Establishment of the Waco Mammoth National Monument, 41983-41986 [2015-17564]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 135 / Wednesday, July 15, 2015 / Presidential Documents 41983 Presidential Documents Proclamation 9299 of July 10, 2015 Establishment of the Waco Mammoth National Monument By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation In 1978, two young fossil hunters found a large bone protruding from an eroded ravine near the Bosque River about 4.5 miles north of the center of Waco, Texas. They took the bone to nearby Baylor University, where it was identified as part of the femur (upper leg bone) of a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), a dominant species in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch. The Columbian Mammoth, the largest of all mammoth species, stood with a shoulder height reaching 12 to 14 feet and weighed an estimated 7 to 8 tons. Over the next 20 years, Baylor University oversaw the excavation of the site, where the remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths were found, along with the remains of associated animals of the late Pleistocene, including Western Camel (Camelops hesternus), saber-toothed cat (Homotherium), dwarf antelope (cf. Capromeryx), American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and giant tortoise (Hesperotestudo). These remains contain the Nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd (females and offspring) of Pleistocene mammoths, comprising at least 18 of the unearthed mammoths. The nursery herd appears to have drowned in a single natural event near the confluence of the ancient Bosque and Brazos Rivers between 65,000 and 72,000 years ago. Because the nursery herd was buried rapidly in the mud associated with the rising waters, the remains of the herd include nearly intact skeletons apparently positioned as at the moment of death. The herd’s preservation in this manner provides unparalleled evidence of the group’s age structure and behavior during a natural catastrophe. For example, the herd apparently formed a circular defensive position with the adults attempting to rescue the offspring. In two cases, the bones of a juvenile lay across the tusks of an adult, suggesting that these adults were trying to lift the juveniles to safety. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D2 Including the nursery herd, the remains of 22 Columbian Mammoths have been documented in the excavation area, and evidence of 2 more was discovered during construction of the Dig Shelter that protects the excavation area. One of the skeletons discovered in sediments above the nursery herd is a large bull mammoth with a broken but healed rib, suggesting a fight with another bull during the mammoth equivalent of modern elephants’ musth, or rutting season. The presence of mammoths in the excavation area at sediment levels representing a span of several thousands of years suggests that the species had an affinity for this area at the interface of two ecosystems, the Great Plains and the Gulf Coastal Plains. The excavation area, as well as the land extending beyond it toward the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, offer excellent opportunities for further exploration and research. More than half of the area protected by the Dig Shelter remains unexcavated, and virtually all the acreage outside the Dig Shelter remains unsurveyed for paleontological resources. Future discoveries are anticipated both within and outside the Dig Shelter. While Baylor University oversaw the excavation, study, and preservation of the fossils, the City of Waco acquired the parcels of land containing and surrounding the excavation area and assembled a city park known VerDate Sep<11>2014 00:15 Jul 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\15JYD2.SGM 15JYD2 41984 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 135 / Wednesday, July 15, 2015 / Presidential Documents as the Waco Mammoth Site, which opened to the public in 2009. Although most of the excavated bones of the mammoths and associated fauna are now at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum awaiting preparation and curation, some exposed bones remain at the Site, protected by the climatecontrolled Dig Shelter, which facilitates public viewing, interpretation, and study. WHEREAS, section 320301 of title 54, United States Code (known as the ‘‘Antiquities Act’’), 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 Federal Government to be national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected; WHEREAS, the City of Waco has been operating the approximately 108.5 acre Waco Mammoth Site (including the excavation area and surrounding lands) as a park since 2009, in partnership with Baylor University and with support from the nonprofit Waco Mammoth Foundation, Inc.; WHEREAS, the City of Waco, Baylor University, the Waco Mammoth Foundation, Inc., and other