Order Code RL30528
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
National Monuments and the Antiquities Act:
President Clinton’s Designations
and Related Issues
Updated June 28, 2001
Specialist in Natural Resources Policy
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
American Law Division
Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress
National Monuments and the Antiquities Act:
Recent Designations and Issues
President Clinton used the Antiquities Act of 1906 (16 U.S.C. §§431-433) to
create 19 new national monuments and enlarge 3 others. All but one of the
designations were made during President Clinton’s last year in office. The new
monuments range in size from 2 acres to nearly 1.9 million acres. The 22 monuments
created or enlarged by President Clinton total about 5.9 million acres, the second
largest acreage of any President, and only President Franklin D. Roosevelt used his
authority more often (on 28 occasions vs. 22 for President Clinton).
The Antiquities Act authorizes the President to create national monuments on
federal lands that contain historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or
other objects of historic or scientific interest. The President is to reserve “the smallest
area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.”
The Act was designed to quickly protect federal lands and resources, and Presidents
have proclaimed about 120 monuments totaling about more than 70 million acres.
Congress has modified many of these, has created monuments itself, and about a
dozen times has abolished presidentially created monuments.
Presidential establishment of monuments sometimes has been contentious, e.g.,
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s creation of the Jackson Hole National
Monument in Wyoming (1943) and especially President Carter’s massive Alaskan
withdrawals (1978). Monuments created by President Clinton also have generated
criticisms centering on the size and the types of resources protected; the level and
types of threats to areas; the inclusion of non-federal lands within monument
boundaries; effects on land uses; the agency that manages the monuments; the
constitutionality of the Act; and consistencies of the Act with the withdrawal, public
participation, and environmental review aspects of other laws. Opponents have
sought to revoke or limit the President’s authority to proclaim monuments, or to
impose environmental studies and consultation procedures, among other changes.
Supporters favor the Act in its present form, as applied by Presidents for nearly a
century, and note that many past designations that initially were controversial have
come to be supported. They contend that the President needs continued authority to
promptly protect valuable resources on federal lands that may be threatened.
President Clinton selected the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage
many of the monuments, but other agencies were assigned to manage monuments as
well. Monuments typically are established or enlarged subject to valid existing rights,
which would allow existing rights to continue, e.g., development of valid existing
mineral rights. In general, land uses may continue if they are not barred by the
proclamations and do not conflict with monument purposes. Usually the
proclamations and supporting documents do address land uses. Many of the new
monuments bar new mining claims and mineral and energy leases, as well as
motorized vehicle use off-road, although grazing often is allowed. In some cases,
water rights have been reserved for the federal government, while in others water
rights are expressly not reserved. Monument management plans, to be developed
with public participation, also will elaborate on land use regulation.
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
The Antiquities Act of 1906 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Monument Issues and Controversies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Monument Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
Objects Protected . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Level and Type of Threat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Inclusion of Non-Federal Lands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Effects on Land Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
“Consistency” of Antiquities Act with NEPA and FLPMA . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
Monument Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Other Legal Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Land Uses in Recently Designated Monuments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Mineral Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Withdrawals Preserved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Grazing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Timber . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Water Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Fish and Wildlife . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Off-Road Vehicle Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Synopsis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Appendix: Chronology of Monuments Established or Enlarged During the Clinton
Administration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
September 18, 1996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Grand Staircase-Escalante . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
January 11, 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Agua Fria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
California Coastal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Grand Canyon-Parashant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Pinnacles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
April 15, 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Giant Sequoia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
June 9, 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Canyons of the Ancients . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Cascade-Siskiyou . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Hanford Reach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Ironwood Forest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
July 7, 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
November 9, 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Craters of the Moon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Vermilion Cliffs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
January 17, 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Buck Island Reef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Carrizo Plain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Minidoka Internment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pompeys Pillar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Sonoran Desert . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Upper Missouri River Breaks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Virgin Islands Coral Reef . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
January 19, 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Governors Island . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
National Monuments and the Antiquities Act:
Recent Designations and Issues
Presidential establishment of national monuments under the Antiquities Act of
1906 (16 U.S.C. §§431 et seq.) has protected valuable sites, but also sometimes has
been controversial. Displeasure with President Franklin Roosevelt’s proclaiming of
the Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming (1943) prompted litigation on the
extent of presidential authority under the Antiquities Act, as well as a 1950 law to
prohibit future establishment of national monuments in Wyoming except as authorized
by Congress. President Carter’s Alaska withdrawals (1978) also were challenged in
the courts and led to a statutory requirement of congressional approval for
withdrawals in Alaska larger than 5,000 acres.2 President Clinton’s proclamation of
the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (1996) triggered several lawsuits,
a law authorizing land exchanges, and proposals to amend or revoke presidential
authority under the Antiquities Act.3 Yet, initial opposition to some monument
designations turned to support over time. Some controversial monuments later were
enlarged and redesignated as national parks by Congress, and today are popular parks
with substantial economic benefit to the surrounding communities. For instance, the
Jackson Hole National Monument was expanded and redesignated as the Grand Teton
For additional information on national monuments, including 107th Congress issues and
legislation: see CRS Report RS20902, National Monument Issues and CRS Issue Brief
IB10076, Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests. Additional CRS reports on national
monuments include RS20647, Authority of a President to Modify or Eliminate a National
Monument; 98-993 ENR, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument; RS20602,
Presidential Authority to Create a National Monument on the Coastal Plain of the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge; and RS20625, Provisions on National Monuments and the
Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project in the FY2001 Department of the
Interior Appropriations Bill. CRS Congressional Distribution Memoranda include: Legal
Issues Raised by the Designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, by
(name redacted), December 13, 1996 and Designation of Part of Governors Island as a
National Monument, by (name redacted) and (name redacted), May 22, 2001.
These provisions were enacted as part of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation
Act of 1980 (ANILCA), P.L. 96-487; see 16 U.S.C. §3213.
Proc. 6920, September 18, 1996; 61 Fed. Reg. 50223 (September 24, 1996). This
monument initially was reported at 1.7 million acres, but was recalculated by BLM and also
modified acts of Congress (P.L. 105-335 and P.L. 105-355). Its current acreage is estimated
at 1,870,800 federal acres.
President Clinton created 19 new monuments and enlarged 3 others.4 Most of
the monuments were created (or enlarged) during President Clinton’s last year in
office, except the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (UT), which was
proclaimed on September 18, 1996. On January 11, 2000, President Clinton issued
proclamations creating three new monuments and expanding an existing one. The
new ones are the Agua Fria National Monument (AZ), the California Coastal National
Monument (CA), and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument (AZ). The
enlarged monument is the Pinnacles National Monument (CA). On April 15, 2000,
President Clinton created another new monument, the Giant Sequoia National
Monument (CA). On June 9, 2000, he established four: Canyons of the Ancients
National Monument (CO), Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (OR), Hanford
Reach National Monument (WA), and Ironwood Forest National Monument (AZ).
On July 7, 2000, President Clinton created the President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home
National Monument (DC). On November 9, 2000, he significantly expanded the
Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID) and created the Vermilion Cliffs
National Monument (AZ).
On January 17, 2001, the President expanded the Buck Island Reef National
Monument (VI) and created seven others: Carrizo Plain (CA), Kasha-Katuwe Tent
Rocks (NM), Minidoka Internment (ID), Pompeys Pillar (MT), Sonoran Desert (AZ),
Upper Missouri River Breaks (MT), and Virgin Islands Coral Reef (VI). Lastly, on
January 19, 2001, President Clinton created the Governors Island National Monument
The Clinton Administration cited frustration with the slow pace of legislated land
protection as justification for the President to create these national monuments.
President Clinton’s Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, stated that President
Clinton used his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate additional
monuments where areas of interest to the Clinton Administration were not being
protected through the legislative process.
Several of the new monuments were described as “national landscape
monuments” by Secretary Babbitt.6 National landscape monuments evidently would
protect integrated landscapes and ecosystems that are “distinct and significant,” in
contrast with earlier monuments, which Secretary Babbitt called “curiosities” that
stand out from the landscape because of their beauty or geographic or historical value.
Some plaintiffs have challenged whether the President has authority to accomplish
these management goals through the creation of national landscape monuments, given
This report focuses on monuments created by President Clinton under the Antiquities Act.
National monuments amended or created by law during President Clinton’s tenure in office,
such as the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (created by P.L. 106351), are not discussed.
For details on each monument, including its location, size, resources, and management
agency, see Appendix 1 of this report.
Much of the description in this section is derived from remarks of Interior Secretary Bruce
Babbitt at the University of Denver Law School on February 17, 2000, available on the
website of the Department of the Interior at [http://www.doi.gov/news/000222b.html].
the language in the Antiquities Act regarding protecting “objects” and limiting the size
Secretary Babbitt sought to create national landscape monuments on BLM lands
and to have BLM continue to administer the lands. The Secretary sought to develop
the BLM’s role in land protection, broadening the agency’s traditional focus on
mining and grazing and other extractive land uses. To this end, on June 19, 2000, the
BLM announced the creation of a national landscape conservation system, comprised
of the agency’s national monuments, conservation areas, wilderness areas, wilderness
study areas, wild and scenic rivers, scenic trails, historic trails, and other areas.7
Approximately 39,000,000 acres are in this “system,” approximately 15% of all land
BLM administers. According to BLM statements, incorporating these units into a
system will give them greater recognition, management attention, and resources.
Secretary Babbitt contrasted national landscape monuments with National Park
System units administered by the Park Service. Landscape monuments were intended
to serve outdoor recreationists but would not accommodate large numbers of visitors.
They were to lack visitor centers, guides, overnight accommodations, and fees, so
that they would present “an adventure” for visitors. Land uses would not be as
restricted as in units of the Park System, although Secretary Babbitt stated that
“destructive and incompatible uses” would be barred.
