Historic Resource Study
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The desire to preserve the dense growth of saguaro cactus at the base of the Tanque Verde Mountains first surfaced in 1920, but went unfulfilled. Several interest groups reemerged by the late 1920s with differing ideas on the best approach to protect the cactus. As a result, an almost last-second flurry of activity by one individual resulted in the proclamation of a national monument in the last days of President Herbert Hoover's term. It was placed for a short time under the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service. The result of this action produced a much larger boundary area than some interest groups thought necessary as a large part of the monument, with no cacti, was carved from National Forest land in the Rincon Mountains. To make matters worse the section containing saguaro was either privately owned or under the control of the University of Arizona. As a result it required years before the land status was solved. This uncertainty caused difficulties for the National Park Service in following its conservation mission, for without complete control this agency could not develop the area and had to permit activities which were at variance with its policies.

The monument expanded in 1961 with the acquisition of the Tucson Mountain Unit. This segment had formed part of the Tucson Mountain Park which had been set aside in 1929 as a county recreation area. It had been developed by Pima County before the Park Service gained control of it. Pressure to permit copper mining in that section of the mountain park resulted in its transfer to the Park Service.

A. Saguaro Becomes a National Monument

The extremely thick stand of saguaro cactus about sixteen miles east of Tucson had undoubtedly been awe inspiring for many years before 1920. No effort, however, was made to preserve these giant cactus until that year when the Natural History Society of the University of Arizona decided to act. That group tried to obtain some of the land, but failed to accomplish its goal because of financial difficulties. Interest waned until 1928 when Homer Shantz, the president of the University of Arizona, became involved. As a botanist he was concerned about preserving that interesting part of the desert. In 1929 he tried to interest the National Park Service in his project, but, when a response was not forthcoming, Shantz decided to acquire that unique, natural area in order to maintain the desert conditions where experiments could be conducted free from man's interference. He contacted John Harrison, a Tucson resident, and commissioned him to purchase the rights on all tracts of land containing saguaro except those on which homestead requirements were being met. Harrison proceeded to purchase 480 acres of ground in sections 10 and 15 of Township 14S, Range 16 East for the University. Elsewhere he used University money to buy the rights for the state. [1] This expense would then be added to other property held by that governmental entity.

After Harrison's initial success, Shantz wrote to him to express his appreciation and impart his dream for the area. He hoped to secure a nine square mile tract of the "Tanque Verde Cactus Forest" next to Coronado National Forest. Upon achieving that goal, Shantz believed that he could obtain a portion of the national forest and, thereby, have an area ranging from the desert floor to the top of one of the mountains. He actually had a joint project in mind. Not only would there be "a great natural area for maintaining the botanical and zoological forms of the Southwest under natural conditions," but he planned to establish an astronomical observatory in an area where it could be protected from any hindrance of artificial light. [2]

In the process of land acquisition one setback occurred, but it did not restrain the quest. Harrison learned that James Converse, a nearby rancher, had leased much of the land for grazing livestock. The only hope to remove man's mark on the terrain was for Shantz to convince Converse to assign his lease to the University. Converse, however, demurred. Despite this situation Harrison continued to pursue the purchase of additional land. His effort was aided on August 2, 1932, when President Hoover by executive order withdrew four and one-half sections of land in the heart of the saguaro area from homesteading and assigned it to the state for the benefit of the University. [3]

In the meantime in early 1932 Frank Hitchcock, the publisher of the Arizona Citizen talked to President Hoover and Secretary of the Interior Ray Lyman Wilbur about preserving an area of saguaro and associated plant life as a national monument. As a result, Park Service Director Horace Albright sent Yellowstone Superintendent Roger Toll to Arizona in February 1932 to look at several potential saguaro sites. (Albright often had Toll spend the winter months investigating proposed Park Service areas.) Toll reported in March that his first choice for a national monument would be the saguaro located sixteen miles east of Tucson at the foot of Tanque Verde Ridge. Since that area was controlled both by the University of Arizona and private citizens, it would be necessary to buy the required acreage. Toll estimated that it would take about $45,000 to purchase relinquishments from the settlers and another $28,000 to pay the remaining sum the University owed on its land. He, therefore, told Albright that, if the Park Service could not secure the funds to purchase the area, it should be dropped from consideration as a monument. The Park Service, he felt, should not become involved in a monument where a complicated land ownership situation would cause problems. [4]

