Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - January 22, 2001 - Proclamation 7398--establishment of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National

Monday, January 22, 2001


Volume 37, Issue 3; ISSN: 0511-4187


Proclamation 7398--establishment of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National


William J Clinton



� January 17,2001



� By the President of the United States of America



� A Proclamation



� The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument contains a

spectacular array of biological, geological, and historical objects

of interest. From Fort Benton upstream into the Charles M. Russell

National Wildlife Refuge, the monument spans 149 miles of the Upper

Missouri River, the adjacent Breaks country, and portions of Arrow

Creek, Antelope Creek, and the Judith River. The area has remained

largely unchanged in the nearly 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and

William Clark traveled through it on their epic journey. In 1976,

the Congress designated the Missouri River segment and corridor in

this area a National Wild and Scenic River (Public Law 94-486, 90

Stat. 2327). The monument also encompasses segments of the Lewis and

Clark National Historic Trail, the Nez Perce National Historic

Trail, and the Cow Creek Island Area of Critical Environmental




� Lewis and Clark first encountered the Breaks country of the

monument on their westward leg. In his journal, Clark described the

abundant wildlife of the area, including mule deer, elk, and

antelope, and on April 29, 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition

recorded the first big horn sheep observation by non-Indians in

North America. Lewis' description of the magnificent White Cliffs

area on the western side of the monument is especially vivid, and

not just for his sometimes colorful spellings:



� "The hills and river Cliffs which we passed today exhibit a most

romantic appearance. . . . The bluffs of the river rise to hight of

from 2 to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are

formed of remarkable white sandstone which is sufficiently soft to

give way readily to the impression of water . . .



� "The water in the course of time . . . has trickled down the soft

sand cliffs and woarn it into a thousand grotesque figures, which

with the help of a little immagination and an oblique view, at a

distance are made to represent eligant ranges of lofty freestone

buildings, having their parapets well stocked with statuary; columns

of various sculptures both grooved and plain, are also seen

supporting long galleries in front of these buildings; in other

places on a much nearer approach and with the help of less

immagination we see the remains or ruins of eligant buildings; some

collumns standing and almost entire with their pedestals and

capitals; others retaining their pedestals but deprived by time or

accident of their capitals, some lying prostrate an broken othe[r]s

in the form of vast pyramids of conic structure bearing a serees of

other pyramids on their tops . . .



� As we passed on it seemed as if those seens of visionary

inchantment would never have and [an] end; for here it is too that

nature presents to the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of

tolerable workmanship, so perfect indeed are those walls that I

should have thought that nature had attempted here to rival the

human art of masonry . . ."



� The monument is covered with sedimentary rocks deposited in shallow

seas that covered central and eastern Montana during the Cretaceous

period. Glaciers, volcanic activity, and erosion have since folded,

faulted, uplifted, and sculpted the landscape to the majestic form

it takes today.



� The area remains remote and nearly as undeveloped as it was in

1805. Many of the biological objects described in Lewis' and Clark's

journals continue to make the monument their home. The monument

boasts the most viable elk herd in Montana and one of the premier

big horn sheep herds in the continental United States. It contains

essential winter range for sage grouse as well as habitat for

prairie dogs. Lewis sent Jefferson a prairie dog specimen which was,

as Lewis noted at the time, "new to science." Abundant plant life

along the River and across the Breaks country supports this

wildlife. The lower reach of the Judith River, just above its

confluence with the Missouri, contains one of the few remaining

fully functioning cottonwood gallery forest ecosystems on the

Northern Plains. Arrow Creek, originally called Slaughter River by

Lewis and Clark, contains the largest concentration of antelope and

mule deer in the monument as well as important spawning habitat for

the endangered pallid sturgeon. An undammed tributary to the

Missouri River, Arrow Creek is a critical seed source for cottonwood

trees for the flood plain along the Missouri.



� The cliff faces in the monument provide perching and nesting

habitat for many raptors, including the sparrow hawk, ferruginous

hawk, peregrine falcon, prairie falcon, and golden eagle. Several

pairs of bald eagles nest along the River in the monument and many

others visit during the late fall and early winter. Shoreline areas

provide habitat for great blue heron, pelican, and a wide variety of

waterfowl. The River and its tributaries in the monument host

forty-eight fish species, including goldeye, drum, sauger, walleye,

northern pike, channel catfish, and small mouth buffalo. The

monument has one of the six remaining paddlefish populations in the

United States. The River also supports the blue sucker, shovel nose

sturgeon, sicklefin, sturgeon chub, and the endangered pallid




� The Bullwacker area of the monument contains some of the wildest

country on all the Great Plains, as well as important wildlife

habitat. During the stress-inducing winter months, mule deer and elk

move up to the area from the river, and antelope and sage grouse

move down to the area from the benchlands. The heads of the coulees

and breaks also contain archeological and historical sites, from

teepee rings and remnants of historic trails to abandoned homesteads

and lookout sites used by Meriwether Lewis.



