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Grand Canyon and Colorado Plateau conservation advocates : Grand Canyon Trust

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A brief history of the Trust and its Flagstaff headquarters

The idea for the Grand Canyon Trust was conceived in 1984 by river runner Martin Litton and veteran California conservationist Huey Johnson while rafting through the Grand Canyon. At that time, Interior Secretary James Watt was indicating he wanted to turn the Colorado Plateau into an energy colony for the rest of the country.

When the Trust actually formed in 1985, it was incorporated by a small group of Plateau-lovers, including former Harvard Business School professor Jim Trees and long-time conservationist Bert Fingerhut. Bruce Babbitt, then Arizona’s Governor, and Stewart Udall also played significant roles in building the organization’s foundation.

Originally established in Washington, D.C., the Trust’s early years were marked by efforts to restrict tourist flights over the Grand Canyon, negotiating for clean-up of the Navajo Generating Station, and working to develop a comprehensive Grand Canyon management plan.

By 1989, our goals had expanded along with our organization, and we moved into the MacMillan homestead on the Museum of Northern Arizona’s property in Flagstaff. Since then, we have worked on environmental issues in southern Utah such as grazing, national park and monument protection, national forest management, and oil and gas development.

Lockett homestead before addition

After outgrowing the MacMillan homestead, we purchased the “Lockett House” in 1997. Homesteaded in the 1880s by the Lockett family, this house (built in 1920) retains much of its original Craftsman architectural style; it is one of the oldest surviving homes in the area. After the purchase, we added on to the original structure and installed solar power facilities.

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