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PROCLAMATION: Establishment of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

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                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            January 17, 2001

                         BREAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT

                              -  - - - - - -


                              A PROCLAMATION

     The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument contains a
spectacular array of biological, geological, and historical objects of
interest.  From Fort Benton upstream into the Charles M. Russell National
Wildlife Refuge, the monument spans 149 miles of the Upper Missouri River,
the adjacent Breaks country, and portions of Arrow Creek, Antelope Creek,
and the Judith River.  The area has remained largely unchanged in the
nearly 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled through
it on their epic journey.  In 1976, the Congress designated the Missouri
River segment and corridor in this area a National Wild and Scenic River
(Public Law 94-486, 90 Stat. 2327).  The monument also encompasses segments
of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Nez Perce National
Historic Trail, and the Cow Creek Island Area of Critical Environmental

     Lewis and Clark first encountered the Breaks country of the monument
on their westward leg.  In his journal, Clark described the abundant
wildlife of the area, including mule deer, elk, and antelope, and on April
29, 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition recorded the first big horn sheep
observation by non-Indians in North America.  Lewis? description of the
magnificent White Cliffs area on the western side of the monument is
especially vivid, and not just for his sometimes colorful spellings:

     "The hills and river Clifts which we passed today exhibit a most
romantic appearance....   The bluffs of the river rise to hight of from 2
to 300 feet and in most places nearly perpendicular; they are formed of
remarkable white sandstone which is sufficiently soft to give way readily
to the impression of water...

     "The water in the course of time ... has trickled down the soft sand
clifts and woarn it into a thousand grotesque figures, which with the help
of a little immagination and an oblique view, at a distance are made to
represent eligant ranges of lofty freestone buildings, having their
parapets well stocked with statuary; collumns of various sculptures both
grooved and plain, are also seen supporting long galleries in front of
these buildings; in other places on a much nearer approach and with the
help of less immagination we see the remains or ruins of eligant buildings;
some collumns standing and almost entire with their pedestals and capitals;
others retaining their pedestals but deprived by time or accident of their
capitals, some lying prostrate an broken othe[r]s in the form of vast
pyramids of conic structure bearing a serees of other pyramids on their

     As we passed on it seemed as if those seens of visionary inchantment
would never have and [an] end; for here it is too that nature presents to
the view of the traveler vast ranges of walls of tolerable workmanship, so
perfect indeed are those walls that I should have thought that nature had
attempted here to rival the human art of masonry..."

     The monument is covered with sedimentary rocks deposited in shallow
seas that covered central and eastern Montana during the Cretaceous period.
Glaciers, volcanic activity, and erosion have since folded, faulted,
uplifted, and sculpted the landscape to the majestic form it takes today.

     The area remains remote and nearly as undeveloped as it was in 1805.
Many of the biological objects described in Lewis? and Clark?s journals
continue to make the monument their home.  The monument boasts the most
viable elk herd in Montana and one of the premier big horn sheep herds in
the continental United States.  It contains essential winter range for sage
grouse as well as habitat for prairie dogs.  Lewis sent Jefferson a prairie
dog specimen which was, as Lewis noted at the time, "new to science."
Abundant plant life along the River and across the Breaks country supports
this wildlife.  The lower reach of the Judith River, just above its
confluence with the Missouri, contains one of the few remaining fully
functioning cottonwood gallery forest ecosystems on the Northern Plains.
Arrow Creek, originally called Slaughter River by Lewis and Clark, contains
the largest concentration of antelope and mule deer in the monument as well
as important spawning habitat for the endangered pallid sturgeon.  An
undammed tributary to the Missouri River, Arrow Creek is a critical seed
source for cottonwood trees for the flood plain along the Missouri.

     The cliff faces in the monument provide perching and nesting habitat
for many raptors, including the sparrow hawk, ferruginous hawk, peregrine
falcon, prairie falcon, and golden eagle.  Several pairs of bald eagles
nest along the River in the monument and many others visit during the late
fall and early winter.  Shoreline areas provide habitat for great blue
heron, pelican, and a wide variety of waterfowl.  The River and its
tributaries in the monument host forty-eight fish species, including
goldeye, drum, sauger, walleye, northern pike, channel catfish, and small
mouth buffalo.  The monument has one of the six remaining paddlefish
populations in the United States.  The River also supports the blue sucker,
shovel nose sturgeon, sicklefin, sturgeon chub, and the endangered pallid

     The Bullwacker area of the monument contains some of the wildest
country on all the Great Plains, as well as important wildlife habitat.
During the stress-inducing winter months, mule deer and elk move up to the
area from the river, and antelope and sage grouse move down to the area
from the benchlands.  The heads of the coulees and breaks also contain
archeological and historical sites, from teepee rings and remnants of
historic trails to abandoned homesteads and lookout sites used by
Meriwether Lewis.

     Long before the time of Lewis and Clark, the area was inhabited by
numerous native tribes, including the Blackfeet, Assiniboin, Gros Ventre
(Atsina), Crow, Plains Cree, and Plains Ojibwa.  The confluence of the
Judith and Missouri Rivers was the setting for important peace councils in
1846 and 1855.  In 1877, the Nez Perce crossed the Missouri and entered the
Breaks country in their attempt to escape to Canada.  The Cow Island
Skirmish occurred in the Breaks and was the last encounter prior to the Nez
Perce surrender to the U.S. Army at the Battle of Bear Paw
just north of the monument.  Pioneers and the Army followed Lewis and Clark
in the 1830s establishing Fort Piegan, Fort McKenzie, and Fort Benton.
Remnants of this rich history are scattered throughout the monument, and
the River corridor retains many of the same qualities and much of the same
appearance today as it did then.

     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 Upper Missouri River
Breaks 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 Upper Missouri River Breaks National
Monument, for the purpose of protecting the objects identified above, all
and interests in lands owned or controlled by the United States within the
boundaries of the area described on the map entitled "Upper Missouri River
Breaks National Monument" attached to and forming a part of this
proclamation.  The Federal land and interests in land reserved consist of
approximately 377,346 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.  The estab-lishment of
this monument is subject to valid existing rights.  The Secretary of the
Interior shall manage development on existing oil and gas leases within the
monument, subject to valid existing rights, so as not to create any new
impacts that would interfere with the proper care and management of the
objects protected by this proclamation.

     The Secretary of the Interior shall prepare a transportation plan that
addresses the actions, including road closures or travel restrictions,
necessary to protect the objects identified in this proclamation.

     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,
including the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, to implement the
purposes of this proclamation.

     Because waters of the Upper Missouri River through the monument area
have already been reserved through the Congress?s designation of the area
as a component of the National Wild and Scenic River System in 1976, this
proclamation makes no additional reservation of water, except in two small
the Judith River and Arrow Creek.   These tributaries contain outstanding
objects of biological interest that are dependent on water, such as a fully
functioning cottonwood gallery forest ecosystem that is rare in the
Northern Plains.  Therefore, there is hereby reserved, as of the date of
this proclamation and subject to valid existing rights, a quantity of water
in the Judith River and Arrow Creek sufficient to fulfill the purposes for
which this monument is established.  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

     Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish
the jurisdiction of the State of Montana with respect to fish and wildlife

     Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to enlarge or diminish
the rights of any Indian tribe.

     Laws, regulations, and policies followed by the Bureau of Land
Management in issuing and administering grazing permits or leases on all
lands under its jurisdiction shall continue to apply with regard to the
lands in the monument.

     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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