies. Currently, 30 studies are in progress by the Department of the Interior, which hopes to complete and transmit 15 to Congress by the end of 2005
S. 556 directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, utilizing a third party consultant, to jointly conduct a study of approximately 31,000 acres surrounding
(monument). The study would evaluate how best to manage federal and State lands adjacent to the monument in the long term in order to protect the natural, cultural, and recreational values important to this area of Arizona. The bill directs the Secretaries, as well as local land managers, the Flagstaff City Council and Coconino County Board of Supervisors to review and comment on the draft study. The bill requires a report that includes findings, conclusions and recommendations for future management of the study area to be transmitted to Congress no later than 18 months after enactment. We estimate the total cost of the study to be approximately $300,000, to be divided between the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. Walnut Canyon National Monument
Walnut Canyon National Monument was established on November 30, 1915, by Presidential Proclamation with the specific purpose of preserving the prehistoric ruins of ancient cliff dwellings. The monument was expanded in 1938 and 1996 and now occupies approximately 3,600 acres. The purposes for which the area was originally established have expanded to include protection of natural and cultural resources that are known to be significant to contemporary native tribes and the ecological communities and geological resources that make the canyon an outstanding scenic resource. The monument and the surrounding lands of the Coconino National Forest provide a significant natural sanctuary and greenbelt surrounding the city of Flagstaff.
The National Park Service released a Draft General Management Plan (GMP) for Walnut Canyon National Monument for public comment in 2003. Many of the issues identified for resolution in S. 556 were also identified as needs in the Draft GMP. The plan is being revised to address comments about boundary issues and is expected to be finalized after completion of consultations with the Fish and Wildlife Service in the next several months. The archeological and prehistoric resources preserved in the monument are nearly pristine, and provide not only scientific opportunities but also challenges for preservation.
For several years, local communities adjacent to the monument have debated how the land surrounding the monument would be best protected from future development. A number of years ago, the Coconino County Board and the Flagstaff City Council passed resolutions concluding that the preferred method to determine what is best for the land surrounding the monument is by having a federal study conducted. Included within the lands to be studied that surround the monument are approximately 2,000 acres of State trust lands. We should note that it is our understanding that Arizona law prohibits state lands to be donated and that the Arizona Supreme Court has determined that the Arizona Constitution prohibits the disposal of certain state land except through auction to the highest and best bidder. Should the study’s conclusions involve these types of actions concerning state lands, we would have to await a determination on how the citizens of Arizona and their representatives would recommend proceeding.
We understand the concern that National Forest System (NFS) lands between the Monument and the City of Flagstaff might eventually be sold or exchanged; allowing urban development to creep closer to the Walnut Canyon watershed, originally prompted local support for this proposed study. The proposed study area is within two miles of the campus of Northern Arizona University and is a prime recreation area for students, as well as for Flagstaff area residents. In fact, the area is the second most-used area for recreation in the greater Flagstaff area, behind only the San Francisco Peaks.
The Forest Service has developed a Land Resource Management Plan for the Coconino National Forest, amended in early 2003, that closed the area to motorized access and removed the land encircling the Monument from consideration for sale or exchange. The Flagstaff-area Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan (RLUTP), approved by the Flagstaff City Council and the Coconino County Board of Supervisors in 2002, limits growth and does not allow for development within the study area. RLUTP specifically precludes two key sections of Arizona State Trust land between Flagstaff and the Monument as suitable for development. Those lands are identified in the plan for open space and greenways. These plans would be an important source of information to be considered during the study process.
If the Committee moves forward with S. 556, we suggest that the bill be amended in section 4(e) to make the report to Congress due 18 months after funds are made available. Also Section 4 may need to be further amended to specify that the draft study be available for public comment, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, and to remove any potential violations of the Recommendations Clause, U.S. Const. art. II, sec. 3, by clarifying that any recommendations to be made to Congress by the Secretaries would be discretionary rather than mandatory. We will be happy to work with the Committee and the U.S. Department of Justice to develop alternate language for these portions of the bill.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Administration’s views on this bill. That completes my remarks and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
STATEMENT OF DONALD W. MURPHY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 588, A BILL TO AMEND THE NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR AND THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO JOINTLY CONDUCT A STUDY ON THE FEASIBLITY OF DESIGNATING THE ARIZONA TRAIL AS A NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL OR A NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL.
JUNE 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 588, a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly conduct a study on the feasibility of designating the Arizona Trail as a national scenic trail or a national historic trail.
The Department supports S. 588 with an amendment regarding the appropriations language in the bill and an amendment which would require the map described in subparagraph (A) to also be made available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the U.S. Forest Service. However, while the Department supports the authorization of this study, we also believe that any funding requested should be directed toward completing previously authorized studies. Currently, 30 studies are in progress, and we hope to complete and transmit 15 to Congress by the end of 2005. We estimate the total cost of this study to be approximately $300,000, and recommend that paragraph D on Page 3 of the bill be amended to change the authorization to $300,000 with $150,000 made available to each Secretary.
S. 588 directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly conduct a study of the Arizona Trail which connects Arizona’s north and south borders across mountain ranges and deserts for approximately 790 miles. The study would determine whether or not the trail would be eligible to be designated as a scenic or historic trail, joining the current system of 24 nationally designated scenic and historic trails created by the National Trails System Act of 1968.
These trails provide for outdoor recreation needs, promote the enjoyment, appreciation, and preservation of open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources, and encourage public access and citizen involvement. If the feasibility study recommends designation as a national scenic or historic trail, an act of Congress adding the trail to the National Trails System may follow. If the Arizona Trail were recommended for national trail designation, the study would also recommend the most effective and efficient management of the trail.
