THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 17, 2001
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE KASHA-KATUWE TENT
ROCKS NATIONAL MONUMENT
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Located on the Pajarito Plateau in north central New Mexico, the
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument is a remarkable outdoor
laboratory, offering an opportunity to observe, study, and experience the
geologic processes that shape natural landscapes, as well as other cultural
and biological objects of interest. The area is rich in pumice, ash, and
tuff deposits, the light-colored, cone-shaped tent rock formations that are
the products of explosive volcanic eruptions that occurred between 6 and 7
million years ago. Small canyons lead inward from cliff faces, and over
time, wind and water have scooped openings of all shapes and sizes in the
rocks and have contoured the ends of the ravines and canyons into smooth
semicircles. In these canyons, erosion-resistant caprocks protect the
softer tents below. While the formations are uniform in shape, they vary
in height from a few feet to 90 feet, and the layering of volcanic material
intersperses bands of grey with beige-colored rock.
Amid the formations and in contrast to the muted colors of the rocks
of the monument, vibrant green leaves and red bark of manzanita, a shrubby
species from the Sierra Madre of Mexico, cling to the cracks and crevices
of the cliff faces. Red-tailed hawks, kestrels, violet-green swallows, and
Western bluebirds soar above the canyons and use the pinion and ponderosa
covered terrain near the cliffs.
The complex landscape and spectacular geologic scenery of the
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument has been a focal point for
visitors for centuries. Human settlement is believed to have begun in the
monument as a series of campsites during the Archaic period, from
approximately 5500 B.C. During the fifteenth century, several large
ancestral pueblos were
established in the area. Their descendants, the Pueblo de Cochiti, still
inhabit the surrounding area. Although the Spanish explorer Don Juan de
O?ate reached the Pajarito Plateau in 1598, it was not until the late
eighteenth century that families began to claim land grants around Tent
Rocks from the Spanish Crown. Remnants of human history are scattered
throughout the monument.
Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431),
authorizes the President, in his discretion, to declare by public
proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and
other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the
lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be
national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the
limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area
compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be
WHEREAS it appears that it would be in the public interest to reserve
such lands as a national monument to be known as the Kasha-Katuwe Tent
Rocks National Monument:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States
of America, by the authority vested in me by section 2 of the Act of June
8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that there are hereby
set apart and reserved as the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument,
for the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, all lands and
interests in lands owned or controlled by the United States within the
boundaries of the area described on the map entitled "Kasha-Katuwe Tent
Rocks National Monument" attached to and forming a part of this
proclamation. The Federal land and interests in land reserved consist of
approximately 4,148 acres, which is the smallest area compatible with the
proper care and management of the objects to be protected.
All Federal lands and interests in lands within the
boundaries of this monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all
forms of entry, location, selection, sale, or leasing or other disposition
under the public land laws, including but not limited to withdrawal from
location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition
under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing, other than by
exchange that furthers the protective purposes of the monument.
For the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, the
Secretary shall prohibit all motorized and mechanized vehicle use off road,
except for emergency or authorized administrative purposes.
Lands and interests in lands within the proposed monument not owned by
the United States shall be reserved as a part of the monument upon
acquisition of title thereto by the United States.
The Secretary of the Interior shall manage the monument
through the Bureau of Land Management, pursuant to applicable legal
authorities and in close cooperation with the Pueblo de Cochiti, to
implement the purposes of this proclamation.
The Secretary of the Interior shall prepare, within 3 years of this
date, a management plan for this monument, and shall promulgate such
regulations for its management as he deems appropriate. The management
plan shall include appropriate transportation planning that addresses the
actions, including road closures or travel restrictions, necessary to
protect the objects identified in this proclamation and to further the
purposes of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of August 11, 1978
(42 U.S.C. 1996).
Only a very small amount of livestock grazing occurs inside the
monument. The Secretary of the Interior shall retire the portion of the
grazing allotments within the monument, pursuant to applicable law, unless
the Secretary specifically finds that livestock grazing will advance the
purposes of the proclamation.
The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing
Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish
the jurisdiction of the State of New Mexico with respect to fish and
This proclamation does not reserve water as a matter of Federal law.
Nothing in this reservation shall be construed as a relinquishment or
reduction of any water use or rights reserved or appropriated by the United
States on or before the date of this proclamation. The Secretary shall
work with appropriate State authorities to ensure that any water resources
needed for monument purposes are available.
Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing
withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the national monument
shall be the dominant reservation.
Warning is hereby given to all unauthorized persons not to
appropriate, injure, destroy, or remove any feature of this monument and
not to locate or settle upon any of the lands thereof.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
seventeenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand one, and
of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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