� Long before the time of Lewis and Clark, the area was inhabited by

numerous native tribes, including the Blackfeet, Assiniboin, Gros

Ventre (Atsina), Crow, Plains Cree, and Plains Ojibwa. The

confluence of the Judith and Missouri Rivers was the setting for

important peace councils in 1846 and 1855. In 1877, the Nez Perce

crossed the Missouri and entered the Breaks country in their attempt

to escape to Canada. The Cow Island Skirmish occurred in the Breaks

and was the last encounter prior to the Nez Perce surrender to the

U.S. Army at the Battle of Bear Paw just north of the monument.

Pioneers and the Army followed Lewis and Clark in the 1830s

establishing Fort Piegan, Fort McKenzie, and Fort Benton. Remnants

of this rich history are scattered throughout the monument, and the

River corridor retains many of the same qualities and much of the

same appearance today as it did then.



� Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431),

authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public

proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric

structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest

that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the

Government of the United States to be national monuments, and to

reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in

all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the

proper care and management of the objects to be protected.



� Whereas it appears that it would be in the public interest to

reserve such lands as a national monument to be known as the Upper

Missouri River Breaks National Monument:



� Now, Therefore, I, William J. Clinton, President of the United

States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the

Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that

there are hereby set apart and reserved as the Upper Missouri River

Breaks National Monument, for the purpose of protecting the objects

identified above, all ands and interests in lands owned or

controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area

described on the map entitled "Upper Missouri River Breaks National

Monument" attached to and forming a part of this proclamation. The

Federal land and interests in land reserved consist of approximately

377,346 acres, which is the smallest area compatible with the proper

care and management of the objects to be protected.



� All Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of

this monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms

of entry, location, selection, sale, or leasing or other disposition

under the public land laws, including but not limited to withdrawal

from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from

disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal

leasing, other than by exchange that furthers the protective

purposes of the monument. The establishment of this monument is

subject to valid existing rights. The Secretary of the Interior

shall manage development on existing oil and gas leases within the

monument, subject to valid existing rights, so as not to create any

new impacts that would interfere with the proper care and management

of the objects protected by this proclamation.



� The Secretary of the Interior shall prepare a transportation plan

that addresses the actions, including road closures or travel

restrictions, necessary to protect the objects identified in this




� For the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, the

Secretary shall prohibit all motorized and mechanized vehicle use

off road, except for emergency or authorized administrative




� Lands and interests in lands within the proposed monument not owned

by the United States shall be reserved as a part of the monument

upon acquisition of title thereto by the United States.



� The Secretary of the Interior shall manage the monument through the

Bureau of Land Management, pursuant to applicable legal authorities,

including the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, to implement the

purposes of this proclamation.



� Because waters of the Upper Missouri River through the monument

area have already been reserved through the Congress's designation

of the area as a component of the National Wild and Scenic River

System in 1976, this proclamation makes no additional reservation of

water, except in two small tributaries, the Judith River and Arrow

Creek. These tributaries contain outstanding objects of biological

interest that are dependent on water, such as a fully functioning

cottonwood gallery forest ecosystem that is rare in the Northern

Plains. Therefore, there is hereby reserved, as of the date of this

proclamation and subject to valid existing rights, a quantity of

water in the Judith River and Arrow Creek sufficient to fulfill the

purposes for which this monument is established. Nothing in this

reservation shall be construed as a relinquishment or reduction of

any water use or rights reserved or appropriated by the United

States on or before the date of this proclamation.



� Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish

the jurisdiction of the State of Montana with respect to fish and

wildlife management.



� Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish

the rights of any Indian tribe.



� Laws, regulations, and policies followed by the Bureau of Land

Management in issuing and administering grazing permits or leases on

all lands under its jurisdiction shall continue to apply with regard

to the lands in the monument.



� Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing

withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the national

monument shall be the dominant reservation.



� Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to

appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument

and not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.



� In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventeenth

day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and of the

Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and




� William J. Clinton



� [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 8:45 am., January




��NOTE: This proclamation was published in the Federal Register on

January 22.




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