National scenic trails are continuous, primarily non-motorized routes of outstanding recreational opportunity. Although the National Trails System Act does not include specific criteria for assessing proposed national scenic trails, we suggest that the study team use the following five criteria in making their determination:
Significance: There should be nationally significant cultural, historic, natural, recreational, or scenic features along the trail.
Length: The trail should be at least 100 miles long and continuous.
Accessibility: The trail should complement other trails and recreation areas, and provide access where possible to nearby urban areas.
Desirability: There should be an anticipated need for the trail, and it should be capable of attracting visitors from across the nation. It should offer an outstanding scenic and enjoyable outdoor recreational experience. There should be extensive local and regional support for the project.
Trail Use: National Scenic Trails should be designated for hiking and other compatible non-motorized uses.
National historic trails commemorate historic and prehistoric routes of travel that are of significance to the entire Nation. There are three criteria that must be met to be recommended as a national historic trail. The trail or route must be established by an historic use or determined to be historically significant as a result of that use; it must be of national significance with respect to any of several broad facets of American history and have had a far-reaching effect on broad patterns of American culture; and it must have significant potential for public recreational use or historic interest based on historic interpretation and appreciation. From what we know of its characteristics, the Arizona Trail is more likely to meet the criteria for a scenic trail rather than an historic trail.
If designated by Congress either as an historic or scenic trail, we suggest that an independent non-profit trail partner organization be created to partner with the federal agency chosen to administer the trail.
The Arizona Trail was conceived in 1985 as a continuous, 790-mile non-motorized trail from Mexico to Utah. Approximately 85% of the trail crosses federal land, 10% crosses State lands, and the remainder of the trail crosses private, municipal or county lands. The Trail was established as a primitive long-distance hiking, horseback, and mountain biking trail that links all of Arizona’s major physiographic zones (the mountains, canyons, deserts, forests, historic sites, and mesas) to local communities and Arizona’s major metropolitan areas. The Arizona Trail’s significance is found in the diversity of resources, landscapes and recreational opportunities that it represents.
In 1993, the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona State Parks developed a cooperative agreement to work together to develop this non-motorized trail. Since then more than 710 miles of trail have been opened to the public, maps and trail resource information have been developed, and routine trail maintenance has been carried out, while efforts continue to open the remaining 80 miles of trail. In 1994, the non-profit Arizona Trail Association (ATA) was founded “to coordinate the planning, development, management, and promotion of the Arizona Trail for the recreational and educational experiences of non-motorized trail users.”
The ATA has worked on a variety of issues and serves as the focal point for trail advocacy, preservation, planning and development. ATA volunteers do trail maintenance, fund-raising and planning. In all of their efforts, they work closely with landowners and local governments to assure that private property owners are aware of trail activities, and trail users respect property rights. The ATA has quickly proven to be a vibrant, creative, resourceful, and dynamic group of 500 members coordinating more than 40,000 hours of volunteer labor per year, in recent years.
An important characteristic of all National Trails is the partnerships they generate. The Arizona Trail already has strong regional, state and local advocates, all of whom have worked hard at creating and maintaining a trail featuring the incredible natural and cultural diversity of the State of Arizona. The ATA has worked hard to raise funds and involve local communities, governments and businesses as they have worked to develop the trail.
With all these efforts already underway, we believe that conducting a feasibility study for national designation is a next, logical step in the management and protection of this important resource corridor across Arizona. Although limited to one State, the Arizona Trail has already proven its recreational value to the nation.
Thank you again for the opportunity to present the Department’s views on S. 588. That completes my remarks and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
STATEMENT OF DONALD W. MURPHY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 955, A BILLTO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO STUDY THE SUITABILITY AND FEASIBILITY OF DESIGNATING SITES RELATING TO THE BATTLE OF FRANKLIN IN WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, AS A UNIT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 955, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) to study the suitability and feasibility of designating sites relating to the Battle of Franklin in Williamson County, Tennessee, as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes.
The Department supports S. 955 with an amendment that would conform the bill to other, similar study bills. While the Department supports the authorization of this study, we also believe that any funding requested should be directed toward completing previously authorized studies. Currently, 30 studies are in progress, and we hope to complete and transmit 15 to Congress by the end of 2005. We estimate the total cost of this study to be $250,000.
S. 955 would authorize the Secretary to complete a study on the suitability and feasibility of designating sites relating to the Battle of Franklin as a unit of the National Park System. The Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, was a pivotal turning point of the Civil War.
After the fall of Atlanta in the summer of 1864, General John Bell Hood, commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee, attempted to draw Union General William Tecumseh Sherman northward by threatening the Union supply line to Chattanooga. Hood sought to move the war out of Georgia in an effort to reclaim lost Confederate territory, most importantly Nashville. Sherman followed Hood for only a short time, deciding to turn his attention back towards Georgia where he would soon embark on his “March to the Sea.” In his stead, Sherman detached George H. Thomas and the Army of the Cumberland to protect Tennessee against Hood’s advance.
In November 1864, Hood pressed forward into Tennessee and confronted a Union force under the command of Major General John M. Schofield at Spring Hill. After several skirmishes there Hood immediately followed Schofield to the small town of Franklin, which had been a Federal military post since the fall of Nashville in early 1862. At Franklin, Schofield positioned most of his 28,000 men behind extensive breastworks covering more than two miles of mostly open fields. Late in the afternoon on November 30, Hood, with an army of 18,000, hastily ordered a frontal assault against the well-positioned Union forces. After five hours of fierce fighting, much of it after dark, the Union army soundly defeated Hood’s army which suffered 6,261 casualties, including the loss of 12 generals and 54 regimental commanders. Among those killed was General Patrick Cleburne, considered by many historians to be the Confederacy’s top battlefield commander. The Union’s casualties numbered 2,326. With his army largely intact, Schofield ordered a nighttime withdrawal of Union forces to Nashville.
