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University of California Berkeley 

Regional Oral History Office University of California 

The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 

California Water Resources Oral History Series 

Daniel P. Beard 



Interview Conducted by 

Malca Chall 

in 1995 

Copyright 1996 by The Regents of the University of California 

Dan Beard (with a beard) , Rick Agnew [Minority Staff 
Director, House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee] and 
Charlene Dougherty inspecting hurricane damage in Puerto 
Rico, 1989. 

Since 1954 the Regional Oral History Office has been interviewing leading 
participants in or well-placed witnesses to major events in the development of 
Northern California, the West, and the Nation. Oral history is a method of 
collecting historical information through tape-recorded interviews between a 
narrator with firsthand knowledge of historically significant events and a well- 
informed interviewer, with the goal of preserving substantive additions to the 
historical record. The tape recording is transcribed, lightly edited for 
continuity and clarity, and reviewed by the interviewee. The corrected 
manuscript is indexed, bound with photographs and illustrative materials, and 
placed in The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley, and in 
other research collections for scholarly use. Because it is primary material, 
oral history is not intended to present the final, verified, or complete 
narrative of events. It is a spoken account, offered by the interviewee in 
response to questioning, and as such it is reflective, partisan, deeply involved, 
and irreplaceable. 


All uses of this manuscript are covered by a legal agreement 
between The Regents of the University of California and Daniel P. 
Beard dated August 30, 1995. The manuscript is thereby made 
available for research purposes. All literary rights in the 
manuscript, including the right to publish, are reserved to The 
Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley. No part 
of the manuscript may be quoted for publication without the written 
permission of the Director of The Bancroft Library of the University 
of California, Berkeley. 

Requests for permission to quote for publication should be 
addressed to the Regional Oral History Office, 486 Library, 
University of California, Berkeley 94720, and should include 
identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated 
use of the passages, and identification of the user. The legal 
agreement with Daniel P. Beard requires that he be notified of the 
request and allowed thirty days in which to respond. 

It is recommended that this oral history be cited as follows: 

Daniel P. Beard, "Passage of the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act, 1991-1992: 
The Role of George Miller," an oral 
history conducted in 1995 by Malca Chall, 
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft 
Library, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1996. 

Copy no. 

Cataloging Information 

BEARD, Daniel P. (b. 1943) Staff Director, House Committee on 

Natural Resources 

Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The Role 
of George Miller. 1996, iii, 67 pp. 

Early interest in natural resource policy issues; association with 
Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993: Miller's position on Central Valley 
Project reform legislation, staff activities toward passage of the CVPIA 
and the Omnibus Water Act; agricultural interests and congressmen from the 
Central Valley; water marketing; Miller-Bradley bills and opposing Seymour 
bill; discusses Senator John Seymour, Senator Bill Bradley, President Jimmy 
Carter; Somach-Graff negotiations; Bureau of Reclamation commissioner, 
1993-1995, restructuring the bureau. 

Interviewed 1995 by Malca Chall for the California Water Resources Series. 
Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of 
California, Berkeley. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS- -Daniel P. Beard 





RECLAMATION, 1965 TO 1995 1 

Developing Interest and Work in Natural Resource Policy Issues 2 

Various Positions In and Out of the Federal Government, 1974-1985 3 

Long-time Association with Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993 4 


The San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and Reclamation Reform 5 
Different Relationships with Constituents and Central 

Valley Farmers 6 

Staffs of Water and Power Subcommittees in the House and Senate 8 
President Jimmy Carter's Early Positions on Western Water and 

Agriculture 9 


The Genesis of the CVPIA: The Need for Mitigation of Impacts on 

Fish and Wildlife in the Central Valley, 1988 12 
Drafting the California Fish and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990: 

A Difficult Task 14 
Senator Bill Bradley and Staff Director Tom Jensen Take an 

Interest in the California Central Valley Issues 16 
Unexpected Changes in the House and Senate Affect the Momentum 

of the CVPIA 18 

George Miller Develops a Coalition to Push for CVP Reform 20 

George Miller's Discomfort with Water Marketing 21 
Introduction of John Seymour's Bill S.2016 Changes the Politics 

of CVP Reform Legislation 23 



The Senate Passes the Seymour Bill 27 
George Miller Accepts the Concept of Water Transfers: The 

Significance of the Metropolitan Water District 28 

Motivation for Attaching the CVPIA to the Omnibus Water Bill 29 

George Miller's Compromise with Central Valley Congressmen 31 

The Somach-Graff Negotiation 33 

Compromise: The Foundation of a Democratic System 34 

Factions Within the Agriculture Community 35 

The Conference Committee Struggles with the Omnibus Bill 36 

Final Negotiations on the CVPIA 38 

The Omnibus Bill Moves Through the House and Senate 43 

Analyzing Aspects of the CVPIA and Its Implementation 44 


The Bureau of Reclamation: A Personal Challenge 49 

Restructuring the Bureau to Meet the Changes in its Purpose 49 

The $100,000 Ford Foundation-Harvard University Grant 53 

Answering Some Charges 54 

The Connection Between Subsidies and the Uses of Water 56 
The CVPIA: Possible Changes by the Republican-Controlled 

Congress 58 

Total Revision of the CVPIA Unlikely 60 

Dan Beard's Future Career Plans 62 




The Water Resources Center of the University of California, in 1965, 
established a History of California Water Resources Development Oral 
History Series, to be carried out by the oral history offices at the Los 
Angeles and Berkeley campuses. The basic purpose of the program was "to 
document historical developments in California's water resources by means 
of tape recorded interviews with men who have played a prominent role in 
this field." The concern of those who drafted the program was that while 
the published material on California water resources described 
engineering and economic aspects of specific water projects, little dealt 
with concepts, evolution of plans, and relationships between and among 
the various interested federal, state, and local agencies. 

To bridge this information gap, the Water Resources Center, during 
the past quarter century under the successive direction of Professors 
Arthur F. Pillsbury, J. Herbert Snyder, and Henry Vaux, Jr., has provided 
funding in full or in part for interviews with men who have been 
observers and participants in significant aspects of water resources 
development. Early advisors to the project on the Berkeley campus were 
Professors J. W. Johnson and David K. Todd. Gerald Giefer, librarian of 
the Water Resources Center Archives, Berkeley, has maintained an 
important advisory role in the project. 

Interviewees in the Berkeley series have been pioneers in western 
water irrigation, in the planning and development of the Central Valley 
and California State Water Projects, in the administration of the 
Department of Water Resources, and in the pioneering work of the field of 
sanitary engineering. Some have been active in the formation of the San 
Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission; others have 
developed seminal theories on soil erosion and soil science. But in all 
cases, these men have been deeply concerned with water resources in 

Their oral histories provide unique background into the history of 
water resources development and are valuable assets to students 
interested in understanding the past and in developing theories for 
future use of this essential, controversial, and threatened commodity- 

Henry J. Vaux, Jr., Director 
Water Resources Center 

January 1989 

University of California, Riverside 



December 1996 

The following Regional Oral History Office interviews of have been funded in 
whole or in part by The Water Resources Center, University of California. 

Banks, Harvey (b. 1910) 

California Water Project. 1955-1961. 1967 82 pp. 

Beard, Daniel P. (b. 1943) 

Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: The Role 
of George Miller. 1996, 67 pp. 

Gianelli, William R. (b. 1919) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1967-1973. 
1985, 86 pp. 

Gillespie, Chester G. (1884-1971) 

Origins and Early Years of the Bureau of Sanitary Engineering. 
1971, 39 pp. 

Graff, Thomas J.(b. 1944) and David R. Yardas (b. 1956) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992; 
Environmental Defense Fund Perspective. 1996, 136 pp. 

Harding, Sidney T. (1883-1969) 

A Life in Western Water Development. 1967, 524 pp. 

Jenny, Hans (1899-1992) 

Soil Scientist, Teacher, and Scholar. 1989, 364 pp. 

Langelier, Wilfred F. (1886-1981) 

Teaching, Research, and Consultation in Water Purification and Sewage 
Treatment. University of California at Berkeley. 1916-1955. 
1982, 81 pp. 

Leedom, Sam R. (1896-1971) 

California Water Development. 1930-1955. 1967, 83 pp. 

Leopold, Luna B. (b. 1915) 

Hydrology, Geomorphology, and Environmental Policy; U.S. Geological Survey. 
1950-1072. and UC Berkeley. 1972-1987. 1993, 309 pp. 

Lowdermilk, Walter Clay (1888-1974) 

Soil, Forest, and Water Conservation and Reclamation in China, Israel. 
Africa, and The United States. 1969, 704 pp. (Two volumes) 


McGaughey, Percy H. (1904-1975) 

The Sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory: Administration. Research, 
and Consultation. 1950-1972. 1974, 259 pp. 

Nelson, Barry (b. 1959) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992; 
Executive Director, Save San Francisco Bay Assocation. 1994, 88 pp. 

Peltier, Jason (b. 1955) 

The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 1991-1992: 
Manager, Central Valley Project Water Association. 1994, 84 pp. 

Robie, Ronald B. (b. 1937) 

The California State Department of Water Resources. 1975-1983. 
1989, 97 pp. 

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, 1964-1973. 

Interviews with Joseph E. Bodovitz, Melvin Lane, and E. Clement Shute. 
1986, 98 pp. 

For other California water-related interviews see California Water Resources 



Daniel Beard served as staff director for Congressman George Miller 
for eight years, 1985-1993. During those years, George Miller chaired the 
subcommittee on Water and Power of the House Interior and Insular Affairs 
Committee, and then the full committee- -now known as the Committee on 
Natural Resources. 

Dan Beard fit well into Miller's staff, having specialized in natural 
resource issues both in college and his later working career. He became 
deeply involved in Miller's long-held interests related to the San 
Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and the Central Valley Project: opposition to 
the Peripheral Canal, fish and wildlife restoration, drainage, contracts, 
and subsidies. According to Beard, Miller's stand on these issues, while 
they may have endeared him to constituents along the Delta, aroused the 
enduring hostility of the Central Valley agricultural community. Thus, 
George Miller's long-time efforts to reform the Central Valley Project 
usually were unsuccessful because Central Valley congressmen opposed him, 
western Senators sided with their powerful California allies, and other 
Senators showed no interest in the subject. 

In this fourth volume on the passage of the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act, Daniel Beard highlights the significant role of 
Congressman George Miller in the two-year struggle to reform the Central 
Valley Project. In 1991 Miller and Senator Bill Bradley (D-New Jersey) 
each introduced Central Valley reform bills aimed at restoring fish and 
wildlife, and providing water to achieve these aims. Although 
significantly differing in details, gradually some of the substantive 
features merged enough so that in the supporting environmental community 
they became known as the Miller-Bradley bills. The agriculture community 
supported Senator John Seymour's (R-California) reform effort. 

Two years of hard work ensued on both sides of the aisle, within the 
halls of Congress, among lobbyists, environmentalists, and growers. In his 
oral history Daniel Beard directs attention to Miller's personality, his 
abilities as a congressman, his long-held commitment toward Central Valley 
Project reform, and his antagonistic relationships with valley farmers. He 
explains Miller's decision to attach his reform agenda to an omnibus water 
bill providing projects long desired by twelve powerful western Senators, 
which, in the end, prompted them to abandon Senator Seymour and their 
California agricultural allies, and assure President Bush's signature. 
Beard's examination of the hard work and the bit of luck that went into the 
final almost undreamed of success of the passage of the CVPIA offers the 
reader one more link in the story of the passage of the Central Valley 
Project Improvement Act. 

This important three-hour interview on the passage of the CVPIA took 
place around the dining room table in my home on the afternoon of August 
30, 1995. In mid-June I had read in the local paper that Dan Beard planned 
to resign his position as commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. Soon 
thereafter, I invited him to participate in the ongoing oral history series 
on the CVPIA, even suggesting that I would be willing to meet him in 
Washington if that were necessary. A few days before his planned arrival 
in California on a final tour as commissioner, he called to say that he 
would be available for an interview. We hastily arranged a time and place. 

Until his arrival for the interview, Mr. Beard was not aware of the 
scope of the CVPIA project, and since some time had passed, he felt 
unprepared to discuss details of the CVPIA. He obviously recalled more 
than he thought he would. As this interview makes clear, he was prepared 
to provide the background on George Miller, the Miller bills, the 
negotiations between Miller and Bradley, the conference committee, and the 
final results information which only someone at the center of the action 
could provide. 

We are grateful to Dan Beard for taking time from his full schedule 
to discuss his role in the passage of the CVPIA, and additional time to 
review and emend the transcript. This he did in record time, making only 
minor revisions to spelling and to clarify some sentences. The interview 
touches briefly on his two and one-half years as commissioner of the Bureau 
of Reclamation. 

Again we thank the Centers for Water and Wildland Resources and its 
director Don Erman for making possible this interview and the series on the 
Central Valley Project Improvement Act. 

Malca Chall 
Interviewer /Editor 

September, 1996 

Regional Oral History Office 

The Bancroft Library 

University of California, Berkeley 


Regional Oral History Office University of California 

Room A86 The Bancroft Library Berkeley, California 94720 


(Please write clearly. Use black ink.) 

Your full name Daniel p erry Beard 

Date of birth A P ril 14 ' 1943 Birthplace Bellingham, Washington 

Father's full name Stannard Templin Beard 

Occupation Pr ^ter Birthplace Bellingham, Washington 

Mother's full name ** Mlce Dllle y Beard 

Occupation Housewife Birthplace Northfield, Minnesota 

Your spouse Dana Caro1 Brynildsen 

Occupation Student Birthplace Bellingham, Washington 

Your children Allison Esther Beard (Bom: 1-25-72); Nicholas Grant Beard (6-30-74) 

Peter Stannard Beard (7-25-85) 

Where did you grow up? Bellingham, Washington 

Present community Colunfcia, Maryland 

Education B ' A - Western Washington University, 1965; M.A. University of Washington, 

1970; PhD University of Washington, 1973. 

Occupation( s) Federal employee, 1970-1995; Private consultant, 1995-date 
Areas of expertise Natural ^sources policy affairs 

Other interests or activities 

Organizations in which you are active 

RECLAMATION, 1965 TO 1995 

[Interview: August 30, 1995] II 1 

Chall: Before we get started on the CVPIA, I wanted to find out what was 
the route by which you got into government service. I notice that 
you have had twenty- two years of government service, and I don't 
know how many years of that have been with George Miller. 

Beard: Well, I was a graduate student at the University of Washington. My 
background is that I was born and raised- -maybe I should start with 
who I am? 

Chall: Yes. 

Beard: My name is Daniel Perry Beard, and I am presently the commissioner 
of the Bureau of Reclamation. I was born and raised in Bellingham, 
Washington, and I graduated from Western Washington University and 
went to work for the city of Seattle. I didn't enjoy it at all, 
and went back to graduate school at the University of Washington in 
1966. I received my M.A. degree from the Department of Geography 
there [1969], I was interested in natural resource conservation 
issues, and there were a number of professors there who had done a 
lot of work on water resource matters over the years, particularly 
the Columbia and Snake Rivers. It had always been a major topic of 

I then entered the Ph.D. program, again in the geography 
department, finished all of my course work, took my preliminary 
examinations. Then my advisor didn't receive tenure, so he left 
and went to the University of California at Santa Cruz. His name 
was Richard A. Cooley. So I was kind of left like a floundering 

'This symbol (II) indicates that a tape or a segment of a tape has begun 
or ended. A guide to the tapes follows the transcript. 

fish, and decided at that point that I was really interested in 
natural resource policy issues, and I wanted to learn how public 
policy decisions were made. 

Developing Interest and Work in Natural Resource Policy Issues 

Beard: I had taken a seminar on natural resource policy issues, and a man 
by the name of Bill Van Ness, who was the general counsel for the 
Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee and worked for 
Senator Henry Jackson, came and spoke. One of Bill's 
accomplishments was that he was the person on the committee who 
wrote the National Environmental Policy Act, among other pieces of 
legislation. I was really quite fascinated and taken with federal 
legislative process, so I thought that would be a good thing to do. 

In the summer of 1970, I literally wrote letters to everyone 
I could think of, including John Erlichman, who at the time was in 
the White House. Fortunately, he didn't respond, but a man by the 
name of Wally Bowman, who was at the Natural Resources Division of 
the Legislative Reference Service at the Library of Congress, was a 
very good friend of my advisor Dick Cooley, and he called, did a 
phone interview, and hired me on the phone. 

So my wife and I packed our belongings and moved to 
Washington, D.C. in September of 1970, and I went to work for the 
Legislative Reference Service, which in about a month's time had 
its name changed to the Congressional Research Service. I worked 
for the Environmental Policy Division. I worked on natural 
resource policy issues of all kinds, doing research work for 
congressmen and senators. 