Toll also looked at the area which Pima County had designated as Tucson Mountain Park. County officials told him that they would welcome consideration of the area by the National Park Service. Toll thought that it would be possible to create a national monument there, but "it seems to be about second in merit." Although the saguaro were dense on that land, they were young and, therefore, not as impressive as the heavily branched ones east of Tucson. [5]

One year later, in February 1933, Toll returned to Arizona where he was approached by Hitchcock who expressed a concern about the slowness in having a monument created. Toll conveyed the message to Albright who telegrammed him that the Interior Department would not recommend a national monument at that time because of the land situation. This answer did not preclude there ever being a monument, for Albright asked Toll to study definite boundaries so that a beginning could be made in getting the land owners to consent to a land exchange. Albright thought that it was necessary to have government control of the area as a prerequisite to the creation of a monument. To do otherwise could mean administrative problems. Hitchcock did not agree with Albright. He believed that a monument should be proclaimed and the land ownership problem worked out later. Furthermore, he opposed the Park Service's idea of what generally should be included in the monument and wanted to have part of Coronado National Forest as well as adjacent private land included. [6]

Believing that the Interior Department had dismissed his concerns, Hitchcock took another tact. Several days after receiving Albright's answer from Toll, he met with University President Shantz and Coronado National Forest Supervisor Fred Winn. Hitchcock was able to convince a reluctant Winn of the need for a monument. At first Winn did not think it necessary to release the amount of national forest land that Hitchcock wanted for the monument, but he relented when Hitchcock explained his plan to have the Forest Service administer it. At that point the three men drafted the provisions of a monument proclamation. To placate Winn and avoid problems with ranchers, a clause was added to the draft which permitted grazing on the monument. [7]

Since his influence resided in the Republican party, Hitchcock had only a short time to act before Hoover left office on March 4. As a result, he hurried to Washington, D.C. where he presented his draft proclamation to the Secretary of Agriculture who accepted the proposal. President Hoover concurred and by Executive Proclamation No. 2031 made Saguaro a national monument on March 1, 1933. The clause which allowed grazing on the monument was stricken from the official version. [8]

B. The Saguaro Boundary Dispute

The best laid plans often go awry. After thirteen weeks under Forest Service administration, President Franklin D. Roosevelt transferred the jurisdiction over Saguaro and fifteen other monuments to the National Park Service by Executive Order 6166 issued on June 10, 1933. The date of reassignment was to take place on August 10. At the same time the Park Service became the Office of National Parks, Buildings, and Reservations, but the name was soon changed back to National Park Service. The reaction to the transfer of sixteen monuments caused a stir in the Park Service. Agency officials decided they did not want to accept six of the monuments including Saguaro. The decision, however, lay with the Secretary of the Interior. During the winter of 1933-34, while awaiting his judgment, the area ranchers led by James Converse tried to sway the decision in favor of leaving Saguaro under the Forest Service control. Converse, Melvill Haskell, and J. Rukin Jelks barraged their congressmen with letters and telegrams pointing out their fear that under Park Service control they would lose their grazing right on the monument; thus their ranches would be valueless. In addition they frequently visited Forest Supervisor Winn to urge him to action. In their desperation they pursuaded the state land commissioner to write to Senator Carl Hayden. These ranchers' congressmen, in turn, notified the Park Service Director of their constituents concerns. Director Cammerer, reinforced by Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, provided the opinion that land transferred from one agency to another would not mean that grazing would be automatically eliminated. In fact all valid rights would be respected. [9]

Others provided a different view of how Saguaro National Monument should be treated if it were administered by the Park Service. Harry Langley, a landscape architect from the Park Service's San Francisco office, visited the monument and advised that the eastern sixty-three square miles remain with the Forest Service because this area, which contained no saguaro, did not meet Park Service standards for scenery and "in fact is very ordinary." University President Shantz changed his position of several years earlier and declared that a large portion of the monument in no way contributed to its value. M.R. Tillotson, director of the Park Service's region three, echoed that sentiment as did Frank Pinkley of the Southwestern Monuments. [10]