Although the Battle of Franklin was a major setback for the Confederates, Hood wasted little time, advancing his remaining forces to Nashville where on December 15 and 16, 1864, the Union Army of the Cumberland under Thomas swept Hood’s army from the field, essentially putting an end to the war in Tennessee.
In its 1993 report, the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission identified the site of the 1864 Battle of Franklin as a "Class A" battlefield, representing a high level of military importance. The commission reported that the site represents an area that had a decisive impact on a military campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war. The commission also reported that the Franklin battlefield is currently a fragmented site with very little historical integrity remaining from the battle period.
There are many sites in and around the city of Franklin and nearby areas in Tennessee that have an association with the battle. Perhaps most prominent among these are the many buildings that served as field hospitals to treat the wounded and dying such as the Carter House, which served as the Union army headquarters during the battle and was later used as a field hospital. The house and outbuildings were purchased by the State of Tennessee in 1951, opened to the public in 1953, and is a Registered Historic Landmark. The scars of war are visibly apparent as the buildings still show more than a thousand bullet holes from the battle.
We suggest one amendment in section 4 of the bill to have the study completed three years after funding is made available, rather than three years after enactment. This will make the bill consistent with other similar study bills.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.
STATEMENT OF DONALD W. MURPHY, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 206, TO DESIGNATE THE ICE AGE FLOODS NATIONAL GEOLOGIC TRAIL
June 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 206, a bill to designate the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
The Department opposes S. 206 in its current form. Although we recognize the national significance of the geologic features in the Northwest caused by the Ice Age Floods, we believe that we can enhance the interpretation of these features, as described later in this testimony, without establishing a new entity within the National Park Service or spending Federal funds on development of interpretive sites or land acquisition. Devoting limited National Park Service funds to those purposes would detract from the Administration’s priority of reducing the deferred maintenance backlog in existing units of the National Park System.
The cataclysmic floods that occurred 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, at the end of the last ice age, were some of the largest ever documented by geologists. These floods, which were caused by the ice and water bursting through ice dams at Glacial Lake Missoula, left a lasting mark of geologic features on the landscape of parts of Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, and have affected the pattern of human settlement and development in parts of the Northwest.
In 2001, a study team headed by the National Park Service and composed of 70 representatives of a broad range of public and private entities, concluded a two-year special resource study of the Ice Age floods. The study found that the floods features met the criteria for national significance and suitability for addition to the National Park System, but that the size, breadth, and multitude of ownerships throughout the study region make the area not feasible to consider for a traditional national park, monument, or similar designation. However, the study found that it is feasible to interpret the floods story across the affected areas. It evaluated four management alternatives that would each provide a collaborative and coordinated approach for the interpretation of the Ice Age floods story to the public. The study’s preferred alternative called for Congressional designation of the floods pathways as a national geologic trail and authorization of National Park Service management of the trail in coordination with public and private entities.
S. 206 would largely implement the study’s preferred alternative. It would designate the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail, to be managed by the National Park Service, along floods pathways. The trail would be an auto tour route along public roads and highways linking floods features starting in the vicinity of Missoula in western Montana, going across northern Idaho, through eastern and southern sections of Washington, across northern Oregon in the vicinity of the Willamette Valley and the Columbia River, to the Pacific Ocean.
While the Department believes that the proposed auto tour route highlighting floods features is a viable concept, we do not support establishing a new program within the National Park Service to lead this effort. Although the study called for sharing the cost of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail among a variety of public and private sources, it estimated that under the alternative that S. 206 would implement, the role that National Park Service would play would cost about $500,000 per year in operating expenses. The study also suggested that the share of capital development costs for the trail from all Federal sources might run between $8 million and $12 million over a period of several years.
The study assumed that State and local governments would pay for parcels of land needed for improvements such as roadside pullouts and wayside exhibits where rights-of-way proved inadequate, so it did not suggest a Federal contribution toward land acquisition. However, S. 206 would authorize the National Park Service to acquire up to 25 acres of land, which would entail additional Federal expenditures.
Rather than establishing a new entity for the purpose of interpreting the Ice Age Floods, we recommend amending S. 206 to provide for expansion of interpretation of floods features at Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, an existing unit of the National Park System located in the State of Washington about midway along the route of the trail proposed by S. 206. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area contains the lake formed by Grand Coulee Dam, built across one of the coulees formed by the Ice Age Floods. The floods are the primary natural history interpretive theme at Lake Roosevelt. The recreation area also assists Washington State Parks in interpretation at Dry Falls State Park, one of the most significant floods features along the proposed trail. As part of an enhanced interpretation program, the park could, for example, make available to park visitors information about other floods features in the four-state region covered by the proposed trail.
The National Park Service is involved in two other efforts, both in Wisconsin, to preserve and interpret the landscapes resulting from the last advance of continental glaciers—the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. The national scientific reserve, authorized in 1964, preserves outstanding features of the glacial landscape that are owned and managed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service and is an affiliated area of the National Park System. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin, authorized in 1980 as a part of the National Trails System, is a 1,200-mile hiking trail that traces glacial landscape features left by the advance and melting away of the last continental glaciers during the Wisconsin Glaciation approximately 15,000 years ago. This scenic trail is a hiking trail and differs from auto tour route that is proposed to be established in this bill as the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
In addition to expanding interpretation at Lake Roosevelt, the National Park Service could devote resources from other existing programs to promoting education and interpretation of sites associated with the floods. For example, the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program could provide technical assistance to State and local entities that want to enhance interpretation of sites in their areas. And, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places program could develop Ice Age Floods as one of its “Discover Our Shared Heritage” on-line travel itineraries. In addition, other National Park Service units in the vicinity of the proposed trail, such as the new Lewis and Clark National Historical Park which includes areas along the lower Columbia River, could be brought into the effort to promote interpretation of floods features.