About halfway through my term of service there, sometime in 
1971, I decided that I really wanted to be a lawyer. I was going 
to go to law school at night, to which my wife responded, "I've 
already been through three years of graduate school, and we (you 
know, the proverbial we) are not going to law school!" So I 
started working on my Ph.D., and finished eventually. 

I left the Library and went to Dartmouth in September of 1972 
to teach in the geography department and environmental studies 
program. While I was there, I finished my dissertation at the 
University of Washington, took my exams, and got my degree in the 
spring of 1973. But while I was at Dartmouth, I really decided 
about halfway through the year that this was the stupidest thing I 
had ever done, and that I hated it. I didn't like the college, I 
didn't like the students, I didn't like the faculty-- 

Chall: You didn't like teaching? 

Beard: I liked the teaching, but I felt really very out of touch. It's a 
really insular world. It just wasn't for me. And so I called my 
former boss at the Library of Congress and I got my old job back. 
So in June of 1973, I went back to the Library of Congress. 

Various Positions In and Out of the Federal Government. 1974-1985 

Beard: I stayed there until after the 1974 elections, and after that 

election, a congressman by the name of Sidney R. Yates became the 
chairman of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, and he 
hired me to go to work for him in January of 1975. I worked there 
for two years as a special assistant to him. And then some friends 
of mine were working on President Carter's transition. I went down 
and volunteered and did work there, and eventually was hired to 
work in the Carter White House. I was a domestic policy assistant 
to the president, and worked for Stuart Eisenstat. I worked again 
on natural resource issues. 

I was there about four or five months, and it was extremely 
hard on my family, just very hard on my family, so I left and got 
an appointment as deputy assistant secretary for land and water 
resources in the Department of the Interior. I served there with 
Secretary [Cecil] Andrus, until the election of 1980. 

In January of 1981, I, along with a lot of other people, lost 
my job in the Reagan sweep. I then did some fundraising work for 
the George Washington University. I left GW and became executive 
director of the Renewable Natural Resources Foundation. 

Then I was self-employed as a lobbyist for about a year, and 
then in 1982, I became the administrative assistant, which is the 
chief of staff, for Senator Max Baucus from Montana. I was there 
about two years , and then again became a lobbyist . I worked for a 
lobbying firm, Chambers and Associates, in Washington for about a 

In June of 1984, in the Texas primary, a man by the name of 
Abraham Kazen, who was a congressman from Texas, and had been 
chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the House Interior 
Committee, lost in the primary. That meant that George Miller from 
California was the next person in line, and he was a friend of 
mine. I had met George and his administrative assistant, John 
Lawrence, when I had worked in the Carter White House with 
Secretary Andrus. 

Long-time Association with Congressman George Miller, 1985-1993 

Beard: They called me up and said that George might become the chairman of 
the Water and Power Subcommittee, and would I like to go to work 
for him, and I decided that I would. So in February of 1985, I 
became the staff director for the Subcommittee for Water and Power 
of the House Interior and Insular Affairs Committee. I served in 
that capacity for six years. We changed the name of the 
subcommittee two years later. With Chairman Morris Udall's 
resignation in 1990, George became the chairman of the full 
committee, and I was named staff director. The name of the 
committee was changed in 1992 to the House Natural Resources 

I worked for George as the staff director for the 
subcommittee and then ultimately as staff director for the full 
committee from February of 1985 until April of 1993, when I 
resigned and was appointed commissioner of the Bureau of 
Reclamation, which is the job that I currently holdso there it 


Chall: That's good, so we have your background now. Was Miller's staff 
divided according to subject matter so that you were director for 
water and power? Or was that all water and power for that 

Beard: Yes, at the time that I was appointed, George really had three 

overriding interests. He was interested in children, and at the 
time became the chairman of the Select Committee on Children, Youth 
and Families. He was very interested in children's issues. He was 
also doing a lot of work on El Salvador at the time. 

The San Francisco-San Joaquin Delta and Reclamation Reform 

Beard: But the one issue that he wanted to pay attention to more than any 
other was water resources. And the reason is in his district, 
Contra Costa County, there is only one issue that unifies the 
county, and that is the issue of water quality. Most Contra 
Costans get their water from the Contra Costa Water District, and 
the quality of the water is not very good. The reason it is not 
very good is because salt water has intruded, and the reason salt 
water has intruded is because so much water is being pulled out of 
the Delta and shipped south for subsidized agriculture, for water 
development south of the Delta. 

Most Contra Costans have figured out that there is a 
relationship between what they get out of the tap and what's going 
on in the valley. They're not sure what it is, but they know that 
it's bad, and it's bad for them and it's bad for fisheries and 
everything else. So he used to say to me, "I can be as crazy as I 
want to on all of these other issues, but as long as I pay 
attention and fight hard for Delta water quality, my constituents 
will reelect me, because it's the only--." I literally did see 


people walk up to him and say, "You know something, Miller, you're 
crazy and you're a left-wing kook, but you know what? I like what 
you do on water, and I'm going to vote for you." He had that 
sentiment repeated to him a number of times. 

So when I became the staff director of the subcommittee- -we 
had only three people: myself, a man named Steve Lanich, and a 
woman by the name of Lori Sonken. George basically said to me, 
"Look, the thing I'm more interested in than anything else is I 
want to prevent the Peripheral Canal, and I want to continue to 
fight to make sure that drainage issues are solved in the Central 
Valley, and that we work diligently to try to eliminate federal 
subsidies from irrigated agriculture." Those were the issues, 
frankly, that got him elected and continued to get him elected. 

George was the first chairman of that subcommittee who was 
what you would call an "anti-pork-barrel politician." He was not 
supportive of big water development, in fact he was opposed to most 
of it, and so he took over this subcommittee. It was sort of an 
unusual thing--"reformer comes to the field." So we started to do 
a number of things. We selected a water project in North Dakota 
called the Garrison Project, and worked hard on it to try to re 
formulate it so that it was more environmentally sensitive, took 
into account environmental factors and issues in a more sensitive 
manner. We tried to reduce the cost to the federal taxpayers, and 
make the project recipients pay more, and a number of other things 
in what you might call a reformist agenda. 

We worked on that, as well as many other issues, for quite a 
few years, for the entire eight years that I was there. 

Okay, well, we'll just go into some of those things. I know that 
he was very much concerned with reclamation reform, that is, the 
size of land subsidies in California, at least in the 160 and 960- 
acre limits. That seemed to be one of his major interests, was it 
not? And the Delta? 

Beard: Yes. 

Different Relationships with Constituents and Central Valley 

Chall: In doing that, while he may have kept his good relationships with 
Contra Costa constituents, what was going on with the Central 
Valley growers who were not his constituents? Wasn't he making 
enemies of them? 

Beard: Oh, they hated him. They still hate him, and they don't like me. 
Frankly, I worked for George, and I agreed with him. I was an 
adult, I took this job because I agreed with George and what he was 
trying to do. I was a very strong advocate, as was he, and George 
made a lot of political enemies as a result. People in the Central 
Valley absolutely cringe at the mention of his name; it makes their 
skin crawl, and it makes their skin crawl, I think, primarily, 
because George understands the system better than any congressman 
I've ever known. He really understands how the system works, and 
he knows, or did know, how to tweak the system, and to make things 
very uncomfortable for those who are benefitting from the system. 
And he was very opinionated, and didn't hesitate to speak out on 
issues and was not interested in their side of the issue. 

Now, you've got to remember with George that you have to go 
back to the fundamental reason why he even paid attention to this 
issue, and the reason that he did is because he knew-- He was an 
elected representative from Contra Costa County, and he was there 
to represent the views of his constituents on an issue that 95 
percent of his constituents agreed upon. The vote on the state 
initiative that was held in 1982 on whether to build a Peripheral 
Canal--95 percent of Contra Costans voted against it. Now, if you 
find an issue where 95 percent of your constituents are on one 
side, then you better be on that side or you won't be elected from 
that district, and George didn't hesitate on that issue. He fought 
passionately on that sideas a reformer in the water field. 

Chall: Against the Peripheral Canal? 

Beard: Against the Peripheral Canal, against irrigated agriculture, 

against the valley growers, against people that you would classify 
as "pork-barrel" politicians. He didn't care. 

In the end, you see, the harder he fought and the more he 
made people mad, the better off he was, because his constituents 
were even more proud of him, because the more outrageous he got and 
the more frustrated people got at him and lashed out at him, the 
better he looked to his constituents. So it was sort of a self- 
fulfilling prophecy. George's basic nature is that he loves a good 
tussle, he loves a good fight. So that's what made it for him, at 
least, a crusade- -which is really what we did for the eight years 
that I was therea strong crusade and fight on water issues. 

Chall: We'll take up some of that. Now, we'll get into his relationships 
with Tony Coelho and Vic Fazio and the others as we go along, 
though Coelho left in time. Were they difficult because they were 
valley representatives? I know what happened later on with Fazio, 
[Richard] Lehman, and the rest of them. 


Beard: Well, George's relationship with Tony Coelho was a very interesting 
one. Tony and George really liked one another personally; they 
were very close. Tony was a politician that was consumed with 
ambition- -he was going to succeed, and he was an extremely talented 
politician. He had a very strong desire to succeed, to move 
forward in leadership ranks. He really wanted to be Speaker of the 
House of Representatives. And he represented his constituents, and 
his constituents were opposed to everything that George was for in 
water resources and vice versa. 

And surprisingly, people used to make a big deal of the fact 
that Tony and George used to argue publicly, but privately they 
were the closest of friends. I mean, they really liked each other 
very much, and respected each other as politicians and people who 
fought for what they believed in. But publicly, Tony had to oppose 
George, and he did on a regular basis, but George always supported 
Tony in his efforts to be appointed head of the campaign committee, 
and then majority whip, and other positions. So they had a very 
good relationship, frankly, and got along well, although on water 
they were just poles apart. 

Staffs of Water and Power Subcommittees in the House and Senate 

Chall: By the time we're getting into the 1990-1991 era for the CVPIA 

[Central Valley Project Improvement Act], was the staff bigger? I 
have the names of Charlene Dougherty, Steve Lanich, John Lawrence, 
and Dan Beard. Was that it? 

Beard: Well, what happened in 1985, we had just the three of us. And then 
after the 1986 electionthat would be 1987--we hired the three 
additional people for the subcommittee. One was the fellow by the 
name of Jeff Petrich, and Jeff worked on Alaska issues. The 
subcommittee was given jurisdiction over Alaska public lands 
issues. Sharon Kirby, was our clerk and secretary, and then the 
last person we hired was Charlene Dougherty. She had worked as a 
lobbyist for the Tennessee Valley Authority, she'd worked for the 
Department of Energy, and her assignment previous to coming to the 
subcommittee was with the National Audubon Society as one of their 
representatives on Capitol Hill. 

I hired her to be a generalist, somebody who could work on a 
variety of issues and do some backstop work on water issues. Steve 
Lanich handled the major responsibility for water. I generally did 
water resource matters in California. Steve did the water resource 
stuff outside of California, and then Charlene helped out from time 

to time because she was pretty knowledgeable about it. So that was 
sort of the staff complement on the House of Representatives side. 

On the Senate side, between 1985 and 1986, it was under the 
control of the Republicans, and the staff director for the 
Subcommittee on Water and Power over there was a fellow by the name 
of Russell Brown. And then when they switched and the Democrats 
took over in 1987, Russ Brown also stayed, he stayed until 1988. 
After the 1988 election, when Senator Bradley became the chairman 
in 1989, he hired a fellow by the name of Tom Jensen. 

President Jimmy Carter's Early Positions on Western Water and 

Chall: I want to go back just a moment. Jimmy Carter came in, in terms of 
western agriculture, saying, I guess, "No more building;" also, "No 
subsidies." He took a very strong, very immediate stand, didn't 
he, on water, and didn't get very far if any place. What happened? 

Beard: Well, I think that President Carter was just about a decade ahead 
of his time. President Carter had a number of interesting 
characteristics, one of which was that he was absolutely one of the 
smartest people I've ever met. He was a voracious reader, a real 
intellect. When you talked to him, he didn't take any notes, he'd 
just listen, and it was obvious that he was consuming everything 
you said to him and internalizing it. 

During the transition, a number of environmentalists became 
interested in the idea of sending to the president a series of 
water projects that the funding could be eliminated for. President 
Carter had been involved with the Richard Russell Dam [Corps of 
Army Engineers] in Georgia, on the Georgia-South Carolina line. He 
was really very interested in that controversy, so he took the 
Environmental Impact Statement and read it . 

Well, it was one of those things where the recreation 
benefits required a boat every two feet filled with five fishermen 
fishing 366 days a year to get the kind of recreation benefits that 
they were proposing for this dam. Well, he read it and said that 
it was an outrage, that it couldn't possibly work and didn't make 
any sense. So that sort of shaped his-- The debate over the 
Richard Russell Dam shaped his personality or his approach towards 
water issues from the beginning. 

When he came into office, there was a tradition in the Office 
of Management and Budget and the Council on Environmental Quality 


for preparing each year a list of water projects which the staff 
felt that funding ought to be reduced for. They had done this in 
President Nixon's time, and President Nixon got it and said, "Gee, 
this is very interesting, thank you very much; now we'll not do 
anything with it." President Ford did the same thing. And so when 
that concept came forward to President Carter, he said, "I like 
this idea, let's do it." 

Well, that sort of set everybody off, and there were big 
meetings in the White House in February of 1977. There was one 
sort of big meeting that had Secretary [Cecil] Andrus and Bert 
Lance from the Office of Management and Budget and all of these 
other people. Vice President [Walter] Mondale was there. The vote 
was twelve not to do it and one to do it, and it was President 
Carter who voted to go ahead. And what he did was he just sent a 
message to the Congress saying that in his budget, he was going to 
eliminate funding for a number of water projects. 

Well, that just set off a huge explosion, and big meetings, 
and big controversy, and as President Carter later noted in his 
books, that he made a mistake, he didn't see it all the way through 
to the end and stick to his guns. He ultimately compromised. A 
couple of projects fell on the wayside, though most of them 
survived, though it took them a long time to get the funding back. 

The president was right. We were investing large amounts of 
money in projects of very dubious merit. They were not returning 
sufficient revenues to the treasury and it was a complete waste of 
money. Now that's just one person's view, but that was certainly 
his view as well, but that didn't address the politics of the 
issue. It really clouded his relationship with the Congress, 
really injured his relationship with the Congress for the rest of 
his term. That was one of the key factors that lead the Congress 
to really begin to turn against President Carter. So water in that 
sense was very important. 

Chall: I see. That's because of the solid water and agriculture united 

front all over the United States. That would include Georgia even, 
wouldn't it? 

Beard: Yes, oh yes, clearly. 

Chall: All right. Well, that was an important bit of history that we 
needed to uncover. 

Beard: Well, it's interesting history to me, because I don't think anyone 
has ever written a history about the water project fights of the 
1970s--President Carter and what it really meant and the 


significance of it. It's sort of an unwritten chapter and it's 
good history, it's very interesting history. 

Chall: It may have started some other thinking along the way. 



Chall: Now, getting into the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 

Miller had a group of fish and wildlife protection act bills in 
1989, 1990, and 1991, which I think the environmentalists generally 
call "fish bills." I guess everybody calls them fish bills. The 
general idea was to protect and enhance fish and wildlife. What 
concerns there were with contract renewals and conservation were 
fairly minimal I guess. At the same time, was it Miller's hope 
that he was not going to aggravate too much the agricultural 

Chall: About at that same time, Senator Bradley was coming in with his own 
bills, which were different. They had more to do with water 
transfers, up-front water, and other things of this kind. What was 
the attitude, or the concern, of the Miller forces when Bradley 
moved into this field? Was this expected or accepted? Was it 

The Genesis of the CVPIA; The Need for Mitigation of Impacts on 
Fish and Wildlife in the Central Valley. 1988 

Beard: Well, I think you are mixing too many things here. Let me go back 
because the one thing that's never really been written is the 
history of how the CVPIA really got started. 

The CVPIA, from George's perspective, was an idea that got 
started in a shower, if you will. It was an idea that I had in a 
shower. George was great; you could come to him with an idea and 
say, "Here's this idea, what do you think?" And he'd say, "That's 


a terrible idea," or, "It's a great idea, try to run with it." I 
think that it wasI'm going to get confused as to--. 

Chall: The bills? 

Beard: Well, the predecessor to the bill introduced in 1990. The first 
bill--I can't remember the number of the first bill that we 
introduced, and the date, but it was called the California Fish and 
Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. I've forgotten when we introduced 
it. I think it was in 1990, obviously. 

