Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - June 12, 2000 - Proclamation 7317--establishment of the Canyons of the Ancient National Monument

Monday, June 12, 2000


Volume 36, Issue 23; ISSN: 0511-4187


Proclamation 7317--establishment of the Canyons of the Ancient National


William J Clinton



� Proclamation 7317-Establishment of the Canyons of the Ancients

National Monument



� June 9,2000



� By the President of the United States of America



� A Proclamation



� Containing the highest known density of archaeological sites in the

Nation, the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument holds evidence

of cultures and traditions spanning thousands of years. This area,

with its intertwined natural and cultural resources, is a rugged

landscape, a quality that greatly contributes to the protection of

its scientific and historic objects. The monument offers an

unparalleled opportunity to observe, study, and experience how

cultures lived and adapted over time in the American Southwest.



� The complex landscape and remarkable cultural resources of the

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument have been a focal point

for archaeological interest for over 125 years. Archaeological and

historic objects such as cliff dwellings, villages, great kivas,

shrines, sacred springs, agricultural fields, check dams,

reservoirs, rock art sites, and sweat lodges are spread across the

landscape. More than five thousand of these archaeologically

important sites have been recorded, and thousands more await

documentation and study. The Mockingbird Mesa area has over forty

sites per square mile, and several canyons in that area hold more

than three hundred sites per square mile.



� People have lived and labored to survive among these canyons and

mesas for thousands of years, from the earliest known hunters

crossing the area 10,000 years ago or more, through Ancestral

Puebloan farmers, to the Ute, Navajo, and European settlers whose

descendants still call this area home. There is scattered evidence

that Paleo-Indians used the region on a sporadic basis for hunting

and gathering until around 7500 B.C. During the Archaic period,

generally covering the next six thousand years, occupation of the

Four Corners area was dominated by hunters and gatherers.



� By about 1500 B.C., the more sedentary Basketmakers spread over the

landscape. As Ancestral Northern Puebloan people occupied the area

around 750 A.D., farming began to blossom, and continued through

about 1300 A.D., as the area became part of a much larger

prehistoric cultural region that included Mesa Verde to the

southeast. Year-round villages were established, originally

consisting of pit house dwellings, and later evolving to

well-recognized cliff dwellings. Many archaeologists now believe

that throughout this time span, the Ancestral Northern Puebloan

people periodically aggregated into larger communities and dispersed

into smaller community units. Specifically, during Pueblo I (about

700-900 A.D.) the occupation and site density in the monument area

increased. Dwellings tended to be small, with three or four rooms.

Then, during Pueblo II (about900-1150 A.D.), settlements were

diminished and highly dispersed. Late in Pueblo II and in early

Pueblo III, around 1150 A.D., the size and number of settlements

again increased and residential clustering began. Later pueblos were

larger multi-storied masonry dwellings with forty to fifty rooms.

For the remainder of Pueblo III (1150-1300 A.D.), major aggregation

occurred in the monument, typically at large sites at the heads of

canyons. One of these sites includes remains of about 420 rooms, 90

kivas, a great kiva, and a plaza, covering more than ten acres in

all. These villages were wrapped around the upper reaches of canyons

and spread down onto talus slopes, enclosed year-round springs and

reservoirs, and included low, defensive walls. The changes in

architecture and site planning reflected a shift from independent

households to a more communal lifestyle.



� Farming during the Puebloan period was affected by population

growth and changing climate and precipitation patterns. As the

population grew, the Ancestral Puebloans expanded into increasingly

marginal areas. Natural resources were compromised and poor soil and

growing conditions made survival increasingly difficult. When dry

conditions persisted, Pueblo communities moved to the south,

southwest, and southeast, where descendants of these Ancestral

Puebloan peoples live today.



� Soon after the Ancestral Puebloans left the monument area, the

nomadic Ute and Navajo took advantage of the natural diversity found

in the variable topography by moving to lower areas, including the

monument's mesas and canyons, during the cooler seasons. A small

number of forked stick hogans, brush shelters, and wickiups are the

most obvious remnants of this period of occupation.



� The natural resources and spectacular land forms of the monument

help explain why past and present cultures have chosen to live in

the area. The geology of the monument evokes the very essence of the

American Southwest. Structurally part of the Paradox Basin, from a

distance the landscape looks deceptively benign. From the McElmo

Dome in the southern part of the monument, the land slopes gently to

the north, giving no indication of its true character. Once inside

the area, however, the geology becomes more rugged and dissected.

Rising sharply to the north of McElmo Creek, the McElmo Dome itself

is buttressed by sheer sandstone cliffs, with mesa tops rimmed by

caprock, and deeply incised canyons.



� The monument is home to a wide variety of wildlife species,

including unique herpetological resources. Crucial habitat for the

Mesa Verde nightsnake, long-nosed leopard lizard, and twin-spotted

spiny lizard can be found within the monument in the area north of

Yellow Jacket Canyon. Peregrine falcons have been observed in the

area, as have golden eagles, American kestrels, red-tailed hawks,

and northern harriers. Game birds like Gambel's quail and mourning

dove are found throughout the monument both in dry, upland habitats,

and in lush riparian habitat along the canyon bottoms.



� 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 Canyons

of the Ancients 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 Canyons of the

Ancients National Monument, for the purpose of protecting the

objects identified above, all lands and interests in lands owned or

controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area

described on the map entitled "Canyons of the Ancients National

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

Federal land and interests in land reserved consist of approximately

164,000 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 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 leasing, other than

by exchange that furthers the protective purposes of the monument,

and except for oil and gas leasing as prescribed herein.



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

Secretary of the Interior shall prohibit all motorized and

mechanized vehicle use off road, except for emergency or authorized

administrative purposes.



� 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.



� Because most of the Federal lands have already been leased for oil

and gas, which includes carbon dioxide, and development is already

occurring, the monument shall remain open to oil and gas leasing and

development; provided, the Secretary of the Interior shall manage

the development, subject to valid existing rights, so as not to

create any new impacts that interfere with the proper care and

management of the objects protected by this proclamation; and

provided further, the Secretary may issue new leases only for the

purpose of promoting conservation of oil and gas resources in any

common reservoir now being produced under existing leases, or to

protect against drainage.



� 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




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

Bureau of Land Management, pursuant to applicable legal authorities,

to implement the purposes of this proclamation.



� The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing




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

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

wildlife management.



� This proclamation does not reserve water as a matter of Federal

law. 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. The Bureau of Land Management shall work with

appropriate State authorities to ensure that any water resources

needed for monument purposes are available.



� 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 affect the

management of Hovenweep National Monument by the National Park

Service (Proclamation 1654 of March 2, 1923, Proclamation 2924 of

May l, 1951, and Proclamation 2998 of November 26,1952).



� 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 ninth day of

June, in the year of our Lord two thousand, and of the Independence

of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-fourth.



� William J. Clinton



� [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:47 a.m., June

12, 2000]



� NOTE: This proclamation will be published in the Federal Register

on June 13.




<< Return to Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents Index