Despite efforts to prevent it, the land entanglement situation, which Horace Albright had eschewed, came to pass. In a letter dated March 24, 1934 Frank Pinkley was notified that the Secretary of the interior had taken the position that Executive Order 6166 did transfer jurisdiction of Saguaro and the other five unwanted monuments to Interior where, as of that date, they would be officially placed under the Southwestern Monuments' management. This situation meant that the Park Service had acquired an area on which the main attraction, the saguaro, grew on land it did not own. The portion it did control consisted mainly of the mountainous former national forest (figure 12). [11]

Figure 12. Monument inholders, 1934—Rincon Mtn. Unit. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)

Determined that Saguaro National Monument would be administered by the Park Service, Director Cammerer decided that the most important project attending the monument was the purchase of the land held by inholders. Since the Park Service did not own any land in the more accessible areas of the monument, it was imperative to purchase or lease an area for a headquarters site. Cammerer did not propose to build a visitor center or utility area until the land was consolidated under federal ownership. Even then that development should be held to a minimum, he felt. Instead, Cammerer proposed to use the area as a research reserve in a manner similar to that envisioned by University President Shantz several years previously. [12]

Consolidating the monument under Park Service control proved elusive. Lack of money and opposition to the size of the monument prevented the Park Service from assuming complete control. Local ranchers continued to press Forest Supervisor Winn to work for a return of the former forest section to the Forest Service. Frank Pinkley, too, thought it would be better to return the mountain portion of Saguaro to the Forest Service as a means of ending the ranchers' uproar over grazing. Director Cammerer, however, saw no reason to reduce the boundary. The ranchers should have no complaints, he thought, since "we have promised that we would not disturb the holders of existing grazing rights." [13]

The next move by the National Park Service was to ask the University to donate its land to the federal government. Since the depression had severely affected the University's finances, the Board of Regents refused to give the land to the federal government. Instead it pressured President Shantz to sell the land to the Park Service as a means of getting back the investment. Shantz, therefore, asked that the University receive $56,000 as reimbursement. Pinkley told him that no funds were available to buy the land. When asked again to give the land to the Park Service, Shantz absolutely refused. At this point in mid-May 1935 pessimism enveloped the Park Service as to whether it would ever control the cactus area. If it could not gain control, then there would be no value in keeping the monument. [14]

With this impasse Shantz wrote to Acting Director A.E. Demaray to ask if the Park Service had any proposal for the administration of Saguaro. The University was ready to cooperate or work independently. Cammerer replied that the Park Service wanted to have unified management and development under its control, but if the University wanted to keep its land then it would be better if legislation were enacted to transfer the federal portion of Saguaro to the University. Richard Sias, the Regional Inspector for the Park Service's Emergency Conservation Work took a more tactful approach by informing the University that it did not matter at the time whether it or the Park Service controlled the area. The greatest concern was development on the private land which would make it more difficult to acquire. The Park Service, however, decided not to buy Safford L. Freeman's land when he offered to sell it for $25 per acre on August 13, 1935. [15]

As its treasury continued to dwindle, University officials and the Board of Regents decided to pursue the sale of cactus land to the federal government by taking a two-pronged approach. In a February 1936 meeting the Board of Regents voted to support James Converse's request that the former forest service land within the monument be returned to that agency as a means of assuring the ranchers of their grazing rights. At the same time it authorized John Harrison, a local resident, to act as an agent for the University in obtaining options from the private owners thus making it possible to offer all the non-federal land within the boundary to the Park Service in one package. If successful in getting the former national forest land withdrawn, then the Park Service would have to buy the private, University, and state land or it would have no monument. In this way the University would be paid the money it had invested in the monument. [16]

Harrison busily worked to bring the plan to fruition. By July 1936, after he had obtained options from all the private land owners, he met with Frank Pinkley to present the University's proposal. A surprised Pinkley told him that he favored such a scheme whereby all unnecessary land would be returned to the Forest Service with the Park Service getting title to the cactus area. Pinkley added, however, that he did not think any money was available to purchase the land. Harrison then contacted Representative Isabella Greenway and Senator Carl Hayden to recount the plan, stating that it had the support of Frank Pinkley. A. A. Nichol the University Range Ecologist also wrote to Greenway to assure her that the mountainous area of Saguaro was too ordinary to be park caliber and, therefore, should be detached from the monument. [17]

