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
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.
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
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.
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)
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"
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
� 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.
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
� 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
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
� 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.