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
� 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
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
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.
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
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
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
� 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
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
� 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.
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
� NOTE: This proclamation will be published in the Federal Register
on June 13.