In August 1936 Harrison attached a monetary figure to his proposal. He told Frank Pinkley that the national government could obtain all of the land within the monument that it did not own for the sum of $171,680 plus lieu selection rights to the state of Arizona. Pinkley thought the offer to be excessive in that the state would get both lieu sections and $18.50 per acre for the land it owned within the monument boundary. Had he known that Harrison had an agreement with the University to receive a ten percent commission, Pinkley probably would have advocated no further contact with him. After getting Pinkley's reaction, Harrison contacted Senator Hayden. J. E. Gavin, Hayden's secretary, replied that, in communicating with A.E. Demaray, he was told that the Park Service had no funds with which to buy the land in Saguaro and would not likely have such money in the near future. Harrison's next approach was through Arizona Governor B.B. Moeur. He got Moeur to contact Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes and request that the federal government establish an emergency fund which would be used to purchase the state and private land within the monument boundary as soon as possible in order to protect the cactus and obtain the land before a price increase. Ickes replied that the Interior Department did not have $171,680 available. [18]

Having failed, Harrison tried another approach. He wrote to Senator Hayden and asked that he introduce a bill by which the former national forest land would be eliminated from the monument. The bill would include a provision to provide the money to buy the state, University, and private land. Hayden's office contacted the Park Service and indicated that, if that agency were interested in Harrison's proposal, it should draft a bill for the Senator to introduce in the next congressional session. Acting Director Demaray replied that the Park Service would be happy to produce a bill by which it would acquire the alienated land in Saguaro. Hayden countered by asking that the draft bill include the return of former Forest Service land to that agency. Director Cammerer then indicated to Hayden that, before such a bill could be written, a study was needed to ascertain what, if any, boundary changes should be made and to determine the price of the land for inclusion in an appropriation bill. [19]

The push to introduce the bill on Saguaro National Monument finally caused the Park Service to investigate the area to assess its significance. Demaray asked the region three director to send W.B. McDougall to evaluate the monument. Since Frank Hitchcock, as author of the proclamation, had claimed that the entire area contained a wide range of desert flora worthy of preservation, Demaray wanted to know if that were true. As a result Wildlife Technician McDougall visited the monument in December 1936 to study the vegetation. He concluded that although the higher elevations had been considered too common by some to be included in the monument, this characterization was not true. McDougall considered the area between 4,500 and 7,500 feet elevation to be an interesting section of semi-desert and Mexican flora. The Arizona yellow pine were especially fascinating. As a result in his report, he recommended that the monument boundary be left intact because "any decrease in the size of the area would detract from its value as a sanctuary for both plants and animals." [20]

The day before McDougall released his report, on January 6, 1937, Frank Pinkley wrote that he believed the back country part of Saguaro would ultimately be returned to the Forest Service. This prospect pleased him, for he felt the cactus area was all that was needed for the monument. A week later after reading McDougall's report he wrote to the director for information on whether the boundary would be reduced or maintained. Although he professed that it did not matter to him if the boundary were reduced or not, Pinkley must have been disturbed with the thought that the director might accept McDougall's recommendation. He pointed out that, if the current boundary were retained, a large amount of development work would be needed in the forest section. Although the director's reply, if there were one, is no longer extant, he probably told Pinkley that the Park Service would oppose a reduction in the monument's size since that became the Park Service policy. [21]

In the meantime John Harrison evidently became desperate. His contract to act as agent for the University ended on May 30, 1937 and with it the ten percent commission if he sold the state and University land to the federal government, it must have been especially disturbing to him when the Arizona State Attorney General told him that he could not act as agent for the state land because state patented land could only be sold at public auction. Harrison informed Pinkley of the situation and told him that under the circumstances there could be no lieu selection trade for the state. Instead, he proposed to arrange to sell the whole land package for $194,880. This proposition seemed strange to Pinkley, for, if the state land could only be sold at public auction, Harrison could not convey it to the federal government. Pinkley had his assistant Hugh M. Miller check into the situation. Miller found that Harrison had no authority to sell state land and, indeed, could not do so, for, as Harrison had confessed earlier, that real estate could only be sold at public auction. The only possible way Harrison could sell the state property was to first purchase it at auction and then, in turn, sell it to the federal government. No auction was contemplated. Miller also found that when Harrison obtained the options from the private inholders he did not secure them with the intent to buy them for the federal government, as his contract with the University specified. He obtained the options for himself. Consequently, Miller advised that the Park Service no longer deal with Harrison. [22]