The Antiquities Act of 1906
The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorizes the President to proclaim national
monuments on federal lands that contain “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric
structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.” The President is to
reserve “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the
objects to be protected” (16 U.S.C.§431). Congress subsequently limited the
President’s authority by requiring congressional authorization for extensions or
establishment of monuments in Wyoming (16 U.S.C. §431a), and by making all
withdrawals in Alaska exceeding 5,000 acres subject to congressional approval (16
The Antiquities Act was a response to concerns over theft from and destruction
of archaeological sites, and was designed to provide an expeditious means to protect
federal lands and resources. President Theodore Roosevelt used the authority in 1906
to establish Devil’s Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument. Fourteen of
the 18 Presidents since 1906 have created about 120 monuments in total, including
Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Zion, Olympic, Statue of Liberty, and Chesapeake and
Ohio Canal.8 Many areas initially designated as national monuments were later made
See U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, BLM Creates National
Landscape Conservation System, Fry Announces, June 19, 2000, on BLM’s website at
Monuments created by Presidents from 1906 through 1999 are listed chronologically in:
into national parks. President Clinton used his authority under the Antiquities Act 22
times to proclaim 19 new monuments and to enlarge 3 others, with a total federal
acreage of approximately 5.9 million acres. Only President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
used his authority more often — on 28 occasions — and only President Jimmy Carter
proclaimed more monument acreage — 56 million acres of land in 17 units in Alaska.9
Congress, too, may create national monuments on federal lands, and has done
so on many occasions. Supporters of congressional, rather than presidential, action
note that Congress is unlimited in its authority to custom-craft legislation to suit a
particular area. For instance, Congress could allow more land uses than is typical for
national monuments created by the President, for example by allowing new
commercial development, or it can afford additional protection. Some observers
advocate legislation (as opposed to presidential action) as more likely to involve the
input of local and other citizens.
Congress also has modified monuments (including those created by the
President), for instance, by changing their boundaries. Congress has abolished some
monuments outright and converted others into different protective designations, such
as national parks. About half of the current national parks were first designated as
national monuments. Further, Congress has enacted legislation to establish a variety
of other protected areas. Some recent measures reportedly were pursued as
alternatives to monument designations.
Monuments vary widely in size. While more than half of the presidentially
proclaimed monuments initially involved less than 5,000 acres, they have ranged from
less than 1 to nearly 11 million acres. The largest monument (the Wrangell-St. Elias
National Monument, now a national park and national preserve) was created as part
of President Carter’s 1978 Alaska withdrawals. About 10% of all federal land —
more than 70 million acres — has at one time been protected under the Antiquities
Monument Issues and Controversies
President Clinton’s monument proclamations generated concerns among some
Members of Congress, state and local officials, user groups, and others regarding
House Committee on Resources, Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, Hearings
on H.R. 1487, The National Monument NEPA Compliance Act, 106th Cong., 1st sess., 17
June 1999, 24-44. Presidentially-proclaimed monuments, organized by President, are listed
in: Sen. Don Nickles, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, daily ed., 146 (17 July
2000): S7030-S7032. Information on monuments created by both the President and Congress
is contained in the notes following 16 U.S.C. §431.
Congress rescinded these withdrawals and reestablished most of the lands as national
monuments or other protective designations (such as national parks or national preserves) in
§1322 of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA, P.L. 96-487).
Most of this acreage is no longer in monument status because it has been included by
Congress in other protective designations, primarily through enactment of ANILCA.
presidential authority to create monuments. Recent criticisms and controversies in
Congress have challenged the size of the areas and types of resources protected, and
the authority and procedures for monument designation. Criticism has been expressed
by those who oppose restrictions on land uses, both extractive (e.g., mining) and
recreational (e.g., off-road vehicle use), as a result of monument proclamations.
Critics also perceive a lack of consistency between the Antiquities Act and the policies
established in other laws, especially the land withdrawal provisions of the Federal
Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA, 43 U.S.C. § 1701 et seq.),11 the
environmental reviews required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA, 42
U.S.C. § 4321 et seq.), and the public participation requirements of NEPA, FLPMA,
and other laws.
Among the measures considered during recent Congresses were bills to impose
restrictions on presidential authority, such as to limit the size or duration of
withdrawals; prohibit or restrict withdrawals in particular states; encourage public
participation in the monument designation process; revoke the President’s authority
to designate monuments or require congressional approval of some or all monument
designations; and promote presidential creation of monuments in accordance with
certain federal land management and environmental laws. Measures also were
introduced to change land uses within monuments and to alter monument boundaries.
Supporters of the Antiquities Act assert that changes to the Act are neither
warranted nor desirable. They contend that previous Congresses that focused on this
issue were correct in not repealing the Antiquities Act, and that the courts have been
generally supportive of presidential actions under the Act. They further claim that
Presidents of both parties have used the authority for nearly a century to expeditiously
protect valuable federal lands and resources, and they defend the President’s ability
to take prompt action to protect areas that may be vulnerable to looting, vandalism,
commercial development, and other real or perceived dangers. Because it can provide
instant protection to areas, the Antiquities Act is supported as avoiding possibly
speculative establishment of rights that could be costly for the government to buy out
following slower designation processes. While the Secretary of the Interior can make
temporary emergency withdrawals of BLM lands,12 there is no comparable authority
with respect to national forest lands or other federal lands. Defenders also note that
some past designations that initially were contentious have come to be widely
supported over time. They contend that large segments of the public support land
protection, such as through monument designations, for the recreational and
economic benefits that such designations often bring.
In establishing a national monument, the President is required by the Antiquities
Act to reserve “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of
the objects to be protected” (16 U.S.C. §431). Many monuments have been quite
This law applies primarily to the lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
and actions taken by the Secretary of the Interior, although some provisions also apply to the
lands managed by the Forest Service and the Secretary of Agriculture.
43 U.S.C. § 1714.
small, but several Presidents have established large monuments. Examples of large
monuments include Katmai, established in 1918 with 1,088,000 acres; Glacier Bay,
created in 1925 with 1,379,316 acres; most of the Alaska monuments proclaimed in
1978, the largest being Wrangell-St. Elias with 10,950,000 acres; and Grand
Staircase-Escalante, established in 1996 with approximately 1,900,000 acres.
The proclamations for all 22 of the monuments created or enlarged by President
Clinton repeat the language of the Antiquities Act, that the acreage reserved is the
“smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be
protected.” These proclamations range in size from 2 acres to 1,870,800 acres.
Supporting documents for some of the larger recent monuments assert that the lands
surrounding the identified objects are included to maintain the relationships among the
objects and the remoteness that allows them to exist. Also mentioned are that
biological objects need the preservation of an entire ecosystem, and that management
of a series of discrete sites is more difficult than managing a larger, contiguous area.
Critics assert that large monuments violate the Antiquities Act, in that the
President’s authority regarding size was intended to be narrow and limited. They
charge that Congress intended the Act to protect specific items of interest, especially
archaeological sites and the small areas surrounding them. They support this view
with the legislative history of the Act, in which proposals to limit a withdrawal to 320
or 640 acres were mentioned but not enacted. They contend that some of the
monument designations were greater than needed to protect particular objects of
Defenders argue that the Antiquities Act gives the President discretion to
determine the acreage necessary to ensure protection of the resources in question,
which can be a particular archaeological site or larger features or resources. The
Grand Canyon, for example, originally was a national monument measuring 0.8
million acres; President Theodore Roosevelt determined that this large size was
necessary to protect the “object” in question — the canyon. Defenders also note that
after considering the issue in the early 1900s, Congress deliberately rejected proposals
to restrict the President’s authority to set the size of the withdrawal. Further, they
assert that preserving objects of interest may require withdrawal of sizeable tracts of
surrounding land to preserve the integrity of the objects and the interactions and
relationships among them.
The courts generally have deferred to the President’s judgment as to proper size.
However, the case law on this subject is not extensive, and it is uncertain what
conclusion a court might reach in any particular case in the future.13
For more information on cases on monument size and other legal issues, see CRS
Congressional Distribution Memorandum, Legal Issues Raised by the Designation of the
Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument, by (name redacted), December 13, 1996.
The memorandum addresses the types of objects protected, designation procedures, BLM as
monument manager, and whether non-NPS management may constitute a reorganization
requiring congressional approval.
Under the Antiquities Act, the President can establish monuments on federal land
containing “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects
of historic or scientific interest.” Some proclamations have identified particular
objects needing protection, while others have referred more generally to scenic,
scientific, or educational features of interest.
Some critics assert that because the original purpose of the Act was to protect
specific objects, particularly objects of antiquity such as cliff dwellings, pueblos, and
other archeological ruins (hence the name “Antiquities Act”), Presidents have used
the Act for impermissibly broad purposes, such as general conservation, recreation,
scenic protection, or protection of living organisms. These purposes, they argue, are
more appropriate for a national park or other designation established by Congress.
Supporters of current presidential authority counter that the Act does not limit the
President to protecting ancient relics, and maintain that “other objects of historic or
scientific interest” is broad wording that grants considerable discretion to the
A review of legal challenges on this issue shows a general deference to
presidential determinations of objects appropriate for protection. The Supreme Court
upheld the creation of the Grand Canyon National Monument in apparent agreement
with the President’s assertion that the Grand Canyon “is an object of unusual scientific
interest.”14 However, in another case a lower court did note in dicta (that is, not as
part of the holding, and hence not precedent) that there might be circumstances in
which a President might be held to have exceeded his authority.15 Thus, the outcome
of any future legal challenge in this area is not certain.