members of the Waco community have demonstrated support for the establishment of a national monument to be administered by the National Park Service; WHEREAS, the National Park Service conducted a special resource study of the Waco Mammoth Site, pursuant to Public Law 107–341, and determined that the Site met the criteria for inclusion in the National Park System; WHEREAS, in support of the establishment of a national monument to be administered by the National Park Service, the City has donated certain lands and appurtenant easements to the Federal Government; WHEREAS, the City of Waco and Baylor University have also indicated their intent to transfer ownership of the excavated specimens and archival records to the Federal Government for monument purposes; WHEREAS, the City of Waco intends that the partnership between the City of Waco, Baylor University, and the Waco Mammoth Foundation, Inc., continue to cooperatively manage, oversee, and maintain the Waco Mammoth Site and expand the partnership to include the National Park Service; WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve and protect the scientific objects at the Waco Mammoth Site; mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D2 NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government to be the Waco Mammoth National Monument (monument) and, for the purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map entitled, ‘‘Waco Mammoth National Monument,’’ which is attached to and forms a part of this proclamation. The reserved Federal lands and interests in lands encompass approximately 7.11 acres, including appurtenant easements for all necessary purposes. The boundaries described on the accompanying map are confined to 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 described on the accompanying map are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, location, selection, sale, or other disposition under the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under all laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing. VerDate Sep<11>2014 00:15 Jul 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\15JYD2.SGM 15JYD2 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 135 / Wednesday, July 15, 2015 / Presidential Documents 41985 The establishment of the monument is subject to valid existing rights. Lands and interests in lands not owned or controlled by the Federal Government within the boundaries described on the accompanying map shall be reserved as a part of the monument, and objects identified above that are situated upon those lands and interests in lands shall be part of the monument, upon acquisition of ownership or control by the Federal Government. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall manage the monument through the National Park Service, pursuant to applicable legal authorities, consistent with the purposes and provisions of this proclamation. The Secretary shall prepare a management plan for the monument, with full public involvement, within 3 years of the date of this proclamation. The management plan shall ensure that the monument fulfills the following purposes for the benefit of present and future generations: (1) to preserve and protect the objects of scientific interest associated with the monument; (2) to foster and facilitate appropriate research; (3) to promote understanding and stewardship of the monument’s resources and values through interpretive and educational opportunities; and (4) to provide for the enjoyment of the monument’s resources and values in a manner that is compatible with their preservation. The management plan shall address the desired relationship of the monument to other sites with paleontological resources both within and outside the National Park System. The National Park Service shall use available authorities, as appropriate, to enter into agreements with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, including the City of Waco, Baylor University, the Waco Mammoth Foundation, Inc., to further the purposes of the monument, address common interests, and promote management efficiencies. Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; however, the 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. Billing code 3295–F5–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 00:15 Jul 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\15JYD2.SGM 15JYD2 OB#1.EPS</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D2 IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth. 41986 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 135 / Wednesday, July 15, 2015 / Presidential Documents [FR Doc. 2015–17564 Filed 7–14–15; 11:15 am] Billing code 4310–10–C VerDate Sep<11>2014 00:15 Jul 15, 2015 Jkt 235001 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4790 Sfmt 4790 E:\FR\FM\15JYD2.SGM 15JYD2 ED15JY15.003</GPH> mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with D2 I