As the National Park Service’s study suggested, interpretation of the floods should involve a collaborative and coordinated approach involving a broad range of public and private entities. One of the management alternatives considered by the study was having the state legislatures of Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon designate representatives to a four-state commission that would promote the coordinated interpretation of the floods story at the state and local level. We think that is an option that merits a second look. In addition, with or without a state-sponsored commission, tourist organizations could form a four-state consortium to generate interest in visiting these sites. The Ice Age Floods Institute, a non-profit scientific organization devoted to increasing understanding of the story of the Ice Age Floods, has played and will continue to play a large role in promoting public education about the floods.
We would be happy to work with the committee to develop the appropriate language for amending S. 206 to provide for expanded interpretation of Ice Age Floods features by Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area rather than designation of a new national entity and establishment of a new program managed by the National Park Service.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions that you or other members of the committee may have.
Witness Panel 2
Elizabeth ArchuletaChairmanCoconino County Board of Supervisors
United States Senate Committee on
Energy and Natural Resources
Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2005
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. INTRODUCTION & RECOMMENDATION
II. A SHORT HISTORY OF WALNUT CANYON
III. THE PUBLIC PROCESS
i. Board of Supervisors/City Council Joint Resolution
ii. Ecology and Biology/List of Flora and Fauna in Study Area
iii. List of Current Public Uses
iv. Public Process
v. Results of NAU’s Social Research Laboratory Survey
COCONINO COUNTY ARIZONA
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
III. THE PUBLIC PROCESS
The area’s unique characteristics also make it desirable for development. The possible encroachment of development on lands surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument became a topic of significant community discussion in the fall of 2001. The issues of protection in perpetuity, management and the appropriateness of current uses became focal points of the dialogue.
There was extensive discussion followed by an inclusive public input process. On February 12, 2002 the Coconino County Board of Supervisors and the Flagstaff City Council conducted a joint meeting to discuss the issues. A “staff group” was then formed including staff from the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, the State Game and Fish Department, the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County to further discuss the public input process which would take place over the summer of 2002. The final schedule for public input included three meetings (see appendix iv.).
Along with the public meetings, a phone survey was conducted (see appendix v.). In May of 2002, Coconino County and the City of Flagstaff sanctioned a survey to be conducted by the Social Research Laboratory of Northern Arizona University. Seventy-six percent (76%) of Flagstaff region residents “strongly support” or “somewhat support” expanding Walnut Canyon National Monument while only fourteen percent (14%) of respondents “somewhat oppose” or “strongly oppose” this expansion, while eleven percent (11%) said they do not know.
In addition to the Board of Supervisors and City Council Joint Sessions, Staff Group meetings, Public Input Meetings and survey by the Social Research Laboratory, hundreds of letters and calls were received from the public.
The public input resulted in a joint City of Flagstaff/Coconino County Board of Supervisors resolution to request authorization from Congress for a study (see appendix i.). The resolution is consistent with the public desire arrived at through an open process, with citizen, state, local and federal participation, to determine the best manner in which to protect these lands and resources from development in perpetuity, while allowing the continuation of current uses.
The joint resolution specifically requests Congress to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly conduct a Special Resources and Land Management Study to determine the national significance of the Study Area resources and whether they merit special congressional designation. We have a particular interest in the range of alternative management options for these resources through any designation that will accomplish both federal protection in perpetuity and continued public uses and access to the Study Area. It is our ongoing belief that good stewardship of our land is a public value. In that spirit we implore you to authorize the Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2005.
i. Board of Supervisors/City Council Joint Resolution
ii. Ecology and Biology/List of Flora and Fauna in Study Area
iii. List of Current Public Uses
iv. Public Process
v. Results of NAU’s Social Research Laboratory Survey
ii. Ecology and Biology/List of Flora and Fauna in Study Area
Ecotones, formed by overlapping ecological communities, within and adjacent to Walnut Canyon bring together species usually separated by elevation to create a rare compression of flora and fauna zones.
A Walnut Canyon National Monument checklist lists 63 plant families, with 198 genera and 325 species, and it is likely that most or all of these species also exist in the surrounding area. There are present approximately 109 species of birds, 60 mammal species, 13 reptile species and four amphibian species, including several sensitive species.
The area contains federally threatened species as well as state species of special concern, including bald eagles, peregrine flacons, the Mexican Spotted Owl, northern goshawks and red bats among others.
The areas north and south of Walnut Canyon are essential to wildlife movement in the vicinity of the canyon. A major southwest to northeast wildlife corridor runs through this area. Species using this corridor include elk, deer, antelope, bear, mountain lion and bighorn sheep. Wildlife likely will rely on perennial water provided by springs such as Cherry Canyon in the area during times of drought.
A buffer zone separating the canyon and development is needed to protect the ecosystem. There would very likely be a disturbance to wildlife movement patterns in this area were there to be urban development interfacing with boundaries of the monument.
Vertebrate Species documented or likely present at
Walnut Canyon National Monument and the surrounding area
A “(v)” indicates that a voucher specimen was taken in the area, usually from Walnut Canyon National Monument. An “(o)” indicates that an observation was made of the species by a reliable source. All other species are likely to occur in this area and some may have been documented elsewhere.