Because Harrison's contract was to end before any congressional legislation could be enacted to permit the purchase of alienated land within the monument, he tried another tack. He contacted Senator Hayden with the offer to sell the private, state, and University land for $194,880 and it would appear suggested that the Senator should contact the president and have him authorize the use of already appropriated funds to purchase the land within the monument. Hayden contacted the president, told him of Harrison's offer, and suggested that he direct the Park Service to investigate acquiring the tracts in Saguaro. In that manner the president could be apprised of the desirability of buying that property and then could use appropriated funds to do so. [23]

Roosevelt referred Hayden's request to the Secretary of the Interior. Secretary Ickes replied that the federal government should begin to buy nonfederal land within the monument. He, however, recommended against negotiating with John Harrison. Instead, the government should strive for an agreement whereby the state would exchange its land for lieu land on the public domain. Owners of the private property should be dealt with on an individual basis and, Ickes felt, that land could be purchased for a total of $85,000. He asked permission to submit that figure to the Bureau of the Budget for approval as a supplementary item. [24]

Nine days after receiving Ickes' memorandum, President Roosevelt notified Senator Hayden that the general policy of acquiring private land in a park or monument had been through donation or purchase with donated money. Since he considered this a good policy, Roosevelt did not intend to provide money to obtain such land within Saguaro. Hayden informed University Regent Halbert Miller of the president's decision and ascribed it to a desire for economy in government. He soon thereafter notified Harrison that he intended to introduce a bill in the Senate which would authorize acquisition of state, University, and private land while returning most of the former Forest Service land to that agency. It was too late, however, to help Harrison to the degree he desired. His contract ended with the University. At that point Harrison retained David B. Morgan of the John H. Page law firm in Phoenix to handle the sale of state land but he kept the options on the private land which he held in his name. [25]

Hayden introduced S2648 in mid-June 1937. Forest Supervisor Fred Winn closely advised Hayden in drafting the bill. It called for the authorization of $95,000 to purchase the University and private inholdings of which the University would receive $36,000. In addition the bill authorized a reduction in the monument from 63,360 acres to 13,120 acres. Whereas Frank Pinkley supported the measure, Park Service Director Cammerer opposed it. The latter position was also taken by the Interior Department. Assistant Secretary Oscar Chapman notified Hayden that the monument "was created to preserve outstanding examples of the Southwestern desert because of the great scientific, educational, and recreational value of the reservation." Since the saguaro were only one of the features which needed to be saved, there should be no change in the boundary. The bill ultimately failed, but not from opposition to a decrease in the size of the monument. The Bureau of the Budget disapproved of the land acquisition portion as too costly. [26]

At this point the University of Arizona seemingly lost interest in the monument. President Shantz was removed from office because of his inability to get the federal government to purchase the land. John Harrison's contract was not renewed when it expired at the end of May 1937. Just to be rid of the land, University officials asked only $36,000 in the Hayden bill. This figure represented a loss of about $20,000. [27]

As for John Harrison, he, too, decided to seek his fortune elsewhere. In March 1938 he informed Hugh Miller that he had cancelled his options on the private property and David Morgan of the Page firm had become the private owners' representative. Miller told Pinkley that the replacement of Harrison by Morgan did not mean any change, for "the deal is still rigged, and I should continue to oppose it." He, however, said he reluctantly had come to the conclusion that the asking price of $25 per acre for the private land was fair. [28]

Cheered on by the ranchers, Senator Hayden decided to introduce a new bill to purchase the inholdings and reduce the size of the monument. When he asked Pinkley for an appraisal price of the private land, Hugh Miller gave him the figure of $25 per acre. The University resolved not to take a loss and told Hayden it wanted $63,000. Hayden notified Miller that the combined total for the private and University land would be $119,300. That amount troubled Hayden. He preferred a lower figure, for he felt that the Bureau of the Budget would not approve a request over $100,000. In the compromise, the Park Service proposed to eliminate Section 5, T15S R16E (the Freeman section) and thereby save $16,000, while the University agreed to reduce its request to $55,000. That combined sum totaled $94,100. One addition was made in late 1938. Since the nearest water supply for proposed monument development was on the Baker property outside the area in the NW1/4 of Section 31, a provision was made in the bill to reimburse the Tucson Chamber of Commerce which intended to purchase the property for the Park Service. [29]