[Chall searches in folder for the bill] 

Chall: There was H.R. 4700. That was called the California Fish and 
Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. 

Beard: Yes, that was it. 

Chall: That was introduced on May 1, 1990. 

Beard: In 1988, I became very interested in this idea. I was in the 
shower, and this idea kind of struck me. And the idea was the 
following: that whenever the federal government built a water 
project, one of the fundamental concepts that was embodied in the 
construction of the project was the concept of mitigation. In 
other words, if a water project had an impact on migratory water 
fowl, or fisheries, or some other fish and wildlife values, the 
water project was required to mitigate the impacts of the project 
on fish and wildlife. And that's the case in every single water 
project that I know of, except for the Central Valley Project. 

The Central Valley Project was the only project that I knew 
of where there was never any effort made from the initial 
construction all the way up until 1954, when the first fish and 
wildlife restoration bill, a law, was passed, and it only dealt 
with one unit of the Central Valley Project. So the Central Valley 
Project as a whole, which is the largest water project in 
reclamation, neverthere was no concept of mitigating the impacts 
of the project on fish and wildlife resources. 

So this was 1988, and I was thinking that what we ought to do 
is to authorize the secretary to proceed to take actions to 
mitigate the impact of the Central Valley Project on fish and 
wildlife resources in the Central Valley. And, if not have the 
secretary of the interior do it, we could maybe create or require 
the formulation of a regional body like the Pacific Northwest Power 
Planning Council, which has done some work on fisheries restoration 
in the Columbia River. But have somebody responsible for 


addressing the impact of the project on fisheries resources and 
then on migratory water fowl. 

And that was the general concept, the justification being 
that every other project had to do this, why should the Central 
Valley Project not have to do it? 

Drafting the California Fish and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990: 
A Difficult Task 

Beard: So I went to George with this idea. This was 1988; I think it was 
in the fall of 1988. George said, "This is a great idea, and I 
think we ought to do something with it." So I turned to Charlene 
Dougherty and said, "We really ought to do something about this, 
and I want you to work on this . " She decided that she would go to 
California and meet with representatives from the National Audubon 
Society, the Environmental Defense Fund, the NRDC [National 
Resources Defense Council], and some others, and see what kind of 
ideas they had about this project. 

There was a meeting around Christmas of 1988, some time in 
December, in which Charlene laid out a general plan: we want to do 
a bill that tries to restore fish and wildlife values, we want to 
authorize some money for restoration, we want to see if we can get 
some water reserved, and some other general concepts. We didn't 
quite know what it was going to be. 

The response we got was really pretty enthusiastic. People 
were very positive, and we started to work on it. This was just at 
the time that the new Bush administration was coming into office. 
It became very obvious that it was a hell of a problem. It was a 
really difficult problem to write a bill on this subject because 
there was simply no template, there was no place to jump off. 

Charlene struggled with it for several months, and then we 
got into the middle of a bunch of stuff with the new Bush 
administration and we really couldn't do anything on it. It kind 
of languished, and we never did anything really until about 
September of 1989. 

Again, at the point we decided to go out to-- Charlene went 
out to California, and had another meeting with the environmental 
groups, and said, "We're still working on this bill." Their 
response was again very positive, but somewhat cynical you know-- 
"Look, you came here a year ago and said you were going to do this, 
and you didn't do anything, so why should we help you again?" That 


was sort of Tom Graff's response, and Tom was somewhat cynical at 
the time. 

But Charlene said, "This is a difficult thing to write. No 
one has ever done this before; we don't know quite how to approach 
the problem. We've struggled with all of the typical problems that 
you have. What should we be doing? What is the guiding principle 
here? What are the objectives we are trying to achieve? How much 
do we want to restore fish and wildlife populations? Do we really 
want to do fish populations?" Because there are all kinds of fish 
populations and all kinds of different types of fish, and it gets 
very complicated very quickly. 

But anyway, she really persisted at it, and we worked hard, 
and we struggled a lot during the Christmas interregnum in 1989. 
We really worked hard on getting a draft, going through it, laying 
out a statement of purposes, trying to find the elements that we 
could put into it by creating some fishery task forces and then 
working on trying to figure out a way to get the secretary to 
implement what's called the North American Plan for Waterfowl 
Restoration, and a number of other general kinds of things. That 
is the bill that was introduced in May of 1990, the California Fish 
and Wildlife Protection Act of 1990. 

It was the result of our efforts, and as you can see from the 
bill, the bill contained a number of things. One of which was that 
we had a commission established to look at restoration. We looked 
at the problem of restoration and concluded that it was just so 
damn difficult, we don't know how to do it. So we did what we 
usually do in those kinds of things, we created a commission to 
have them look at it . 

But the seeds were there, and this bill really provided-- 
This was the beginning. All of the various elements are there. We 
had responsibilities for the secretary, responsibilities for this 
commission, we implemented the North American Migratory Waterfowl 
restoration plan, we did some general efforts on water 
conservation, and we just had--it was kind of a mish-mash of 
things. But it represented a sincere and honest intent on our part 
to try to make the first effort at sort of restoring fish and 
wildlife resources in the Central Valley Project. 

Chall: And that's the one that sort of got itself attached somehow to 
[Doug] Bosco's bill, H.R. 3613. 

Beard: Well, we had a bill, H.R. 4700, that was introduced that had a lot 
of co-sponsors. And then Bosco had a bill, and he was in a tough 
sort of political race. George wanted to move his bill and he 
decided to attach his bill to the Bosco bill. At this point, 


Congressman Lehman and othersthey didn't have a sense of what 
this meant for their constituents. They were opposed to it because 
George was for it, but they didn't quite know what was involved. 
We had some hearings, we had hearings on the bill, and it was 
obvious that most people didn't quite understand it, so we reported 
the bill out of subcommittee, but it really didn't go any further 
than that . 

Senator Bill Bradley and Staff Director Tom Jensen Take an Interest 
in the California Central Valley Issues 

Beard: Now, it was about this point that Tom Jensen, who worked with 

Senator Bradley, saw the bill and really liked it. He became very 
interested in the bill, very interested, and said essentially that 
he wanted to put together a bill for Senator Bradley on the Central 
Valley Project and fish and wildlife issues. 

Now, Tom had an interesting background. Tom had been a 
lawyer with the U.S. -Canada Salmon Commission--! 've forgotten the 
name of it--in Vancouver, British Columbia. So he had a background 
on salmon issues, and had got his law degree at Lewis and Clark in 
Portland. He really was very interested in this issue, and had a 
background that was really quite different. He decided to approach 
the issue in somewhat different manner and ultimately wrote and 
introduced a bill, Bradley 's bill, in the Senate. 

Now for us, for Congressman Miller, this was a great, 
absolutely terrific, development. One of the problems that we had 
been having since 1985 was that every time we had a reform measure 
on water, we couldn't get anyone in the Senate to pay attention to 
it; nobody in the Senate would pay attention to it. Nobody cared 
in the Senate. You can't get anything done in the Congress unless 
you have a coalition and unless you have committed people who are 
working in both the House and the Senate. 

The reason is that there are 535 members of Congress-- 100 
senators and 435 members of the House. And there are about 25,000 
registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Well, it doesn't take a 
genius to figure out that with only 535 people and 25,000 people 
plus their constituents all clamoring to get some of their time and 
energy and effort, it is really very difficult. Unless you have 
somebody who is willing to carve out some time and say, "I am going 
to work on this issue," you can't get anything done. So you have 
to find somebody who is willing to make that sacrifice. 


Senator Bradley, oddly enough, was. He became interested in 
the issue, and he decided that he wanted to take on this issue and 
try to address it. Now, I never really understood why. And I 
still don't to this day. I think there is in his personality 
makeup, somewhat of a pixie, you know, someone who delights in 
needling people, and Senator Bradley, I think, enjoyed the repartee 
of arguing with people about these things. There were political 
reasons: people used to say he wants a good working relationship 
with the environmentalists, and he may run for president, and all 
of these kind of things. But in the end, I really think that it 
was just the sheer delighthe was fascinated by the subject and 
fascinated by the hardball nature of the water politics in 
California, and fascinated by being on the other side from all of 
these very heavy hitters, and he kind of liked the controversy and 
the intrigue. 

So we, George Miller, introduced H.R. 4700, held hearings, 
moved it forward a little bit in that Congress, but it never really 
went anywhere. Senator Bradley, I think, introduced a bill at the 
very end of the Congress [S.2658]. I could be wrong on that, but 
it didn't really go anywhere, and it then was left for the next 
Congress in 1991 that Mr. Miller began to move the bill. 

Beard: At this point, at the end of the Congress, all of the bills 

disappear, and you have to start all over again, so the bill was 
reintroduced as H.R. 1306. [March 6, 1991] We made substantial 
improvements in the bill from the previous Congress, and the 
changes really reflected some discussions. They weren't 
negotiations, they were discussions between ourselves and Senator 
Bradley 's staffTom Jensen. We went over and said, "Well, look, 
here's our bill, and here's what you're interested in doing." We 
decided to pick and choose some things from their bill to try to 
make it a better bill, something that was kind of unique for 

Chall: That you thought could go through the Congress, the House at least? 

Beard: Well, through the House at least. I think even at this point, none 
of us, none of the people connected with George, ever thought in 
our wildest dreams that the thing would ever become law. I 
honestly believe that. George used to say, "This is going to be 
really hard to do. I don't think we can ever do it." Bush was 
president; we had to get the presidential signature. We had 
somebody in the Senate, but you never really knew how much time 
Senator Bradley was willing to put into it. It was difficult in 
the House, because you working with two committees, and you had the 
opposition from the growers, and there were all of these factors 
coming up . 


Unexpected Changes in the House and Senate Affect the Momentum of 
the CVPIA 

Beard: But a number of things at the end of 1990 began to change the 
politics of the issue. First and foremost from Mr. Miller's 
perspective was that Moe Udall became basically incapacitated, and 
in 1990 really was in terrible shape. He was not showing up at 
hearings, and his mind was wandering, and physically he was very 
disabled because of Parkinson's disease. And so the last year, in 
1990, George was really running most of the hearings and performing 
a lot of the duties of Mr. Udall. Then the caucus re-elected Udall 
chairman in December of 1990, and then three days later he fell 
down the stairs and went to the hospital and virtually was 
incapacitated at that point. 

George was then made the acting chairman of the committee, 
and I was made the staff director for the committee. So suddenly, 
George was the chairman of the whole committee, and that was a 
major development. 

Another thing that was very important to the overall politics 
was that in 1990, the people from the Central Utah Project had 
negotiated out with the environmentalists a bill to complete the 
Central Utah Project and to move it forward. So we put their bill, 
as well as some other bills together, in one package, and on it 
were some changes in the Reclamation Reform Act dealing with the 
960-acre limitation. Those were in there because we were 
responding to regulations that were put out by the Reagan 
administration in 1987. 

That package went over to the Senate, and everybody was in 
agreement that the package ought to be passed except Senator Pete 

Chall: That was H.R. 2567, I think. 

Beard: Yes. 

Chall: That was the first Omnibus bill, as you call it. 

Beard: Yes, and Pete Wilson adamantly opposed it; he was running for 

governor at the time. He just said, "No, I'm not going to agree to 
move this bill forward unless you take out the reclamation reform 
stuff," which the growers in the valley wanted. Mr. Miller said, 
"Well, I want them in there." And so, it was kind of a standoff, 
and the bill died. 


The Central Utah people were furious. The bill contained 
legislation for other western interestsreally minor stuff, we're 
talking really little things in this bill. Anyway, these interests 
were furious. The western senators were furious, because they 
wanted their little bit of pork, is what it amounted to. We had 
started this little bill in 1987. We didn't get it done in one 
Congress; we came back in the next Congress and got it all the way 
through and Senator Wilson queered the deal. 

So what it meant was that there was a tremendous amount of 
momentum behind this sort of little Omnibus bill that we had, and 
some real frustration. Well, Pete Wilson won the election [to 
become governor of California]. Suddenly he was gone, and 
everybody seemed to be very happy. Now, at that point, everybody 
said, "Now George, you're not going to link your California Fish 
and Wildlife Bill with this Omnibus bill, are you?" To which 
George said privately, "Why not? I mean, this is what I really 
want . " 

We really made an assessment at that point that the 
Reclamation Reform Act amendments that we were trying to push 
didn't make a lot of sense. We were fighting a fight that was a 
fight that was really a decade old. In 1982, we had passed the 
Reclamation Reform Act, and that legislation really came out of a 
lawsuit filed in 1974 by the National Land for People. So here we 
were in 1991, arguing about something that was essentially almost a 
twenty-year-old problem. George just said, "Look, I've had it. We 
don't need to keep fighting this issue forever. I would rather us 
put the California Fish and Wildlife Bill on this Omnibus bill and 
fight for that. Because that's the future." 

We said, "Okay," and began to move that bill, H.R. 1306, 
separately, but we also had this little Omnibus bill too, and held 
hearings. I think we even moved the Omnibus bill without the 
California stuff in it. 

George was now the chairman of the committee, and as chairman 
you have a lot of leverage with peoplebills don't move in 
Congress without the approval of the chairman of the committee, and 
so people were willing to defer to George. They knew there was 
this disagreement with the valley farmers --members representing the 
valley farming interests, and they didn't like the idea of being in 
the middle of this controversy between Miller and Coelho, but all 
of a sudden Coelho left. 

Coelho was a brilliant tactition, and he had a significant 
power base as the minority whip. He basically worked with the 
leadership. Tony was the person who made it almost impossible for 
us to move legislation. We couldn't get it through the Rules 


Committee, we couldn't get it through the leadership if Tony was 
really adamantly opposed. Well, suddenly, Pete Wilson has been 
elected and goes off to California as governor, Tony Coelho 
resigns, George Miller becomes the chairman, and Bill Bradley is 
now interested, and has his own bill in the Senate. So suddenly, 
the prospects just--the whole political landscape changed 

George Miller Develops a Coalition to Push for CVP Reform 

Beard: That's the point where we really did something that was very 

unique. George became convinced, rightly so, that we were never 
going to move this legislation unless we had a coalition behind it. 
And the coalition would never get organized behind it unless he 
took the responsibility for putting together the development of 
that coalition. The way George's office worked was that George's 
closest advisor and long-time friend was his administrative 
assistant John Lawrence; John really handled the politics in 
George's office. I was responsible for the water legislation and 
the staffing of the issues. 

Well, George, John and I then began a series of trips to 
California, where we met with business interests. We went to Los 
Angeles, San Diego, and met with Mike Madigan, who was with the San 
Diego County Water Authority and was a close advisor to Pete 
Wilson, and with other business leaders, and really talked. This 
was something that George had never really done much of because he 
never really had any ambitions to run statewide. It was sort of 
difficult for him, but he really did a great job. He met with 
business leaders, and essentially said to them, "Look, this 
legislation, something like this is very important to the future of 
California," and people agreed. 

What we did as a result of those tripswe made trips to the 
Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego, and made visits to editorial 
boardswe really began to develop a cadre of people who were 
buying into the concept of this legislation. Senator Bradley went 
out and visited a number of the same people and essentially said 
the same thing. 

Then the environmentalists began to see that there was a 
possibility of this thing moving, so they actually became engaged 
and formed the Share the Water coalition as a sort of umbrella 
group, but then all of the other groups individually passed 
resolutions and did things in support of it. Then they began to do 


a bunch of editorial board meetings and other sort of public 
relations activities that really moved things forward. 

And so I really think that it was a confluence of a lot of 
really different things, a lot of different things came together, a 
lot of different pieces of the puzzle began to fit for a lot of 
different factors. It wasn't just sort of one factor or one 
person. It really takes a lot to put a bill like this together. 
There are a lot of different things that have to happen. 

I don't know if that helps explain something. 

George Miller's Discomfort with Water Marketing 

Chall: Oh yes, very much. In the bills that Senator Bradley was 

interested in that Tom Jensen nominally was writing, with some 
background from David Yardas and Tom Graff, they were interested in 
water marketing and water transfers. I think they felt that Miller 
was not comfortable with water transfers at all, so there was this 
difference of opinion between you for a long, long time. 

At one point, back on September 6th, 1990--this goes back to 
H.R. 1316, which was what came out of H.R. 4700--David Yardas and 
Karen Garrison from the National Resources Defense Council wrote a 
joint letter outlining their difference of opinion with H.R. 1316 
with respect primarily to water marketing and also to contract 

Chall: I know that from time to time you apparently talked to them about 
it, but what was your general reaction to this? Were you, the 
staff, and George Miller uncomfortable with the idea of transfers? 