Level and Type of Threat
Presidents sometimes have cited threats to resources (e.g., natural and cultural)
to support establishing monuments, although imminent threat is not expressly required
by the Antiquities Act. In his remarks designating the Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument, for instance, President Clinton expressed concern about work
underway for a large coal mining operation that, he asserted, could damage resources
in the area. Sometimes the noted threats appear less immediate, as for the lands
included in the Grand Canyon-Parashant Monument (proclaimed January 11, 2000)
which “could be increasingly threatened by potential mineral development,” according
to the Administration. In other cases, threats were reported by the press. One press
report, for instance, stated that the National Trust for Historic Preservation had
Cameron v. United States, 252 U.S. 450, 455-456 (1920).
Wyoming v. Franke, 58 F. Supp. 895 (D. Wy. 1945). In this case, the court indicated that
if there were an instance where there was no evidence of a substantial character that an area
contained objects of historic or scientific interest, the creation of a monument by a President
could be found to be “arbitrary and capricious and clearly outside the scope and purpose of
the Monument Act.” However, the court noted that evidence from experts and others
introduced at trial was sufficient to support a finding that there were objects of historic and
scientific interest in the Jackson Hole National Monument.
identified the (now) President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home National Monument as one
of the country’s most endangered historic properties.
Presidential creation of monuments in the absence of immediate threats to
resources troubles those who believe that the law is intended to protect objects that
are endangered or threatened. They charge that Presidents have established
monuments to support environmental causes, limit development, and score political
gains, among other reasons. Those who contest these charges note that the
Antiquities Act lacks a requirement that objects be immediately threatened or
endangered. Others cite the pervasive dangers of development and growth,
recreation, looting, and vandalism as sufficient grounds for contemporary presidential
Inclusion of Non-Federal Lands
In some cases, non-federal lands are contained within the outer boundaries of a
monument, regardless of whether they are technically, or even expressly, excluded
from it. The inclusion of state or private lands among federal lands within a
monument’s borders has been a source of controversy. The Clinton Administration
has indicated that the monument designation does not apply to non-federal lands,
because the Antiquities Act authorizes the President to proclaim monuments only on
federal lands. As Solicitor of the Department of the Interior, John D. Leshy asserted
this view in 1999 testimony before Congress, stating that the Antiquities Act applies
only to federal lands and that monument designations cannot bring state or private
lands into federal ownership.16 Nearly all of President Clinton’s monument
proclamations have stated that non-federal lands will become part of the monument
if the federal government acquires title to the lands from the current owners. Whether
lands could be condemned for monument purposes is not clear.
Others, however, note that while private or state-owned lands are technically not
part of the monument, development of such land located within monuments is difficult
because such development might be incompatible with the purposes for which the
monument was created or constrained by management of the surrounding federal
lands. A BLM interim monument management policy provides that activities on nonmonument lands that damage the monument be reported “to the responsible
management official for appropriate action.”17 There is no elaboration on what might
constitute appropriate action.
Monument supporters also note that if state or private land owners within a
monument fear or experience difficulties, they can pursue land exchanges with the
federal government. President Clinton’s monument proclamations typically have
authorized land exchanges to further the protective purposes of the monument. For
See infra note 8, at 53 and 55.
See U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Interim Management Policy
for Newly Created National Monuments, Jan. 11, 2000, on BLM’s website at
[http://www.az.blm.gov/interimgt.htm]. The interim management policy was issued to provide
guidance on managing BLM monuments pending completion of the planning process to
develop particular management guidance for each monument.
the BLM-managed monuments, the agency is to consider not only land exchanges but
land or easement acquisitions to enhance the purposes of the monuments, according
to the interim management policy.
Effects on Land Use
Monument designation applies to federal lands, but in some cases designation
may have implications for uses on non-federal lands. Designation can limit or prohibit
existing or potential development or recreational uses. A common concern is that
monument designation potentially could result in new constraints on development of
existing mineral and energy leases, claims, and permits, as well as barring new leases,
claims, and permits. There are fears that mineral activities may have to adhere to a
higher standard of environmental review, and probably will have a higher cost of
mitigation, to ensure compatibility with monument designation. The recent
proclamations have protections for valid existing rights for land uses, but the extent
to which designations may affect those rights is not yet clear. (See the discussion of
mineral rights below.)
Another concern is actual or potential restriction on commercial timber cutting
as a result of designation. For instance, future timber production is expressly
precluded in the Giant Sequoia National Monument, although certain current logging
contracts can be implemented. Some argue that restrictions are needed to protect the
environmental, scenic, and recreational attributes of forests. Logging supporters
assert that forests can be used sustainably and that concerns raised by
environmentalists as grounds for limiting commercial timber operations do not reflect
modern forestry practices.
Other concerns have included the possible effects of monument designation on
grazing, hunting, and off-road vehicle use. Some of President Clinton’s proclamations
have restricted such activities to protect monument resources, and the monument
management plans being developed for the new monuments may result in additional
restrictions. For instance, some private citizens who use public lands for grazing
cattle or extracting minerals have claimed that their activities have been restricted and
that they have suffered economically as a result.
States and counties frequently have viewed restrictions on federal lands in their
jurisdictions as threats to economic development. They argue that local communities
are hurt by the loss of jobs and tax revenues that result from prohibiting/restricting
future mineral exploration, timber development, or other activities. Some argue that
limitations on energy exploration could leave the United States more dependent on
Advocates of creating monuments claim there are positive economic impacts
resulting from designation, including increased tourism, recreation, and the relocation
of businesses and people which may exceed the benefits of traditional economic
development. Others allege that the public interest value of environmental protection
outweighs any economic benefit that could have resulted from development. Some
maintain that development is insufficiently limited by monument designation, through
the preservation of valid existing rights for particular uses, such as grazing and
mining, and that the restrictions on future use should be tighter. Areas need to be left
intact for future generations, they argue.
“Consistency” of Antiquities Act with NEPA and FLPMA
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) authorizes the
Secretary of the Interior to make certain land withdrawals under specified procedures.
It requires congressional review of withdrawals that exceed 5,000 acres, but in a
manner that is likely to be considered an unconstitutional “legislative veto” under the
ruling in Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha.18 FLPMA also contains
notice and hearing procedures for withdrawals by the Secretary of less than 5,000
acres. In enacting FLPMA, Congress not only imposed limits on the ability of the
Interior Secretary to make withdrawals, but repealed much of the express and implied
withdrawal authority previously granted to the President by several earlier laws.
Critics of the Antiquities Act argue that it is inconsistent with the intent of
FLPMA to restore control of public land withdrawal policy to Congress. They assert
that Congress is the appropriate body to make and implement land withdrawal policy
and that Congress intended to review and retain veto control over all executive
withdrawals exceeding 5,000 acres. Legislation to abolish the President’s authority
to create national monuments, or to require congressional approval of presidential
recommendations for national monuments, was considered in recent Congresses.
Challengers to this view note that Congress, in enacting FLPMA, did not repeal or
amend the Antiquities Act despite extensive consideration of all executive withdrawal
authorities. They argue it was the clear intent of Congress to retain presidential
withdrawal authority under the Antiquities Act.
Similarly, critics note that recent monuments were proclaimed by President
Clinton without the environmental studies required of agencies for “major federal
actions” under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or the opportunities
for public participation that NEPA, FLPMA, and other land management laws
provide. Here, too, it can be noted that the statutes in question do not pertain to the
actions of a President under the Antiquities Act (as opposed to an action of an
agency) and that the Antiquities Act is silent as to the procedures a President must
follow to proclaim a new monument. Some urge that procedures for environmental
review and public participation should be added to the monument designation process
so that significant withdrawals (with resulting effects on existing uses) would not be
made without scientific, economic, and public input. Legislative proposals of this sort
were considered in the past few Congresses.
Others counter that such changes would impair the ability of the President to
take action quickly to protect objects and lands, thereby avoiding possible damage to
the resources and the possible speculative establishment of rights.19 They assert that
462 U.S. 919 (1983).
The status quo of BLM-managed lands could be maintained because §204(e) of FLPMA
(43 U.S.C. 1714(e)) authorizes the Secretary to temporarily withdraw BLM lands for a period
of up to two years. Comparable authority does not exist with respect to lands managed by
participation requirements are not needed in law because Presidents typically consult
with government officials and the public before establishing monuments. Further,
they charge that NEPA applies to proposed actions that might harm the environment,
not to protective actions such as monument designation. Some believe that NEPA
requirements are unnecessary for monument designation because once monuments are
created, detailed management plans are developed in accordance with NEPA.20
Although most monuments now are managed by the National Park Service
(NPS), Congress has created some monuments that are managed by other agencies.
In 1996, President Clinton created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National
Monument and assigned its management to BLM, the first such area administered by
BLM. President Clinton subsequently selected BLM as exclusive manager of more
new monuments. In other cases, monument management is being conducted jointly
by BLM and another agency. For instance, President Clinton chose BLM and NPS
to jointly manage two monuments. The President also chose other agencies to
manage monuments, solely or jointly, including the Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife
Service, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense.
In creating new monuments, President Clinton often retained as monument
manager the agency that was administering the lands before the monument
designation. In two of the proclamations that expanded monuments, President
Clinton made management changes. The Pinnacles expansion lands were transferred
from the BLM to the NPS, because the existing Pinnacles Monument was being
managed by the NPS. For the Craters of the Moon National Monument expansion,
President Clinton chose the NPS as primary manager of some of the lands that had
been under BLM jurisdiction. For the two marine monuments — Buck Island Reef
and Virgin Islands Coral Reef — the President assigned management to the NPS.
