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Cover to America's National Park Service: The Critical Documents
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Table of Contents


The Early Years,

Defining The System,

The New Deal Years,

The Poverty Years,

Questions of
Resource Management

The Ecological Revolution,

Transformation and

A System Threatened,

Summaries of
Lengthy Documents

About the Editor

The Critical Documents
Summaries of Lengthy Documents
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Appendix: Summaries of Lengthy Documents


December 1, 1978 (Federal Register, Vol. 43, No. 234,
Tuesday, December 5, 1978)

After several decades of sparse and careful usage of the Antiquities Act reflecting the unwillingness of Congress to allow the president to unilaterally shape conservation policy, Jimmy Carter took abrupt and sweeping action to preserve seventeen enormous and endangered areas of Alaska. Each individual monument proclamation repeated the following key statements after defining and justifying a particular area:

"Now, therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, 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 [see list below] all lands, including submerged lands, and waters owned or controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area described on the document entitled [Monument title], attached to and forming a part of this Proclamation.

"All lands, including submerged lands, and all waters within the boundaries of this Monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from entry, location, selection, sale or other disposition under the public land laws, other than exchange. There is also reserved all water necessary to the proper care and management of those objects protected by this Monument and for the proper administration of the Monument in accordance with applicable laws.

"The establishment of this Monument is subject to valid existing rights, including, but not limited to, valid selections under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and under or confirmed in the Alaska Statehood Act (48 U.S.C. Note preceding Section 21).

"Nothing in this Proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation or appropriation, including any withdrawal under section 17 (d)(l) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1616 (d)(l); however, the National Monument shall be the dominant reservation. Nothing in this Proclamation is intended to modify or revoke the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding dated September 1, 1972, entered into between the State of Alaska and the United States as part of the negotiated settlement of Alaska v. Morton, Civil No. A-48-72 (D. Alaska, Complaint filed April 10, 1972)."

Aside from vastly increasing park system acreage, these proclamations greatly expanded the use of the Antiquities Act to block resource exploitation and at least temporarily preserve areas until the slow legislative process could act.

The proclamations and areas are as follows:

Proclamation 4611 Admiralty Island National Monument
Proclamation 4612 Aniakchak National Monument
Proclamation 4613 Becharof National Monument
Proclamation 4614 Bering Land Bridge National Monument
Proclamation 4615 Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Proclamation 4616 Denali National Monument
Proclamation 4617 Gates of the Arctic National Monument
Proclamation 4618 Enlarging the Glacier Bay National Monument
Proclamation 4619 Enlarging the Katmai National Monument
Proclamation 4620 Kenai Fjords National Monument
Proclamation 4621 Kobuk Valley National Monument
Proclamation 4622 Lake dark National Monument
Proclamation 4623 Misty Fiords National Monument
Proclamation 4624 Noatak National Monument
Proclamation 4625 Wrangell-St. Elias National Monument
Proclamation 4626 Yukon-Charley National Monument
Proclamation 4627 Yukon Flats National Monument

CFR Title 3, 1978 Compilation, 69-104.


Alaska National Monument Proclamations, 1978

Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, 1980

Clean Air Act, 1967

Coastal Zone Management Act, 1972

Endangered Species Act, 1973

Federal Water Pollution Control Act, 1972


Last Modified: October 25, 2000 10:00:00 am PST

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