Beard: Well, I sort of have two answers. One is we were uncomfortable, 
Mr. Miller was uncomfortable. Mr. Miller really felt very 
uncomfortable about water marketing, and part of it is the Owens 
Valley experience. He just simply said, "Look, what's worse? 
Having subsidized agriculture wasting water, that's bad, but," he 
said, "having field after field filled with ticky-tacky 
subdivisions is bad as well." He was Just really uncomfortable 
with the concept. He really was worried about the third party 
impact of transfers. That was sort of one level. In my 
discussions with him, I never really got the sense that George was 
adamant on it, but he is a thoughtful person, and he kept thinking, 
"Look, this just doesn't equate with me, I've got problems with it. 


I don't really understand it, and I don't think we ought to be 
moving forward on something that I'm not entirely sure about." 

That was one level. The other level was, the other factor, 
was that Congressman Lehman, Congressman Coelho, and then 
Congressman [Gary] Condit that followed him, and Congressman 
[Charles] Pashayan, who was a Republican from Fresno, who was 
followed by Congressman [Cal] Dooley--the valley congressmen were 
constantly talking to George saying, "George, you can't do this." 
George was under a tremendous amount of pressure from the valley 
congressman on a regular basis, who were saying to him, "Look, 
George, there is only one issue in my district, and it's you, and 
it's you and this bill, and I'm going to be defeated if you don't 
back off of this bill." 

George said, "I believe in this bill, and my constituents 
believe in this bill." Because we did a lot of organizing in the 
district to make damn sure that people knew what he was doing, and 
it goes back again to why he was even interested in the subject 
area. He said, "I understand your concerns about water transfers 
and water marketing, and I've got those same concerns, but I want 
to move the bill forward." So that's where we were. It never 
really appeared in our bill, primarily because George was opposed, 
or uncomfortable--! don't think that opposed is the right wordbut 
very uncomfortable, and he was being hit pretty hard. Members of 
the delegation were banging on him pretty hard. 

There's another problem with water transfers, too, that I 
have struggled with. I have always been a believer in one of the 
fundamental policy precepts of reclamation law, and that is that we 
defer to state law wherever possible. In California, at least, 
California, compared to the other western states, is a fairly 
progressive legal state. So I've always said to people in the 
Senate who opposed us on things, they would make this accusation 
that you're trying to federalize this thing, and I'd say, "No, just 
let state law prevail," because California has a very progressive 
law in this area. And they would say, "Ah, well, we can't do 
that." So they always had this duplicitous position in my view. 

But anyway, I always felt that water marketing and water 
transfers ought to be a subject of state law, not a federal law, 
that if the state of California wanted to allow this to happen, we 
ought to defer to the state and let the state do it. Now there are 
problems with that, because people who are getting water from the 
federal project were getting federal subsidies, so I was sort of 
uncomfortable with it too. As the chief staff person, and with 
George sort of uneasy about it--I wasn't there constantly saying to 
him, "No, no George change your mind." I basically agreed with 


him. So we kept those provisions out of the bills that he 

Chall: I just wanted to understand your reason. 

Beard: David and Karen and Tom are absolutely right. George did not agree 
with their position, did not agree that water transfers and water 
marketing was the answer, and didn't put it in his bill. And they 
were not happy about it. 

Chall: In the meantime, however, some of this was in the Senate bill 

S.484--transition to water marketing, a certain amount of up-front 
water and all of the rest of it. But you could not get that 
Bradley bill through the Senate. 

Introduction of John Seymour's Bill S.2016 Changes the Politics of 

CVP Reform Legislation 

Beard: Well, our difficulty in the House was that George introduced this 

bill [H.R. 1306], and the argument against George was that this was 
not needed, that this was one person's view on how to solve the 
problems of the Central Valley Project. 

Chall: What person? 

Beard: George Miller. In the House of Representatives, his critics said, 
continually, and his critics out in the field said, "Listen, this 
is George Miller's view of what ought to happen, but there's 
nothing wrong, we don't need to change it, no bill's better than 
some bill--" there was always that argument. So the onus was 
always on us to come up with the rationale as to why the Congress 
of the United States had to pass this bill. Frankly, it was a 
terribly difficult uphill battle. And even when Bradley introduced 
his bill, it then became "Bradley and Miller's view of the world," 
against present reality. "Why do we need to change things just 
because two people think it ought to be changed?" 

Chall: Even though, there were so many environmentalists by this time, and 

the Business Roundtable and all of the others moving- 
Beard: But it still was a powerful argument. It's you against the world. 
The moment that I heard that Senator Seymour, and I think it was 
Dooley at that point, were going to introduce their own bill [The 
Central Valley Project Fish and Wildlife Act], I went to George, 
and I said, "You've won." Because now it's not an argument of 
whether there ought to be a bill, there's agreement that there 


ought to be a bill. Now it's just a question of what should be in 
the bill. And I said, "We win that fight every time, because 
you're chairman of the committee, you appoint the conferees, your 
staff is going to be the one writing the bill, so in the end you'll 
win. You're going to win this argument in the end because now the 
argument is a different argument. It used to be we want a bill; 
why do you need a bill? But now, they have a bill and we have a 
bill, so everybody agrees we ought to have a bill. Now it's just a 
question of just what does it say?" 

I was really surprised, I must tell you--not surprised; I 
was shocked- -that our opponents decided to introduce their own 

Chall: Did you know they were writing one? 

Beard: Oh, yes. You heard the pitter-patter of their feet. They felt, 

from their perspective, that they couldn't withstand the criticism 
that we were constantly launching against themthat we needed a 
bill, we needed a bill, we needed a bill. They were having 
difficulty arguing with that. I think in retrospect, they realized 
the mistake that they made. 

Chall: That they should have stonewalled the whole thing? 

Beard: Yes. They should have stonewalled it, because they had the support 
of the administration, the administration was stonewalling; the 
Bush administration didn't agree with it. 

So it was really interesting to me when that decision was 
made. I think there's an interesting story that ought to be told, 
and maybe this is the appropriate point to tell itthat is, when 
Senator Seymour was appointed. Senator Wilson was elected governor 
and resigned and then appointed John Seymour to follow him. And 
when that appointment was made, we had some momentary high hopes, 
because Pete Wilson had approached water in a very simplistic 
fashion. He just simply said in effect, "I'll go to Fresno, hold a 
fundraiser, and do whatever they want me to do." That was our 
perception of what he was doing. 

He didn't give a damn about what the people in northern 
California thought, he didn't give a damn about what the 
environmentalists thought. Wilson really felt that the swing in 
the state was in the valley. He would get votes in southern 
California, and the swing was in the valley, and the way to get the 
valley votes was to do what the water guys wanted. That's sort of 
the simplistic view of it. And he raised a lot of money there too. 
This was sort of his view. 


Now, when Senator Seymour was appointed, we really felt-- Let 
me back up. Senator Wilson's staff never spent a nanosecond 
worrying about the merits of an issue, the merits of a water issue. 
I mean they seemed to think that whatever the folks in Fresno said 
ought to be their position, that generally was the position they 

Chall: And do you think that carried over when he was governor as well? 

Beard: Well, I think so, but then that's just my perception. But when 

John Seymour was appointed, we really had high hopes. We thought 

maybe he would be independent, maybe he'll look at it a little 

About two or three weeks after he was appointed, George, who 
flew home every week, who commutes every week to the Bay Area, was 
on a plane, and as he boarded, he noticed that Senator Seymour was 
there. So George went up to him and said, "Look, you don't know me 
from Adam, and a lot of people have probably told you lots of 
things about me, but let me tell you how you can be a winner on the 
water issue by supporting this legislation. I would urge you to 
think about addressing water issues, to be an independent voice, 
and to really take a position that is really pro-southern 
California by putting some reforms on people in the Central 

George said that he talked to Seymour for a couple of hours 
on this flight. I said, "Well what's the conclusion? You talked 
to this guy for two hours, what's the answer?" He said, "I didn't 
make any headway. He looked at me, and I knew the look in his 
eyes, which was 'I just got this job, I have absolutely no idea who 
you are, what you're talking about, and not only that, I don't 
care." 1 It was sort of one of those things where, he was polite, 
but simply thought George was some kind of a crazy man who sat down 
next to him and started talking about some particular issue. 

And from the very moment that Senator Seymour took office, he 
took a very strong position in support of the Central Valley 
Project farmers. And we always felt, Miller's staff always felt, 
that he took that position based on advice he'd received from 
Governor Wilson, "This is how you handle water, you do whatever the 
folks in Fresno ask you to do." 

I don't know, Rich [Richard] Golb might have a different view 
on it, he was there, but it was always my view that was the case. 1 

'Interview with David Golb in process. 


But, anyway, when Senator Seymour and Congressman Dooley 
decided to introduce a bill, I really felt that the fightthe most 
difficult impediment in the way of getting a bill through was 
really gone, that we now had a green light. Now it really just 
became a question of how we would we do this. And that's hardit 
was a hard fight from there on out. I think it was very difficult. 
It was the most difficult bill I've ever worked on, primarily 
because it was the largest because we had all of the various 
sections of the bill. 


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The Senate Passes the Seymour Bill 

Chall: What was the reaction of Miller and the staff when the Senate 
committee [Energy and Natural Resources] and then the Senate 
itself, passed Senate bill 2016 into H.R. 429, and you were left 
with the Seymour bill? That was in April of 1992? You were now on 
the hot seat, as it were. 

Beard: Right. It was good news-bad news. The bad news was a really 

terrible bill was now the Senate bill. The good news was that the 
Senate had moved a bill. Our problem had been that we had used 
every means that we could think of to try to jab Senator [Bennett] 
Johnston to move a bill, and we couldn't get him to move, and 
neither could Bradley. I never understood why Johnston never 
wanted to move a CVP reform bill. But he would come to George and 
ask for things, and George would say, no, and then Johnston would 
wander off mumbling, and then his staff would get to me and say, 
"Why doesn't George want to move this bill?" And I said, "Because 
you won't move his bill." They never quite understood the 
relationship and the commitment, and how strongly George began to 
feel about this bill. 

What had happened was that this started out, as I said, as an 
idea in the shower, and we were going to fix up the fish and 
wildlife. Well suddenly, this thing had mushroomed into the 
biggest water bill that George had ever introduced. It was now 
becoming sort of like a legacy. He saw the upside to it, more so 
than any of us did at the time. He saw the upside of what was 
happening. This thing was getting bigger and bigger, and more 
important, and more people throughout the state were beginning to 
see the importance of it, but you couldn't get anybody in the 
Senate to pay attention. 


The Senate, by moving a bill, waswell, it was good news 
that they moved a bill, but bad news that it was a terrible bill. 
Now, there was a reason that Senator Johnston used this approach. 
We had some legislation earlier on the Tongass Timber Reform bill, 
and we'd actually gotten that bill through because we put a [Frank] 
Murkowski-[Ted] Stevens bill in the Senate bill, got it through the 
Senate, then went to conference, and then came out with a 
compromise effort, and the Tongass legislation. That formula 
intrigued Johnston quite a bit. So he always tried to duplicate 
that later on. That was what he was doing in this case, he was 
trying to duplicate the Tongass approach. 

He [Johnston] kept assuring us, "I'm not going to move a bill 
that you don't accept in conference. If you don't like the bill, 
it won't come out of conference." We took him at his word, but 
Bradley also said, "I'm going to make sure that its the right 
bill," and so we at least got to conference, which was the 
important thing. 

Chall: So now we're talking about the conference committee. 
Beard: Right. 

George Miller Accepts the Concept of Water Transfers; The 
Significance of the Metropolitan Water District 

Chall: But before we get there, before we get to the conference committee, 
I think you were talking about the fact that Miller introduced H.R. 
5099, a bill similar to the Johnston mark, as I understand it, in 
May of 1992, which would be the House bill opposed to the [Seymour] 
bill that had passed the Senate. David Yardas claimed that he 
spent quite a bit of time with Steve Lanich and Liz Birnbaum 
working out the substance of this. But then, when your own staff 
worked on it, while it came out somewhat differently, it showed 
that you had accepted some ideas of water transfers? 

Beard: Yes. 

Chall: And how did this come about that you accepted some of these ideas? 

Beard: Well, I think there were water transfer provisions in the Seymour 
bill, as I recall. I could be wrong on that. 

Chall: Yes, there were some not like the others. 


Beard: No, not like the others. But it became pretty obvious to us that 
in the politics of the issue, which is really the place where I 
spent most of my time, the politics of the issue really demanded 
that we include something on water transfers. Primarily, this was 
because this was the only thing that Metropolitan Water District of 
Southern California was really interested in. There is no other 
reason why they should be interested in the bill. The Met is 
fundamental in water politics in California. You've got to have 
the Met on your side, and the Met was interested in the bill; they 
saw it as the major advantage to them. 

Most people in southern California, including the Met, saw 
water transfers as a potential new source of water, and so in that 
sense George, despite his unease about it, sort of said, "Well, I 
guess I can go along with it in a limited fashion." Plus everybody 
by this point had transfer provisions in their bill. Seymour did, 
Bradley did- -they were there and we'd been talking about it enough 
that we knew a little bit more about it now. And then it was 
fundamental to the politics of the issue too. 

I suppose I could go back and do this, but it would take me a 
while to do it. I used to know it at one time. I don't know how 
many times we passed this bill [House CVP reform bill] , and in how 
many forms, in 1992, but we did so a large number of times. We 
seemed to try to attach it to just about everything that we could 
find. We were doing it because we were trying to find ways to get 
this thing over to the Senate, get the Senate to move it, and then 
get it back. All you have to do in the Congress is pass the same 
version in both houses, but that sometimes is very very difficult. 
We had reconciliation billswe had every kind of bill that you 
could think of and we were always trying to add our provision to 
something else, trying to find vehicles to get it through. 

Motivation for Attaching the CVPIA to the Omnibus Water Bill 

Beard: The thing that we really decided on in the end-- We really sort of 
settled on this strategy of attaching our bill to this Western 
Water Omnibus bill that was going through. The one that had failed 
in 1990 because Senator Pete Wilson had failed to go along with one 
of the provisions. We'd not really attached the Central Valley 
Project bill to the that Omnibus bill until 1991 when George made 
the decision to try to do that, and so we linked the two, and at 
that point they never were really separated. 


Our conclusion in the end was that the only way we were ever 
going to get this thing through was to have it be part of an 
Omnibus bill. 

The reason the Omnibus bill worked is that in the Senate 
there were a lot of western Republicans, primarily, but a lot of 
western senators who don't have a lot of interest in water reform. 
Their states have done pretty well, and their farmers and 
agricultural interests like the subsidies that they get, and 
they're not interested in cutting off the gravy train. 

And so every time we would throw out a reform effort, they'd 
see it as a threat to their state and they'd kill it. We never 
could get anything through the Senate. It was really difficult. 
The only times that we did is when we used to push "free market 
values" and stuff like that, and that never made any difference 
either, so we never seemed to make any headway and it was very 

But we watched what happened when the Omnibus bill was put 
together, and it was really amazing. Some very, very minor bills, 
frankly, as far as we were concerned--! mean the amount of money 
and other things that were in there, it was really minorreally 
seemed to energize these western senators. They wanted these bills 

Chall: Wyoming and-- 

Beard: Wyoming was the best example. Senators Malcolm Wallop and Alan 
Simpson desperately wanted their bill, and these bills were 
practically not even necessary in many cases. But they wanted 
these bills, and who were we to argue with them if they wanted it? 
The more they wanted it, the better it was for us. 

It became pretty apparent that this omnibus strategy was 
going to develop and move forward and ultimately be successful 
because they were getting what they wanted and we were going to get 
what we wanted. 

Chall: If you held off long enough? 

Beard: If we held off long enough, and if we kept the pressure up enough. 
Senator Seymour was really the only person in the way. Senator 
[Alan] Cranston was coming to the end of his term, and was not 
terribly interested and was sort of taking a walk here. He wasn't 
interested in the issue, and his staff did a good Job of working 
silently on our behalf, trying to help us whenever possible. 


Senator Seymour, unfortunately, really kept putting- -dragging 
this thing out, dragging it out and dragging it out, and wouldn't 
compromise. The other western Republican senators became very 
frustrated with Senator Seymour because they-- That's the reality 
of being a legislator. You always work to compromise, to work 
towards the middle. Senator Seymour was not showing any interest 
at all compromising in any fashion on anything dealing with water. 

Now I knew why, because the valley interests were adamantly 
opposed, and so the western Republican senators began to put 
pressure on him. They said, "Hey look, you've got to compromise at 
some point." And that was largely due to the fact that we had 
developed the strategy of putting together an Omnibus bill. 

Chall: Holding it hostage, as they say. 
Beard: Sure. 

George Miller's Compromise with Central Valley Congressmen 

Chall: Let me back up then just a bit. You introduced 5099, which did 
have some elements in it that were like the Johnston mark and 
Bradley 's bill, which of course the environmental groups were 
strongly for in general. 

