Rainbow Bridge
Administrative History
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Key Legislation/Authorities Directly Affecting Lands Inside the Monument Boundary:

  • The Antiquities Act of 1906, entitled "An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities." Section 2 of the act gave the authority to the executive branch to establish Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

  • The Act of August 25, 1916, 39 Stat. 535; 16 U.S.C. 1, established the National Park Service. Under the terms of the act, the National Park Service became the managing Agency for Rainbow Bridge NM. Its two primary objectives were ". . .to provide for the enjoyment" of persons visiting parks and monuments and "in such a manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations.

  • Presidential Proclamation Number 1043, of May 30, 1910. With this proclamation, President William Howard Taft established Rainbow Bridge National Monument.

  • American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, Public Law 95-431, Stat. 469. The conditions of the AIRFA made it the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise their traditional religions and rites, to include access to traditional sites and the use and possession of sacred objects. The National Park Service must assure that its general regulations and basic management on access to, and use of, park lands and park resources, such as Rainbow Bridge National Monument, are applied in a balanced manner that does not unduly interfere with an American Indian group's use of historically traditional places or sacred sites located within the bounds of a park unit.

  • Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, Public Law 96-515; 16 U.S.C. 470 a-l, a-2. This outlines the Department of Interior, National Park Service's implementing responsibilities for the U.S. World Heritage nomination process. Rainbow Bridge National Monument was nominated as a World Heritage Site in 1989 (Fed. Reg., Vol. 54. No. 86, May 5, 1989, 19469).

Key Legislation/Authorities Affecting Access to Rainbow Bridge National Monument and Indirectly Affecting Lands within Rainbow Bridge National Monument:

  • The Act of August 7, 1946, 60 Stat. 885; 16 U.S.C.17j-2. This act provided appropriations to the National Park Service for: (b) administration, protection, improvement, and maintenance of areas under the jurisdiction of other Agencies of the Government, devoted to recreational use pursuant to cooperative agreements.

  • Public Law 84-485, 70 Stat. 105, Colorado River Storage Project Act, April 11, 1956, "To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to construct, operate, and maintain the Colorado River Storage Project and participating projects . . . ." This act authorized the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and eventually changed the primary public access route to Rainbow Bridge National Monument from land to water. Section 8 of this law directed the Secretary of Interior ". . . to investigate, plan, construct, operate and maintain public recreational facilities on lands withdrawn or acquired for the development of said project or of said participating projects, to conserve the scenery, the natural, historic, and archaeologic objects, and the wildlife on said lands, and to provide for public use and enjoyment of the same and of the water areas created by these projects by such means as are consistent with the primary purposes of the projects."

  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service, September 24, 1956. Under the above authority, the Secretary of the Interior established Glen Canyon Recreation Area in 1958 and designated the National Park Service the administering Agency.

  • Public Law 85-868, 72 Stat. 1686, "To provide for the exchange of lands between the United States and the Navajo Tribe . . .," dated September 2, 1958. Sec. 2 (a) describes parcels "A" and "B" lands. Along that portion of Lake Powell extending from the Page town site eastward along the Colorado and San Juan Arm, lands below the 3,720-foot contour were acquired by the Federal Government. In relinquishing these lands (known as Parcel "B" lands), the tribe retained the mineral rights. The legislation also specifies that these lands "will not be utilized for public recreational facilities without the approval of the Navajo Tribal Council." This affects lands where water-based transportation facilities could be constructed.

  • Public Law 90-537, Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968. This law established an operational program for the upper and lower basin portions of the Colorado River. It established a full pool for Lake Powell at elevation 3,700 feet. With this legislation, the primary access to Rainbow Bridge changed from land to water.

  • September 11, 1970, "Memorandum of Agreement among the National Park Service, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Navajo Tribe of Indians, on the use and development of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and adjacent Tribal lands." This agreement recognizes Navajo Nation preference rights to operate concessions on Parcel "B" lands.

  • Public Law (P.L.) 92-593, October 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1311. This law established Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to ". . . provide for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of Lake Powell and lands adjacent thereto in the States of Arizona and Utah and to preserve the scenic, scientific, and historic features contributing to public enjoyment of the area . . ." Rainbow Bridge National Monument is accessed from the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

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Last Updated: 07-Feb-2003