Further, although the Bureau of Reclamation owns the land within Minidoka
Internment, President Clinton required the Secretary of the Interior to transfer
administration of the monument to the NPS. Finally, President Clinton selected the
NPS to manage Governors Island, in consultation with the Administrator of the
General Services Administration (GSA), although existing law (P.L. 105-33, §9101)
requires the GSA to sell the land.21
The Clinton Administration had expressed interest in having BLM manage
monuments created on its lands, and in increasing the emphasis of the agency on land
protection. The BLM also may have been chosen to manage several of the new
Proposals to address the issues raised in this section, primarily those considered during the
106th Congress, are covered below under “Legislative Activity.”
For a discussion of the legal issues associated with the creation of the monument and the sale
of the land, see CRS Congressional Distribution Memorandum, Designation of Part of
Governors Island as a National Monument, by (name redacted) and (name redacted), May
monuments because the lands were intended to be both protected and managed for
multiple uses. Multiple uses include recreation; range; timber; minerals; watershed;
fish and wildlife; and protecting scenic, scientific, and historical values. Mineral
development, timber, and hunting are the principal uses that would be compatible with
BLM management but generally not with NPS management. All the BLM-managed
monuments protect valid existing rights, which would allow development of existing
mineral rights. Except for Canyons of the Ancients, they also preclude establishment
of new mineral and energy rights, and hence are similar to NPS units in that respect.
The Canyons of the Ancients Monument allows new oil and gas leasing and
development under certain circumstances. Grazing is another land use typically
allowed on BLM lands, but often precluded on NPS lands even though it is allowed
It could be argued that having BLM manage monuments, rather than NPS,
generally allows for more flexible management. That is, under the BLM interim
management policy, uses generally would be permitted unless shown to be detrimental
to the monuments. In NPS units, uses are more likely to be prohibited unless shown
to be beneficial. Some critics have expressed concern that the BLM lacks sufficient
expertise or dedication to land conservation to be charged with monument
The President’s authority to choose a management agency other than NPS has
been questioned. Before 1933, monuments were managed by different agencies,
including the War Department and the Department of Agriculture. In 1933, President
Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Executive Order 6166, consolidated management of
national monuments in the NPS. Most, and possibly all, existing monuments were
transferred to the NPS, and no monuments presidentially created between 1933 and
1978 were managed outside the NPS. Two of the Alaska monuments created by
President Carter in 1978 were managed by the Forest Service (which is in the
Department of Agriculture), and two were managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service
(FWS). Management by FWS does not appear to have been contentious. However,
assigning management of the two Alaska monuments to the Forest Service was
controversial, and the NPS and the Department of Agriculture agreed to enter into a
memorandum of understanding on managing the monuments. The two monuments
subsequently were given statutory approval (in ANILCA) for Forest Service
A 1980 Opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel (Department of Justice)
appears to indicate that the President may have some flexibility in choosing the
managers of post-1933 monuments.23 Others assert too that the authority of the
President under the Antiquities Act carries with it discretion to choose the managing
agency. They contend that there is no exclusive authority for the NPS to manage
monuments. However, critics argue that management by an agency other than NPS
As a general matter, grazing may be allowed in NPS units under 16 U.S.C. §3, unless it is
prohibited by the statute creating the unit or the Secretary of the Interior finds grazing would
be detrimental. In practice, grazing often is not allowed. However, some statutes authorizing
park units specifically allow for grazing in these units.
4B Op. Off. Legal Counsel 396 (February 8, 1980).
is a transfer of part of the current functions of the NPS, and that the transfer of an
agency function, especially to another department, constitutes a reorganization of
government, and that the President currently lacks such reorganization authority.
Some counter that establishing a new monument under another agency would not
constitute a reorganization because management of current NPS units, and the general
authority of the NPS to manage monuments, would be unaffected. Even if placing
management authority under a department other than the Department of the Interior
might constitute a reorganization, the President nevertheless might be able to move
a function of the NPS to the BLM under congressionally approved authority allowing
transfers of functions within the Department of the Interior (Reorganization Plan No.
3 of 1950). Some of the Clinton designations raise the issue of whether the President
has authority to choose a management agency other than the NPS.
Other Legal Issues
The “Property Clause” of the Constitution (Article IV, sec. 3, cl. 2) gives
Congress the authority to dispose of and make needful rules and regulations regarding
property belonging to the United States. Some have asserted that the Antiquities Act
is an unconstitutionally broad delegation of Congress’ power, because the President’s
authority to create monuments is essentially limitless since all federal land has some
historic or scientific value. Others believe the Act would be upheld if challenged on
this basis because it has been in effect for so long and because courts have upheld
other broad delegations of property authority; for example, the Mining Law of 1872,
which allows state and local laws and customs to supplement federal law.
Several cases were filed challenging the 1996 designation of the Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument on various grounds. The Utah Association of Counties
(UAC) filed suit asking the court to set aside the proclamation on the grounds that:
1) President Clinton violated the Antiquities Act and the separation of powers
doctrine by withdrawing public lands from the application of the mining laws and
mineral leasing laws when Congress reserved this power to the Secretary of the
Interior; 2) President Clinton exceeded his constitutionally delegated authority under
the Act to achieve wilderness preservation of lands when Congress reserved that
authority to itself; 3) President Clinton exceeded his authority under the Act to
reserve only the “smallest area” compatible with protection of specific objects; 4) the
chair of the Council on Environmental Quality failed to implement and enforce NEPA
and worked with defendants Secretary Babbitt and the Department of the Interior to
avoid complying with NEPA; and 5) Secretary Babbitt and the Interior Department
violated federal law by recommending the creation of the monument without
complying with procedures imposed by federal law.
A second suit was filed by the Utah Schools and Institutional Trust Lands
Administration (SITLA). It alleged that President Clinton exceeded his authority
under the Act and the Constitution when he created the monument; that the Interior
Department violated FLPMA and NEPA during the course of designation; and that
the withdrawal violated the Utah Enabling Act of 1894 and the “Equal Footing”
doctrine, under which new states are admitted to the Union on a par with existing
The Mountain States Legal Foundation also filed suit alleging that the creation
of the monument violated the Antiquities Act because 1) President Clinton did not
confine the withdrawal to the smallest area compatible with the purpose; 2) President
Clinton did not confine it to objects of scientific and historic interest; and 3) his
actions were arbitrary and capricious in that he exceeded his authority under the
Constitution. This suit also alleges that all defendants violated FLPMA, the Federal
Advisory Committee Act, the Anti-Deficiency Act, and the Constitution.
The cases were consolidated, but the SITLA case was settled and has been
dismissed. The others are being heard in the U.S. District Court for Utah, but have
not moved very far toward decision. The United States asked the court to rule first
on the question of whether Congress could be said to have ratified the creation of the
monument through several enactments since its creation, e.g., those related to
boundary adjustments and land exchanges. In the procedural context in which the
issue was before the court, the court found Congress’s actions insufficient to
constitute ratification and declined to dismiss the case on that ground. The United
States attempted to appeal on this issue before completion of the trial in the District
Court, but the 10th Circuit denied this interlocutory appeal. There is no indication of
when the lower court might rule on the other issues. An environmental group that
was denied intervenor status has appealed that ruling.
A suit also was filed in the U.S. District Court for Arizona challenging the Grand
Canyon-Parashant National Monument. It raised questions related to whether the
monument might threaten to limit land use; prevent legislators from representing their
constituents; reduce the accountability of governmental officials; and violate the equal
protection aspects of the 14th Amendment. Plaintiffs sought to have the Antiquities
Act declared unconstitutional and to require the President to follow constitutional
disposal processes. The suit was dismissed on November 20, 2000, for lack of
standing and for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted.
Another suit was filed challenging the designations of Canyons of the Ancients,
Cascade-Siskiyou, Hanford Reach, and Ironwood Forest. It claimed, without
elaboration, that by creating these monuments and specifying certain management
restrictions, President Clinton impermissibly took actions with respect to federal lands
by exercising powers that are reserved to Congress under the Constitution.
A challenge24 to the designation of Giant Sequoia National Monument asserts,
among other counts, that the creation of the Giant Sequoia monument to protect
“ecosystems” and “landscapes” was so lacking in specificity as to the objects
protected that it either does not comport with the standards in the Antiquities Act, or
the Act itself represents an unconstitutional delegation of the authority of Congress
to manage the property of the United States (Article IV of the U.S. Constitution).
Furthermore, the suit asserts, the land management restrictions in the Giant Sequoia
Proclamation and related administrative documents violate the planning requirements
of the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) and NEPA, as well as § 9 of the
NFMA, which requires an act of Congress to return national forest lands to the public
domain, which plaintiffs maintain is what the new management restrictions
Tulare County, et al, v. Clinton, 1:00CV02560, (D.D.C.).
accomplish.25 In addition, the suit claims that the Proclamation could not override a
1990 Agreement between the Forest Service and outside parties regarding the
management of the Sequoia groves.
Land Uses in Recently Designated Monuments
This section provides a summary of selected land uses within the monuments
created (or expanded) by President Clinton, focusing on the effect of monument
designation on existing or potential development or recreational land uses. The
presidential proclamations and accompanying Clinton Administration statements
address land uses within the monuments. An interim management policy for all newly
created BLM monuments, issued January 11, 2000, provides additional guidance for
BLM monuments pending approval of a management plan for each monument under
BLM’s planning process.26 The final management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante,
effective in February 2000, describes the objectives and actions for managing the
monument.27 Management plans for other monuments are underway, and in some
cases their development has been controversial. Several of the proclamations direct
that the management plans be completed within a specified time, e.g., 3 years.
The overriding management goal for all monuments is protection of the objects
described in the proclamations. The amount of detail on land uses varies among the
monuments. For instance, the proclamations for the Buck Island Reef, California
Coastal, Governors Island, Minidoka Internment, Pompeys Pillar, President Lincoln
and Soldiers’ Home, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monuments generally do not
address as many issues as the proclamations for other monuments. Some issues may
not arise for these monuments given their distinctive characteristics, for instance, their
small size or water-based nature. Most of the other monuments protect large parcels
of on-shore land with diverse features.