Miller then had discussions with some of the valley people 
Dooley, Lehman, Fazio, probablyand came up with a compromise 
which the environmentalists call "a compromise for a day." They 
feel, the environmentalists feel, that the bill then had no money 
in it, no water, and it left the decisions up to the secretary of 
the Interior, who they felt they might not be able to trust. Of 
course the agricultural interests also felt that they might not be 
able to trust who might be the secretary at some point. But the 
compromise really created quite a stir among people on both sides 
of the issue. 

What was the reason for that compromise? You probably have 
explained that alreadyjust to get that bill out was probably one 
of the main reasons . 

Beard: Well, you know, the whole concept of a legislative body, at least 
in our system, is that you negotiate with your adversaries and try 
to reach a compromise that is acceptable to both parties. And 
that's what that billthat version of the bill was all about. We 
had our own version which we had introduced. They had their 


version, and so far never the twain shall meet. We had been at 
polar opposites here. 

George directed us, he said, "Listen, we have an obligation 
here to try to see if we can forge a compromise, a compromise which 
we can live with, and which we can sell to the environmental 
community and the people and everybody else." George felt that we 
had to do that because the criticism that was being laid against 
him by the valley members was that, "George, you're not being 
reasonable. You won't sit down and negotiate with us." And so we 
sat down and we negotiated, and that was really John Lawrence, and 
myself, and Steve Lanich doing the staff work. 

I think it is fair to say that the environmentalists did not 
have the kind of impact on our versions of the bill that they had 
in the Senate. I mean, Dave Yardas worked very closely with Tom, 
but he did not work as closely with us, primarily because we had 
more resources and we had a greater personal stake in it. And we 
had some views that they [the environmentalists] didn't share. 

But we did sit down, and we did negotiate. After the first 
negotiation session we went back to George and said, "This just 
isn't going to work, these guys aren't interested in negotiating 
anything." Well, we started to negotiate and didn't go anywhere, 
but we worked forward and sort of came up with this draft for a 
day, and we took it out and we showed it to everybody and everybody 
just sort of went thumbs down. 

Chall: Both sides? 

Beard: Both sides. At which point we went back into the room and said, 
"This isn't doing either of us any good." And at that point, the 
other side decided that-- 


Beard: --as Congressman Dooley and Congressman Condit said, "We simply 

can't negotiate with you, because any bill is unacceptable to our 
constituents." And we understood that; that's fair. So we were 
then left in the sort of odd position of having complete freedom to 
negotiate anything we wanted. There was nothing standing up 
between us and the goal line, assuming that we could get this thing 
there. And there was nobody to interfere with us on the House 
side. Nobody on the House side really cared, other than George and 
the valley congressmenthere wasn't anybody from New Jersey or 
someplace who was really committed to it. 

Congressman Fazio's staff did a very good job of sort of-- 
Fazio was going to oppose the bill, but he kept coming forward with 


these little provisions, saying, "Can't you put this in there, and 
can't you put that in there?" We tried to accommodate him to the 
extent that we could, so that at least the tone of his rhetoric 

Chall: Are we still talking about H.R. 5099 or the final? 
Beard: Well, I'm talking about the final bill. 
Chall: Okay, I just wanted to make sure. 

Well, first of all, we have to go back to H.R. 5099, because 
after the compromises were made, you did pass that bill in the 
House. Then a tiered pricing was added as an amendment, which had 
been considered before apparently, with Yardas working with 
Congressman [Sam] Gejdenson. Otherwise it contained the compromise 
language, as I understand it. It came out late at night with a 
voice vote. 

The Somach-Graff Negotiations 

Chall: But, we haven't discussed Somach-Graff, which came out before you 
went to the House with H.R. 5099. Tom Graff was asked to consider 
this negotiation with [Stuart] Somach, and he [Graff] said he went 
to you, and you said in effect, "Go ahead, we just won't promise 
you our support, but see what you can do." Because you were, at 
that point, at a stalemate and both sides apparently felt that 
maybe something should be done. 

However, Somach was pulled out before the briefing session, 
and the only person left to do the briefing was Tom Graff. Can you 
describe that briefing meeting? 

Beard: Well, it was pretty laughable, actually. What was happening, what 
was really happening here was a larger tussle that was taking 
place, and that was that the people who were opposed to a bill were 
just so strongly opposed to a bill. You've got to remember the 
whole politics, in my view, changed when they introduced a bill and 
said, "We're for this bill." And as it turned out, even if we 
would have moved that bill [Seymour S.2016], I don't think they 
would have been supportive, but that was as far as they were ever 
willing to go on anything. 

I really think that Stuart and Tom really did a service to 
everybody by trying to sit down and negotiate a compromise. You've 


got to remember, we wanted a bill and we were willing to compromise 
a lot. 

One of the things that has frustrated many people in the 
environmental community with George has been his failure, in their 
eyes, to fall on his sword. Now, he has fallen on his sword a lot 
of times, but George has always recognized that in the Congress at 
least, he's at one end of the spectrum. If you're at the end of 
the spectrum, be it on the right or the left, you can never get 
your way 100 percent of the time because your views are extreme. 
In our system at least, we always move legislation that is in the 
middle. The trick is to try to move the center of gravity to your 
side of the center line at least. 

And George always recognized that, and always felt that his 
job was to get out in front of the parade, to be the first person 
to introduce the bill, to raise an issue, to debate it, to move it 
forward, and then to move on to the next issue. Because that is 
what he did best, he liked that. He has always liked being a trail- 
blazer on issues and subjects of concern, as opposed to somebody 
who is sitting around crossing T's and dotting I's. That is just 
not his basic nature. 

Compromise: The Foundation of a Democratic System 

Beard: The environmentalists have a different agenda. They have certain 
things that they want in the bills, and many of them are very 
unrealistic in the political sense. So it's always a clash, it's a 
clash of values and ideals, and positions and thing like that. I 
have always taken the position--! share George's view, I'm--if you 
were to ask me--I'm way out on the left too, but I understand that 
the majority of the people don't share my views, and that I live 
and work in a democracy, and that I have to temper my own personal 
views with those around me, and to try to move the debate to my 
side. But I'll never get my way 100 percent of the time. And 
thank God we don't or otherwise we'd probably have revolutions in 
this country. 

So compromise really is the foundation of our system, and is 
terribly important. A lot of people who are with advocacy groups 
don't understand that, that compromise is fundamental and essential 
to the system. So I really felt that having Tom [Graff], who is, I 
felt, the most articulate advocate on one side, and Stuart Somach, 
who is the most reasonable and articulate on the other, sit down 
and try to forge a compromise, would have made a lot of sense. And 


there were a lot of things in their compromise that I really 
thought were interesting. 

Chall: And they did get into the final bill, some of them. 

Beard: Yes, some of them did. And I really thought they were interesting. 
I thought it was a thoughtful debate and discussion, and it was 
really very useful to have them do that. We knew these discussions 
were taking place, we encouraged them, but we didn't participate in 
any way. They came out, and said, "We want to come back and brief 
people on where we have arrived." Our answer was, "Boy, that's 
great! Come on back, we'll give you the room and make sure we 
notify everybody." Lo and behold, we got ready to notify everybody 
and there was no Stuart, who had been called off by his folks. 

And Stuart, I think, had to recognize-- He's a businessman, 
he's a lawyer, and he makes money representing a lot of those 
people, and he certainly wasn't in a position to alienate his 
potential clients to that extent. He had been given a certain 
license, and obviously they didn't like what he had done. He was 
not happy, incidently, about that either- - 

Chall: About being called out? 

Beard: Sure. 

Chall: He'd worked hard on it. 

Beard: Well, he's a reasonable person, and he really felt that he had 

been-- Somebody gives you authority to enter into negotiations, and 
you go through and complete it, and then you go back and they pull 
the rug out from underneath you, it kind of makes you look silly. 
And I think that's what Stuart felt, that he was made to look silly 
and he didn't like it. And, frankly, I don't blame him. 

Factions Within the Agriculture Community 

Chall: Were you aware what factions there were within the agricultural 

community, and what a difficult time they were having themselves? 
I suppose you probably realized it when you working with people on 
H.R. 5099, that some of them were willing to make some compromises 
and others were adamantly opposed to it, so that even they were 
having great difficulties. 

Beard: I think there is a tendency on the part of all of us when we get 
involved in these kinds of issues and debates and discussionsa 


tendency to categorize people, put them into little niches and talk 
about the niches, and not appreciate the subtleties within the 
niche. I think this is one of those cases. 

Our relationship, certainly from Mr. Miller's perspective, 
with the ag community was almost nonexistent. They didn't call us, 
we didn't call them. It would have been a waste of time, a waste 
of their time and a waste of my time. I talked a lot with Stuart 
Somach. I negotiated with him on a large number of issues. I 
talked to their lobbyists [Wes McAden and Bob Will] but there 
wasn't a lot of reason for me to have a long discussions with them 
either. They weren't going to tell me much and I wasn't going to 
tell them much. We liked each other, and I think respected each 
other, but we just didn't spend a lot of time-- So I was generally 
aware that they were having real difficulty internally. They 
couldn't get their act together. 

Because there are significant differences between east side 
and west side, the Sacramento Valley, the San Joaquin Valley--you 
know, people who had water rights before the projects were built, 
and those that didn't. It's all very complicated, and very 
fractious, and there were these divisions between the various 
elements, and it worked against reaching any resolution. 

The Conference Committee Struggles with the Omnibus Bill 

Chall: Okay, so the briefing of Somach-Graff was on June 16th, and on June 
18th, you passed H.R. 5099 out of the House. And then the 
conference committee. 

Now, as I understand it, Fazio distributed some draft of his 
own bill with some ideas in it, 700,000 acre-feet of water plus 
unallocated yield and a $30 million restoration fund. And then 
Miller came in with a mark when the conference convened, with a 
million acre-feet of water and a $50 million restoration fund, and 
some things from Somach-Graff. Having stated that the project also 
was there for water, fish, and wildlife, that was one of the 
rationales for the project. Apparently there was some kind of a 
Senate counter-offer. 

And then, as the conference committee only met once, the rest 
of it was done by staff. I know you started to tell me about that, 
so tell me more. 

Your staff, which was Beard, Lawrence, Lanich. Then Jensen-- 


Beard: Jensen was with the Senate. 

Chall: Senator Wallop, or his staff? 

Beard: Yes, a fellow by the name of Jim Beirne. 

Chall: And Mr. Fazio's staff. 

Beard: Yes, Roger Gwinn. 

Chall: Okay. 

Beard: Well, the way the discussions started out was that-- First of all, 
you have to remember the situation we found ourselves in. We had a 
bill that had about fifty-five different titles, somewhere around 
fifty-five titles to it--f ifty-five or sixty, I've forgotten which 
--so each one of these had to be resolved individually. And some 
of them we just simply couldn't accept. They weren't in our bill, 
they were in the Senate bill, and we just couldn't accept them. On 
the other hand, there were some in our bill that the Senate 
couldn't accept. 

Chall: So this was in the Omnibus 

Beard: Yes, the Omnibus bill. So we started out with this veneer that you 
have sixty different bills all wrapped up in one, and you've got to 
resolve all sixty. Now in the House, we had conferees who 
represented the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, the 
Natural Resources Committee, and the Public Works Committee. So we 
had kind of a three-ring circus here. We had a lot of staff people 
all wandering around. And a lot of egos running around as well. 

Some of these bills were very controversial. I mean, the 
Grand Canyon Protection Act was one of the titles. It really dealt 
with trying to preserve and protect the Colorado River downstream 
from the Glen Canyon Dam as it flows through the Colorado River. 
That was a huge issue for Arizona and the power users in that part 
of the country. There was the Central Utah Project Completion Act 
provision, those were very important. There were individual bills 
dealing with Kansas and Nebraska and all of these other states-- 

Chall: Tribal land? 

Beard: Tribal lands, we had. Then we had the whole Central Utah Project 
thing which was a huge part of this bill, a couple of billion 
dollars. So, we started out. The first problem we had is that we 
had a hell of a logistical problem of how to get through this. We 
didn't have that many people working there. And we had the 
administration, which was absolutely no help. They were sitting on 


the sidelines. They had taken the position that they were opposed 
to the bill in its entirety, and were opposed to every provision in 
it, and weren't going to do anything to lift their finger to help. 
So there was no help. 

Chall: Oh, really? 

Beard: Yes, so there was no help. 

Chall: I thought is was just the Central Valley Project Improvement Act 
that they opposed. 

Beard: They didn't do anything to help us. So that really meant that we 

didn't have people there to help us with a lot of the logistics and 
things like that. And we were coming to the end of a Congress, and 
there was a time constraint. So we went through pretty quickly, 
and were able to dispense with some of the least controversial 
issues, and pretty much handle those. And we got down to a number 
that were more controversial than others, and that really was the 
Grand Canyon Protection Act provisions, the Central Valley Project 
Improvement Act. I'm trying to think of some other controversial 
ones. Well, those were probably the most controversial ones. 

Then we had Senator Johnston add on at the end some 
amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act which didn't 
deal with anything. It sort of dealt-- Some of us felt that he was 
more interested in getting the program housed at some college or 
university that his wife attended than anything else. 

Final Negotiations on the CVPIA 

Beard: But anyway, we had all these various provisions that were in here. 
But we were able to go through fairly quickly and dispense with 
most of these issues except for the Grand Canyon Protection Act and 
the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. We got through the 
Grand Canyon Protection Act stuff, so we then were left with the 
CVPIA. George asked us to sit down with Fazio's staff to see if 
there wasn't a way in which we could get Fazio on board. So we 
made a number of changes in the bill to kind of reflect some of the 
suggestions that he was bringing forward, that his staff person, 
Roger Gwinn, was bringing forward. These were long discussions. 
We'd have to sit for hours, and Roger would come in and say, "Well, 
I have this provision that deals with X, and our constituents need 
this, and maybe Vic can go along with the bill." 


So you'd say, "Look, this is a difficulty, we've got to 
change this," and then they'd go out and talk to their folks. It 
just went on for endless hours. 

It finally became pretty obvious that Fazio was never going 
to support the bill, but he still wanted these changes. Then it 
became a situation of George trying to accommodate Vic, but not 
destroy the sort of internal integrity of the whole bill itself and 
the process. So we made a number of changes in the bill that were 
changes requested by Mr. Fazio, not all of them, but some of them. 
And I think it did soften his opposition. He was still opposed, 
but he wasn't shouting or screaming like Lehman and Dooley were, to 
that extent. 

I felt sorry for Congressmen Lehman, and Dooley, and Condit. 
They were frustrated because they were not able to engage in the 
process. Their constituents simply said, no. And that's very 
frustrating to a politician, because a politician really wants to 
sit down and negotiate, and they couldn't do that. Despite their 
lack of involvement, we felt we had a product that was pretty good. 

Then we sat down with Tom Jensen. I think we- -Dave Yardas 
was there helping Tom quite a bitand we made a number of changes 
in the bill, too, to accommodate requests from the Metropolitan 
Water District and others, to try to shift things around so that we 
could get their support and make sure that they were happy with the 
final product. 

We were cognizant of the fact that we really didn't have 
anybody in the room talking to us that was adamantly opposed to the 
bill, so we were kind of in a position which we'd never had before. 
Usually there are boundaries in the room; there are people on one 
side and people on the other side, and you negotiate something in 
between. Well, we had Just one set of people in the room, people 
that were on one end of the spectrum. It was kind of laughable in 
the end, we laughed about it a lot at the time. We wanted to make 
sure that when we came out with something, it wasn't so outrageous 
that people like Senator Wallop and others would sort of say, "Hold 
it, you guys have gone too far." So we had those boundaries on us. 

And we really felt that the product that we came out with in 
the end was a product which, when Jim Beirne and others read the 
bill, they were able to say, "Well, okay, that's sort of 
reasonable." And even to this day, I don't think they see the bill 
as that we went too far one way. Many of the growers feel we went 
too far, and are trying, at the time we're speaking now, trying to 
get some of it back. But I think it's going to be-- It's a pretty 
hard case to prove that the bill has really gone too far, because 


we were able to implement it in a wet year without much imposition, 
and we've also implemented it in dry years as well. 

Chall: I see. So you think that you came out with a fairly decent type 

bill. Do you think that they thoughtand I think they did to the 
lastthat if it got through both houses, that President Bush would 
veto it, and so they didn't have to move, they didn't have to 

Beard: Yes. 

Chall: And what did you think? Did you think that too? 

Beard: That's a very interesting comment. We had our own contacts in the 
Bush administration. The associate or the deputy director of OMB-- 
I can't remember the guy's name-- 

Chall: I think I've got it somewhere. 