Turkey Vulture (v)
Bald Eagle (o)
Golden Eagle (o)
Cooper’s Hawk (v)
Red-Tailed Hawk (v)
Northern Goshawk (v)
Peregrine Falcon (o)
Wild Turkey (o)
Mourning Dove (v)
Greater Roadrunner (o)
Great-horned Owl (v)
Northern Pygmy-Owl (v)
Mexican Spotted Owl (o)
Common Nighthawk (v)
White-throated Swift (v)
Broad-Tailed Hummingbird (v)
Rufous Hummingbird (v)
Acorn Woodpecker (v)
Downy Woodpecker (v)
Lewis’ Woodpecker (v)
Red-shafted Flicker (o)
Yellow-shafted Flicker (o)
Williamson’s Sapsucker (v)
Black Phoebe (o)
Say’s Phoebe (o)
Cliff Swallow (o)
Violet-green Swallow (o)
Clark’s Nutcracker (o)
Pinyon Jay (v)
Scrub Jay (v)
Steller’s Jay (v)
Common Raven (o)
Mountain Chickadee (o)
Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
White-breasted Nuthatch (v)
Pygmy Nuthatch (v)
Canyon Wren (o)
House Wren (o)
Rock Wren (o)
Western Bluebird (v)
Cedar Waxing (v)
American Robin (v)
Black-throated Grey Warbler (v)
Grace’s Warbler (v)
Red-faced Warbler (o)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (v)
Black-headed Grosbeak (V)
Green-tailed Towhee (o)
Rufous-sided Towhee (v)
Black-chinned Sparrow (v)
White-crowned Sparrow (v)
Dark-eyed Junco (v)
Western Tanager (v)
Cassin’s Goldfinch (v)
House Finch (o)
Pine Siskin (o)
Red Crossbill (v)
Desert Shrew (v)
Merriam’s Shrew (v)
Allen’s Big-eared Bat (v)
Big Brown Bat (v)
Brazilian Free-tailed Bat (v)
California Myotis (v)
Fringed Myotis (v)
Hoary Bat (v)
Little Brown Bat
Long-eared Myotis (v)
Long-legged Myotis (v)
Arizona Myotis (v)
Small-footed Myotis (v)
Pallid Bat (v)
Spotted Bat (v)
Townsend’s Big-eared Bat (v)
Striped Skunk (o)
Spotted Skunk (o)
Hog-nosed Skunk (o)
Black Bear (o)
Gray Fox (v)
Mountain Lion (o)
Mexican Woodrat (v)
Stephen’s Woodrat (v)
Brush Mouse (v)
Deer Mouse (v)
Pinyon Mouse (v)
Northern Grasshopper Mouse
Western Harvest Mouse (v)
Botta’s Pocket Gopher (o)
Ord’s Kangaroo Rat (v)
Apache Pocket Mouse
Silky Pocket Mouse (v)
Plains Pocket Mouse (v)
Mexican Vole (v)
Abert’s Squirrel (o)
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (v)
Gray-collared Chipmunk (v)
Rock Squirrel (v)
Black-tailed Jackrabbit (v)
Desert Cottontail (o)
Mule Deer (o)
Pronghorn Antelope (v)
Mountain Sheep (v)
Reptiles and Amphibians
Eastern Fence Lizard (v)
Tree Lizard (v)
Short-horned Lizard (v)
Many-lined Skink (o)
Cnemidophorus innotatus (no common name) (v)
Plateau Striped Whiptail (v)
Little Striped Whiptail (v)
Mountain Treefrog (o)
Gopher Snake (v)
Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (v)
Ringneck Snake (v)
Western Terrestrial (Wandering) Garter Snake (v)
Western Rattlesnake-Hopi Subspecies (v)
Arizona Black Rattlesnake
Canyon Treefrog (v)
Striped Chorus Frog
iii. List of Current Uses
a. Bird watching
c. Driving for pleasure on roads/trails
d. Firewood gathering
e. General exercise
f. Group uses
h. Horseback riding
j. Livestock grazing
k. Mountain biking
m. Rock climbing
q. Target practice as permitted
r. Walking with pets
s. Wildlife viewing
iv. Public Process
The 1st Public Input Meeting was held on May 29th during which the Agencies involved provided introductions and broad overviews of their missions and responsibilities, specifically as to how they related to the land involved. This meeting went almost three hours and was attended by approximately 60 people. A map of the area was provided to the audience. The attendees were then asked to answer questions and identify areas of the map that they felt were valuable to them. This questionnaire became one of the main tools for public input over the summer.
The 2nd Public Input Meeting was held on June 26th in order to inform the public about the natural resources and known uses in the Walnut Canyon Area. The meeting involved a presentation and discussion about the archeology, endangered species, watersheds and other significant features in the area. The public was also provided a Land Ownership Designation matrix that explained the types of land designations that can exist on State and Federal lands. Each staff member provided the information regarding their agency’s land designations for this matrix. During their presentations, each staff member discussed the current planning efforts that were being conducted in the area by their agency. The public then asked specific questions and made statements. The majority of the comments centered on the issue of how the land could be used with the major sentiment being that whatever the final decision many citizens wanted to retain the uses they were currently enjoying in the area. The main point of disagreement among those attending was which agency would have ultimate jurisdiction over the land. After the presentations and public discussion, the audience was invited to visit several different booths set up by the agencies, the Friends of Walnut Canyon and the Ranchers.
