National Resources Library
U.S. Department of the Interior
Washington, D.C. 20240
SECRETARIAL LAND USE PLAN
ADDITION TO HAVASUPAI INDIAN RESERVATION
MARCH 12, 1976
Public Law 93-620
Grand Canyon National Park Enlargement Act
Havasupai Tribe Planning Committee
Phoenix Area Office
Bureau of Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Havasupai People . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Location . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Location Map; Havasupai Indian Reservation . . . 4
Boundary Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA . . . . . . . . . 6
Air Quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Archaeology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
Climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Fauna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Flora . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Geology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
EXISTING USES OF THE AREA . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Gathering. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Grazing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Existing Havasupai Indian
Reservation Vehicular Access Map . . . . . . . 14
Proposed Havasupai Indian
Reservation Vehicular Access Map . . . . . . . 15
Housing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Residence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Traditional Uses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Visitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Water Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
LAND USE PLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Agriculture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Cultural Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Domestic Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Energy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Fencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Grazing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Law Enforcement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Residence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Revegetation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Stock Water Development . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Support Facilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Transportation and Communications . . . . . . . 26
Flight Restrictions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Public Access to
Adjacent National Park Lands . . . . . . . 27
Roads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Telephone and Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Trails . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Visitor Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Waste Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Wildlife Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
SIGNATURE PAGE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
On December 18, 1974, Congress passed Senate Bill 1296, which
President Ford signed into law on January 3, 1975, as Public Law
93-620. This Act, written to enlarge the Grand Canyon National Park,
also provided in Section 10 for the enlargement of the adjacent
Havasupai Indian Reservation by 185,000 acres and designated a
contiguous 95,300 acres of the enlarged National Park as a permanent
traditional use area of the Havasupai people.
Passage of the Act with this provision for enlarging the Havasupai
Reservation resulted from sixty-six years of appeals to Congress to
rectify the Havasupai's land base from them even while they were still
living on it and making regular use of it to survive. These actions
of removal, begun in 1882 with the establishment of the reservation as
a mere 518 acres on the bottom of Havasu Canyon, continued with the
establishment of the Grand Canyon National Monument in 1893, the
Coconino National Forest and Grand Canyon National Monument in 1908,
and the Grand Canyon National Park in 1919, all from Havasupai land.
Officials began making reports to Congress about the Havasupai
predicament as early as 1885; the Havasupai themselves appealed to
Congress to confirm their just title to and legal use of these 185,000
acres in 1908, 1920, 1931, 1952, 1957, 1968, and 1974.
Section 3 of the 1919 Grand Canyon Act recognized Havasupai use of the
area by providing that the Secretary could permit tribal members to
use areas within the Park for agricultural purposes. Although the
Havasupai had continued to make other such traditional uses of these
lands as residence and hunting, any activities not strictly grazing or
agricultural were frowned on. The Havasupai had to pursue such other
During the discussion of S. 1296, some public factions had gained the
impression that the purpose of confirming Havasupai title to the land
in question was to permit uncontrolled development and exploitation of
the area by outside interests. To allay such fears Congressional
sponsors of the measure wrote certain guarantees into the legislation.
As it was passed, P. L. 93-620 includes safeguards on the integrity of
the land restored to the Havasupai, in that the Secretary was required
to develop in consultation with the Havasupai Tribal Council
...a plan for the use of this land by the
Tribe which shall include the selection of
areas which may be used for residential,
education, and other community purposes
for members of the Tribe and which shall
not be inconsistent with, or detract from,
park uses and values;
Provided further, that before being implemented
by the Secretary, such plan shall be
made available through his offices for public
hearings, and shall be transmitted, together
with a complete transcript of the hearings,
at least 90 days prior to implementation, to
the Commission on Interior and Insular Affairs
of the United States Congress.
Accordingly, the Havasupai people have worked together through their
Tribal Council and a Council-appointed land use planning committee of
tribal members to develop the following plan. The Secretary made the
assistance of the Interior Department available to them whenever this
was deemed necessary or requested by the Havasupai Tribal Council.
Responsibility for coordinating all necessary studies and for final
preparation and distribution of the completed plan was delegated to
the Bureau of Indian Affairs by the Secretarial Order of September 10,
The plan is a true and direct statement of Havasupai desires; it was
developed by them, and any suggested revisions of their original
statement were checked with and approved by them before being
incorporated and forwarded to the Secretary.
The land use plan is a statement of general intent. The Havasupai
Tribal Council interpreted the provisions of P. O. 93-620 as a request
for a set of general guidelines and intentions from the Havasupai
Tribe. No one should read this plan as a project description. It
contains no timetables for implementation, or is this its purpose.
Rather, the Havasupai present this as their set of ground rules
--their treaty with the government, as they put it -- within which
future developments on the reservation will operate.
It is a moderate plan, addressing with care man's relationship with
THE HAVASUPAI PEOPLE
The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River between the mouth of the Little
Colorado and the mouth of the Mohawk Canyon is inseparable from the
history of the Havasupai people. Surrounding Indian people identify
them by their occupation of this area; the Hopi even include a
Havasupai spirit in the Kachina pantheon as guardian of the Grand
Canyon. Havasupai families lived and farmed at Indian Gardens, Santa
Maria Spring, and other springs to the west.
From an interpretation of their oral tradition and the work of
contemporary archaeologists and ethnologists, the Havasupai are
convinced they have inhabited the area included in the Havasupai
Reservation, as well as the southern portion of the Grand Canyon
National Park and the Tusayan District of the Kaibab National Forest,
since about 700 A.D. They point to ethnological and linguistic
evidence indicating they originally entered this area during a
northward migration from their original home, probably along the Gila
River and lower Colorado, during a period of Mexican expansion which
gave rise to the later Toltec dynasties. Archaeologists have
designated the remains of these earliest settlements in the present
Havasupai area as Cohonina sites, from the Hopi word for "Havasupai."
At least one archaeologist/anthropologist having extensive familiarity
with Hualapai and Havasupai archaeology feels that the Cohonina may
have been an earlier, separate people who mysteriously vanished and
were replaced by the Havasupai around 1100 A.D. The Havasupai believe
the disappearance of a whole people is unlikely and say they are
probably the direct descendants of the so-called Cohonina.
The Havasupai ethnically belong to the Yuman people and share their
language; culturally they resemble the Pueblo much more than they do
the Yumans in their agricultural and religious practices.
Originally, the Havasupai/Cohonina must have lived on the uplands as
hunters and gatherers, but extended drought at the end of the
thirteenth century forced them into summer life at the lower
elevations of well-watered canyon bottoms. They have continued,
however, to winter in their original home at the higher elevations
until this century, when administrative restrictions forced most of
them for a time into year-round occupation on one of their summer
canyon living areas in Havasu Canyon.
Historically, the Havasupai Tribe comprised a fairly stable population
of about 250 persons, or 40 families. These persons farmed the canyon
bottom intensively and produced abundant harvests, using irrigation
practices probably learned from the Pueblo between 1276 and 1780 A.D.
During the winter months, when no agriculture was possible, Havasupai
families departed the canyons to various traditional locations between
the present Sante Fe Railroad and the Colorado River to hunt and
gather wild plants for food in the winter. The majority of Havasupai
families still followed this pattern as recently as 1930, and
individual families continue to follow this pattern today.
By adhering to this cycle, the Havasupai achieved a self-sufficiency
which they still boasted as recently as 1920; in fact, they were well
enough off that they raised a surplus of produce which they shared
with other tribes or shipped out to help support the nearby Indian
When the winter half of their subsistence pattern was interrupted,
especially after 1919, by administrative restrictions on water storage
on the land outside Havasu Canyon, which at the time was not treated
as Indian trust land. There had been sporadic problems commencing
upon their essentially unenforceable restrictions to Havasu Canyon in
1882; in 1898, for example, officials of the Grand Canyon Forest
Reserve forbade the Havasupai even to enter upon the lands of the
Forest Reserve, which completely surrounded the tiny canyon-bottom
reservation. But prior to 1919 it does not appear the government even
intended the bottom of Havasu Canyon to represent the sole areas of
Havasupai occupation. Not until after 1919 did the government have
either the intent or the personnel required to drive the Havasupai
back to Havasu Canyon year-round.