Except for the proclamation for the President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home
National Monument, the proclamations establish or enlarge the monuments subject
to valid existing rights. Existing uses of the land that are not precluded by the
proclamations, and do not conflict with the purposes of the monuments, generally may
continue. Supporting documents for the BLM monuments state that the exercise of
such rights could be regulated where necessary to protect a monument under BLM
16 U.S.C. § 1609.
See infra note 17.
For more information on Grand Staircase-Escalante, see 1) U.S. Dept. of the Interior,
Bureau of Land Management, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument:
Management Plan (Cedar City, Utah: 2000); and 2) CRS Report 98-993, Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument.
The 22 proclamations issued by President Clinton withdrew monument lands
from new mineral development generally. The proclamations state that such
withdrawals are subject to valid existing rights, except that the proclamation for the
President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home does not address valid existing rights. Subject
to valid existing rights, most of the proclamations bar new mineral leases, mining
claims, prospecting or exploration activities, and oil, gas, and geothermal leases by
withdrawing the lands within the monuments from entry, location, selection, sale,
leasing, or other disposition under the public land laws, mining laws, and mineral and
geothermal leasing laws.
However, the proclamation for Canyons of the Ancients allows new oil and gas
leasing (including carbon dioxide) under specified circumstances. In addition to
continuing existing oil and gas leases, the Secretary may issue new leases only to
promote conservation of oil and gas resources in any common reservoir being
produced under existing leases, or to protect oil and gas resources against drainage.28
In both Canyons of the Ancients and Upper Missouri River Breaks, the Secretary of
the Interior is to manage oil and gas development, subject to valid existing rights, so
as not to create any new impacts that interfere with the care and management of the
These oil and gas leasing provisions were included because, at the time Canyons
of the Ancients National Monument was created, about 85% of the monument’s lands
had been leased for oil and gas development and development was underway.
Production primarily occurs on the McElmo Dome field, which contains carbon
dioxide reserves, and the overlying Island Butte II, Cutthroat, and Canyon units,
which produce natural gas, condensate, and oil. Supporting agency materials state
that as production is completed, the area will be reclaimed, and there will be no new
development thereafter. Production from current leases is estimated to last for 30 to
40 years.29 For Upper Missouri River Breaks, more than 60,000 acres (16%) are
covered by existing federal oil and gas leases. These leases include part of the LeRoy
natural gas field that has been developed over the past few decades.
Agency materials provide information on energy development within other
national monuments. For many of the monuments, there are no existing federal oil,
gas, or mineral leases, but in some cases there is current development. Approximately
135,000 acres of Grand Staircase-Escalante currently are leased for oil and gas, and
about 65,000 barrels of oil are produced annually from five active wells. There also
are 6 federal oil and gas leases covering approximately 6,000 acres (3%) of the
Carrizo Plain that are now producing commercial quantities of oil and gas; in 1999,
more than 48,000 barrels of oil were produced.
New leases could promote conservation of the oil resources by more efficiently emptying an
oil reserve and may be necessary to prevent drainage of the federal portion of a common
reserve by nonfederal drilling.
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Background Materials on the
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, June 9, 2000, on BLM’s website at: [http:
Other agency documents contain information on energy reserves within national
monuments. In particular, a study by the U.S. Geological Survey assesses the
probability of the existence of oil, gas, coal, and coal-bed methane within the new
monuments, and the potential volume of oil and gas. The report states that five
monuments were appraised as having moderate to high probability of the existence
of oil and gas resources (California Coastal, Canyons of the Ancients, Carrizo Plain,
Hanford Reach, and Upper Missouri River Breaks). The other monuments were
estimated to have no potential, or low to very low probability, of the existence of oil
and gas. The report also determined that only Grand Staircase-Escalante has a high
probability of coal and coal-bed gas. The other monuments were determined to have
no, low, or very low probability of coal and coal-bed gas. The study does not address
on-going development within national monuments, or the availability of monument
lands to resource extraction.
In some cases the federal government does not own the mineral estate of lands
within the monuments. For example, the federal government owns only the surface
estate of approximately 100,000 acres within Carrizo Plain, and the mineral estate of
lands within Pompeys Pillar is held in trust by the United States for the Crow Tribe.
The 22 proclamations state that existing withdrawals, reservations, and
appropriations continue, but the monument becomes the dominant reservation. This
generally requires that uses of monument lands be managed to protect monument
values and, if there is a conflict with uses otherwise authorized, protection of the
monument governs. Prior to the creation of a monument, for instance, lands in the
area may have been removed or withdrawn from the operation of some or all of the
public land laws, or from being subject to some particular use, either by statute or
secretarial order. Such withdrawals generally remain in effect until they expire or are
specifically modified or revoked.
Grazing expressly may continue in several of the monuments created or enlarged
by President Clinton, according to the proclamations. For Agua Fria, Canyons of the
Ancients, Carrizo Plain, Craters of the Moon, Giant Sequoia, Grand CanyonParashant, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Ironwood Forest, Upper Missouri River
Breaks, and Vermilion Cliffs, grazing would continue to be governed by laws and
regulations other than the proclamations. Grazing has been controversial in some of
these monuments, e.g., Grand Staircase-Escalante and Carrizo Plain, with some
asserting that grazing has been unnecessarily curtailed while others claim that grazing
has not been sufficiently limited to prevent ecological damage. BLM is to continue
to issue and administer grazing leases within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area
of the Grand Canyon-Parashant Monument, in accordance with the law establishing
that area.30 Grazing may continue to be permitted in the expanded Pinnacles area,
16 U.S.C. §460n-3. The NPS and the BLM share management authority for Grand CanyonParashant, but, under the proclamation the NPS has primary management authority over the
under the proclamation, although it is not allowed elsewhere in this NPS-managed
monument. In practice, grazing is typically precluded on NPS lands.
The proclamation for Cascade-Siskiyou states that existing grazing permits or
leases may continue, with “appropriate” terms and conditions. In addition, the
Secretary of the Interior is to study the impacts of grazing on objects of biological
interest within the monument. The Secretary is instructed to retire allotments if
grazing is determined to be incompatible with protecting monument objects of
biological interest. If permits or leases are relinquished by existing holders before the
study is completed, the Secretary may reallocate forage for grazing only if reallocation
furthers the protection of the monument.
The proclamations for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and Sonoran Desert contain
particular direction on grazing. The Secretary is to retire the grazing allotments on
lands within Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, unless the Secretary determines that grazing
advances the protective purpose of the monument. Agency documents state that only
12 cows graze on monument lands during part of the year, and that if there is available
forage, “the animal unit months should be reallocated.”
In the Sonoran Desert National Monument, grazing south of Interstate Highway
8 may continue only until the current permits expire. Grazing permits in that area will
not be renewed. Grazing south of the Interstate is prohibited to foster the long-term
ecological health and stability of the area, according to agency documents. In
developing the management plan for the area, BLM will consider whether to also ban
grazing north of Interstate Highway 8. Grazing north of that highway may continue
only if BLM finds it compatible with the protection of the historic, scientific, and
other objects of interest within the monument.
For Hanford Reach, the proclamation requires the Secretary of the Interior to
prohibit grazing to protect monument objects. The proclamations for Buck Island
Reef, California Coastal, Governors Island, Minidoka Internment, Pompeys Pillar,
President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef do not directly
address grazing, apparently because grazing is not an issue for these monuments.
For BLM monuments, the agency’s interim monument management policy
generally allows livestock grazing in accordance with existing permits and leases.
Under existing laws, policies, and procedures, BLM generally is allowed to make
adjustments to grazing permits and leases and this authority is reflected in the interim
policy. For instance, adjustments could be made to ensure that proper stocking levels
are not exceeded, which the interim policy characterizes as of “paramount
The 22 proclamations imply that timber cutting is precluded, through a general
prohibition against removing any “feature” of the monuments. Harvesting appears to
land within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
have been a significant issue for only a few of the monuments. In particular, two of
the proclamations contain specific provisions on timber. Commercial timber
harvesting is specifically prohibited in Cascade-Siskiyou, except when part of an
authorized ecological restoration project. The area currently is under a timber
harvesting moratorium, and the proclamation makes this moratorium permanent,
according to a White House press release (dated June 9, 2000). New timber
production is precluded in Giant Sequoia, but timber sales under existing contracts
and those with a decision notice signed between January 1, 1999, and December 31,
1999, may be completed under the terms of the decision notice or contract. This
provision provides a transition period of approximately two and a half years during
which timber sales are phased out.
For both Cascade-Siskiyou and Giant Sequoia, some trees may be removed as
needed for ecological restoration, maintenance, or public safety, and also for personal
fuelwood in the case of Giant Sequoia. Ecological restoration activities may be
needed to counteract the effects of previous fire suppression and logging, according
to the Giant Sequoia proclamation.
The final management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante prohibits commercial
timber harvesting within the monument. Other provisions of the plan address
collecting forestry products. For instance, the plan allows fuelwood harvesting, post
cutting, and Christmas tree cutting by permit, within designated areas.
Federal reserved water rights often have been controversial, but have been
asserted and upheld with respect to management of national monuments and parks.
Subject to other valid existing water rights, water rights necessary to protect
monument objectives are expressly reserved for the federal government in several of
the monuments: Agua Fria, Carrizo Plain, Cascade-Siskiyou, Giant Sequoia, Hanford
Reach, and Pinnacles. These proclamations do not relinquish or reduce any federal
water use or rights that existed prior to the establishment of the monuments.