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[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 135 (Wednesday, July 15, 2015)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 41983-41986]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-17564]




                        Presidential Documents 



Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 135 / Wednesday, July 15, 2015 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 41983]]


                Proclamation 9299 of July 10, 2015

                
Establishment of the Waco Mammoth National 
                Monument

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                In 1978, two young fossil hunters found a large bone 
                protruding from an eroded ravine near the Bosque River 
                about 4.5 miles north of the center of Waco, Texas. 
                They took the bone to nearby Baylor University, where 
                it was identified as part of the femur (upper leg bone) 
                of a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), a dominant 
                species in North America during the Pleistocene Epoch. 
                The Columbian Mammoth, the largest of all mammoth 
                species, stood with a shoulder height reaching 12 to 14 
                feet and weighed an estimated 7 to 8 tons. Over the 
                next 20 years, Baylor University oversaw the excavation 
                of the site, where the remains of 24 Columbian Mammoths 
                were found, along with the remains of associated 
                animals of the late Pleistocene, including Western 
                Camel (Camelops hesternus), saber-toothed cat 
                (Homotherium), dwarf antelope (cf. Capromeryx), 
                American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and 
                giant tortoise (Hesperotestudo).

                These remains contain the Nation's only recorded 
                discovery of a nursery herd (females and offspring) of 
                Pleistocene mammoths, comprising at least 18 of the 
                unearthed mammoths. The nursery herd appears to have 
                drowned in a single natural event near the confluence 
                of the ancient Bosque and Brazos Rivers between 65,000 
                and 72,000 years ago. Because the nursery herd was 
                buried rapidly in the mud associated with the rising 
                waters, the remains of the herd include nearly intact 
                skeletons apparently positioned as at the moment of 
                death. The herd's preservation in this manner provides 
                unparalleled evidence of the group's age structure and 
                behavior during a natural catastrophe. For example, the 
                herd apparently formed a circular defensive position 
                with the adults attempting to rescue the offspring. In 
                two cases, the bones of a juvenile lay across the tusks 
                of an adult, suggesting that these adults were trying 
                to lift the juveniles to safety.

                Including the nursery herd, the remains of 22 Columbian 
                Mammoths have been documented in the excavation area, 
                and evidence of 2 more was discovered during 
                construction of the Dig Shelter that protects the 
                excavation area. One of the skeletons discovered in 
                sediments above the nursery herd is a large bull 
                mammoth with a broken but healed rib, suggesting a 
                fight with another bull during the mammoth equivalent 
                of modern elephants' musth, or rutting season. The 
                presence of mammoths in the excavation area at sediment 
                levels representing a span of several thousands of 
                years suggests that the species had an affinity for 
                this area at the interface of two ecosystems, the Great 
                Plains and the Gulf Coastal Plains.

                The excavation area, as well as the land extending 
                beyond it toward the Brazos and Bosque Rivers, offer 
                excellent opportunities for further exploration and 
                research. More than half of the area protected by the 
                Dig Shelter remains unexcavated, and virtually all the 
                acreage outside the Dig Shelter remains unsurveyed for 
                paleontological resources. Future discoveries are 
                anticipated both within and outside the Dig Shelter.

                While Baylor University oversaw the excavation, study, 
                and preservation of the fossils, the City of Waco 
                acquired the parcels of land containing and surrounding 
                the excavation area and assembled a city park known

[[Page 41984]]

                as the Waco Mammoth Site, which opened to the public in 
                2009. Although most of the excavated bones of the 
                mammoths and associated fauna are now at Baylor 
                University's Mayborn Museum awaiting preparation and 
                curation, some exposed bones remain at the Site, 
                protected by the climate-controlled Dig Shelter, which 
                facilitates public viewing, interpretation, and study.

                WHEREAS, section 320301 of title 54, United States Code 
                (known as the ``Antiquities Act''), 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 Federal Government to be 
                national monuments, and to reserve as a part thereof 
                parcels of land, the limits of which shall be confined 
                to the smallest area compatible with the proper care 
                and management of the objects to be protected;

                WHEREAS, the City of Waco has been operating the 
                approximately 108.5 acre Waco Mammoth Site (including 
                the excavation area and surrounding lands) as a park 
                since 2009, in partnership with Baylor University and 
                with support from the nonprofit Waco Mammoth 
                Foundation, Inc.;

                WHEREAS, the City of Waco, Baylor University, the Waco 
                Mammoth Foundation, Inc., and other members of the Waco 
                community have demonstrated support for the 
                establishment of a national monument to be administered 
                by the National Park Service;