By the time of the enactment of P.L. 93-620, the Havasupai Tribe
included some 60 families of about 425 persons, probably the highest
number of people the Tribe ever included. The number had surpassed
what Havasu Canyon could support, even in the summer. With the right
to hunt and gather foreclosed, Havasupai self-sufficiency was no
longer even remotely possible from subsistence.
Another element besides the simple removal of the Havasupai land base
entered the picture by 1930 or so, and that was the introduction of
the cash economy. When the Havasupai economy was based upon
subsistence, the rational use of one's time was directed primarily to
the obtaining or raising of food. Even then certain specialists
existed who gained their subsistence by performing non-subsistence
activities --singing, healing, manufacture of hunting and farming
implements. Havasupai traders offered red ochre paint, surplus food,
buckskins and livestock for woven goods, shells, foreign foods, and
With the coming of the cash economy, direct production or obtaining of
food no longer represented the most rational use of one's time. The
importance of the cash economy for Havasupai life and the future of
the Havasupai people cannot be ignored even though some individuals
still survive part of the year by subsistence.
The Havasupai Indian Reservation is situated in northwestern Arizona
along the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River. It lies approximately
50 miles northwest of the Grand Canyon National Park Headquarters at
Grand Canyon Village. The nearest large towns, Flagstaff and Kingman,
each lie over 100 miles distant. Reaching the reservation boundary
takes three hours of travel from either location; reaching Havasu
Canyon takes another three hours of foot travel.
The 185,000 acres of the Havasupai Indian Reservation under
consideration in this plan lie adjacent to the Grand Canyon National
Park, which borders on the north and east of the reservation. The
HAVASUPAI INDIAN RESERVATION LOCATION MAP SEE HARD COPY
acres of the National Park immediately adjacent to the Havasupai
Reservation on the north have been designated by the United Stated
Congress as subject to the permanent traditional uses of the Havasupai
Tribe. On the south the reservation is bounded by private land and on
the west by a portion of the Grand Canyon National Park and the
Hualapai Indian Reservation.
The Havasupai Tribe has placed high priority on locating the eastern
boundary of their reservation. Public Law 93-620 did not spell out
the precise location of any boundaries of the reservation. On the
east boundary, the only consideration for its location mentioned was a
placement which would avoid incorporating the private Lauzon property.
Accordingly, the Havasupai argue that it was Congress' clear intent
that the westernmost boundary of the Lauzon property should form the
easternmost extent of the Havasupai Reservation. This would place the
boundary 660 feet east of the surveyed section line four miles west of
Range 1 West.
Another priority is the location of the southwest boundary of the
reservation. Again, no precise language was provided in the
legislation, but the accompanying map implied that Sections 13, 15,
and 17 of Range 5 West, Township 32 North, are included within the
reservation. These odd-numbered sections represent released railroad
indemnification lands. According to the Supreme Court's 1941 decision
in U.S. v. Santa Fe, these released railroad lands were subject to the
prior possessory rights of the aboriginal Indian occupants. The
private landowner to the south of the reservation argues these
sections represent private land that the Congress cannot assign to
public status. The Havasupai argue the lands were never out of public
Finally, the legislative map indicated that part of Section 13 of
Range 6 West, Township 32 North, east of the Hualapai Reservation line
and one-quarter mile back from the rim of National Canyon is to be
included within the reservation. The State of Arizona argues that
this section represents a school section and cannot be included within
the reservation. The Havasupai argue such school sections were
originally provided by Congressional Act and that the subsequent Act
of Congress will now take precedence on the assignment of this land.
At the earliest date, the Havasupai Tribe would like these boundary
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE AREA
The air quality of the Havasupai Reservation varies according to
whether it is being measured in the lower reservation of Havasu Canyon
or on the upper plateau regions.
In Havasu Canyon the air is relatively free of chemical pollution but
tends to have dustier air than the upper reservation. Lower canyons
in this dry, windy region act as air-settling basins for the upper
levels of dust raised from the plateau. Havasu Canyon's Hualapai
Canyon tributary lies semi-aligned with the prevailing wind direction
and feeds heavy winds through the length of Havasu Canyon, disturbing
the fine dust deposits of the canyon. The dirt trails and movement of
horses and people along these trails further accentuate the problem.
On the upper portions of the reservation the situation is much
different. The air is generally pristine and unusually dust-free. It
is not common to be able to see the San Francisco Peaks from the tip
of the Great Thumb Mesa, a distance of 85 miles. The only exception
of this clarity is around the several dirt roads which cross the upper
reservation. During and for some time after the passage of a vehicle,
the air, plant, and animal life in the immediate vicinity suffer
clouds of heavy, choking dust.
The earliest evidence of human occupation of the Grand Canyon area are
the remains of the people designated only as the Desert Culture, who
occupied the area sometime around 2000 B.C. These may have been
Shoshonean people who had come into the area from the north. Though
others may well have preceded them there, little or nothing is known
of any earlier peoples. They are followed by various stages of the
Anasazi and the Cohonino.
According to a study made for the enlargement of the Grand Canyon
National Park,* there are more than 1200 known Indian ruins within the
Park complex, many of which are found within the Havasupai
Reservation. These ruins are of extreme interest, for they show much
about the succession of peoples who inhabited the area and the
environmental and climatic problems they were forced to contend with.
Some of these ruins indicate the connection the Cohonina, or early
Havasupai, had with the Pueblo stage of the neighboring Anasazi
culture. Ruins dating from around 1000 A.D. include masonry
structures, sometimes with what resemble kivas attached. Some of the
ruins, found on the eastern Havasupai Reservation, may actually
represent Pueblo ruins though this seems unlikely. Other indications
show that later Havasupai culture and society also moved increasingly
in the direction of their western Pueblo (Hopi) neighbors. By 1900
many observers noted elements of borrowed Pueblo culture in the food,
dress, ceremony, stories, and agricultural practices of the Havasupai.
These ruins show that water, or the lack of water, has been a
persistent problem for man in this area, for they are usually located
along shallow drainages or near springs where water would be
available. They indicate that man abandoned year-round life on the
higher elevations of the Havasupai area after the great southwestern
drought of 1276-1299. Probably at that time the Cohonina/Havasupai
began their intensive agricultural use of the lower water courses from
Indian Gardens west to Mohawk Canyon.
* Final Environmental Statement, Proposed Master Plan, Grand Canyon
Complex, National Park Service, November 14, 1975.
Also within the reservation are numerous claborate and valuable
petroglyphs and rock paintings. Though legends tell of their
placement by early Havasupai, few of them can be dated. Some of them
represent hunting shrines; others represent obeisance to water spirits
at the location of the painting. Most of these rock paintings the
Havasupai have carefully preserved. One set of rather well-known
paintings within the reservation, however, lies along a major trail
and has suffered extensive damage and recent additions.
Temperatures in Havasu Canyon are generally high in summer and mild in
winter. In the summer months, temperatures usually top 100 degrees
and seldom fall much below 15 degrees in winter. Generally, winter
daytime temperatures pass above freezing. On the upper reservation,
temperatures over 100 degrees are rarer, and sub-freezing daytime
temperatures in winter the rule. Only within Havasu Canyon is the
humidity high enough to be felt.
SUMMER STORM OVER THE UPPER PLATEAU
Rainfall is generally seasonal, nearly all of it falling as show
during February and as rain during August and September. The
difference in temperature and rainfall between the lower and upper
reservation is caused by the 3000-foot altitude difference. Although
the upper parts of the Havasupai Reservation are most lacking in
water, they receive most of the rain which falls on the area, as much
as 15 inches a year on the forested areas of the Great Thumb Mesa's
higher elevations and the northern portions of Pasture Wash. Toward
the southern and western sides of the reservation, the rainfall falls
off to below ten inches a year. Havasu Canyon and its tributaries,
which receive the least rain at some nine inches a year, end up with
all the water of the upper reservation that percolates down to the
limestone floor of Havasu Canyon.