Beard: Yes. He's gone off to be an investment banker somewhere. But we 
had been talking to him quite a bit about this bill, and he was 
very supportive, and we had been able to help him with some things 
dealing with fish and wildlife resources. He was a very strong 
supporter of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation- -Bob Grady 
is the fellow's name. Grady was very strong, he was a good 
politician, and he really felt that if President Bush could capture 
a significant number of people in the environmental community, that 
it would really help him in his reelection effort, and I think he 
was probably right in that. 

We talked to him quite a bit. He told us, "Look, we are 
getting a tremendous amount of pressure from western Republicans 
who are telling the president, 'You've got to sign this bill. 1 " It 
was Senator Wallop. Well, it was led primarily by Senator Jake 
Garn of Utah, who was absolutely adamant about passing this bill. 
Senator Garn, and Senator [Orrin] Hatch from Utah, Senator Wallop, 
Senator Simpson from Wyoming, and Senator John McCain of Arizona 
were really pushing President Bush to sign this bill. 

So we knew that. It was a gamble, but I always felt that the 
president would sign the bill, and I was the only one who really 
felt that way. I guess, having studied these issues more than most 
people, I've always been convinced of the power of the pork barrel, 
that these senators wanted their provisions so badly that they were 
going to go down and sit on the president's desk and demand that he 
sign this bill. 

So I was always very confident. George was not as confident, 
and many of the environmentalists were just always running around 


saying, "What are we going to do about the administration?" I kept 
saying, "We're going to do nothing. We're going to send the bill 
down, the president signs it or he doesn't." For us, that was 
really the easiest part. 

Because you've got to remember, we entered into this fight, 
if you will, years before with absolutely no inkling that we would 
ever be successful. And I really can't stress that enough. I 
don't think that George ever thought we'd ultimately pass a 
comprehensive reform bill. At least I never felt we would. I 
never, ever thought that we would pass this legislation. I didn't 
think we had the foggiest chance of passing it. And the fact that 
we did was not a surpriseit was hard workbut it was astonishing 
to me. And to me, if it would have passed the Congress and the 
president vetoed it, I would have felt I'd achieved a victory 
anyway. Not as big a victory, but at least I would have achieved a 
victory. We'd have gotten the thing through the Congress. 

And in fact, we almost didn't get it through the Congress. 
Chall: What happened? 

Beard: We negotiated out the CVP portions, and at that point, we had the 
whole bill done. We put together the bill, and the Senate staff 
read it, and the conference report there was really no conference 
report, just says, "Here is it," because we didn't have time to 
write it. We were literally down to days and running out of time. 

Chall: So what do you mean, you just put out a draft of this thing? 

Beard: Usually what you do in a conference committee is that you sit down 
and you take the House bill and the Senate bill, and you negotiate 
a compromise. Then you write a report on that compromise, and you 
say, "The statement of purpose, the House said this, the Senate 
said this, and the conferees have taken the House position." You 
explain what you did and why you did it. 

Well, this bill, you've got to remember the final act itself 
was --how many pages? 

Chall: Quite a few. [laughs] I think the pages are numbered. 

Beard: [looks at published Omnibus Act] 1 It's about 160, 170 pages. We 
didn't have a lot of time. So we simply didn't write a report. 
The report simply said, "The House and the Senate conferees have 

'Public Law 102-575, October 30, 1992: Reclamation Projects 
Authorization and Adjustment Act of 1992, pp. 4600-4769. 


met, and here's the compromise bill they've come up with." That's 
all we ever said. We never explained any of the provisions about 
anything. On the CVP portions, that's what we did. In other 
portions, where we had the time, we wrote it. 

So we put the whole report together. Now, at this point, you 
take all thisand it's a huge stack of paperyou take the new 
compromise bill and whatever report you have on it, which is a huge 
stack of paper, and you then go around and physically get the 
signature of every member who is on the conference. It can't move 
forward without the signature of the conferees, and a majority of 
the conferees. 

Well, we had negotiated the provisions in here in the CVPIA 
and we had not included anything to change the way in which you 
allocate supplies in a drought year for municipal and industrial 
water supply customers. Well, the Santa Clara Water District, 
under the leadership of Ron Esau, who was the general manager, 
wanted the bill changed. They wanted provisions included in the 
bill that would give them more water in a drought year. There were 
provisions in the Contra Costa Water District contract which he 
wanted, and he wanted those in law. He went to Congressman 
[Norman] Mineta and said, "Don't agree to sign this report until 
you get these changes." Mineta said, "Yes, sir." I mean, he said, 

Chall: Oh, that's the reason. 

Beard: So we went for days. Mineta would not agree to sign the report. 

And there was a huge fight, George--! "ve never seen George so mad, 
because he had worked so hard, and now we were at the very end, and 
Mineta was just adamant. He would not move. And we went to the 
Senate guys and said, "Okay, can we make this change?" And they 
said, "No way. We're just not going to agree to it." And it was 
wrong from a public policy standpoint to do that. 

So that's the point at which we thought we would lose. Not 
only that, it was very curious. Mineta for some reason wouldn't 
sit down and negotiate-- 


Beard: We would say when we were meeting with him: "What is it you want? 
How can we solve this problem?" I can't even remember how we 
solved the problem. I think we agreed to hold hearings and move 
legislation in the next Congress to address the issue, and have the 
secretary do some other things. But we ultimately got Mineta to 
sign the bill. 

But I thought at that point that we were going to lose it, 
that Mineta was just going to hold on to it for so long that he 
just wouldn't do it. 

Chall: Now, what about Leon Panetta? 
about something. 

I understand that he was adamant 

Beard: You know, I can't remember what he was adamant about, but now that 
you remind me, he was adamant. But he was George's roommate, and 
George really put the arm on him, and agreed to provide help to 
him. I mean, that's about all you can do at that point. You agree 
to help somebody in some way to do whatever it is that you can do 
to help them out. It's very frustrating, because we were down to 
the last few hours of the Congress, and we knew that Senator 
Seymour was then going to filibuster the billthe conference 
reportwhich was a very unusual action, and so we were fearful 
that we were simply going to run out of time to get it through. 

The Omnibus Bill Moves Through the House and Senate 

Chall: That was difficult to get through House, I guess, because of this 

kind of maneuvering which made it late. But it did pass on a voice 
vote, after a number of, I understand, other votes on it in various 
areas . 

Beard: Yes. The valley congressmen offered up motions and things to kind 
of put on a good show, but at that point, we had the votes, we had 
passed it a number of times, everybody was on board, and it was 
really in everybody's interest to move the legislation forward. 

And then it went over to the Senate, where they engaged in 
this rather lengthy charade of delay which Senator Seymour 
undertook. Senator Seymour filibustered the conference report, and 
his Republican colleagues were totally frustrated with him. They 
abandoned him and never did support him in his effort. So he was 
left by himself, out there giving his long-winded speeches, railing 
against the bill. But in the end, he lost, and the bill was then 
sent to the president. 

At that point, all the western Senators sort of jumped in on 
the action, and frankly, they really did a number on President 
Bush. They really worked hard, put a lot of pressure on him to 
sign the bill, which he did in the end. 

Chall: I understand from Barry Nelson's interview that the vote in the 
Housethe activity in the House on the vote was a "lobbying 


frenzy" around the door. [laughs] He said the secretary of the 
Department of the Interior and Senator Bradley were all down on the 
floor besieging the congressmen. Is that how you recall it? 1 

Beard: Well, no, Secretary [Manuel] Lujan did go down on the floor, and he 
did wander around to a few people and say, "Gee, I'd like you to go 
ahead and vote no," but at this point-- 

Chall: It didn't matter? 

Analyzing Aspects of the CVPIA and Its Implementation 

Beard: It didn't matter. First of all, the administration played no role 
in the debate or the discussions, and I think that is a tragedy, in 
my view. The real strengthone of the reasons why the CVP is 
going to be amended some day- -I don't know whether it will be 
amended this year, but it's going to be amended some day, and it 
ought to be amendedis that when we wrote the bill, we really 
didn't know what we were doing in some important areas. (I hope 
somebody doesn't misquote that statement.) 

Chall: They can't misquote it, because if they're going to use it for 

publication, they have to quote it exactly, and you have to give 
permission. In what ways? 

Beard: In what way? Well, what you had is you had myself, and John 

Lawrence, and a number of lobbyists who were handing us pieces of 
paper, and our own imagination, writing a bill, and Charlene 
Dougherty and Steve Lanich also working on it, on one side. And 
then you had Tom Jensen, and Dave Yardas, and other lobbyists, and 
other people handing them pieces of paper on the other side. 

Missing from the equation are the professionalsthe 
bureaucrats who will implement this law. Our knowledge of the 
system and how it operates was limited. None of us had ever worked 
at the Bureau of Reclamation. I had worked at the Interior 
Department and supervised the Bureau of Reclamation, but I had 
never worked there. We were not aware of many nuances that are 
present in the system. 

'Barry Nelson, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act, 
1991-1992, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Libary, The University 
of California, Berkeley, 1994, p. 63. 


For example, regarding water transferswe thought this is 
very unique. Well, in fact, it wasn't unique. Transfers had been 
taking place for years. And what we did, in fact, was that we 
added a superstructure, we added a layer, on to the approval 
process that wasn't there previously. So we, in fact, slowed 
transfers down, not sped it up. But we didn't know that at the 
time. And the reason we didn't know it is the administration 
wasn't communicating with us. 

And they weren't communicating for a fundamental reason. 
Secretary Lujan and the people in policy positions down there made 
the decision early on that they were going to do absolutely nothing 
to make this bill better, to correct mistakes in it, because they 
didn't want to help move the process along. They were that opposed 
to the bill. So they sat and did absolutely nothing. Well, when 
this bill passed, a lot of people, like the regional director of 
the bureau and others, sort of said, "Gee, if we'd have only known, 
we could have done this or done that." A lot of exemptions, for 
example, to the contracting moratorium and some other things. We 
put in exemptions when people brought them to our attention, but a 
lot of people didn't bring them to our attention because they 
didn't have lobbyists. We didn't know about certain things. 

So there are some mistakes in there. There are some things 
that oughtnot mistakes but things that ought to be corrected. 
They have to be corrected some day. 

Chall: Are those technical kinds of things? 

Beard: Yes, they're technical, but there are some substantive things, as 
I've said. We did some things in the water conservation area: 
tiered pricing, for example. We should have had tiered pricing or 
an equivalent pricing system, but tiered pricing doesn't work in 
some districts. It in fact will be counterproductive in some 
districts. Well, none of us knew that. And what we were searching 
for is, we were searching for a means we wanted to include 
provisions which would require districts to impose pricing 
structures which promote conservation and efficient use, as opposed 
to promote waste. Now, that's what we were really looking for, and 
we didn't care whether it was tiered pricing or banana republic 
pricing, we don't care. Whatever would work. 

Well, because we didn't have the involvement in the drafting 
of the bill by the professionals, the people that are involved in 
managing the system, we really suffered as a result of that, and I 
hope that that will be corrected. Now, some of those corrections 
have already taken place in the implementation phase. In the 
implementation phase, the bureaucrats, the people at reclamation 
and fish and wildlife have worked very hard to implement the bill, 


and they've actually made a number of changes through 
interpretation to correct some of those problems. 

But that was really a problem of draftsmanship. It sort of 
proved the downside to our system of government, where the 
government employees, the professionals, aren't part of the 
legislative branch. In a parliamentary system, a bill is written 
by the agency and then it's handed to their boss, who is also a 
member of the parliament, and it's passed. Well, in our system, we 
have the agency writing bills and the Senate staff writing bills 
and the House staff writing bills, and it's a-- 

Chall: Pretty soon a compromise doesn't make sense. 
Beard: Yes. That's what happens. 

Chall: That's interesting. With respect to the implementation--! want to 
go into that in the next phase with you--Mr. Peltier had first said 
that they [CVP contractors] wouldn't help implement the bill, and 
when I asked him about that, he said they would have to. But he 
said, "All the monsters that we said are out there obviously aren't 
going to be there. Just as on the other side, all the wonderful 
benefits that they claimed would be there most assuredly won't be 
there. But anyway, we needed to de-monster it a little bit and 
start engaging and trying to make it work." 1 He also felt that 
they never had a fair debate; it wasn't a fair debate. That's 
probably because they weren't in on it? 

Beard: Well, I don't think that's a fair criticism. I think first of all, 
they never thought that the bill would ever pass. I don't think 
that Jason and the people that he represented ever seriously 
considered the possibility that the bill would be passed and become 
law. I had some one-on-one discussions with Jason, and I told him, 
I said, "Jason, this bill is going to pass." He told me, "You're 
wrong. It's not going to pass." So I think from the very 
beginning, they never, ever felt that the bill would pass. 

And I think there are several reasons for that. One reason 
is they thought that they had power and ability and authority so 
that they could stop the bill. They had President Bush and the 
administration and then Senator Seymour. But the other reason I 
think that they felt that it wasn't going to pass is a very common 
mistake that people make when they deal with George Miller. In the 
early 1980s, George really learned how to become a legislator. 

'Jason Peltier, The Passage of the Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act, 1991-1992, Regional Oral History Office, University of California, 
Berkeley, 1994, pp. 51, 73. 


George is an extremely able, capable legislator. He is somebody 
who loves politics and plays politics well. I think because of his 
bellicose nature he tends to shout loudly, and he's very big, and 
he's very loud, and very domineering- -that many people view him as 
a buffoon, and they overlook the fact that he's a very accomplished 
politician, a legislator who can get things through the legislative 
process . 

I think that's a skill that he is not given credit for, and I 
think many of his opponents in the CVPIA never thought that he 
could pull it off. They just thought, "Well, that's just Miller's 
own view of the world and it will never go anywhere." And in fact, 
he was successful, and it did become law. And, as I told you, I 
even think we were a little surprised that we were able to pull it 
off. But part of it was that the stars sort of aligned themselves 
in a way that-- You know, we never could have predicted that Pete 
Wilson would run for governor and get elected. We never could have 
ever thought in our wildest dreams that Tony Coelho would resign 
and go off and become a millionaire investment banker. We never 
thought in our wildest dreams that George would become chairman of 
the committee. We never thought in our wildest dreams that the 
people, the environmentalists and the Utah people, would ever come 
to agreement on the Central Utah Project, which was really the main 
locomotive pushing the train down the tracks. 

So a lot of things happened- -it was luck. We took advantage 
of it when it did occur, but a lot of it is luck. 



Chall: Well, having accomplished that, I'd like to get into your work as 

commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation which you've had, what, a 
year and a half? Two? 

Beard: No, two years, a little over two years now. Two and a half years. 
Chall: You were appointed June, 1993? 
Beard: I was confirmed in May of 1993. 

Chall: I see. It's quite a change from being the head of a staff that 

isn't terribly large to being head of a tremendously large agency. 
How big is that agency? As commissioner, what were you appointed 
to do? 

Beard: Well, the Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water 
supply utility in the United States, and it's the sixth largest 
electric power producer in the United States. We're larger than 
Pacific Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison. If we were a 
corporation, we'd be a Fortune 500 corporation. It's a very large 

After the election and after this bill was passed, I was 
tired. I had had obviously a very difficult year. Mr. Miller 
started out in January of 1991, as the acting chairman and then 
became the chairman of the committee [Natural Resources Committee], 
and I had to replace the staff. Mr. Udall's staff had to be let 
go, and then I had to hire new staff. We had to move on a number 
of bills and investigations and things. It was a very active 
period, and frankly, I was kind of burned out. 

I was also kind of burned out working in the Congress. As my 
description earlier shows, I've worked in the Congress most of my 
professional lifein and around the Congress. I've enjoyed it. 
In April of 1993, I had my fiftieth birthday, and I had had twenty 


years of federal service, which meant that I qualified for the 
minimum retirement. 

The Bureau of Reclamation! A Personal Challenge 

Beard: So I kind of reached a watershed. I really felt after the election 
that I wanted to make a change. I was kind of bored with the 
Congress, in one way. It was an exciting place, there was lots 
going on, but it was a lot of pressure, and I wanted to kind of do 
something different with my life. I really felt that I wanted to 
take on a personal challenge. I wanted to take on a challenge of 
trying to change an organization. The only organization I knew a 
lot about was the Bureau of Reclamation, so I decided right after 
the election that I wanted to get the job as commissioner of the 
Bureau of Reclamation. I put on a little campaign, and got a lot 
of people to write letters to the new president and new secretary 
and try to support my candidacy. 

