exchange for these losses, the dam has created one of the largest man-made
lakes in the United States. Forecasters estimated during the 1950s that
it would have up to a half million visitors during a year; it can now
boast that number on a Labor Day weekend alone. Some come to fish, others
to swim and boat, still others to explore, but all come to enjoy the
red rock, sand, and sun for which Lake Powell is famous. Marinas located
at Page, Wahweap, Bullfrog, Hall's Crossing, and Hite sit on land that
used to be visited only by Navajos, Paiutes, and an occasional white
man, but which now serves hundreds of thousands of people.
1957 the Navajo tribe exchanged more than 53,000 acres bordering the
south bank of the Colorado River for a similar amount of land on McCracken
Mesa near Montezuma Creek, Utah. This transfer provided the necessary
land for the dam. At the dam site, work crews founded Page, Arizona,
named after John C. Page, the Commissioner of Reclamation between 1937
and 1943. The town soon became a city of service industries, catering
to tourist needs and electric power generation. The Navajos, as part
of this and later agreements, waived their rights to 43,000 acre-feet
of Colorado River water necessary for the operation of Glen Canyon Dam.
In return, Page was built on leased reservation lands, money was funneled
into tribal coffers, and Navajo preference in employment was promised.
Today, the 800-megawatt hydroelectric dam is operated by the Bureau
of Reclamation, which sends its power to large metropolises in the West.