VIEW OF THE ESPLANADE
A wide variety of mammals live on the Havasupai Reservation. Game
animals include mule deer, pronghorn antelope, procupines,
jackrabbits, and cottontails. These animals all live on the upper
reservation and none of them is in any danger of disappearing from the
reservation. At lower elevations are found the exotic burro and the
desert bighorn sheep which live primarily on the esplanade at the foot
of the Coconino sandstone formation; neither of these animals is in
any danger of disappearance from the Havasupai Reservation at present.
Other large mammals which have been observed within the reservation
include the mountain lion, bobcat, coyote, and fox. Only the mountain
lion appears to have dwindled to near disappearance from the area.
Despite some claims to the contrary, the desert bighorn does not live
primarily on the plateau, and it is relatively abundant in the
immediate vicinity of the Havasupai settlement in Havasu Canyon, where
it can live undisturbed. Many of the bighorn herds which formerly
inhabited the area below Grand Canyon Village have moved westward to
take up residence on the Havasupai Reservation, away from the movement
and disturbance of large numbers of human beings and away from the
areas occupied by the exotic burro. Three herds of bighorns live
right above Supai Village, one of which included at least 17
individuals at the most recent sightings.
It seems likely that wild horses and the exotic burros present
competition to the bighorn. In general, the bighorn has avoided the
other two species by moving into the area around Supai Village, while
the wild horses and burros have remained farther to the east, around
the Great Thumb Mesa. The National Park Service estimates there may
be as many as two to three thousand burros in the Grand Canyon; so
while the bighorns may be safe for the moment, it is only a matter of
time before the burros begin invading new areas of the canyon.
Havasupai livestock presents little competition to the desert bighorn
sheep. This livestock grazes on the esplanade primarily during
periods of drought. Such drought use concentrates around the springs
issuing on the upper areas of the esplanade.
Small rodents abound and include mice, squirrels, shrews, chipmunks,
spotted skunks, and ring-tailed cats. Also, recent evidence of
beavers has been noted at the northern end of the Havasupai
Reservation south of Beaver Falls.
Havasu Canyon is home for many birds and a stopover for many migratory
species. There are approximately 20 species of birds to be found
primarily on the upper reservation, and 74 species have been observed
in Havasu Canyon. Birds which are considered to be rare to the
reservation but which have been actually observed include the
dickcissal, Cassin Kingbird, Wright flycatcher, marsh wren, red-eyed
vireo, and savannah sparrow. Birds which one may suspect to be found
on the reservation and considered of relative rarity would include the
southern bald eagle, the peregrine falcon, the ferruginous hawk, the
American osprey, and the prairie pigeon hawk.
Many other forms of vertebrate animals live on the Havasupai
Reservation; none is considered endangered. Snakes include the king
snake, striped racer, rubber snake, bull snake, and several varieties
of rattlesnake; snakes are relatively unusual in Havasu Canyon.
Lizards are found throughout the Havasupai Reservation and include
whip-tailed lizards, desert scaly lizards, western collard lizards,
chuckwallas, and horned toads.
Few types of fish live within the Havasupai Reservation. Between the
rising of Havasu Creek and the first waterfalls are a few varieties of
minnows. Between the fourth waterfall, Mooney, and Beaver Falls are
rainbow and German brown trout. None of these is considered
The Havasupai Reservation is sparsely vegetated. Overall, about half
the acreage of the Havasupai Reservation falls within the canyon
system and would be classified as rocky or barren. The open
grasslands of the upper reservation are made up of blue grama, wild
buckwheat, and other varieties of short bunchgrasses. In this century
these open grasslands have given way increasingly to juniper and
pinyon moving down from the well-drained hillsides into a few washes.
Some areas, like the end of the Great Thumb Mesa, have been covered
with dense juniper forests long enough that it has cultivated a
natural life form there. In among these pinyon-juniper communities
are found abundant areas of cliff rose and buckbrush. No stands of
pines larger than the pinyon are known on the Havasupai Reservation.
Of the portions lying above the canyon system on the plateaux, about
two-thirds would be classified as sagebrush. In these areas the
rainfall and soil barely accommodate grasses or trees and support only
sagebrush, saltbrush, blackbrush, and chapparral.
PINYON AND JUNIPER COVER ON THE GREAT THUMB MESA
At the lower elevations of the reservation within the canyon system is
a very different plant community. Along the esplanade some junipers
and pinyons occur. Abundant are such desert plants as prickly pear,
barrel cactus, banana yucca, Spanish bayonet, ocotillo, creosote bush,
and other well-armored plants. All along the better watered portions
of the canyon system grow mesquite, canyon oak, hackberry,
chokecherry, single-leaf ash, cottonwood, desert willow, black willow,
redbud, serviceberry, syringa, wild grape, reeds, cattails, and
bermuda grass (see Vegetation Study Map).
SAGEBRUSH AREA ON THE UPPER PLEATEAUX
The most striking feature of the Grand Canyon is its geology. Its
cliffs expose millions of years of geologic history and much that
tells of the origin of the earth itself. The Havasupai Reservation,
of course, shares the geological structure of the general Grand Canyon
area. Generally speaking, the compressional forces acting upon the
area have been from west to east, so that the major faults and folds
lie in a north-south orientation, dividing the uplands mostly into
individual plateaux separated by sharp north and south breaks.
EXPOSED GEOLOGY OF THE GRAND CANYON
Most soils of the upper Havasupai Reservation resemble thin, rocky
mountain soils. Due to the aridity of the region during recent
centuries, there has been little vegetation and, consequently, little
formation of humus. Where there is soil, it is but the thinnest skin
over the underlying limestone in which hardy grasses and shrubs cling
tenaciously to life. This merger soil supports much human and animal
life when carefully used. The major problem which the shallow soil
causes is not so much the meager plant matrix as the storage of
Most of the area underlying the upper Havasupai Reservation is made up
of highly fractured Kaibab limestone Water flows easily through much
of this stratum, and millenia of storm drainage have carved
underground caverns in it. Only rarely, where this stratum has not
fractured, are impermeable water pockets formed; in most places the
Kaibab limestone acts to channel surface water to lower strata.
Underlying the Kaibab limestone are two porous sandstone layers, the
wind-deposited Coconino sandstone and the water-deposited Supai
sandstone. Between the two is a thin layer of Hermit Shale, which can
act as an impermeable layer and which provides a floor for a few
aquifers which issue as springs from the base of the Coconino
sandstone cliffs around the reservation and the Havasupai Traditional
Underlying the Supai sandstone, about 3000 feet below the upper
surface of the Havasupai Reservation, is the important Redwall
linestone layer. This is, where it is not fractured, also an
impermeable layer. It forms the floor of the Havasu Creek aquifer and
possibly of other stored ground water deposits within the Havasupai
Reservation. This stratum dips toward Havasu Canyon from both sides,
however, and is primarily drained by it.
None of the strata near the surface of the Havasupai Reservation are
of igneous origin; nearly all deposits are sedimentary. Consequently,
the area is very poor in metallic compounds and has never been a site
of productive mineral exploration. Only at the lower elevations of
Havasu Canyon have a few low-grade deposits of lead, vanadium, silver,
and traces of copper been located.
EXISTING USES OF THE AREA
The Havasupai have not farmed any of the lands now included in the
upper reservation since about 1955, although they still keep certain
of the farming plots fenced off. Agriculture on the lower parts of
the reservation is possible only in the watered portions of Havasu
Canyon, and it has been carried on intensively and productively for at
least 600 years in this location. Crops formerly raised on the upper
reservation included potatoes, corn, and beans.
UNIMPROVED ROAD AFTER A STORM
There is but one relatively improved road on the Havasupai
Reservation, the road leading to Hualapai Hilltop from U.S. Highway 66
to the south. Other roads on the reservation are extremely primitive.
The road leading out to the Tribal electric generating station on Long
Mesa is dirt; though it is kept graded regularly, it still becomes
impassable in wet weather. The roads over Wi Gasala are passable by
four-wheel and high-clearance vehicles only and also become quite
muddy in wet weather.
HUALAPAI TRAIL TO SUPAI VILLAGE
On the east side of Havasu Canyon, the narrow dirt road leading from
Pasture Wash to Topocoba Hilltop is deep, powdery dust in dry weather
and equally deep, muddy gumbo in wet weather. As this road approaches
Topocoba, it becomes increasingly narrow and rocky. Other roads
branching off from this road offer even worse access than the Topocoba
Road. All are rocky and dusty; some are little more than animal
tracks. To traverse the forty miles from Tusayan to Topocoba requires
some three hours in good weather; in bad weather the same trip may
take all day.