The 3rd Public Input Meeting was held on July 31st in an open house format and was attended by approximately 100 people. Staff gathered information from the public in response to the two educational meetings held in May and June. The public was asked to describe their desired plans and what they wanted to see preserved based on all of the information that had been provided. Based on the public input during the first two meetings, staff presented six alternative choices for review and comment. Each person who had signed-in was given a questionnaire to fill out and a voting sticker. The results are remarkably similar to the survey conducted by the Social Research Laboratory. The questionnaire asked the public to rank the importance of features in the Walnut Canyon area, to rank the uses that they wanted to continue and rank them in order of importance. Additional alternative were also suggested and given attention during the meeting.
v. Results of NAU’s Social Research Laboratory Survey
The Staff Group and the Social Research Laboratory collaboratively developed the concept for a survey instrument. The survey was conducted in the Flagstaff Metropolitan Area and was conducted between August 6th and 8th, 2002. The survey included 434 Flagstaff region residents including residents living in the City of Flagstaff as well as unincorporated areas of Coconino County including Kachina, Mountainaire, Parks, Ft. Valley and Doney Park. Methodology was employed such that percentages obtained are estimates of what the percentage would be if the entire population had been surveyed with a sampling error of +/-4.8 percent.
When asked what types of features they would like to permanently protect in the area surrounding Walnut Canyon National Monument respondents named historic and geologic sites (94%), scenery (93%), and vegetation, wildlife and wildlife habitat (93%). The feature which the fewest proportion of respondents would like to permanently protect is allowing future private development (19%).
Regarding uses they would like to permanently protect in the area respondents named recreational activities (92%), camping (83%), grazing (45%) and hunting (45%).
Tom MillerMayorCity of Franklin
Mayor, City of Franklin
TESTIMONY TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES IN SUPPORT OF SENATE BILL 955
TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and honorable committee members, thank you for the invitation to testify today about Senate Bill 955, which is a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study regarding the inclusion of sites related to the Battle of Franklin in the National Park System. I’m Tom Miller, the Mayor of Franklin, Tennessee. Today, I will briefly share with you the significance of the Battle of Franklin as well as the current situation and local support for this effort.
The Battle of Franklin took place on November 30, 1864, forever changing our community’s history and that of our nation. Today, American’s are renewing their love of country, while exploring our history and historic sites. Of the 384 significant conflicts that occurred during the Civil War, only 3.7% are considered principal battles. Franklin, while considered one of these principal battles, has a story that is lesser known than many others that it matches in significance, such as Gettysburg or Manassas, and, unfortunately, much of the battlefield itself has been lost to development. The community has been given a historic opportunity to take a step toward righting this wrong and reclaiming a significant piece of the battlefield.
Why are these sites significant?
On the afternoon of November 30, General Hood, over the objection of at least three of his generals, ordered his Army of Tennessee to charge the well-fortified Union line directly in front of them. During the roughly five hours of the battle, fought mostly in the dark, six Confederate Generals were lost and well over 9,000 casualties were recorded. A private who fought that day said of the battle, “the private soldier sleeps where he fell, piled in one mighty heap…. I cannot tell the number of others killed and wounded. God alone knows that. We’ll all find out on the morning of the final resurrection.” By the end of November 30, 1864, the Army of Tennessee was no longer a cohesive fighting force.
In addition to the crucial role the Battle of Franklin played in the demise of the Confederacy, several key interpretive themes are identified in the Franklin Battlefield Preservation Plan recently completed through a grant from the American Battlefield Protection Program. These themes include the “level of carnage”, “the significant loss of generals”, “Hood’s recklessness” as well as non-combat related themes such as “the community as a hospital,” “occupied Franklin” and “Reconstruction”. Franklin, as an urban battlefield, has a unique opportunity to interpret the story of not only the fighting itself but of the aftermath and the impact on the community. In a very real sense, the reconciliation of our great nation began in Franklin, Tennessee: North and South, Blacks and Whites, brothers and brothers.
Several of the sites associated with the Battle of Franklin are part of the Franklin Battlefield National Historic Landmark. This includes “four non-contiguous properties associated with various aspects of the conduct of the…Battle of Franklin.” The sites are the Carter House, the Carnton Plantation and the adjacent Confederate Cemetery, Winstead Hill and Fort Granger. Additional information about these sites has been submitted for the record, including a map.
Today, this Battlefield has a chance for reclamation. Private citizens and the City of Franklin are working side by side to undertake one of the largest Civil War battlefield reclamation projects in the country.
What are the physical details of the site as well as its current use?
We intend to acquire the Country Club of Franklin property consisting of 112 acres currently used as a golf course. It is the largest single remaining parcel of the battlefield. This property, which was the Eastern Flank of the battlefield, is adjacent to the Carnton Plantation and the Confederate Cemetery.
What is Franklin requesting from the National Park Service?
The City of Franklin will purchase the golf course with the intention of turning this property and other already publicly owned properties into a battlefield park. The country club property will serve as the starting point for visitors to the Franklin Battlefield. From here, they will get an overview of the battle before visiting the many other important related sites. We are asking that the National Park Service undertake a feasibility study to consider the inclusion of these sites in the National Park System. We see opportunities for shared resources with Stones River National Battlefield Park in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and we offer a wealth of interpretive resources from our own community, such as local Battle of Franklin historians and the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area at Middle Tennessee State University.
What local support is there for the effort to create a battlefield park?
The City of Franklin has local support both in our community, as well as other areas around the country. Franklin’s Charge, a non-profit coalition of preservation-related organizations formed to secure half the funding, which will be matched by the City, for the purchase of the country club property. Franklin’s Charge includes representatives from
Save the Franklin Battlefield,
Historic Carnton Plantation,
The Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County,
The Carter House,
Williamson County Historical Society,
Williamson County African-American Historical Society,
The Harpeth River Watershed Association,
Tennessee Land Trust,
Tennessee Preservation Trust, and
Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
Senate Bill 955 is timely and warranted, providing the opportunity to properly assess these resources and chart an appropriate course of action. Therefore, the City of Franklin is in full support of the legislation introduced by Senators Frist and Alexander, which has the opportunity to benefit the citizens of this great country for generations to come. Thank you for your consideration. I am available for any questions you might have.