Senator Hayden introduced S7 on January 4, 1939. This bill proposed to revise the monument boundaries by authorizing a reduction in size to 10,960 acres as well as paying $25 per acre for private land and awarding $55,000 to the University. Delayed until the next congressional session, the bill passed the Senate on September 30, 1940, despite Park Service and Interior Department opposition. The bill, however, died in the House of Representatives when Congress adjourned. [30]

On January 16, 1941 Hayden introduced the same bill as S394. On this occasion numerous people such as University of Arizona President Alfred Atkinson, the President of the Tucson Chamber of Commerce C. Edgar Goyette, Forest Supervisor Fred Winn, and James Converse wrote to him to wish a speedy passage. In fact Converse wrote six times in three months. Secretary of the Interior Ickes gave an eloquent reply in opposition to the measure. He said the Department would recommend adversely because

when the national monument was established in 1933, it was meant to preserve not only the saguaro cactus but those portions of the Rincon-Tanque Verde Mountains watersheds which are largely responsible for the favorable moisture conditions that have produced the extraordinary stands of saguaro found in the area. It was known at that time that the entire area is a biotic community of pronounced scientific interest, of which the saguaros are only one feature, although they are the most spectacular and popular single interest.

Despite this statement, the bill again passed the Senate but died in the House Committee on Public Lands. [31]

Hayden again introduced the bill as S379 on January 14, 1943. Once more with Park Service and Interior Department opposition the legislation took the same course. Hayden made one more attempt to get the boundary reduction enacted. He presented it on January 6, 1945 as S68, but with the same result. [32]

Despair crept into the Park Service in 1945. In addition to another assault on the boundary, the apparent rapid spread of disease through the saguaro caused Region Three Director Tillotson to recommend abolishing the monument. It did not make sense to him to keep an area "where the cactus is admittedly doomed and where private land and other problems make the situation seemingly hopeless." Instead, he thought it preferable to concentrate on Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument which contained quite a number of saguaro. A.E. Demaray answered that Tillotson should not give up despite the difficult problems. He thought that the boundary issue should not be brought up for five or ten years. If, at the end of that period, the monument remained for no other purpose than private exploitation, Demaray would recommend abolishing the monument. [33]

Although pessimism about the future of Saguaro carried into 1948, one group of natural scientists in the Park Service felt an urgency to save the area. To them, the despair over the loss of saguaro to a supposed disease was a lesser concern, for they viewed the infection as a natural occurrence in older plants. Their concern lay with the lack of reproduction of young saguaro. They ascribed this situation to the results of grazing. As a result, if the monument were to continue with saguaro, then livestock had to be removed from at least that area. The only way to accomplish this end was to have the Park Service control the monument through ownership. They managed to impress Director Drury with the seriousness of the situation. As a result Drury wrote to University of Arizona President J. Byron McCormick to ask that institution to convey its land to the Park Service and to help in getting the state to do the same. He saw no other course than to make such a request, for, if the Park Service could not get control of the land within two years to begin protective measures, the monument may as well be abolished. He probably could have anticipated the reply. McCormick wrote that he could not very well ask the Board of Regents to "gratuitously" give the land to the Park Service because the University had a substantial investment there. [34]

The inquiry by Drury reopened the land acquisition and boundary question. University President McCormick wrote to Senator Hayden regarding an appropriation to buy the University land. Hayden did not indicate that he would present another bill. Instead, he observed that he had tried to get an appropriation to buy the University land on a number of occasions without success. He blamed the failure on the Bureau of the Budget and the Interior Department's opposition to returning the mountain area to the Forest Service. Despite that reply, McCormick wrote to Hayden a month later to recount his meeting with State Land Commissioner O.C. Williams. At that meeting the two of them had concluded that a number of private tracts could be eliminated from the monument. Then an effort should be made to get federal funds to purchase the University land. Failing that, the University might be persuaded to exchange its land. According to Williams the state was willing to exchange its holdings for other federal land. When Associate Director Demaray heard of the offer, he wrote to Senator Hayden to say the Park Service would tentatively agree to delete the private land in the north half of sections 8, 9 and 10 in T14S R16E and section 5 in T15S R16E. He reminded Hayden that the University had an investment of approximately $50,000. Perhaps this notation was a hint to Hayden to request an appropriation for that sum. The Senator did not do so. [35]