PACKERS ALONG ONE OF THE MORE PRIMITIVE TRAILS
Two main trails lead to Supai Village from the upper reservation; the
Hualapai Trail, which is in regular use and constantly maintained, and
the Topocoba Trail, which is in poor repair and seldom used by
non-Indians. Other trails passable by horse are the Moqui and Kirby
Trails, also used almost exclusively by the Havasupai. Other trails
leading from the upper to the lower Havasupai Reservation are
extremely primitive, dangerous foot trails and seldom used by anyone.
Reaching Supai Village from Havasupai Hilltop takes two to three hours
by foot or horse; from Topocoba, five to six hours.
The Havasupai have continued to gather wild plants and plant foods on
the lands included in the reservation. During the late fall and early
winter months especially, Havasupai families travel to the upper
reservation to obtain pinyon nuts, agave, and yucca fruit. Most grass
seeds are now difficult to obtain. Other plants, foods, materials,
and medicines are collected at various times during the year.
At present the lands included in the Havasupai Reservation are used by
the Havasupai Tribe for grazing of cattle and horses on relatively
unimproved range. The Tribe, under a former permit arrangement for
the use of this land, was allowed to graze 138 head of cattle and 322
horses on this range. Actual numbers may have been somewhat less than
this; the Bureau of Indian Affairs estimates there were about 125
Havasupai cattle on the range during 1975, but accurate counts of
horses on this range are not available. The animals are not grazed on
any rotational basis but simply allowed to range freely. There is
evidence of range degradation in some areas.
EXISTING HAVASUPAI INDIAN RESERVATION VEHICULAR ACCESS MAP SEE HARD
PROPOSED HAVASUPAI INDIAN RESERVATION VEHICULAR ACCESS MAP SEE HARD
Prior to 1975, the only hunting the Havasupai were allowed, on the
lands included in their reservation today, was on the southern part
under public permits from the Arizona Game and Fish who furnished the
following deer harvest estimates:
Year Hunters Hunter Days Harvest
1969 68 223 6
1970 93 268 14
1971 52 224 9
1972 37 145 5
1973 45 185 8
1974 26 98 5
1975 area closed to public hunting
The Havasupai were in competition with other, non-Indian applicants
for these hunting permits and were not always successful in obtaining
them. Therefore, these figures do not represent only Native American
The Havasupai have long maintained residences on the upper portions of
the reservation. Some of these are traditional conical earthen homes,
and others are simple frame cabins. There are about 25 such homes
still located on these lands.
The Havasupai Tribe has put to other traditional uses lands included
in the upper Havasupai Reservation. Specifying these uses of the land
will of necessity be very broad and general. Detailed identification
of such uses, including burial, prayer, and other ceremonial uses
would involve invasion of privacy and of the right to freedom of
belief and would be considered religious sacrilege to the Tribe. Such
uses are practiced on the area designated as the Havasupai Traditional
Use Area as well.
TRADITIONAL HOUSE ON THE UPPER HAVASUPAI RESERVATION
Most outsiders' visitations to the lands now included within the
Havasupai Reservation were made to Havasu Canyon. No accurate
estimate is available as to the number of persons who, prior to 1975,
may have visited the lands now included in the upper reservation.
Judging from sporadic observations and requests from people wishing to
visit the area at present, the average number visiting that area
probably did not exceed a dozen persons a month.
Within Havasu Canyon the picture is entirely different. In 1972, the
high point was reached when nearly 14,000 persons visited camping
facilities which were at the time under the control of the National
Park Service. The number of persons making use of the facility at
given times appeared plainly excessive; and the area, now located in
the northern part of the lower reservation, was undergoing serious
degradation. After 1972 the National Park Service instituted controls
over the number of persons allowed to use the camping facility at any
one time. The Havasupai Tribe has continued to enforce these
limitations. Present visitation levels in Havasu Canyon stand in the
neighborhood of 8000 to 10,000 persons a year. When one considers
that over 22,000 persons visited Phantom Ranch during the 1975 under
roughly comparable conditions in the Grand Canyon National Park, it
seems fair to say that visitation levels in Havasu Canyon are moderate.
In the past, the problem was not the total visitation level but its
distribution. On certain weekends, especially Easter, 2000 persons
would crowd into a campground designed for use by 300; then the
campground would sit nearly empty for weeks at a time. With present
limitations, ten to twelve thousand persons a year can safely use the
Havasu campgrounds if they are more evenly distributed over the year.
Presently, only 100 persons are allowed in the campground between
Havasu and Moorey Falls, and a further 50 persons can be accommodated
in two additional tribal campgrounds on the lower reservation. During
the past two years, the visitation has tended to distribute itself
more evenly, with much less of it clustered on summer weekends than
before. With improvements to existing toilet facilities and
replacement of the present seven-night limit with a two-night limit,
the Havasu campgrounds should easily accommodate 25,000 persons
Spreading an even load of lower visitation levels throughout the year
allows for steady maintenance of the camping facilities and the access
trails, rather than facing situations of recovery from brief but
extreme overuse. The access trail, which in the past was above evenly
divided among the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and
the Havasupai Tribe, was in practice primarily maintained on a daily
basis by the Havasupai Tribe. The Tribe is continuing such
EARTHEN WATER CATCHMENT ON THE EASTERN BOUNDARY OF THE RESERVATION
Over the years the Havasupai Tribe developed an extensive system of
earthen water catchment reservoirs on the lands of the upper Havasupai
Reservation. There are about 30 such tanks in various stages of
repair. At present the Tribe has the beneficial use of about 14 of
these tanks. There are ten tanks located on land formerly managed by
the Park Service which are in need of repair before they can provide
the Tribe significant benefit. The tanks on the Pasture Wash area are
in good repair and can be put to use immediately.
Successful storage of surface water by the use of earthen catchment
reservoirs requires enough depth of soil to allow a sizable excavation
where water may collect. Where the soil is shallow such as excavation
would cut into and shatter the limestone bedrock and allow drainage of
the stored water to underlying layers. Water storage or reseeding
efforts will be limited by the shallow soil in this area. In the few
upper areas where the soil is deeper, such as the bottom of Pasture
Wash, agricultural attempts have been generally successful and less
limited by the lack of water.
The Havasupai Tribe has considerable water resources at its disposal.
here are 23 springs on the upper reservation and ample underground
water resources available within Havasu Canyon; also, Havasu Creek
produces 38 million gallons of water a day.
HAVASUPAI RIVER OVERLOOKING THE GRANDEUR OF THEIR TRADITIONAL HOMELAND
The Havasupai people, in presenting this proposal, state their
intention of being guided by their traditional concepts of harmony
with all life; that they have followed their ancient beliefs and the
ways of their old people toward the earth in every way possible in
preparing their proposals. Those traditions tell them the proper ways
to do things and ways to do them in keeping with the flow of the earth
and its life. The Havasupai planners stated they have followed these
ways from their earliest times. Where they have struck out in new
directions, they have traveled as far along the new paths as they find
compatible with their attachment to the land. To these ends, the
Havasupai people have established the following goals and objectives,
and believe that they would win the approval of their grandparents and
To preserve the magnificence of their homeland. For, as they state
it, the Havasupai people and their homeland are inseparable. The
land involved has always been their home, and they expect it to
remain so forever. Preserving it is a matter of life and death to
To preserve their cultural identify in every way possible. In
numerous ways the Havasupai people feel the very land that gave them
birth defines this identity. They feel that the land helps to
preserve their cultural identity by separating and insulating them
from those influences they do not wish to incorporate into Havasupai
To use their homeland to provide sustenance for themselves, and they
hope to return once again to a self-sustaining life.
To use the land to gain the benefits of the cash economy which
enrich their lives and to avoid those aspects of the cash economy
which would depersonalize their lives.
To continue to provide themselves as much as possible of the outdoor
life and employment they prize so highly with activities such as
horse packing, cattle raising, and farming.