                WHEREAS, the National Park Service conducted a special 
                resource study of the Waco Mammoth Site, pursuant to 
                Public Law 107-341, and determined that the Site met 
                the criteria for inclusion in the National Park System;

                WHEREAS, in support of the establishment of a national 
                monument to be administered by the National Park 
                Service, the City has donated certain lands and 
                appurtenant easements to the Federal Government;

                WHEREAS, the City of Waco and Baylor University have 
                also indicated their intent to transfer ownership of 
                the excavated specimens and archival records to the 
                Federal Government for monument purposes;

                WHEREAS, the City of Waco intends that the partnership 
                between the City of Waco, Baylor University, and the 
                Waco Mammoth Foundation, Inc., continue to 
                cooperatively manage, oversee, and maintain the Waco 
                Mammoth Site and expand the partnership to include the 
                National Park Service;

                WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to preserve and 
                protect the scientific objects at the Waco Mammoth 
                Site;

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the 
                United States of America, by the authority vested in me 
                by section 320301 of title 54, United States Code, 
                hereby proclaim the objects identified above that are 
                situated upon lands and interests in lands owned or 
                controlled by the Federal Government to be the Waco 
                Mammoth National Monument (monument) and, for the 
                purpose of protecting those objects, reserve as a part 
                thereof all lands and interests in lands owned or 
                controlled by the Federal Government within the 
                boundaries described on the accompanying map entitled, 
                ``Waco Mammoth National Monument,'' which is attached 
                to and forms a part of this proclamation. The reserved 
                Federal lands and interests in lands encompass 
                approximately 7.11 acres, including appurtenant 
                easements for all necessary purposes. The boundaries 
                described on the accompanying map are confined to 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 described on the accompanying map are hereby 
                appropriated and withdrawn from all forms of entry, 
                location, selection, sale, or other disposition under 
                the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent 
                under the mining laws, and from disposition under all 
                laws relating to mineral and geothermal leasing.

[[Page 41985]]

                The establishment of the monument is subject to valid 
                existing rights. Lands and interests in lands not owned 
                or controlled by the Federal Government within the 
                boundaries described on the accompanying map shall be 
                reserved as a part of the monument, and objects 
                identified above that are situated upon those lands and 
                interests in lands shall be part of the monument, upon 
                acquisition of ownership or control by the Federal 
                Government.

                The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall manage 
                the monument through the National Park Service, 
                pursuant to applicable legal authorities, consistent 
                with the purposes and provisions of this proclamation. 
                The Secretary shall prepare a management plan for the 
                monument, with full public involvement, within 3 years 
                of the date of this proclamation. The management plan 
                shall ensure that the monument fulfills the following 
                purposes for the benefit of present and future 
                generations: (1) to preserve and protect the objects of 
                scientific interest associated with the monument; (2) 
                to foster and facilitate appropriate research; (3) to 
                promote understanding and stewardship of the monument's 
                resources and values through interpretive and 
                educational opportunities; and (4) to provide for the 
                enjoyment of the monument's resources and values in a 
                manner that is compatible with their preservation. The 
                management plan shall address the desired relationship 
                of the monument to other sites with paleontological 
                resources both within and outside the National Park 
                System.

                The National Park Service shall use available 
                authorities, as appropriate, to enter into agreements 
                with governmental and nongovernmental organizations, 
                including the City of Waco, Baylor University, the Waco 
                Mammoth Foundation, Inc., to further the purposes of 
                the monument, address common interests, and promote 
                management efficiencies.

                Nothing in this proclamation shall be deemed to revoke 
                any existing withdrawal, reservation, or appropriation; 
                however, the 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 
                tenth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand 
                fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States 
                of America the two hundred and fortieth.
                
                
                    (Presidential Sig.)

Billing code 3295-F5-P



[[Page 41986]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TD15JY15.003


[FR Doc. 2015-17564
Filed 7-14-15; 11:15 am]
Billing code 4310-10-C