The proclamations for Canyons of the Ancients, Craters of the Moon, Grand
Canyon-Parashant, Ironwood Forest, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, Minidoka
Internment, Pompeys Pillar, Sonoran Desert, and Vermilion Cliffs expressly do not
reserve federal water rights, but also do not relinquish any existing federal water
rights. Federal land management agencies (or, in some cases, the Secretary of the
Interior) are to work with state authorities to ensure that sufficient water is available
for the monuments. The proclamation for Grand Staircase-Escalante also states that
water rights are not reserved. It directs the Secretary of the Interior, in preparing the
monument management plan, to evaluate the necessity of water for the care and
management of the objects and resources protected by the monument, and the extent
to which further action is needed under federal or state law to assure availability of
water. The final monument management plan does contain provisions on water,
including several that seek to assure water availability and quality. One such
provision states that BLM may seek appropriative water rights under Utah State law
for the limited visitor facilities within the monument that need water.
Water is not reserved generally for the Upper Missouri River Breaks because
federal water rights already exist within the monument. In 1976, Congress included
the area in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and that water right has been
quantified through a compact between the United States and the State of Montana.
However, the proclamation does reserve water in two tributaries containing biological
objects that are dependent on water. That reservation, in the Judith River and Arrow
Creek, does not relinquish or reduce any federal water use or right that existed before
the creation of the monument.
Water rights are not addressed in the proclamations for several
monuments—Buck Island Reef, California Coastal, Governors Island, President
Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef. Water rights does not
appear to be an issue for these monuments given their small size or location.
Fish and Wildlife
For most of the monuments, the existing authority of the state (in which the
monument is located) for fish and wildlife management on federal lands would
continue. This means that the state can regulate fish and wildlife on federal lands,
notably fishing and hunting, except as overridden or modified by the Secretary.
Hunting is banned in the expanded Pinnacles Monument area, as is typically the case
on NPS lands under general NPS authorities. Hunting had been allowed when the
land was managed by BLM. Hunting also is banned on lands added to the Craters of
the Moon National Monument, which will be managed by the NPS. That ban has
been controversial (and the subject of legislation) because hunting had been allowed
on these lands, under BLM management, before the monument was designated.
Fish and wildlife management are not addressed explicitly by the Buck Island
Reef, California Coastal, Governors Island, Minidoka Internment, and President
Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home Monuments. Hunting is not an issue for some of these
monuments, given their nature, and hunting is typically banned on NPS lands.
While not explicitly stated, existing fish and wildlife authority is generally not
affected by the proclamation for the California Coastal Monument. According to the
Clinton Administration, the proclamation does not affect federal or state authority
over fishing, oil and gas development, or other uses of adjacent water. However, the
proclamation protects federally owned features in the “near-shore ocean zone” for 12
miles from shore, in part to provide for feeding and nesting habitat. This may raise
questions as to authority to regulate fisheries between the state, the Department of
Commerce, and the Department of the Interior.
The Secretary of the Interior is to prohibit all extractive uses in the Buck Island
Reef Monument. The Secretary also is to generally prohibit extractive uses in the
Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monument. However, the Secretary may issue permits for
bait fishing and blue runner line fishing in certain areas if such fishing is consistent
with the protection of the monument.
Although the proclamations do not alter state authority for fish and wildlife
management, it is likely that the federal monument managers will work in conjunction
with state authorities in managing fish and wildlife since federal managers have
authority to modify or override state regulation in some instances. BLM’s
management plan for Grand Staircase-Escalante, for instance, contains five objectives
and numerous actions for managing fish and wildlife. One objective is to manage land
uses within the monument so as to prevent damage to fish and wildlife and their
habitats. Another objective is to work cooperatively with the Utah Division of
Wildlife Resources to reestablish populations of native species and to protect and
enhance the habitat of native species.
Off-Road Vehicle Use
Using motorized and mechanized vehicles off-road, except for emergency or
authorized purposes, is prohibited under the proclamations for many monuments —
Agua Fria, Canyons of the Ancients, Carrizo Plain, Cascade-Sisikiyou, Craters of the
Moon, Grand Canyon-Parashant, Hanford Reach, Ironwood Forest, Kasha-Katuwe
Tent Rocks, Sonoran Desert, Upper Missouri River Breaks, and Vermilion Cliffs.
The ban is designed to protect objects within the monuments. Similarly, the interim
policy governing BLM monuments generally bars motorized and mechanized vehicles
off-road, and states that management discretion should be used where necessary to
protect monument resources, such as through emergency closures.
Whether to allow vehicular travel on designated routes or in designated areas,
or to close routes or areas to vehicular use in those monuments where such use is not
expressly prohibited, likely will be addressed when drafting the management plan for
each monument. For example, although the proclamation creating Grand StaircaseEscalante is silent as to off-road vehicles, the final management plan for the
monument prohibits motorized and mechanized travel off-road. Motorized and
mechanized vehicles are allowed on designated routes, which, according to the plan,
primarily provide access to particular destinations and do not present a significant
threat to monument resources.
In some of the areas, off-road vehicle use was prohibited before the monument
designations; some of the prohibitions may not have been fully implemented. In other
areas that became monuments, off-road vehicles had been allowed, at least in some
places. For instance, for Canyons of the Ancients, the existing management plan only
prohibited travel off-road in approximately 25% of the monument area.
For Giant Sequoia, motorized vehicle use is permitted only on designated roads.
No new roads or trails are to be authorized, except to further the protective purposes
of the monument, and roads and trails may be closed or altered before the
management plan is issued to protect monument objects. Motorized vehicles were
permitted on trails until the end of the year 2000. The management plan is to contain
a transportation plan that provides for visitor enjoyment and education.
Off-road vehicles are not addressed for the several monuments–Buck Island
Reef, California Coastal, Governors Island, Minidoka Internment, Pinnacles, Pompeys
Pillar, President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home, and Virgin Islands Coral Reef. Off-road
vehicle use does not appear to be an issue in several cases because of the nature of the
monuments. Recreational vehicle use off-road typically is not allowed on NPS lands,
and generally is barred in BLM monuments under the agency’s interim policy for new
Some of the proclamations address other transportation issues. For instance, the
proclamation for Cascade-Siskiyou states that the Secretary of the Interior shall close
a particular road to motorized and mechanized vehicular use. Other routes or parts
of routes have been closed under the interim management policy for CascadeSiskiyou. The proclamations for Canyons of the Ancients, Carrizo Plain, CascadeSiskiyou, Craters of the Moon, Ironwood Forest, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks,
Sonoran Desert, Upper Missouri River Breaks, and Vermilion Cliffs state that the
Secretary of the Interior is to prepare a transportation plan (or management plan) that
addresses road closures, travel restrictions, or other actions necessary to protect
objects within the monument. Management of vessels is to be included in the
management plans for the Buck Island Reef and Virgin Islands Coral Reef
President Clinton created 19 new national monuments and enlarged 3 others.
The monuments vary greatly in size from a few acres to nearly 2 million acres.
Creation of some of them has been controversial and raised numerous issues,
including whether the President has the authority under the Antiquities Act to create
“landscape” monuments of great size; and whether the Antiquities Act should be
amended to limit large withdrawals or to address concerns about the process by which
monuments are designated. The Clinton monuments also vary as to the uses that are
allowed or prohibited on them, and the agencies entrusted with their management.
The Bush Administration has indicated that it will reconsider the boundaries and
uses established in the monuments created or expanded by President Clinton, and that
it will seek public input into a reexamination of individual monuments. The extent to
which a subsequent President can modify or rescind monuments created by a previous
President raises legal issues. Also, some Members of Congress have indicated an
interest in revoking or amending the authority of the President to create national
monuments, and in considering expressions of public approval or disapproval of the
monuments or of particular aspects of their size, configuration, and management.
Appendix: Chronology of Monuments Established
or Enlarged During the Clinton Administration
September 18, 1996
Grand Staircase-Escalante. President Clinton created the Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument in southern Utah on September 18, 1996.31 The
proclamation for this monument notes that it contains geological, paleontological,
archaeological, biological, natural, and historical resources. While covering a broad
and diverse area, the monument contains three primary physiographic regions: the
Grand Staircase, the Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Escalante Canyons. It currently
contains approximately 1,870,800 acres of federal land, and an additional 15,000
acres of private land are within the borders of the monument. These figures reflect
land exchanges and boundary adjustments since the monument was proclaimed.
Under the proclamation, the monument is being managed by the BLM; the BLM
was managing the lands before the monument designation, and the Clinton
Administration sought to enhance the conservation role of BLM. The proclamation
gave BLM three years to develop a plan for managing the monument, and in February
2000, the final plan became effective.32 The management plan calls for the
establishment of a Monument Advisory Committee, comprised primarily of scientists,
to advise monument managers on science issues and on implementing the management
plan. It emphasizes maintaining the primitive and remote condition of the land, while
providing for the study of scientific and historic resources within the monument.
Developed recreation is limited to small areas of the monument and major visitor
facilities will be located outside the monument; motorized access is limited; and the
lands are withdrawn from new mineral development, subject to valid existing rights.
The heart of the management plan is a zone system, whereby visitor use and activities
are organized according to four geographic areas: the front country zone, passage
zone, outback zone, and primitive zone.
January 11, 2000
On January 11, 2000, President Clinton proclaimed 3 new national monuments
and enlarged a fourth. The new monuments are the Agua Fria National Monument,
the California Coastal National Monument, and the Grand Canyon-Parashant National
Monument. The enlarged monument is the Pinnacles National Monument.33
Proc. 6290, September 18, 1996; 61 Fed. Reg. 50223 (September 24, 1996).
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Grand Staircase-Escalante
National Monument: Management Plan (Cedar City, Utah: 2000.)