To provide their children with a better education through improved
schools, higher grades, and schools located close to their homes and
To provide their children with more alternatives than their parents
had. Such alternatives can come only with better education and
increased employment opportunities on the reservation.
To provide the people with the best possible health and sanitation
To provide housing for all the Havasupai people; housing that will
utilize as much as possible the natural materials of the land and
have the feeling of the outdoors, yet protect and give warmth to the
To develop safe, all weather roads (graded, graveled, with proper
drainage which is usable every day of the year but not necessarily
paved) where needed to connect the reservation with the outside
To make the most efficient use of the water available to them.
To make the least wasteful use of the energy resources available to
To welcome visitors to various parts of the reservation; but, to
keep other parts restricted for their own use, and that of their
relatives and close friends.
To carefully control the influences that could destroy their privacy
and sense of tribal community.
LAND USE PLAN FOR ADDITION TO HAVASUPAI INDIAN RESERVATION
It is evident that the Grand Canyon and Havasu Creek are unmatched for
their beauty. The Havasupai people have always admired their homeland
and deeply lament misguided efforts to develop or alter it. For
decades they feared the commercial developments of the South Rim would
be brought farther westward, toward Havasu Canyon, and that they would
be unable to prevent it. Now, however, Congress has placed the most
unspoiled of the lands between Havasu Canyon and Grand Canyon Village
in the hands of the Havasupai and they feel the integrity of these
lands is assured under their protection.
The Havasupai Tribal Council has designated approximately 6700-plus
acres of Pasture Wash as a gardening area. Here the Havasupai people
historically carried on Hopi-style dry gardening into the 1950's.
This land will be designated as agricultural in order that the Tribal
Council may make provisions for those members of the Tribe who desire
to garden this area again. The Havasupai Tribal Council will develop
a land use code to govern both individual and tribal farming in the
area, as well as small personal garden plots anywhere on the
reservation but will primarily be located on the downhill side of
earthen catchment dams for stock water.
Such crops as potatoes, beans, and some types of corn may be grown on
the upper reservation by using the seasonal rainfall of late summer.
Artificial irrigation methods are not anticipated due to a lack of
water supply. Such small scale gardening will necessitate the
erection of small fences to protect the crops from animals. The major
part of Havasupai farming will continue to be located in Havasu Canyon.
Confirmation of Havasupai title to these lands provides tribal
protection to the numerous archaeological sites on the reservation,
which shed much light on the early life of the Havasupai and their
Cohonina ancestors, and on that of the neighboring Anasazi and the
earlier Desert Culture. The Havasupai will neither allow building
upon or destruction of such sites, where their presence is detected;
in addition, the Havasupai would like to restore certain of these
archaeological sites and relics to as near their original condition as
possible. Where this is to be done, prior examination would be
performed to assure that such restoration would not result in any
obliteration or distortion of what now exists.
Any cataloging of archaeological and cultural resources will be
carried out under Tribal auspices and would be kept confidential to
protect the sites. Such cataloging would be made available to the
Secretary only to assure that they are being protected; it would not
be made available for research purposes except with the specific,
written permission of the Havasupai Tribal Council.
The lands surrounding Havasu Canyon and its tributaries are arid,
semi-desert uplands. Water has always presented the major problem in
utilizing these lands. Providing domestic water occupies a place of
very high priority in the Havasupai Plan.
In years past, individual Havasupai families gathered and melted snow,
hauled water on horseback from lower springs and caught rain water
from their cabin roofs to support wintertime life on the uplands.
During the drier summer months they returned to the well-watered lower
elevations of Havasu Canyon and several other springs to the east of
this. The Havasupai will continue to follow these practices for the
provision of domestic water and will probably have success in years of
normal precipitation. Atmospheric water is undependable, however, and
the Havasupai feel they must investigate other alternatives also.
One alternative would be the location of underground water sources for
domestic use. Preliminary surveys indicate only a 25 percent
probability of locating even minor underground sources.* The general
trend of the underlying strata on the Havasupai Reservation is into
Havasu Canyon, which drains these strata and makes location of any
underground water unlikely. Only the extreme eastern portion of the
reservation lies outside the immediate Havasu drainage basin; on this
area the major trend of the strata is a slight southerly dip. It
appears the likeliest locations of pooled underground water will be
somewhere in the Pasture Wash area or toward the southeastern boundary
of the reservation in the vicinity of Rock Tank.
Within a short distance of the Grand Canyon's rim on the north
boundary of the reservation, the presence of springs below the rim of
the canyon indicates the presence of minor, northerly-flowing aquifers
and a short, northerly-dipping geology. As a second alternative, the
Tribe will investigate the possibility of tapping these aquifers
without significantly interfering with existing springs below the
upper rim along the northern boundary of the reservation.
A third alternative for supplying domestic water would be to tap the
abundant resources of Havasu
*E.G. DeWilde, Jr., "Preliminary Report on Water Availability for the
Havasupai Reservation Expansion," February 1975.
W.J. Breed, G. Billingsley, and S. Imsland, "A Preliminary Survey of
the Ground Water of the Havasupai Reservation, Coconino County,
Arizona, June 10, 1975.
Canyon. Havasu Creek's output varies neither seasonally or annually.
Getting a fraction of its water back to the uplands would be an
expensive but possible proposition, comparative in scope to the
transmission of water from the North Rim of the Colorado River to
Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim.
A fourth alternative might be to treat stock water from cattle tanks
and trick tanks with alum and chlorine to render it suitable for human
In past years, Havasupai families have utilized dead pinyon and
junipers for heating and cooking fuel; this process will continue on
all parts of the reservation. However, dependable sources of
electricity are desirable at several locations outside Havasu Canyon
for domestic use, water distribution, and for operation of a clinic or
One expensive but possible solution for supplying this energy would be
with small, local generators such as the Havasupai Tribe presently
operates for supplying power to Havasu Canyon. Such stations could be
constructed elsewhere to supply the upper portions of the reservation.
Another possibility which has been under investigation for the past
five years is the installation of a power line from a commercial
supplier. The line would probably run across the Hualapai Reservation
and onto the Havasupai Reservation from the south-west and connect
with the power lines at Long Mesa. A spur line would run to Hualapai
Hilltop. This alternative appears far more acceptable than the use of
several local stations, for it permits a higher available output to
the users at a lower final cost; it would also avoid the noise and
service requirements of small, local stations.
The barrier of Havasu Canyon makes it unlikely that the power line
supplying the western half of the reservation would be available to
the eastern half. Therefore, the Tribe would investigate the
extension of a spur line from a commercial source to Pasture Wash,
Topocoba Hilltop (and possibly Moqui Tank at some future date).
The Tribe also wishes to investigate the feasibility of using wind and
solar energy. The technology for low-profile wind generators for
individual family units exists and is rapidly improving. The Tribe
will also look into the use of individual and solar power units. Wind
and solar power would allow the location of communities and homes
independent of the need to transmit power to them over a distance.
The Havasupai Tribe anticipates retaining the approximate 15,000 acres
of Pasture Wash between the Havasupai Drift Fence and the east
reservation boundary as a separate unit, maintaining the Havasupai
Drift Fence as a cross fence and eliminating the need to remove it.
Other cross fencing will begin at canyon heads and either meet the
reservation boundary fence or cross the shortest distance to another
canyon head in order to minimize the erection of fences in the area.
Exceptions to this will be possible to manage more precisely fairly
large areas. All fences, to the extent possible, will be constructed
to permit the passage of wildlife while regulating the movement of
The extreme eastern portion of the Havasupai Reservation presently
forms a portion of the Rain Tank Allotment which is under grazing
permit to a private rancher until January 2, 1985, unless it is
voluntarily relinquished. The Havasupai Tribal Council will be
engaged in efforts to negotiate such a relinquishment to the
satisfaction of everyone concerned at the earliest possible date so
that they may fence this boundary completely and restore the area to
the complete use of the Havasupai people and to prevent loss of
Havasupai livestock and trespass.
Because of the oblique terrain of the Canyon, and the staggered
boundary line location at some isolated areas of the Havasupai
Reservation Addition, it is impossible to carry out straight line
fencing. It appears that convenience fences which allow the contour
of the Canyon would be a feasible solution so that full use may be
made of the land base by the Tribe and its neighbors. Therefore, the
Havasupai Tribe feels that the possibility should be left open for
land use exchange agreements with their neighbors, particularly those
to the south.