These offers to make a land settlement led to initial negotiations among the State of Arizona, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service in late 1948 to get a land exchange agreement. At the same time a group of Tucson citizens formed a Saguaro Land Committee to assess the monument's future. It recommended that both the University and state exchange their monument land for other federal property. [36]

Land exchange negotiations did not go unnoticed by the local ranchers. Gordon Packard, who leased the Rincon Allotment, worried that his grazing rights would be affected by the Park Service gaining control of the non-federal land in the monument. He wrote to Senator Hayden on several occasions to express his concern. He wanted assurance that grazing rights would never be ended. Hayden relayed Packard's request to the Park Service. Acting Director Demaray replied that the ranchers should not be disturbed because the plan was to stop grazing only in the best saguaro area. There was no intention to terminate grazing in the rest of the monument in the foreseeable future. That statement did not satisfy Packard. He indicated to Senator Hayden that if the ranchers did not receive perpetual grazing rights then the monument should be reduced to the saguaro area with the rest restored to the Forest Service. [37]

The Tucson Chamber of Commerce Saguaro National Monument Committee came to the support of the ranchers. This situation brought John Davis, assistant director of the Park Service's Region Three, to meet with the Chamber of Commerce's Saguaro Committee to confer on the monument's future. The C of C demanded that grazing rights be maintained. As a result, Davis told them that those rights on the major portion of the monument were in perpetuity. When the chairman of the Saguaro Committee wrote to Davis two months later asking that his oral assurance of perpetual grazing rights be confirmed in writing by authorized persons, he received no reply. [38]

James Converse and Gordon Packard in their contact with the Tucson Chamber of Commerce learned, of course, that no written assurance of perpetual grazing rights had been received from the National Park Service. Packard asked Senator Hayden to work for a reduction in the monument boundary to just the cactus area. Converse took a different tack. He announced to Hayden that his grazing lease agreement, held with the University and state for those entities' land in the monument, stated that the lease could not end without satisfaction to the leaseholder. Since the Park Service intended to terminate grazing on that land because it comprised the prime saguaro area, his satisfaction would be met by reducing the monument and returning the major portion of it to the Forest Service. Converse and Packard's effort came to naught. [39]

While the state continued land exchange negotiations through 1949, the University requested $50,000 as the selling price of its 480 acres in Saguaro. That figure represented not just the value of the property, but also the money the University had expended in the early 1930s to purchase relinquishments on land which came under state ownership. In checking, Demaray found that the United States could pay no more than the market value of the real estate to be bought. It could not reimburse the University for funds used to buy land for the state. A land exchange, however, could be made for the full amount. Since the market value of the University's 480 acres was half the price it sought, it was more beneficial for that institution to exchange its property for $50,000 in land selected elsewhere in the state from the public domain. This the University opted to do. [40]

By the end of 1950 the land exchange program had proceeded haphazardly. The University officials had made their selection, but they intended to wait until the state had made its choice before making formal application. The state, however, had to postpone its selection because recent legislation to reappraise state-owned grazing land appeared to mean a delay of as much as a year. The deferment, however, proved shorter than expected, and the state and University made informal application by June 1, 1951. It was thought that the exchange would occur by the end of that year. It did not happen, for by July 1951 the Bureau of Land Management discovered that ten people had filed desert land applications on the land which the state had chosen. Since there were 700 other applications to be examined including inspection of their land before the Bureau could deal with the state application, it was thought there would be a considerable delay before the exchange could occur. [41]

In the meantime the Park Service received permission to buy three tracts of private land. Title to this property was acquired by late December 1951. This real estate included section 29 in T14S R16E owned by Marjorie Ellison, the SE1/4 of section 15 in T14S R16E owned by L. Nelson Garwood, and section 5 in T15S R16E possessed by Safford Freeman. In May 1952 the monument acquired twenty acres of land in the NW1/4 of section 31 T14S R16E from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce. This tract, outside the boundary, had been purchased by the Chamber in 1938 because the well there was one of the closest sources of water for the monument. [42]