The relevant presidential proclamations are as follows: for the Agua Fria National
Monument, Proc. No. 7263; for the California Coastal National Monument, Proc. No. 7264;
for the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Proc. No. 7265; and for the Pinnacles
National Monument, Proc. No. 7266. They are all published at 65 Fed. Reg. 2821-2834
(January 18, 2000).
Agua Fria. The Agua Fria National Monument was created in Arizona, about
40 miles north of Phoenix. The monument includes two mesas and the canyon of the
Agua Fria River. The proclamation states that the land contains prehistoric ruins
including petroglyphs, agricultural areas, and rock pueblos; historic sites; and
biological and scientific resources. The monument contains approximately 71,100
acres of federal land, although another 1,444 acres of private land are within its
borders. The proclamation assigns BLM responsibility for managing the monument;
the BLM was managing the lands before the monument designation.
California Coastal. The California Coastal National Monument is comprised
of thousands of federally owned islands, rocks, reefs, and pinnacles above mean high
tide within 12 miles of the California shoreline. The proclamation states that the
lands, which extend the length of the California coast, contain biological resources
and geological formations and provide feeding and nesting grounds for sea mammals
and birds. The monument contains approximately 1,000 acres of federal land. The
proclamation assigns BLM responsibility for managing the monument. While the
lands were under BLM’s jurisdiction before monument designation, the California
State Department of Fish and Game had been managing the lands within California
Coastal on behalf of BLM, under a memorandum of understanding. Management by
the state agency is expected to continue (with a revised memorandum of
understanding, if necessary).
Grand Canyon-Parashant. The Grand Canyon-Parashant National
Monument was established in northwestern Arizona. The proclamation states that the
monument includes canyons, mountains, and buttes on the north rim of the Grand
Canyon, and contains geological, biological, historic, paleontological, and
archaeological resources. It encompasses the lower portion of the Shivwits Plateau,
a watershed of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. The monument contains
approximately 1,023,785 acres of federal land, although an additional 21,979 acres
of state land and 8,500 acres of private land are included within its borders.
Before the Grand Canyon-Parashant Monument was created, the land within its
boundaries was managed by the NPS (the Lake Mead National Recreation Area
(NRA)) and BLM (the other lands). The two agencies also are to manage the new
monument jointly, and prepare an agreement for sharing related resources. The NPS
will continue to have primary management authority over the land within the Lake
Mead NRA (216,544 acres), and the BLM will have primary authority over the rest
Pinnacles. The Pinnacles National Monument, located south of San Jose,
California, was originally proclaimed in 1908 to preserve rock formations and a series
of caves underlying them, and has been expanded several times. The Clinton
proclamation states that the current expansion includes additional pieces of the faults
that created the geological formations throughout the monument, the headwaters that
drain into the basin of the monument, and a biological system of plant and animal
communities. The expansion consisted of approximately 7,900 acres of federal land,
and an additional 2,850 acres of private land are within the borders of the monument.
The expanded monument now consists of approximately 24,165 acres. Pinnacles was
being managed by the NPS before the current expansion, and the NPS also will
manage the additional 7,900 acres. The expansion lands were being managed by the
BLM before the proclamation.
April 15, 2000
Giant Sequoia. On April 15, 2000, President Clinton proclaimed the Giant
Sequoia National Monument in California.34 The proclamation states that it seeks to
protect groves of giant sequoias, geological formations, limestone caverns,
paleontological resources, archaeological sites, historic remnants, and diverse
ecological components, among other features. The monument contains approximately
327,769 acres of federal land, although an additional 5,127 acres of state land and
22,399 acres of private land are included within its borders.
The monument, together with the underlying Sequoia National Forest, is
managed by the Secretary of Agriculture acting through the Forest Service. Prior to
the monument designation, the lands were under the authority of the Forest Service.
The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, is to
develop a management plan within three years and may develop special management
rules and regulations governing the monument. The Secretary, in consultation with
the National Academy of Sciences, is to appoint a scientific advisory board to assist
in developing the initial management plan for the monument.
June 9, 2000
On June 9, 2000, President Clinton proclaimed 4 new national monuments. The
monuments are the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, the CascadeSiskiyou National Monument, the Hanford Reach National Monument, and the
Ironwood Forest National Monument.35
Canyons of the Ancients. The Canyons of the Ancients National Monument
was established in southwest Colorado, in the Four Corners region. The proclamation
states that the area contains the highest known density of archaeological sites in the
United States — more than 5,000 recorded archaeological sites, and possibly
thousands more unrecorded. These cultural resources include ancient villages, sacred
springs, and cliff dwellings. The monument also encompasses natural resources and
a wide variety of wildlife species. It contains approximately 163,852 acres of federal
land, and an additional18,570 acres of private land are included within its borders.
The proclamation assigns BLM responsibility for managing the monument; the BLM
was managing the lands before the monument designation. Four units of the
Hovenweep National Monument, comprising about 400 acres, also are within the
Proc. 7295, April 15, 2000; 65 Fed. Reg. 24095 (April 25, 2000).
The relevant presidential proclamations are as follows: for the Canyons of the Ancients
National Monument, Proc. No. 7317; for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, Proc.
No. 7318; for the Hanford Reach National Monument, Proc. No. 7319; and for the Ironwood
Forest National Monument, Proc. No. 7320. They are all published at 65 Fed. Reg. 3724337262 (June 13, 2000).
boundaries of the monument but are not part of the monument itself. These areas will
continue to be managed by the NPS.
Cascade-Siskiyou. The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is located in
southwestern Oregon and includes Soda Mountain. The proclamation states that the
monument includes a variety of plants and animals from each of three ecoregions that
converge: the Cascade, Klamath, and Sisikiyou ecoregions. It includes geological
features, such as Pilot Rock, a volcanic plug that provides an example of the inside
of a volcano. It also has archaeological and historic attributes. The monument
contains approximately 52,951 acres of federal land, although an additional 32,222
acres of private land are included within its borders. The proclamation makes BLM
responsible for managing the monument (except for 4 acres managed by the Bureau
of Reclamation); the BLM was managing the lands before the monument designation.
The proclamation gives the Secretary of the Interior three years (by June 9, 2003) to
prepare a monument management plan, and the Secretary is to promulgate
Hanford Reach. The Hanford Reach National Monument, located in
southcentral Washington along the Columbia River, has been a buffer area in a federal
reservation developing nuclear weapons. It includes the 51-mile Hanford Reach, the
only free-flowing, non-tidal portion of the Columbia River, where approximately 80%
of the Columbia’s fall chinook salmon spawn. The proclamation states that the
monument contains archaeological deposits; biological resources including riparian,
aquatic, and shrub-steppe habitats with a high diversity of plant and animal species;
and geological and paleontological attributes such as the cliffs known as the White
Bluffs. The monument contains approximately 195,843 acres of federal land.
Although within the borders of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford
Reservation, much of the land within the monument was being managed by the FWS
prior to the monument’s designation. Under the proclamation, much of the
monument will continue to be managed by the FWS under existing agreements with
the Department of Energy; the DOE will manage areas not covered by agreements
with the FWS. The proclamation also states that upon determination by the FWS and
DOE, the FWS will assume management of monument lands being managed by the
DOE. For monument lands under DOE management, the Secretary of Energy is to
consult with the Secretary of the Interior in developing any management plan, rules,
and regulations. The monument boundaries exclude the nuclear facilities.
Ironwood Forest. The Ironwood Forest National Monument, situated in
southern Arizona near Tucson, is a desert landscape. The proclamation states that its
features include ironwood trees that can live for 800 years, a high diversity of birds
and animals, geological and topographical resources, and archaeological objects such
as rock art sites. The monument contains approximately 129,022 acres of federal
land, although an additional 54,697 acres of state land and 6,012 acres of private land
are included within its borders. The proclamation charges BLM with managing the
monument; the BLM was managing the lands before the monument designation.
July 7, 2000
President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home. On July 7, 2000, President
Clinton created the President Lincoln and Soldiers’ Home National Monument in
Washington, DC.36 Known as Anderson Cottage, the home is where President
Lincoln spent about one-quarter of his presidency and completed the Emancipation
Proclamation to abolish slavery. In support of making the home a monument,
President Clinton noted the historic role it played in our nation’s history and the need
to preserve it. The monument is different from those created earlier during the
Clinton Administration, in that it consists primarily of a historic site rather than a
relatively large parcel of land. The monument contains approximately two acres of
Prior to the proclamation, the monument was part of the U.S. Soldiers’ and
Airmen’s Home, which was administered by the Armed Forces Retirement Home, an
independent executive branch agency. The proclamation essentially continues this
arrangement; the Armed Forces Retirement Home will manage the monument,
through the U.S. Soldiers’ and Airmen’s Home. The proclamation also states that the
Armed Forces Retirement Home is to prepare a monument management plan within
three years, and promulgate regulations for the care and management of the
monument (to the extent authorized). Managing the monument, drafting the plan, and
promulgating regulations are to be undertaken in consultation with the Secretary of
the Interior, through the NPS.
November 9, 2000
On November 9, 2000, President Clinton created the Vermilion Cliffs National
Monument in Arizona37 and significantly expanded the Craters of the Moon National
Monument in Idaho.38
Craters of the Moon. The Craters of the Moon National Monument, in
southern Idaho, originally was proclaimed in 1924 to protect craters and lava flows
thought to resemble a lunar landscape. The current expansion encompasses the whole
lava field, which contains preserved volcanic features such as craters, cones, lava
flows, caves, and fissures of the Great Rift – which is 65 miles long. The
proclamation asserts that the area is of significant scientific interest, and contains
some of the last “nearly pristine” vegetation in the Snake River Plain. The
proclamation added approximately 686,395 acres of federal land to the existing
monument of approximately 53,287 acres. The expansion area also contains
approximately 8,321 acres of state land and an additional 6,860 acres of private land.