The Havasupai Tribe recognizes that the lands included in their
reservation are presently marginal for grazing purposes. However,
they need to make every reasonable use of these lands to support their
There is every reason to believe the lands of the upper reservation
could safely support productive increases in both water storage
capacity and available forage.* Therefore, it is planned that all
suitable areas of the upper reservation will be subject to controlled
livestock grazing, being broken into grazing districts; the boundaries
of these districts shall follow natural boundaries as much as possible.
*See Report 2210, "Management Plan Havasupai Allotment," Kaibab
National Forest and Grand Canyon National Park, undated (prepared
The Havasupai Tribal Council will develop and implement a grazing
plan. When sufficient stock water is available, they will separate
the cattle and horses and manage them separately; their intention is
to manage both herds as Tribal units, though animals may be
individually owned in these Tribal herds. Such Tribal control of
grazing and watering patterns will prevent haphazard use of the range
with possible degradation and will also control the number of animals
allowed on the range and their location.
The Havasupai people have long shown a distinct preference for the
cow-calf type grazing operation, but there is some reason to believe a
yearing type operation might also succeed well in such rough terrain.
Forage for livestock is more abundant during certain seasons, and it
may prove beneficial for the Tribe to purchase calves for grazing
during such periods with a complete round-up and sale at the end of
these periods. This would take advantage of seasonal foreage while
protecting parts of the range from year-long exposure to grazing.
Certain breeds of livestock not presently used could be examined also
for their special suitability to this range.
In the past, enforcement of littering and defacement regulations has
been all but impossible on the Havasupai Reservation, due to the
failure of the Havasupai law code to apply to non-Indians. The
Havasupai Tribal Council is presently in the process of revising this
code so it applies to all persons within the Havasupai Reservation.
Enforcing this code will necessitate the stationing of several
Havasupai enforcement officers or rangers where they can monitor
access and be easily available to others. Cooperative enforcement
will be worked out between the Tribe and National Park Service for
management and enforcement on the Havasupai Traditional Use Area.
Traditionally, the Havasupai people lived outside Havasu Canyon during
the winter months from October to March. They anticipate that
families will return to this pattern; additionally, some families may
elect to establish permanent residence on the upper reservation.
At present the Havasupai Tribe includes approximately sixty families,
of which many have expressed the desire to live in individually
isolated locations on all parts of the upper reservation. Their homes
would be self-constructed or cooperatively built cabins or traditional
earth-covered log houses and wickiups.
CABIN ON THE UPPER RESERVATION
TRADITIONAL CONICAL EARTHEN HOUSE SHOWN BLENDING IN WITH THE LANDSCAPE
The eventual formation of small settlements and groups of homes in
several areas is anticipated. The Havasupai have designated four
residential areas for this purpose; these are Pasture Wash, the south
boundary of the reservation directly south of Hualapai Hilltop, Moqui
Tank, and the area just east of Topocoba Hilltop, all of which are
shown on the Land Use Plan Map. The boundaries of these areas are
fairly approximate, and their designation is not a statement that
groups of houses will be placed on any of them; it is merely a
guarantee that settlements of homes will not be permitted to develop
outside these designated areas. The Havasupai do not envision
tract-type housing on any part of the upper reservation. In addition,
the tribe will develop an ordinance to govern proper disposal of
refuse and waste for all parts of the reservation.
Annual assessments will be made of the forage, range conditions, and
water availability in relation to the livestock and wild game herds to
establish and maintain a stable balance and prevent any degradation of
the area. Game and livestock herd levels will be adjusted to the
prevailing range conditions.
Where it is feasible and seems justified, the Havasupai Tribe wishes
to improve the forage situation. In some places the infiltration of
woody and less desirable species and the spread of junipers has
degraded the available range, promoted serious erosion, and nearly
eliminated certain native grasses. Where juniper removal is carried
out, it will be preceded by an archaeological and cultural resources
inventory of the area. The removal will be in well-watered locations,
such as the bottom of washes, where immediate reseeding to productive
grasses would be most successful. Removal of plant species from an
area should be carried out only if it can be demonstrated that these
species are detrimental to the area and removal would result in an
improvement of the range, forage, and wildlife.
The Havasupai Tribe intends to restore certain native food plants that
have become relatively scarce on the upper reservation; such plants
could be reintroduced in areas protected from livestock grazing or in
areas unsuitable for grazing but well suited to the growth of the food
A recent examination of natural forage on the Great Thumb Mesa area
has shown it to be surprisingly productive of nourishing grasses, more
so than any other area of the reservation. For this reason, it is
important to protect this naturally productive area from degradation
so that it may continue as a stable, producing source of forage for
the livestock and wildlife of the region. The Great Thumb Mesa holds
special significance to the Havasupai people who wish to maintain this
area as undisturbed as possible.
Stock Water Development
The need for adequate and permanent stock water on the Havasupai
Reservation is apparent, and its development will benefit both
Havasupai stock and wildlife of the area.
The Havasupai envision that stock water development will consist
primarily of improving existing earthen catchment tanks and building
additional tanks in suitable areas. If it should prove feasible, the
Havasupai Tribal Council also hopes to produce permanent stock water
from drilled wells and limited spring development. Another method
which the Tribe will explore is the use of "trick tanks," with which
an artificial drainage is created over a hard surface such as metal or
concrete and allowed to flow into a closed tank to minimize
evaporation. Water lots will be constructed around water and will be
used rotationally as water is available.
The Great Thumb Mesa will be designated as a special grazing zone
wherein water development will be limited to repair and improvement of
existing water catchment reservoirs and natural catchment basins.
Support facilities for the four residential areas will be developed as
needed and resources become available. The first area with sufficient
residents to warrant health treatment facilities would be scheduled to
have it located there; other areas could then draw upon these.
Inasmuch as the residential area south of Hualapai Hilltop is
separated from the other three by Havasu Canyon, it may be necessary
to locate separate emergency treatment facilities there.
At present, Havasupai children attend school 300 miles and more away
from home after the sixth grade. The Havasupai people wish to set
aside a school site on the upper reservation; the Pasture Wash area
will be the location of this site. This area is expected to bear the
greatest concentration of Havasupai families and lies closest to the
school system at Grand Canyon, where the Havasupai hope to send their
high school children. Eventually, it should become possible for all
Havasupai children to attend school close to home, whether this is on
the upper or lower reservation.
As the residential areas develop, the need for commercial facilities
will become apparent. These facilities should be located at Hualapai
Hilltop and either in Pasture Wash or in the vicinity of Topocoba, and
will be intended primarily to serve the Havasupai themselves.
Transportation and Communications
Most travel within the Havasupai Reservation will be on foot or
horseback along non-motor trails. The repair and maintenance of the
extensive system of existing trails is therefore essential to
Havasupai life. Access to Havasu Canyon will continue to be by foot
or horseback. The Havasupai people have frequently stated their
determination to keep Supai Village forever isolated from motor
traffic. Supplies will continue to be brought on horseback, or, by
helicopter, if they are too heavy or bulky for horse packing.
In the interest of privacy and respect for the peace and quiet of
certain special areas, the Havasupai Tribe feels no flights except
emergency flights should be permitted over the Great Thumb Mesa, Long
Mesa, and Wi Gasala. In addition, no flights except for helicopter
landings should be permitted over Havasu Canyon at an altitude below
6500 feet. The Tribe would also like to limit flights over Havasu
Canyon to certain times a day. Non-emergency helicopter landings
would be restricted to three locations on the reservation; Hualapai
Hilltop, Long Mesa, and Supai Village. For special needs, the Tribe
will permit helicopter landings on the area above Havasu Falls. The
Tribe will relax these restrictions only for emergencies and
scientific investigations and surveys as authorized by the Havasupai
Tribal Council or the Secretary.
Public Access to Adjacent National Park Lands
Public access to the Havasupai Traditional Use Area within the
adjacent Grand Canyon National Park will be available onto those
portions of it above the rim of the the Grand Canyon over routs
designated by the Tribe and the Secretary of the Interior. Public
access to lands below the rim will be limited to two routes: the
Havasu Creek Trail below Beaver Falls, and the Great Thumb Deer Trail.