Although the Arizona Star reported that the state and University had completed most of the land exchanges in the latter part of September 1955, the story was not wholly true. An obstacle occurred in the state trade when the United States Air Force negotiated for a withdrawal on the real estate near Yuma. By early 1956 the exchange was finally completed except for half the University land. Those 240 acres were traded in 1959. [43]

The purchase of the remaining private land within the boundary, except for 775 acres which were recommended for deletion, was accomplished in 1972. By Public Law 94-578 of October 21, 1976 all of section 8 in T14S R16E and 135 acres west of Old Spanish Trail in section 5 in T15S R16E were removed from the monument. Thus the long struggle over monument land ended. [44]

C. The Tucson Mountain Unit

In the 1920s the Tucson Game Protective Association headed by C.B. Brown became fearful that the encroachment of homesteads in the Tucson Mountains would leave no place of beauty there for the area residents to enjoy. The Association, backed by many prominent people, started a movement to have the area withdrawn from homesteading and set aside as a park and game refuge. They were successful when on April 29, 1929 the Department of the Interior issued Recreational Withdrawal Order 21 on 28,988 acres, thus preventing mineral and homestead entry. Pima County obtained a lease on 15,787.90 acres of that land on December 15, 1930. A supplemental lease provided the remainder on May 4, 1931. A formal opening was held for the Tucson Mountain Recreation Area on April 10, 1932. At about that time Roger Toll of the National Park Service viewed the park as he searched for cactus areas which would make suitable national monuments. Toll thought the county would welcome Park Service administration of the area, but he considered it second in merit to the area east of Tucson. The National Park Service paid little attention to the Tucson Mountain Park over the years except for a brief period in the mid-1940s when it was believed that the saguaros in the monument east of Tucson were dying. At that time the idea was entertained to add the Tucson Mountain Park to the monument, but nothing came of it. [45]

On August 25, 1959 Assistant Secretary of the Interior Roger Ernst issued Public Land Order 1963 by which 7,600 acres of the Tucson Mountain Park would be restored to mining including the Pictured Rocks area as of September 30. The announcement of this action immediately caused an intense protest by numerous organizations and individuals. This opposition to order 1963 caused Assistant Secretary Ernst to suspend the effective restoration date to February 15, 1960 and to announce that there would be public hearings in Tucson on the reopening for mineral development on December 8, 1959. Continued reaction, however, resulted in the hearing date being moved to October 29. On that evening the crowd overflowed the hearing room in the Pioneer Hotel and spilled into the halls and lobby. There was a great deal of animus toward the Banner Mining Company as the perpetrator of the order. Representative Stewart Udall told the people at the meeting that he would introduce legislation in the next congressional session to place the northern part of the Tucson Mountain Park under the Park Service as part of Saguaro National Monument. [46]

Although the Bureau of Land Management cancelled the order to open 7,600 acres in Tucson Mountain Park to mining on December 17, 1959, the Arizona Congressman did not drop the idea of adding part of the park to the national monument. On January 11, 1960, Stewart Udall kept his word and introduced HR 9521 by which federal land leased to Pima County for the park would be transferred to Saguaro National Monument. No action was taken on this bill or a subsequent measure, HR 1103, which he presented to the House of Representatives on January 3, 1961. Senator Barry Goldwater introduced S827 on February 9, 1961 whereby ownership of the entire Tucson Mountain Park would be transferred to Pima County. Subsequently, Representative Morris K. Udall, who replaced his brother Stewart when he became Secretary of the Interior, initiated HR 8365 on July 5, 1961 to have 15,360 acres of the Tucson Mountain Park attached to Saguaro National Monument. Shortly thereafter, Carl Hayden presented the same bill to the Senate. [47]

Before any action was taken on the Udall/Hayden measures, Stewart Udall convinced President John F. Kennedy to transfer part of the park to Saguaro by proclamation. On November 16, 1961, Kennedy issued Presidential Proclamation 3439 enlarging Saguaro National Monument by 15,360 acres and thus creating the Tucson Mountain Unit. Later, on October 21, 1976 Public Law 94-578 added 5,378 acres to that portion of the monument. [48]

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Last Updated: 23-Jun-2005