Compilation of Weekly Presidential Documents - November 20, 2000 - Proclamation 7374-Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Monday, November 20, 2000


Volume 36, Issue 46; ISSN: 0511-4187


Proclamation 7374-Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

William J Clinton



� November 9, 2000



� By the President of the United States of America



� A Proclamation



� Amid the sandstone slickrock, brilliant cliffs, and rolling sandy

plateaus of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument lie outstanding

objects of scientific and historic interest. Despite its and climate

and rugged isolation, the monument contains a wide variety of

biological objects and has a long and rich human history. Full of

natural splendor and a sense of solitude, this area remains remote

and unspoiled, qualities that are essential to the protection of the

scientific and historic objects it contains.



� The monument is a geological treasure. Its centerpiece is the

majestic Paria Plateau, a grand terrace lying between two great

geologic structures, the East Kaibab and the Echo Cliffs monoclines.

The Vermilion Cliffs, which lie along the southern edge of the Paria

Plateau, rise 3,000 feet in a spectacular escarpment capped with

sandstone underlain by multicolored, actively eroding, dissected

layers of shale and sandstone. The stunning Paria River Canyon winds

along the east side of the plateau to the Colorado River. Erosion of

the sedimentary rocks in this 2,500 foot deep canyon has produced a

variety of geologic objects and associated landscape features such

as amphitheaters, arches, and massive sandstone walls.



� In the northwest portion of the monument lies Coyote Buttes, a

geologically spectacular area where crossbeds of the Navajo

Sandstone exhibit colorful banding in surreal hues of yellow,

orange, pink, and red caused by the precipitation of manganese,

iron, and other oxides. Thin veins or fins of calcite cut across the

sandstone, adding another dimension to the landscape. Humans have

explored and lived on the plateau and surrounding canyons for

thousands of years, since the earliest known hunters and gatherers

crossed the area 12,000 or more years ago. Some of the earliest rock

art in the Southwest can be found in the monument. High densities of

Ancestral Puebloan sites can also be found, including remnants of

large and small villages, some with intact standing walls,

fieldhouses, trails, granaries, burials, and camps.



� The monument was a crossroad for many historic expeditions. In

1776, the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of Spanish explorers

traversed the monument in search of a safe crossing of the Colorado

River. After a first attempt at crossing the Colorado near the mouth

of the Paria River failed, the explorers traveled up the Paria

Canyon in the monument until finding a steep hillside they could

negotiate with horses. This took them out of the Paria Canyon to the

east and up into the Ferry Swale area, after which they achieved

their goal at the Crossing of the Fathers east of the monument.

Antonio Armijo's 1829 Mexican trading expedition followed the

Dominguez route on the way from Santa Fe to Los Angeles.



� Later, Mormon exploring parties led by Jacob Hamblin crossed south

of the Vermilion Cliffs on missionary expeditions to the Hopi

villages. Mormon pioneer John D. Lee established Lee's Ferry on the

Colorado River just south of the monument in 1871. This paved the

way for homesteads in the monument, still visible in remnants of

historic ranch structures and associated objects that tell the

stories of early settlement. The route taken by the Mormon explorers

along the base of the Paria Plateau would later become known as the

Old Arizona Road or Honeymoon Trail. After the temple in St. George,

Utah was completed in 1877, the Honeymoon Trail was used by Mormon

couples who had already been married by civil authorities in the

Arizona settlements, but also made the arduous trip to St. George to

have their marriages solemnized in the temple. The settlement of the

monument area by Mormon pioneers overlapped with another historic

exploration by John Wesley Powell, who passed through the monument

during his scientific surveys of 1871.



� The monument contains outstanding biological objects that have been

preserved by remoteness and limited travel corridors. The monument's

vegetation is a unique combination of cold desert flora and warm

desert grassland, and includes one threatened species, Welsh's

milkweed. This unusual plant, known only in Utah and Arizona,

colonizes and stabilizes shifting sand dunes, but is crowded out

once other vegetation encroaches.



� Despite sporadic rainfall and widely scattered ephemeral water

sources, the monument supports a variety of wildlife species. At

least twenty species of raptors have been documented in the

monument, as well as a variety of reptiles and amphibians.

California condors have been reintroduced into the monument in an

effort to establish another wild population of this highly

endangered species. Desert bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope,

mountain lion, and other mammals roam the canyons and plateaus. The

Paria River supports sensitive native fish, including the

flannelmouth sucker and the speckled dace.



� 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

Vermilion Cliffs 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 Vermilion Cliffs

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 "Vermilion Cliffs National Monument"

attached to and forming a part of this proclamation. The Federal

land and interests in land reserved consist of approximately 293,000

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 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. 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 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.



� 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 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 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 Arizona 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 Secretary shall work with appropriate State

authorities to ensure that any water resources needed for monument

purposes are available.



� 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 ninth day of

November, in the year of our Lord two thousand, 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, 8:46 a.m., November

13, 2000]



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

November 15. This item was not received in time for publication in

the appropriate issue.




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