The Tribal Council would prefer to maintain some scrutiny over the use
of the Great Thumb Deer Trail to protect delicate areas and to promote
visitor safety, as this area is both remote and hazardous.
On the west side of Havasu Canyon, public access to lands below the
rim within the Traditional Use Area will be from the Colorado River.
The Tribe does not feel any trails from the upper reservation in this
area into the canyon are safe or desirable for public use.
The Secretary or his authorized representatives will be permitted
access to any part of the Havasupai Reservation or the Havasupai
Traditional Use Area on adjacent National Park lands in order to
ascertain that provisions of this plan are being adequately carried
out. The Havasupai Tribal Council has stated its strong wish that
neither the Secretary nor his authorized representatives employ
motorized access to the Great Thumb Mesa.
The Havasupai see an eventual need for a maximum of three paved,
all-weather roads leading to the reservation. Two of the roads,
located outside the reservation are: the one to Havasupai Hilltop
from Highway 66 (presently under construction and programmed for
completion by the Interior Department during FY 1977); and the Willaha
Road which would tie Havasupai Hilltop Road to Highway 180 (the
highway to Tusayan and Grand Canyon Village).
The third paved road, located partially within the reservation, leads
to Topocoba Hilltop from Pasture Wash. The Tribe feels it may be
advisable to leave that part of the Topocoba Road between the east
reservation boundary and Arizona Highway 64 as graded, graveled road.
The preferable connection with Highway 64 would be at Tusayan rather
than at Grand Canyon Village. This road would connect the Pasture
Wash residential area (potentially the largest) with suppliers at
Grand Canyon and Flagstaff; it would allow ready access to Grand
Canyon Village for Havasupai children who would attend public school
there; and it is an already improved road.
These roads would be low-speed, two-lane routes located over existing
dirt roads which follow the existing terrain wherever possible and,
for the most part, would be unfenced, open-range roads, to avoid
interference with livestock and wildlife movement.
The Topocoba Road would re-open the Topocoba access route to Havasu
Canyon, a route which the Havasupai have stated they wish to restore
as the principal route. The Tribe will review the possibility of
relocating the final few miles of this road. The Tribe prefers a
paved road to follow the top of the ridge south of Topocoba Wash,
ending at a broad area above the existing Topocoba Hilltop and to the
south of it. If this relocation should prove unworkable, the Tribe
would like to end the paved surface approximately a mile to the east
of Topocoba Hilltop. No vehicular traffic would be permitted further
west than this along the existing Topocoba Road, thus preventing any
motor travel onto the Great Thumb Mesa.
In addition, five other roads need to be upgraded into improved,
graveled, all-weather roads. These are the Pasture Wash Ranger
Station Road, the long Mesa Road, the Pasture Wash-Moqui Tank Road,
the Pasture Wash-Rock Tank Road, and the road to the Topocoba
residential area. These roads, all shown on the Proposed Land Use
Plan Map, are important for local residents to obtain supplies, move
livestock, and visit one another. These would be low-speed roads
intended primarily for local, Havasupai use. The one exception might
be the Long Mesa Road, if the Tribe should locate a wilderness camping
area on Long Mesa.
A minimal amount of relocation might also be carried out on the Long
Mesa Road, if it should prove feasible, to connect Long Mesa with the
Hualapai Hilltop Road by staying within the reservation. The only
other case of possible relocation would be, if it should prove
desirable, to divert the Wi Gasala Road to follow an order, existing
route along the east boundary of the Hualapai Reservation. Such
relocation and diversion of the Long Mesa and Wi Gasala Roads would be
carried out to avoid right-of-way problems across adjacent private
It is the Havasupai Tribe's intention to offer only limited access
into the reservation and to control the number of visitors. As a
means to this end, the Tribe wishes to minimize the number of entry
points into the reservation. Vehicle traffic into that portion of the
reservation lying east of Havasu Canyon will be restricted to two
entries: the present Tusayan-Topocoba Road for the public, and a
second entry point, primarily for Havasupai use, on the road from Rock
Tank south to the Anita Road. On the west side of the reservation,
access will be by the Hualapai Hilltop Road and the Long Mesa Road.
Limited access will also be allowed on the Wi Gasala Road. In the
case that a diversion to the Hualapai boundary road is established,
the present south entrance to Wi Gasala will be closed off.
PRIMITIVE DIRT ROAD ON THE UPPER RESERVATION
The Tribe wishes to have the Wi Gasala (Tenderfoot Mesa) Road and the
Moqui Tank-Sagebrush Point Road as graded, dirt roads. The balance of
existing dirt roads will be kept primitive, with a relatively low
amount of maintenance. The Tribe wishes to limit non-Tribal use of
such primitive roads. The same limitation also applies to any foot
trails not specifically listed.
The Havasupai Tribe intends to prohibit all vehicle traffic north of
Topocoba, except for authorized emergency needs. All visitation to
Manakaja Point and the Great Thumb Mesa will be by backpacking or on
horseback only. Further motor use of this area is to be ended.
Public off-road vehicle travel on all parts of the Havasupai
Reservation is prohibited.
Telephone and Radio
The Havasupai people hope to establish some means of communicating
between the upper and lower reservation and between the scattered
settlements of the upper reservation for emergency purposes. This may
be accomplished with a few telephone lines to central locations or by
means of microwave relay stations or battery-powered, two-way,
citizen-band radios located at central sites such as Topocoba, Moqui,
Havasupai Hilltop, and Supai Village.
The Havasupai Tribe has designated two existing trails which they wish
to maintain as public areas and transportation routes. These are
Topocoba Trail and the Hualapai Trail. In addition, they wish to
maintain five other trails for their own use and for the restricted
use of the public; these are Moqui Trail, Kirby Trail, Manakaja Point
Train, Great Thumb Trail, and the Whitewall Bend Trail, all of which
are shown on the Proposed Land Use Plan Map. The Havasupai wish to
restrict all other non-designated trails to their own use.
During the slack month of December 1975 alone, 49,952 visitors entered
the Grand Canyon National Park's south entrance. The proximity of the
Havasupai Reservation to the National Park Service tourism complex at
the South Rim makes much potential business available to the
Havasupai; however, the Havasupai do not advertise to attract such
business and have no plans for such advertising in the future. All
the visitation they care to accommodate is available to them already,
and they will continue to limit the number of visitors permitted to
enter the canyon at any one time.
There will be, in the interest of visitor safety and control, a
limited number of designated access routes into Havasu Canyon as
previously mentioned. Other trails into Havasu Canyon will be used
only with Tribal permission or the accompaniment of Havasupai guides,
in the interest of safety and protection of delicate areas.
In Havasu Canyon the Tribe maintains a cafe, two small lodges, and
three Tribal campgrounds. These Tribal campgrounds, with waste
management improvements, could bear a maximum load in excess of the
limit the Tribe presently enforces; however, whatever level the Tribe
adopts will be reassessed annually to assure that no degradation to
either the environment or the visitors' experience occurs.
Visitors will be instructed that they are to remove all materials they
bring into the canyon with them; they are to introduce no trash. They
will not be permitted to disturb natural or archaeological features.
They should be able to enjoy the area without damaging it. They will
be expected to respect the privacy of Havasu Canyon as the Havasupai
Presently Havasu Canyon bears the entire load of visitation, and the
Havasupai people view this load as somewhat intense under present
conditions. All lodges, pack animals, campgrounds, and stores are
based in the canyon.
Since P.L. 93-620 provides access to and temporary use of lands within
the reservation for recreation purposes to non-members, the Tribe
feels that it would be wise to follow the lead of the National Park
Service and attempt to base certain operations on the canyon rim,
where the environment is not so heavily used, and where they can be
maintained more easily and cheaply.
HUALAPAI HILLTOP -- JUMPING OFF POINT TO SUPAI VILLAGE
Basic, rustic, overnight campground facilities located at Hualapai
Hilltop would improve conditions as well as provide a storage place
for cars and other personal belongings for those going to Havasu
Canyon. Location on the rim would make short day trips to Havasu
Canyon possible for those who wish to spend only a day in the area.