Gary KleinknechtPresidentIce Age Floods Institute
TESTIMONY FOR SENATE SUBCOMMITTE ON PARKS 6-28-05
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing and for the opportunity to testify. I would also like to thank Senator Cantwell and Senator Burns, Senator Craig, Senator Murray and Senator Smith for their sponsorship of S. 206.
I am Gary Kleinknecht, past president of the Lake Lewis Chapter of the Ice Age Floods Institute. I am currently president of Board of Directors of the Institute. I am here today to speak in support of S. 206, the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail Designation Act of 2005.
My testimony will exceed the time limit today, so I would like to submit the unspoken portion of my testimony for the record. I also have several letters and documents of support that I would like to submit as testimony, if I may.
About a century ago a young high school biology teacher in Seattle, Washington became fascinated with the geology of the state. He became so interested in the topic that he enrolled in the University of Chicago and earned a PhD in Geology. With his new career he began a life long relationship with eastern Washington and the shrub-steppe of the Columbia Plateau. He spent summers hiking across this arid region, cataloging its geology. He found what appeared to be river channels carved into the native volcanic basalt bedrock, but the channels were dry or had vastly undersized creeks flowing through them. He crossed broad areas of exposed basalt that were bordered by thick deposits of windblown topsoil, appearing as if some gigantic force had swept away the topsoil from the bedrock. He discovered a huge dry cataract, 400 feet high and over three miles across, with a series of plunge pool lakes stretching twenty miles downstream. He also recorded large angular boulders resting on hillsides hundreds of feet above dry valley floors. These were granite and other rock types, some weighing over 100 tons. The nearest possible source for such rocks is over 100 miles away!
To geologist J Harlen Bretz only one thing could explain these features. That thing is fast flowing water, an unimaginable amount of water. Other geologists determined that during the final millennia of the latest glacial period, huge lakes were formed behind glacial dams in the mountain valleys of western Montana. The largest of these glacial lakes contained 500 cubic miles of water, the equivalent of Lakes Erie and Ontario combined. Bretz’s evidence for flooding was the result of ice dam collapse from the tremendous pressure exerted by a lake that reached a maximum depth of 2000 feet. Originally, Bretz wrote of one flood and called it the Spokane Flood. Today we refer to the Missoula floods or the Ice Age floods. There is evidence that as many as 100 floods burst from behind successive ice dams, reshaping the landscape of much of the Pacific Northwest as recently as 13,000 years ago.
Over the past eight decades many other geologists have examined and reexamined Bretz’s evidence. And they have found more evidence of floods. But the conclusion remains essentially the same. The Pacific Northwest was the scene of the greatest series of cataclysmic outburst floods known to science. To be sure, other flooding occurred as continental ice melted, but nowhere else is there such dramatic evidence of repeated floods of this magnitude. Only in recent decades have those of us outside the realm of geologic academia been exposed to this amazing story.
In 1994 the Ice Age Floods Institute was organized as an educational nonprofit group dedicated to bringing the story of the Ice Age Floods to the public. For the past decade the Institute has conducted public field trips and programs on the floods and worked to make the public aware of this fascinating legacy of natural history. Our membership extends throughout the region of the floods from western Montana to the mouth of the Columbia River.
In 1999 a number of Ice Age Floods Institute volunteers as well as other interested parties participated in the Ice Age Floods Study of Alternatives and Environmental Assessment, a special resource study undertaken by the National Park Service. The report on the study, which was published in 2001, recommends that an Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail be established. S. 206 is the product of this cooperative effort.
Due in part to the efforts of Ice Age Floods Institute members, numerous state and local government officials as well as other community organizations have voiced their support of the trail concept in written statements. In fact the Washington State Legislature unanimously passed Senate Joint Memorial 8000 earlier this year. The memorial asks Congress to pass legislation creating the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.
The National Park Service is often referred to as our nation’s “story teller”. It has broad experience and expertise in the management of other trail systems such as the Lewis and Clark Trail, Oregon Trail and Selma to Montgomery Trail. We in the Ice Age Floods Institute are confident that the National Park Service will do an excellent job of coordinating and partnering with the many federal, state, local, tribal and private groups throughout the trail region to interpret these truly amazing events.
The benefits of the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail to the citizens of the Pacific Northwest in particular and to the American public in general are several. The development of tourism will boost local, in large part rural, economies. Establishment of interpretive centers will attract tourists from within and without the four Northwest states. A study conducted for the Ice Age Floods Institute’s Glacial Lake Missoula Chapter in 2002 by the Small Business Institute in the School of Business at the University of Montana examined the potential impact of an Ice Age Floods interpretive center located in Missoula, Montana. A conservative estimate of the amount of money generated by such an interpretive center by tourists from out of the state was over $2,000,000 per year. Missoula is an eastern gateway of the trail. Many hundreds of miles of trail and numerous small towns and cities with restaurants, hotels and campgrounds lie to the west in Idaho, Washington and Oregon.
Another related project provides similar information. Plans for the Hanford Reach Heritage Center in Richland, Washington are nearing completion. The center, which is working in partnership with Washington State Parks and other groups, will dedicate a significant portion of its display area to the topic of the Ice Age floods and could become an interpretive anchor for the floods trail. An economic study conducted for the planning of the center estimates between $5,000,000 and $11,000,000 per year will be generated by that facility.