I went in for an interview with Secretary [Bruce] Babbitt, 
and Secretary Babbitt said, "Why do you want this job?" My wife 
asked me the same thing. I took a $10,000 pay cut, and I had two 
kids in college. And my answer was that I really wanted a personal 
challenge; I wanted to change an organization. I really felt that 
that's all I wanted to do. I wanted to change an organization, the 
bureau, and then I wanted to leave. I did get the job. Secretary 
Babbitt said, "Well, I think it ought to change too," and as I told 
him, I said, "Listen, if you hire me, I'm going to do it, so if you 
don't want to do it, don't hire me. I've got a good job and I can 
just keep it. It's not like I need the work." 

He said, "No, I do want to change it, and I think you'd be 
the right person to do it," and I've gone ahead and done that. 

Restructuring the Bureau to Meet the Changes in its Purpose 

Chall: And what have you done? 

Beard: Well, we launched an employee-led change process to restructure the 
organization from top to bottom. 

Chall: Downsize it? 


Beard: Today we have a workforce that is 20 percent smaller than it was 

just two years ago, and at the end of this year, another 5 percent 
of our employees have agreed to leave. So one out of every five 
workers , and at the end of this year one out of every four workers , 
will have left the organization. Our budget requests are $100 
million less than they were two years ago, which is about 20 
percent of our budget, or 17 percent of our budget. We have 
restructured every office, we have delegated authority. I 
abolished the seven highest positions in the organization 
underneath me. I had two deputy commissioners and five assistant 
commissioners, and I abolished all seven of those jobs. We've 
taken a lot of the day-to-day decision-making authority away from 
people in the central headquarters and sent it out to the field, so 
that in management parlance, we've empowered our field 
organizations to make decisions. 

Chall: You left the field offices about the same as they were? 

Beard: No. I've sent people from the headquarters, regional offices, and 
from our Denver office out to the field, and I've completely 
restructured that. I took our Denver operation, which was sort of 
a pseudo-headquarters--Washington was always the headquarters, but 
one- quarter of all our employees were in Denver. That's where all 
the design work was done, and we'd centralized most of our 
management functions there about eight years ago. I abolished the 
Denver headquarters concept, and instead, we've made it a 
reimbursable service center that works with the rest of the 

We've instituted a wide variety of innovative management 
approaches, and we've been very successful at implementing that. 
It was all done by our employees, with my support and 
encouragement. My only job was to say, "Yeah, go ahead, let's do 
it," and work on much of the public affairs angles of it and the 
congressional affairs. We recently were awarded $100,000--well, we 
will in October be given a $100,000 award by the Ford Foundation at 
Harvard University. It's called the Innovations in American 
Government Award, and it's handed out to fifteen government 
agencies or programs that do innovative things, and we're one of 
the recipients for this year. 

So we're very proud of that. We're very proud. We now have 
the reputation in the federal workforce as being one of the most 
innovative agencies, and one of the few agencies that has actually 
downsized itself, restructured and refocused itself, and gotten rid 
of a lot of middle management layers. We have eliminated at least 
two layers of management in our organization, and we've done all 
this in the last two years. That's what I've spent a lot of my 
time doing. 


Chall: These people, were they civil servants? 
Beard: Yes. 

Chall: Wasn't there a crying need for restructuring just because the 
bureau's purpose has changed over the years? 

Beard: Yes. 

Chall: And they weren't catching up in their administrative arrangement 

with the change in the purpose of the bureau. Was that part of the 

Beard: That's the fundamental problem. I mean, the problem is that the 
Bureau of Reclamation was conceived and had a ninety-year history 
as a construction agency, but the construction program has ended. 
The dam-building era in the United States is now over. And all the 
employees knew that, and they wanted desperately to have somebody 
come in and say, "Okay, it's over. Now we're going to do something 
different." And they didn't quite know what to do. 

Well, when I came in, I said, "The dam-building era is over, 
we're going to get out of the construction business. We're going 
to become a water resource management agency. We're going to 
manage the infrastructure that we have in place in a more sensitive 
and environmentally benign way, I hope, but we're going to be water 
resource managers, as opposed to water project constructors." And 
that's a significant difference. 

One of the reasons why we were able to be successful in this 
change was that the agency was ready for it. I literally had 
people who were sitting around with no work to do. 

Chall: I would have guessed. 

Beard: Yes. Oh, they were very frustrated, and frankly, they were not 

happy employees. People were really frustrated. All these changes 
did not come about without opposition. There were a lot of people 
who were opposed to them. But there were a larger number who were 
very supportive. Again, we got very lucky in the middle of this 
effort when the Congress passed legislation authorizing early 
buyout. So anybody that had twenty years of service and was fifty 
years of age or older was eligible to retire, and could get a bonus 
of $25,000. So about 80 percent of the people who left took 
advantage of that. 

Now, one of the reasons they took advantage is that we 
actually had a very disproportionately aged workforce. When I came 
in May of 1993, one-third of all the people who worked at 


Reclamation were fifty years of age or older, and one- third were 
between forty and fifty. So that meant that two- thirds of my 
workforce had been there a minimum of fifteen years. It was a 
disproportionately older workforce. I had sections in Denver that 
hadn't had a new employee in fifteen years. For fifteen years, the 
same people had been doing the same thing with each other. For 
fifteen years. 

Well, at some point, you need some new stimulus, and it was a 
tragedy, what was happening. So we came in and we sort of 
restructured everything, and then a lot of people said, "Hey, I've 
been through this before, I'm not going to go through this again. 
I'm going to retire and take this money and leave." And they did 
leave. We have restructured the organization, it is different, it 
has a different attitude and outlook-- 

Chall: Different types of training for the people who are in there now, if 
you're going from building engineers to water management? Are they 
people with different backgrounds? 

Beard: Oh, yes. We have a lot more limnologists and biologists and 

fisheries experts now than we ever had in the past. We're hiring 
fewer civil engineers. I had to be very careful as we did this, 
because one of the great traditions with the Bureau of Reclamation, 
one of the reasons it's been a fantastic agency, is that it has a 
history of being an agency filled with people who do things. If 
you've ever been to Hoover Dam or Grand Coulee Dam or Shasta Dam 
and looked at them, you've probably said to yourself, How could 
somebody think of this? I mean, not only think of it, but do it? 
That takes-- 

Chall: Skill. 

Beard: Yes, it's amazing. Well, in fact, those people, the kind of people 
that did that, are still there in the organization. Now, they 
can't do that any more, and the trick has been to make sure that we 
channel their energies and their efforts in a direction where they 
would do things like that and become aggressive in implementing the 
new agenda, new items. 

And probably the flagship of sort of new things was the 
Central Valley Project Improvement Act, where Roger Patterson and 
the people in Sacramento have literally thrown themselves into this 
effort. There are over 100 separate items in that bill that people 
in reclamation have been working on, everything from a programmatic 
environmental impact statement to contract negotiations to you name 
it, fisheries-- Everything. So you have all this activity taking 
place and all these people working on it, and it's amazing to me 
that reclamation employees are still focused on the end objective. 


They want to get through all this stuff so that they can keep 
moving forward. A lot of agencies, the Fish and Wildlife Service 
is one good example, they become fixated on the process, not the 
end objective. They get into these sort of paperwork loops where 
they just keep doing paperwork and never come to any conclusion. 

Our folks, fortunately or unfortunately, are more interested 
in coming to conclusions and getting things done, and that's a 
tradition I've wanted to try to keep as we went through this 
restructuring and downsizing process. 

The $100,000 Ford Foundation-Harvard University Grant 

Chall: And what is the focus of the grant that you're about to get? 
That's a study, apparently? 

Beard: No. We went in and made a presentation to the Ford Foundation and 
Harvard University, a panel of people, judges, and said, "This is 
what we did, and this is how we did it," and they gave us 
essentially $100,000 award for the accomplishments that we 

Chall: Well, that's unusual for a private foundation to be giving 
government -- 

Beard: Yes. Well, they started this program in the early 1980s, when 
President Reagan said that we ought to move things back down to 
state and local government levels. Ford Foundation and Harvard 
felt that they needed to encourage sort of innovative government 
approaches by the state and local governments, so they started this 
program of rewarding state and local government programs and 
efforts that were innovative. This year was the first year that 
they allowed federal agencies to participate, and there were five 
winners from the federal government of the $100,000 award, and 
there were ten winners from the federal government that received 
$20,000 awards. 

Chall: What will you do with the award? 

Beard: We're going to hold several workshops and conferences in cities 

where there are large numbers of federal employees to explain what 
we've done and how we've done it, and how they can do this as well, 
how they can initiate a process like this and move it forward. 

Chall: Now, can we talk a little bit about the implementation of the 

CVPIA? Because I would assume that you have been involved in that. 


Beard: Right. 

Chall: Is this your last little trip around? 
Beard: Yes, last trip to California, anyway. 

Answering Some Charges 

Chall: The Sacramento Bee, in an editorial on February 1, claimed that 
you, of course, were Miller's man, that you had temperamental 
outbursts, hostility toward agriculture, and oft-repeated contempt 
for the reclamation program. "It's not just agribusiness that's 
come in for his scorn. He's been equally abusive toward 
environmentalists at times. But while environmental leaders 
privately express doubts about his commitment to serious reform of 
the reclamation program, they are afraid to oppose Miller, who is 
using his power as chair of the House Interior Committee to 
pressure them into supporting Beard's candidacy. As one puts it-- 
anonymously--they feel 'obligated 1 to endorse him." 1 

However, in June, as you announced your resignation, Calvin 
Dooley said, "He wasn't the nightmare some of us thought he was 
going to be." 2 

So you came in with some hostility toward you in California? 
Beard: Yes, but I think I need to address that. 
Chall: Yes, of course. 

Beard: First of all, the editorial is written by Bill Kahrl, and second of 
all, I've never in my life ever met Bill Kahrl. So how he can say 
that I have a personality which is prone to temperamental outbursts 
is beyond me. He said some other things about me: I was petulant 
and some other things like that, all of which were really 
fascinating, especially to my wife, who I've been married to for 
twenty-eight years. I've never seen her so upset at anything. 

1 "Miller's Man at Reclamation?", The Sacramento Bee, February 1, 1993, 
p. B12. 

2 The Oakland Tribune, June 13, 1995. 


I was fascinated by the editorial, because it really ascribed 
to me a lot of personality characteristics which, first of all, I 
don't have, but second of all, I don't know how anybody who's an 
editorial writer would know, if they've never met me, or ever dealt 
with me, know that I have such personality characteristics. I 
guess I'm one of those that believes, and I always have felt this, 
that the record counts. I'm in public life. I'm a public servant. 
I'm a political appointee, but nevertheless, I'm paid by the 
taxpayers. And in public service, you have a record. Your record 
really speaks more than anything else. I sort of have this old 
adage which is, Never get into an argument with somebody that buys 
ink by the barrel, because they'll always outdo you. 

I think that all I can say to Mr. Kahrl is I'll put my record 
up against anybody else. I am leaving as commissioner in another 
week. A reporter called me and asked me, "What's the thing you're 
most proud of?" I said, "Oh, without a doubt, as my tenure as 
commissioner, the thing I'm most proud of is that all the people 
who helped me get this job two years ago are still my friends, and 
that I can still sleep at night." And there aren't a lot of people 
in political life who can say that. I worked hard to get this job, 
but a lot of people helped me get this job. A lot of people in the 
environmental community, notwithstanding Mr. Kahrl, really worked 
hard to help me get the job, and they're still my friends. I still 
enjoy a good working relationship with them, and I haven't 
abandoned my own core principles. 

I haven't been indicted for scandalous behavior either, or 
unethical behavior. So I walk away from this in many respects with 
a sense of pride, because I was true to my principles and my 
friends, and I conducted myself, I think, in such a way that I 
could manage one of the largest corporations in America, and bring 
it through a significant change process. Vice President [Al] Gore 
gave us an award [Golden Hammer Award] and was very complimentary, 
in fact came over and personally gave me the award. Harvard 
University and the Ford Foundation have given us an award for what 
we did, and even more so than that, the employees of the 
organization support what we did. 

So I don't have any qualms about my record. I'm a public 
employee, I'm a public servant. I understand that. I worked for a 
congressman, and have now worked for a president and a secretary, 
and my job is to do what they ask me to do, not what I wanted to 
do, not what I personally wanted to do. Bill Kahrl and others 
ascribe to me certain positions, such as I'm anti-agriculture. 
Well, I'm not. Now, George Miller was, and I worked for him, and I 
love George Miller, but I don't agree with him on that. But you 
get tagged with the people who you work for. But that's just part 


of the game, and I don't mind that. That sort of comes with the 

Chall: That's right. You say George Miller is truly anti-agriculture? 
Beard: No. 

The Connection Between Subsidies and the Uses of Water 

Chall: Not really? He was just anti-what? 

Beard: Oh, I don't think he's anti-agriculture. I mean, nobody's anti- 
agriculture, everybody's got to eat. But I think that his view of 
how agriculture ought to receive water is a view that's different 
from theirs. Maybe that's a better way to put it. I mean, much of 
what we were trying to fight for, the reforms that we were trying 
to fight for, and the reforms that we're still trying to fight for, 
frankly, are really pretty simple. That is, I think, that we ought 
to try to eliminate the subsidies which are found throughout the 
federal water resource system. If you were able to eliminate the 
subsidies and provide water at a true cost, you would have a much 
more significant impact, a much more efficient system. 

For example, the drought that took place between 1988 or '89 
and '94 led to some absolutely startling changes in the way in 
which water is managed south of the Delta in California. If you go 
to Westlands today, there is very little cotton produced. There 
are a lot of almonds, high-value crops. In Westlands much of their 
field crops are irrigated through drip irrigation, underground drip 
irrigation of row crops, which is very unusual. And all of this is 
driven by only one thing, and that is that during that period, 
there was very little water, and they had to do something. What 
they did is that they became much more efficient in the application 
of water. 

Now, if you go right across the street and go where the 
Exchange Contractors were, who never were shorted, they're just 
using old techniques and wasting water, with all due respect. So I 
have always felt that the Achilles heel of the federal reclamation 
program has been pricing water. What we've proven is that if you 
give people water for nothing, they'll waste it. I mean, it's 
really that simple. So if we could eliminate, or work to 
eliminate, many of the subsidies, what we'd do is change the use, 
we'd change cropping patterns, we would reduce drainage, we would 
correct a lot of problems. 


So I have always, sort of my lifetime's work here, with 
George and on my own, has been to try to seek to eliminate 
subsidies from the federal reclamation program where possible, and 
to encourage the agency to operate in a much more environmentally 
sensitive manner. And that's been the overall objective for what 
I've been trying to achieve. 

Chall: How about the elimination of subsidies? Are you getting very close 
to that? 

Beard: No. 

Chall: That's really a very difficult- 
Beard: It's very difficult. I mean, the subsidies have been there for so 
many years, and they're so integral to the system that I don't want 
to say it's impossible to get rid of them, but it's very, very, 
very difficult. And there are so many subsidies. You can't get 
rid of them all, but you can begin to try to change the system, and 
that's what tiered pricing is, for example. Tiered pricing is just 
a way to try to bring some reality to the pricing system. I think 
change will come, but it will come slowly. 

But we've done some very unique things. I was in Stockholm 
at the Stockholm Water Conference several weeks ago, which is an 
annual meeting where they invite people from all over the world to 
come and talk about a number of issues. And the Central Valley 
Project Improvement Act was cited on a number of occasions as one 
of the few instances worldwide in which we've gone back and sort of 
retrofitted a water project, trying to correct the environmental 
abuses and introduce innovative concepts, such as allocating a 
block of water for environmental restoration, encouraging water 
transfers, encouraging water conservation, encouraging pricing 
policies which are proactive. 

And there is fairly wide agreement internationally that these 
are the kinds of reforms that we're going to have to make worldwide 
if we're going to meet world development needs long-run. 

Chall: Rather than just building facilities. 

Beard: Yes. I mean, the dam-building era is over in the United States as 
well as the rest of the world. There's going to be fewer and fewer 
dams built, because many of the major lending institutions, like 
the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and others, are 
finding it more and more difficult to come up with the money, and 
once they do come up with the money, then there is significant 
opposition. And then the third thing is that there is recognition 
that if you do build these structures, they don't really lead to 


the kind of result that you think that they will have. There are 
the environmental impacts associated with them; they don't 
contribute as much to the economy as people think. I mean, there's 
a lot of downsides to it, and the World Bank in particular has been 
very good at saying the right things. Their actions aren't the 
same, but they are moving in this direction. 

We kind of got off the track a bit. 

The CVPIA: Possible Changes by the Republican-Controlled Congress 

Chall: That's all right. Tell me what's happened to your agency with the 
new Congress, and with the CVPIA. What's going on now? I know 
that we have different people now chairmen of the resources 
committees in the Senate and the House, and that George Miller has 
a small office and a small staff compared to what he used to have. 
There is an attempt to construct an Auburn Dam, a private buyout of 
the CVP, et cetera, et cetera. There are legal problems. What's 
going to happen? What is happening? 