Location of overnight facilities to serve the Topocoba access is still
somewhat more complicated, since the Topocoba Trail to Supai Village
is too long to make day use feasible. A camp consisting of simple
shelters and possibly a camp kitchen should be located somewhere along
the trail; and three possible locations are: (1) to the east of
Topocoba; (2) part way down Topocoba Trail; or (3) near Havasu Springs.
The Tribe may organize horseback packing trips and permit backpacking
along designated trails outside Havasu Canyon. It is the Tribe's wish
that camping outside the canyon be limited to three wilderness-type,
primitive campsites. One would be located on Long Mesa overlooking
Supai Village; one a half mile back from the rim near Manakaja Point;
and one a quarter to a half mile back from the rim near the base of
Gatagama Point on the Great Thumb Mesa (see Land Use Plan Map). These
camps are all located within easy walking distance of the rim along
existing trails and offer a variety of views which, the Tribe feels,
should amply satisfy the most avid outdoorsmen's wishes to view the
spectacular scenery of Havasu Canyon and of the wilderness of the
Grand Canyon at one of its most remote points. Camping outside these
areas will be strongly discouraged for several reasons, including fire
control, public safety, and environmental protection. Camping at the
Great Thumb site will be available only seasonally, as this particular
site will be closed during the winter from October through March.
Backpackers will be welcome to hike and visit other areas within reach
of these campsites along the designated trails, but will be expected
to base themselves at the designated sites. Tribal Rangers will be
strategically stationed on the upper reservation to assure proper
enforcement of the protection of this natural area.
Disposing of sewage in Havasu Campground, which has borne a heavy
volume of visitor use for many years, promises to be a difficult
problem. One solution the Havasupai Tribe is experimenting with is
the use of chemical enzymes in the privies there to reduce both the
volume and odor of the wastes. Eventually the problem of disposal
still arises, though in a minimized form. The Havasupai Tribe will
also investigate the installation of a small treatment station for
Havasu Campground, a solution which one study* indicates could be very
costly and which would have to be examined very carefully to avoid all
odor and minimize maintenance problems. Some form of chemical toilets
may also prove a workable alternative. In no case will raw sewage be
allowed to escape into Havasu Creek.
Outside Havasu Canyon, privies seem to be a reasonable choice for
disposing of human waste at individual homes. Other choices could be
composting toilets, incinerating toilets, biological toilets, and
oil-flushed toilets. None of these alternatives require the use of
water; the composting toilet, like the privy, requires neither water
or power for its operation. For settlements which grow large and
compact enough, the Havasupai will investigate the installation of
waterless disposal systems or the installation of septic tanks and
leach fields, if water should be available. The use of a leach field
*Pope, Evans, and Robbins, Consulting Engineers, "Study of Water
Supply and Sanitary Waste Disposal at Havasu Canyon Campground,"
National Park Service, June, 1973.
fractured or permeable soils will be accompanied by the laying of a
suitable absorption bed where this is indicated to prevent rapid
escape of waste water and possible pollution of ground water sources.
The satisfactory disposal of solid, inorganic waste has caused the
Havasupai increasing headaches in recent years on the lands of the
lower reservation. The problem arises from the ease of transporting
containers into Havasu Canyon and the annoyance of bearing the same
empty containers out. A large volume of cans, boxes, and scrap paper
build up in Havasu Campground and elsewhere in Havasu Canyon as a
result of some visitors' individual carelessness. The Havasupai are
inclined to believe that no amount of public education can improve
this situation significantly and they must be prepared to gather and
transport such trash from Havasu Canyon themselves. National Park
Service experience does indicate, however, that a good clean-up
program will significantly discourage the deposit of new trash.
The Tribe proposes to separate solid waste into combustibles and
non-combustibles. Combustibles can be reduced in volume by means of a
proper incineration device, which can serve all of Havasu Canyon.
Remaining solid waste can then be separated into recyclable and
non-recyclable materials, both of which can be compacted with a gas-
or electric-powered trash compactor. These blocks or solid waste can
then be stored in a suitable facility until such time as the weight
and volume justifies the use of helicopter lift to transport the
material to the nearest road vehicle pickup point on the upper
reservation. If it should prove unfeasible at times to have trash
flown out, it may become necessary to have individuals pack trash out
by horse. All such transport will prove expensive, and the Havasupai
Tribe will continue to appeal to their visitors to take out the
materials they carry in and leave nothing behind. This would solve
much of the problem without expenses or complication.
Solid wastes which have been taken to the upper reservation can then
be taken to a sanitary land fill. Insofar as possible, recyclable
materials will be reclaimed. There are several suitable sites for
land fills on the reservation, but one land fill on each side of
Havasu Canyon should prove sufficient. These land fills will be
properly maintained for sanitation. Disposal of solid waste generated
outside Havasu Canyon should be a relatively minor problem to be
handled by the use of the same sanitary land fills.
The Havasupai people have traditionally used several food animals;
these include the mule deer, pronghorn antelope, jackrabbit,
cottontail rabbit, and porcupine. All of these shall be considered
permissible species for the use of the Havasupai; because they feel
the existing game herds cannot bear further public hunting, the
Havasupai Tribe will restrict public hunting on the reservation.
The Tribal Council will conduct a survey of wildlife on the
reservation and will develop a wildlife management plan based on this
survey to guide in maintaining and improving existing levels and to
prevent any diminution in numbers through overhunting or
indiscriminate hunting. The Tribal Council will then authorize annual
resurveys by the U.S. Bureau of Sports Fisheries and Wildlife
Management, by the Arizona State Game & Fish Department, or by trained
rangers from their own Tribe. If a game survey should show the
presence of more game than the Havasupai themselves can use and more
than the range can bear without degradation, then the Tribal Council
will first consider the sale of live game species for restocking
elsewhere. Should the Tribal Council choose to permit public hunting
in such a case, it will develop a plan and set of regulations to
govern such public hunting and submit said plan to the Secretary for
There will be no hunting of desert bighorn sheep on the reservation;
the Havasupai Tribal Council intends for these lands to be a sanctuary
for them. If it is determined that the presence of the exotic burro
is harmful to the bighorns, the Havasupai Tribe will cooperate with
the National Park Service in efforts to control them. The numbers of
certain other exotic wildlife on the area should also be controlled,
such as wild dogs and cats and wild burros.
The Havasupai will pursue the control of predators with extreme care.
The presence of predators must be weighted against the presence of the
human hunter as well. If game herds and livestock maintain stable
levels in the presence of existing hunters and predators, then
predator control will be deemed unnecessary. If a reduction of game
herds is noted with moderate hunting levels, then the number of
predators must be investigated together with existing hunting patterns
to determine what casual relationship exists. In case of an
individual predator should become dangerous to livestock, the
Havasupai can have this predator trapped or hunted, if necessary.
This taking of predators is not to be taken lightly or abused, they
will be taken only by methods approved by the Interior Department.
Eagles and hawks shall not be considered predators for the purposes of
Fish cannot be successfully stocked in some areas of Havasu Creek, the
only perennial stream in the reservation, as the water is too warm and
mineral-laden to support most varieties of fish. Additionally,
seasonal flooding carries stocked fish over the water-falls of the
creek and on into the Colorado River. The continued presence of
helgrammites in this stream does witness to its freedom from other
impurities. Any non-Havasupai fishing on the reservation would be
limited to the area north of Mooney Falls.
The Havasupai Tribe intends to investigate the possibilities of
re-establishing vanished native animals on the area, if such
restocking may be done without detrimental effect to existing species.
They feel that the greatest possible diversity of natural wildlife is
very important to the health of the reservation. The Havasupai Tribe
has stated that, whatever decision future Tribal Councils may adopt
regarding public hunting on the reservation, the entire Great Thumb
Mesa north of Topocoba is always to be reserved from public hunting.
The plan for the use of the 185,000 acre addition to the Havasupai
Reservation, developed by the Secretary of the Interior in
consultation with the Havasupai Tribal Council, pursuant to Section
10(b)(4) of Public Law 93-620, is hereby respectfully submitted to the
Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States
Congress on this date, __________________ 1976.
Area Director, Phoenix Area Office Date
Commissioner of Indian Affairs Date
Secretary of Interior Date
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