The existing Craters of the Moon National Monument was being managed by the
NPS before the current expansion. The expansion lands were being managed by the
BLM before the recent proclamation, but under the proclamation the monument will
Proc. 7329, July 7, 2000; 65 Fed. Reg. 43673 (July 13, 2000).
Proc. 7374, November 9, 2000; 65 Fed. Reg. 69227 (November 15, 2000).
Proc. 7373, November 9, 2000; 65 Fed. Reg. 69221 (November 15, 2000).
be managed “cooperatively” by the BLM and the NPS. The proclamation states that
the NPS will have primary management authority for monument lands containing the
exposed lava flows, and that BLM will have primary authority for the remaining
monument lands. According to the BLM, 412,548 acres of the expansion lands are
transferred from the BLM to the NPS to be managed in the same manner as the
existing monument. Under the proclamation, hunting is banned on the lands added
to the monument that will be managed by the NPS; this ban has been controversial
because hunting had been allowed before the monument was created. The remaining
portion of the expansion, 273,847 acres, contains lands historically used for grazing,
and these lands will continue to be managed by the BLM.
Vermilion Cliffs. The proclamation for Vermilion Cliffs, located on the
Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona, states that the monument was established to
protect geologic resources including the Paria Plateau, referred to as a “grand
terrace,” and the Vermilion Cliffs, which consist of multicolored layers of shale and
sandstone. The proclamation also mentions historic, archaeological, biological, and
other resources. Among the biological resources are fish, reptiles, amphibians,
mammals, and raptors, and the endangered California condor has been reintroduced
to establish another wild population of this species. The monument contains
approximately 280,324 acres of federal land, and approximately 13,388 acres of state
land and 448 acres of private land are within the monument’s borders. The
proclamation accords BLM management of the monument; the BLM was managing
the lands before the monument designation.
January 17, 2001
On January 17, 2001, President Clinton significantly expanded one monument
and created 7 new monuments. The expanded monument is the Buck Island Reef
National Monument. The new monuments are the Carrizo Plain National Monument,
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, Minidoka Internment National
Monument, Pompeys Pillar National Monument, Sonoran Desert National Monument,
Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, and Virgin Islands National
Buck Island Reef. The Buck Island Reef National Monument, in the U.S.
Virgin Islands, was originally established by presidential proclamation in 1961 to
protect 850 marine acres. The area encompassed Buck Island and its adjoining
shoals, rocks, and underwater coral reefs. The recent proclamation states that the
area is regarded as among “the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea,” and that
the natural area and dependent marine life are at risk of “commercial exploitation and
destruction.” The expanded monument includes habitats not contained in the original
monument; threatened and endangered species; and myriad species of fish,
The relevant proclamations are as follows: for Buck Island Reef, Proc. No. 7392; for
Carrizo Plain, Proc. No. 7393; for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, Proc. No. 7394; for Minidoka
Internment, Proc. No. 7395; for Pompeys Pillar, Proc. No. 7396; for Sonoran Desert, Proc.
No. 7397; for Upper Missouri River Breaks, Proc. No. 7398; and for Virgin Islands Coral
Reef, Proc. No. 7399. They are all published at 66 Fed. Reg. 7335-7367 (January 22, 2001).
invertebrates, plants, and sea birds. Cultural and historical objects, such as the
wreckage of a slave ship, also are within the new monument. The recent
proclamation expanded the monument by approximately 18,135 marine acres, and the
President assigned management of these federal submerged lands to the NPS.
Carrizo Plain. The area of the Carrizo Plain National Monument in California
was formed by shifts along the San Andreas Fault, and is well-known for its faultgenerated land forms. The monument contains Soda Lake, the largest remaining
alkali wetland in southern California. The proclamation describes the area’s attributes
as including endangered, threatened, and rare animals; rare and sensitive plants;
terrestrial and marine fossils; and archaeological objects. The monument contains
about 204,107 acres of federal land. The boundaries of the monument also
encompass state and private acreage but the precise amount has not been determined
by the BLM. BLM manages the monument in coordination with the California
Department of Fish and Game and The Nature Conservancy, as was the case before
the monument designation.
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks. Located in northcentral New Mexico, the
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument contains tent rock formations that are
the result of volcanic eruptions that occurred 6 to 7 million years ago. In addition to
this geologic scenery, the proclamation describes cultural remnants from human
history and biological objects including various birds and trees. The monument
contains approximately 4,148 acres of federal land. The boundaries of the monument
also encompass state and private acreage but the precise amount has not been
determined by the BLM. The BLM is to manage the monument “in close cooperation
with the Pueblo de Cochiti” under the proclamation. Prior to the monument’s
creation, on September 19, 2000, the BLM and the Pueblo de Cochiti had entered
into an intergovernmental cooperative agreement for the area to coordinate and
cooperatively manage federal and Pueblo lands.
Minidoka Internment. The Minidoka National Monument was created in
Idaho to protect historic structures and objects related to the internment of Japanese
Americans during World War II. The area was used as a relocation center to house
American citizens and resident aliens of Japanese ancestry who were evacuated from
their homes after Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D.
Roosevelt. Known during the War as the Minidoka Relocation Center, as well as
Hunt Site, the center’s population reached more than 9,000 Japanese Americans and
the center had more than 600 buildings. The monument encompasses 73 acres of
land. The Bureau of Reclamation, within the Department of the Interior, currently is
managing the lands. Under the proclamation, the Secretary of the Interior is to
manage the monument and “transfer administration of the monument” to the NPS.
Pompeys Pillar. East of Billings, Montana, is the Pompeys Pillar National
Monument, a large sandstone formation on the banks of the Yellowstone River that
rises 150 feet from a base of nearly two acres. The proclamation calls the pillar a
“celebrated landmark” and a “living journal” of the West. For instance, Captain
William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, recorded his stop at this site by
writing his name and the date of his visit on the pillar. Captain Clark named the rock
“Pompy’s Tower” after the infant son of Sacagawea, a guide on the journey, and the
name was later changed to Pompeys Pillar. The rock contains petroglyphs and
markings from many other visitors throughout history. The Monument consists of 51
acres of federal land, and is to be managed by the BLM, as before the monument
Sonoran Desert. The Sonoran Desert National Monument, in southcentral
Arizona, is a desert ecosystem with an array of biological, scientific, and historic
resources. This “most biologically diverse of the North American deserts,” according
to the proclamation, contains mountain ranges and wide valleys as well as saguaro
cactus areas and diverse plant communities that provide habitat for a wide array of
wildlife. Among the monument’s archaeological and historic sites are rock art, lithic
quarries, and signs of large villages and historic trails. A total of 486,603 federal
acres are within the monument; 408,646 are managed by the BLM and 77,957 are
managed by the Department of Defense (DOD). On November 6, 2001, BLM is to
resume management of the lands being managed by DOD pursuant to a military
withdrawal. An additional 3,867 acres of state and 5,867 acres of private land are
included within the monument’s borders.
Upper Missouri River Breaks. Situated in central Montana, the Upper
Missouri River Breaks National Monument spans 149 miles of the Upper Missouri
River, the adjacent Breaks country, and parts of Arrow Creek, Antelope Creek, and
the Judith River. According to the proclamation, the landscape of the monument was
formed by glaciers, volcanic activity, shallow seas that covered the area during the
Cretaceous period, and erosion. Biological objects include elk, sage grouse, prairie
dogs, a variety of plants, cottonwood trees, antelope, bald eagles and other raptors,
waterfowl, and an array of fish species. Portions of the Lewis and Clark National
Historic Trail and remnants of Native Americans that inhabited the area are among the
historical features of the area. The Monument contains approximately 377,346
federal acres, and is to continue to be managed by the BLM. The boundaries of the
monument also encompass state and private acreage but the precise amount has not
been determined by the BLM.
Virgin Islands Coral Reef. The submerged lands consisting of the Virgin
Islands Coral Reef National Monument, located off St. John in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, comprise a tropical marine ecosystem. Of biological and/or scientific
importance are the varied habitats, such as mangroves, sea grass beds, coral reefs,
sediments, and algal plains, according to the proclamation. Other biological objects
are reported to include whales, dolphins, pelicans, terns, sea turtles, sea birds, and
numerous species of fish, invertebrates, and plants. The monument consists of
approximately 12,708 marine acres, and the President assigned management of these
federal submerged lands to the NPS. Another 1,185 acres of Virgin Islands territorial
submerged lands are within the boundaries of the monument.
January 19, 2001
Governors Island. On January 19, 2001, the President established the
Governors Island National Monument in New York.40 The Monument is located on
the tip of Governors Island, at the confluence of the Hudson and Eastern Rivers. The
Proc. 7402, January 19, 2001; 66 Fed. Reg. 7855 (January 25, 2001).
monument contains Castle William and Fort Jay, which protected New York City
from an attack from the water. The proclamation calls these edifices “two of the
finest types of defensive structures in use from the Renaissance to the American Civil
War.” The structures were used during several wars including the War of 1812 and
World War II. The monument consists of approximately 20 federal acres of the
approximately 172 acre island. While Governors Island has been managed by the
U.S. Army and the U.S. Coast Guard for about 200 years, it is no longer needed for
military or Coast Guard purposes. An earlier law requires the entire Island to be
disposed of by the General Services Administration (§9101 of P.L. 105-33), raising
questions as to how to interpret the Presidents’ action in creating the monument.
Under the proclamation, the monument is to be managed by the NPS in consultation
with the Administrator of the General Services Administration.41
As noted earlier, a discussion of the legal issues associated with the monument is the subject
of CRS Congressional Distribution Memorandum, Designation of Part of Governors Island
as a National Monument, by (name redacted) and (name redacted), May 22, 2001.
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