Beard: Well, obviously, the reform era, the era when George was head of 

the resources committee had ended. In 1990, as I told you before, 
we went to this curious position of suddenly finding ourselves in 
control of all the levers. Thank God we took advantage of it while 
we had the opportunity. I'm forever grateful that we did, because 
that was our window of opportunity, and we utilized it. The last, 
the 1994 elections swept into office the Republicans in the 
Congress in both the House and the Senate, and so far, they haven't 
been able to take advantage of their newfound power. This is their 
window of opportunity, and so far, they haven't been able to take 
advantage of it. 

Chall: That's within the water sphere they haven't? 

Beard: In the water sphere. And the reason that they haven't is that I 
think they're still so new at the process that they don't quite 
know what it is they should be doing. They're a little confused 
about the system. They'll straighten that out after another year 
or so. 

When you look back at the history of the Central Valley 
Project, or any other water project, for that matter, major 
amendments to the enabling legislation, I mean acts of Congress, 
only come along about once every decade, and there's a reason for 
that. The reason is all the discussion that I've had today. I 
mean, I explained to you how many things had to line up to enable 


us to move a bill forward, and frankly, we were surprised that we 
were able to do it. 

The same works for anybody else that comes along with another 
piece of legislation. You have to be able to align all these 
things up. I mean, it's almost like a complicated jigsaw puzzle, 
where you have to get all the pieces to fit together, and if one 
piece isn't there, it doesn't work. Right now, with the '94 
election, the Republicans have come in, and the farmers feel now 
it's payback time. Miller bested them in 1992; "By God, we're 
going to get payback, and we're going to get our pound of flesh, 
and we're going to move a Central Valley Project Improvement Reform 
Act," or whatever they call it, Improvement Act, "and take back 
some of the losses that we suffered in 1992." This is a farmer 

So the Republicans have introduced that bill [H.R.2738, 
Central Valley Project Reform Act of 1995], got hearings held in 
the House, and found out that there is significant disagreement 
amongst all of them as to what ought to be done. So that isn't 
working so good. 

Then they came forward with this idea that they would buy the 
Central Valley Project, and they were encouraged in this by the 
investment bankers, one of whom is a former regional director for 
the Bureau of Reclamation, David Houston. And they're trying to 
move that legislation, and frankly, that's not going to work 
either, because the price is laughable, and all the various 
elements within this project are not happy being under the thumb 
ofessentially under the thumb of the ag growers on the west side 
south of the Delta. I mean, they're the people that are pushing 
this concept. 

And I think part of it goes back to just the inherent nature 
of our political system. Our political system is very complex, and 
it's frustrating, and there are so many checks and balances in it, 
so many little hoops that you have to jump through, that it's 
really complicated, and it takes a long time. One of the things 
that our system does is that it almost forces you to put together 
coalitions to move a bill forward. Now, by coalition I mean it 
forces you toyou can't do anything by yourself. You've got to 
get others to help you. 

Our experience with the CVPIA was that it was one thing to 
have George Miller introduce a bill; it was another thing to get 
the thing enacted into law. And the way to do that was to spend a 
lot of time visiting southern California, San Diego, San Francisco, 
and meeting with the business community, meeting with 


environmentalists, meeting with a lot of people, to encourage them 
to come on board with this whole idea of reform. 

Chall: And stay on board. 

Beard: And stay on board. And that was a time-consuming effort, and one 
that required commitment. One of the reasons that I think the 
current crop of politicians is having a problem is that they're not 
as committed to it, and they haven't had the time to invest in it 
yet. But who knows? We'll see. We'll see if they have the 
opportunity, if they're willing to stay with it, and if they can 
stay in control of the House of Representatives. Who knows whether 
or not they can. 

Total Revision of the CVPIA Unlikely 

Chall: But do you think that they could turn it right around almost to 
where it was-- 180 degrees? 

Beard: No. In my view, and this is just my view, this is like toothpaste 
out of a tube. Once it gets out, you can't get it back. I really 
think that they will make some corrective actions. But they can't 
turn back the clock; they can't repeal all the 1992 reforms. The 
most controversial thing about the CVPIA, the one thing that really 
grates on the farmers more than anything else, is the 800,000 acre- 
feet. They hate it, they really hate that. I mean, when you 
really get down to it and you say, "What is it you really don't 
like about this law?", they say, "It's the 800,000 acre-feet." 
That's the thing that just really gets them. 

Chall: I see. More than the loss of their contracts for forty years? 
That bothered Peltier I think. Maybe it's the loss of water to 

Beard: Yes. See, the problem with the CVPIA and the critics, the people 
who are opposed to it right now, is that it's a fear of the 
unknown. When you talk to them and you say, "What specifically do 
you have a problem with?", they say, "Well, they could take our 

Chall: It's the uncertainty. 

Beard: It's the uncertainty. But they're afraid that the 800,000 acre- 
feet is going to mean less water for agriculture. Well, you say to 
them, "How do you know that?" And they say, "Well, you've got to 
take it from somewhere and you're going to take it from us." When 


you go to them, you say, "What don't you like about the fish 
doubling plan?" "Well, it's going to take more water and you're 
going to take it from us." "Well, how do you know that? You 
haven't seen the plan yet, so how do you know?" 

So you kind of go through all the items, and the answer in 
each case is that there's this fear of the unknown, and it's a 
deep-seated fear and frustration, and they want to change it. If 
we can get a couple of years experience, I think we'll have more 
acceptance. In the next couple of years the programmatic EIS 
[Environmental Impact Statement] is going to be finished, we're 
going to have the fish doubling plan in place, we're going to have 
agreement as to how the 800,000 acre-feet is going to be handled, 
and all of these things that are the ghosts, the bogeymen that are 
out there that-- 

Chall: Monsters. 

Beard: The monsters that infuriate the farmers will no longer be unknowns. 
People will know what they are, it will be in black and white, and 
explanations will be there, and I think people will begin to 
understand that we can meet all those needs in a fashion that's 

Now, maybe I'm overly optimistic, but I don't think so. I 
think once you get rid of that fear, the driving force behind the 
legislation is going to begin to disappear. The problem that 
they're having in the Congress right now with any efforts to repeal 
this stuff is that nobody, and I mean nobody, in the Senate is on 
their team. They have virtually nobody in the Senate. Barbara 
Boxer is not at all interested; Dianne Feinstein wants the problem 
to go away; and Bill Bradley, who's still there at least for 
another year and a half, Bill Bradley is adamantly opposed to 
amending it. And even if Bradley left, a senator from South 
Carolina or some other state could care less about California. I 
mean, with all due respect. 

So once again, it goes back to the problem that we had when 
we tried to move the legislation originally: we couldn't get 
anybody in the Senate to take up our little cause until Bill 
Bradley wandered along. Well, when Bradley leaves, it will be a 
problem. You wouldn't be able to move reform legislation in this 
environment anyway, but it's going to be a problem for them. If 
they want to try to roll back the reforms, they've got to have an 
advocate in the Senate, and they don't have one right now. 

Dan Beard's Future Career Plans 

Chall: Tell me where you're going from here. 

Beard: Where am I going? I am currently planning on going into business 
as a lobbyist in Washington with a friend of mine by the name of 
John Freshman. He has a group called Freshman and Associates. 
He's been in business for fifteen years. We are going to set up 
Freshman and Beard, a public policy consulting firm, lobbying. 
That's my current plan. I plan to lobby and do consulting, and 
then I also want to do public speaking. I want to try to do some 
public speaking on management of large public organizations in the 
1990s, and try to see if I can make a little money doing that. I'm 
also going to retire as a federal employee, so I get a small 

I've had a life of public service and controversy. I've 
probably been involved in and around most- -well, all of the major 
water controversies in the last twenty years in Washington, D.C., 
and being a lobbyist is a lot different than being the staff person 
sort of putting these things together. We'll have to see if I can 
keep myself detached from it in that way. I hope I'm mature 

I don't know. This is what I plan to do. I probably have a 
sneakingthere's something in the back of my mind that makes me 
think that I'll end up running some kind of organization somewhere, 
because it turns out I actually- -notwithstanding Bill Kahrl it 
turns out I'm actually pretty good. 

Chall: Administration. 

Beard: Well, as a leader, as somebody who can articulate a vision and 

encourage people to move in that direction. I don't know how I--to 
me it's sort of second nature, but for some reason, I seem to have 
that ability to lead a group of people, and I'm grateful for it. 

But I kind of want a little bit of a break, frankly. This 
has been a very hardthis experience with reclamation has been an 
extremely hard one on my family. 

Chall: What hasn't, over the twenty- some years? [laughing] 

Beard: Well, yes, you're right, but this has been--I travel on the average 
two days a week in the West, so I'm on the road every week. Well, 
I only have seventy- five employees in Washington, and all the other 
employees are in the western United States, or around the world, 
for that matter. So it's been very difficult. I've had to be on 


the road a lot, and you go out and meet a lot of people and talk to 
people, and it's been very hard on my family. I've been away from 
home a lot. I don't know, I think if I hung around home, maybe 
they'd get sick of me after a while, but I'd like to see if I can 
do that for a while. 

Chall: And you wouldn't be sick of them? 

Beard: No. It's very interesting, this experience. I was talking to 

somebody at a management forum. They were asking me what we did 
and how we did it, and they asked me sort of what advice I'd have, 
and I said, "You know, the first bit of advice I'd give somebody 
who was in charge and going to undertake an effort like this is to 
get yourself a physical fitness regime." Because the hardest thing 
I've had to deal with for the last two years has been the mental 
and physical stress of leading a change effort. I had a lot of 
employees who would call me up or write me notes and say, "Why 
don't you just shoot us and get it over with?" 

And I have taken that very seriously, very personally. I've 
really felt very strongly that we were going in the right 
direction, but when somebody disagrees with you pretty strongly, 
you kind of--at least I felt--it was hard. That was hard. 

But we'll see, we'll see what the future brings. It's odd, I 
woke up with my retirement- -suddenly I didn't have to work. It 
would have been not a starvation diet but close to it, but the rent 
would get paid certainly, and I could mow lawns and paint houses, I 
guess, to make money. 

Chall: That doesn't sound-- You wouldn't do that. 

Beard: Well, you know, there's a certain intrigue to it. But I really 
found myself for the first time ever with this sort of space to 
fill--I had lots of different options, and I've sort of settled on 
this option. I hope that it works out fine. 

Chall: At least you can try it. 
Beard: Yes. 

Chall: And when you say public policy, what public policies? Will you be 
mainly interested in environment and water, or could you go over to 
child welfare or something like that? 

Beard: No, no. 

Chall: You're going to stay in your own field. 


Beard: No, I'm going to stay in my own field. The fellow that I'm working 
with has worked at EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] , and his 
strengths really are in water pollution control, waste water, solid 
waste kinds of things, and my strength has been in the natural 
resource fields programs that the Department of the Interior has, 
for example. Our objective is ultimately to make money, but also 
to have some fun and some exciting times along the way. That's 
what I'm kind of looking forward to. I'm somehow trying to see if 
I can make some money and then have some fun at the same time. Who 
knows? I'll do this for four or five years, and then maybe there 
will be some other public career. 

Chall: Oh, there will always be something. 

Beard: Yes, there always is, isn't there? 

Chall: Particularly if you're energetic and articulate. 

Beard: I've often thought about going back to teaching, but you know, I 
taught for just a little while and never really got back to it. 

Chall: Well, there's probably a place for people who have had the kind of 
experience you have to be teachers. I notice quite a number of 
people go from government into some of the universities around the 
Eastern Seaboard, teaching, particularly in Washington. Who knows? 
But thank you very much for the time you've given me and all this 
information that I needed. 

Beard: Well, thank you. I really appreciate the fact that the institute 
[The Centers for Water and Wildlife Resources] has been willing to 
fund the study, or fund your efforts. I only wish you'd come along 
about two years ago when all this was a lot more fresh in my mind. 

Chall: Oh, yes. Well, I knew that it probably wouldn't be fresh in your 
mind, because it couldn't possibly have been after all this time. 
I had a lot of information, but what I needed was to gather it 
together from your perspective. 

Beard: Yes. Actually, you had the framework there. It isn't hard if the 
framework is there to sort of fill in the details. 

Chall: Yes, you did that. Thank you. 

Transcriber: Shannon Page 
Final Typist: Shana Chen 


TAPE GUIDE- -Daniel P. Beard 

Date of Interview: August 30, 1995 

tape 1, side A 1 

tape 1, side B 12 

tape 2, side A 21 

tape 2, side B 32 

tape 3, side A 42 

tape 3, side B 54 



Beirne, James, 37, 39 

Boxer, Barbara, 61 

Bradley, Bill/ Bradley bills, 9, 12, 
16-17, 28, 61 

Bush, George, 40, 43 

Bush, George, administration of, 24, 
37-38, 44, 45 

business interests and the Central 
Valley Project Improvement Act, 
California Fish and Wildlife 
Protection bills, 13-16, 19. See 
also Miller, George 

Carter, Jimmy, 9-10 

Central Utah Project, 18, 19, 38, 47 

Central Valley Project: 

mitigation, need for, 12-16 
state purchase of, 59 
subsidies, 56-57 

Central Valley Project Improvement 
Act: agriculture /water community, 
6-7, 22, 31-33, 35-36, 39, 46; 
business interests, 20; 
contract renewals, 60; 
environmental community, 32, 34, 


implementation of, 44-46, 52-53; 
Republican Congress, 58-61 
tiered pricing, 45; 
water marketing/transfers, 44-45 
Coelho, Tony, 8, 19-20 22 
Condit, Gary, 22, 32, 39 
Cranston, Alan, 30 

Dooley, Calvin, 22, 26, 31, 32, 39, 

Dougherty, Charlene, 8-9, 14-15 

environmentalists, 32, 34 
Esau, Ron, 42 

Fazio, Vic, 32-33, 38-39 
Feinstein, Dianne, 61 

Garn, Jake, 40 
Garrison, Karen, 21 
Golb, Richard, 25 

Grady, Robert (Bob), 40 

Graff, Thomas, 16, 33, 34 

Grand Canyon Protection Act, 37, 38 

Gwinn, Roger, 37, 38-39 

Hatch, Orrin, 40 

Houston, David, 59 

Jensen, Tom, 9, 16-17, 39 
Johnston, J. Bennett, 38 
Johnston, J.Bennett/Johnston mark, 

Kahrl, William, 54-55 

Lanich, Steve, 8, 32 
Lawrence, John, 8, 20, 32 
Lehman, Richard, 22, 31, 39 

McCain, John, 40 

Metropolitan Water District, 29, 39 
Miller, George, 5-8, 12, 18, 19, 20, 
25, 27, 34, 36, 40-41, 42, 46-47, 
Fish and Wildlife Protection 

Bills, 12, -17, 23 
Miller-Bradley bills, 31-32, 36 
water marketing/transfers, 21-23, 

Mineta, Norman, 42 

Omnibus Water Bill (H.R. 429), 19, 

27, 29-31, 37-44 
Omnibus Water Bill H.R. (2567), 18 

Panetta, Leon, 43 
Peltier, Jason, 46 
Peripheral Canal, 6 

Seymour, John/ Seymour bills, 23-26, 

27, 30-31, 43 
Share the Water, 20 
Simpson, Alan, 30, 40 
Somach, Stuart, 33,34, 35 
Somach/Graff negotiations, 33-35 

Udall, Morris (Moe), 18 

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, 48-54 


Wallop, Malcolm, 30, 40 
Wilson, Pete, 18, 19, 24-25 

Yardas, David, 21, 28, 39 

Malca Chall 

Graduated from Reed College In 1942 with a B.A. degree, 
and from the State University of Iowa in 1943 with an 
M.A. degree in Political Science. 

Wage Rate Analyst with the Twelfth Regional War Labor 
Board, 1943-1945, specializing in agriculture and 
services. Research and writing in the New York public 
relations firm of Edward L. Bernays , 1946-1947, and 
research and statistics for the Oakland Area Community 
Chest and Council of Social Agencies, 1948-1951. 

Active in community affairs as director and past 
president of the League of Women Voters of the Hayward 
area specializing in state and local government; on 
county-wide committees in the field of mental health; on 
election campaign committees for school tax and bond 
measures, and candidates for school board and state 
legislature . 

Employed in 1967 by the Regional Oral History Office 
interviewing in fields of agriculture and water 
resources. Also director, Suffragists Project, 
California Women Political Leaders Project, Land-Use 
Planning Project, and the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care 
Program Project. 

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