Existing tourism will also be benefited by the creation of the National Geologic Trail. Much of the floods region that sustains agriculture has its own tourism industry and will benefit from the new visitors traveling on the Trail. Washington’s and Oregon’s wine industries are successful, in part, due to the soils that were deposited by the floods in the Yakima, Walla Walla and Willamette Valleys.
The National Geologic Trail will also provide educational benefits. Fifty years ago only a handful of geologists knew about these floods. Today the floods story is part of mainstream geology and the general public is becoming aware of this fascinating topic. A trail will provide a vehicle to reach more and more people, not only through tourism, but also as destinations for local school field trips and potential environmental centers. Interpretive programs will be developed to reach citizens of all ages.
The trail will also make it more likely that producers of educational television programs and videos and travel book authors will address the topic of the Ice Age Floods. A NOVA one-hour science program on the topic of these floods is scheduled to be aired in September of 2005. Several videos on the floods are currently available and a tour-guide book of the floods in the Mid-Columbia Region is in the process of being published and should be available by early 2006. As more people learn about the floods, the market for such educational programs and materials will grow.
Early in the effort to promote the designation of the trail there was concern about private property rights. Land acquisition and violation of property owner rights are not what this legislation is about. This bill limits the amount of land that may be acquired by the Secretary of the Interior to a total of 25 acres for administrative and public information purposes. Any land so acquired must also be from a willing seller. The bill also states that trail designation creates no new liability for property owners.
Another issue that concerns some westerners is the amount of federally owned land in western states that is not on the local tax rolls. The trail concept uses public land to generate tourism trade. This is another way to put public land to work for the public.
For the above stated reasons, I and the Ice Age Floods Institute urge the United States Congress to pass S. 206, the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail Designation Act of 2005.
Larry SneadPresidentArizona Trail Association
TESTIMONY OF LARRY SNEAD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ARIZOAN TRAIL ASSOCIATION
On S. 588, the Arizona Trail Feasibility Study Act
Subcommittee on National Parks of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
June 28, 2005
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, I am very pleased and honored to have the opportunity to offer my testimony on S. 588, the Arizona Trail Feasibility Study Act. My name is Larry Snead and I am the Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association.
Before I tell you about the Arizona Trail, I’d first like to talk about the Arizona Trail Association. Founded in 1994, the Arizona Trail Association (or ATA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to brining the Arizona Trail to completion-- a trail that is now becoming one of the premiere long-distance trails in the county. Our supporters greatly value the recreational resource of the Arizona Trail and are dedicated to ensuring its development and maintenance for the future enjoyment of others.
For the past decade, the Arizona Trail Association has coordinated over 2,000 ATA volunteers and more than 16 federal, state and local agencies, as well as many businesses and organizations, to plan, develop and manage the Arizona Trail. In 2004 alone, a total of 47,258 ATA volunteer hours were recorded in 2004.
On behalf of the Arizona Trail Association, our volunteers, and all Arizona Trail users, I thank the committee for providing this hearing.
Mr. Chairman, to my side is a general map of the existing Arizona Trail.
The Arizona Trail is a scenic, non-motorized trail that stretches for 800 miles through some of the state’s most renowned mountains, canyons, deserts and forests. The Trail links these special landscapes with people and communities. The Trail begins in the Coronado National Memorial at the U.S./Mexico border and ends at the Arizona/Utah border in the North. As it connects these two points, the Trail winds through some of the most rugged, spectacular landscape in the Western United States.
The Arizona Trail encompasses a wide range of ecological diversity in the state, extending through 7 life zones, including such legendary landmarks as the Sonoran Desert and the Grand Canyon. It connects the lowland desert flora and fauna in Saguaro National Park and the pine-covered San Francisco Peaks, Arizona’s highest mountains at 12,633 feet in elevation.
The Arizona Trail was first envisioned by Flagstaff schoolteacher and outdoor enthusiast, Dale Shewalter, in the 1970's. Today, Dale’s vision of a continuous border-to-borer trail traversing Arizona’s unique landscape has become a reality for hikers, equestrians, mountain bicyclists, and cross-country skiers who wish to experience the magnificent scenery Arizona has to offer.
718 miles of the Arizona Trail have been completed, signed and open to the public. We have 82 miles remaining to build, all of which is on federal land.
The Arizona Trail passes through 4 National Parks, 4 National Forest, land managed by 2 BLM Field Offices, 1 State Park and 6 Wilderness Areas.
70% of the Arizona Trail is on National Forest, 10% on BLM, 10% on Arizona State Trust Land, 8% on National Parks and 2% private (the Babbitt Ranches north of Flagstaff and the Babbitt Foundation is in the process of donating an Arizona Trail easement to Coconino County).
The Arizona corporate community is very supportive of the Arizona Trail and the ATA is pleased to have the support of Arizona icon companies such as Phelps Dodge, Arizona Public Service, Salt River Project, Resolution Copper, REI, Wells Fargo, Southwest Gas, and National Bank of Arizona.
With the help of our supporters, the ATA has completed the fieldwork, editing, and photography for the Official Arizona Trail Guidebook to be available in fall 2005, and I would be happy to provide a copy to the subcommittee. I am also pleased to provide you with an ATA report on the progress of the Arizona Trail project.
Thank you for the opportunity today to speak to you about the Arizona Trail. It is truly a recreational resource of national significance and has all the qualifications to be a National Scenic Trail which will become evident should a feasibility study be authorized by Congress.
Before closing, I’d like to thank Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl who have been invaluable in their support of the Arizona Trail and have brought this legislation forward to this day.
Mr. Chairman and distinguished members of the Subcommittee, on behalf of the Arizona Trail Association Board of Directors I would ask that you support the passage of S. 588.
With that, I am available to answer questions.