upper missouri river breaks national monument

On this day in 2001, Carrizo Plain (CA), Sonoran Desert (AZ), Pompeys Pillar (MT), Upper Missouri River Breaks (MT) and Kasha-Katuwe (NM) National Monuments were designated by Presidential Proclamation.

Pictured here, the #milkyway over North Maricopa Wilderness in the Sonoran Desert National Monument, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

npr.org
Trump To Sign Executive Order That Could Shrink National Monuments
The Interior Secretary says, under the policy, his department will review protective designations since 1996 of 100,000 acres or more, particularly their size.

Oh hell no.  NO no no no no no no.

Monuments under threat:

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by President Clinton in 1996. (1.7 million acres).

Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (1 million acres).

Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (327,769 acres).

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (279,568 acres).

Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (194,450 acres).

Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (175,160 acres).

Ironwood Forest National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (128,917 acres).

Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (486,149 acres).

Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (377,346 acres).

Carrizo Plain National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (204,107 acres).

Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Barack Obama in 2016, (89.6 million acres).

World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in California, Hawaii and Alaska, proclaimed by Bush in 2008 (4 million acres).

Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (60.9 million acres).

Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 and enlarged by Obama in 2014. (55.6 million acres).

Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (8.6 million acres).

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2013. (242,555 acres).

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (496,330 acres).

Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (703,585 acres).

Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (330,780 acres).

Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (3.1 million acres).

Mojave Trails National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.6 million acres).

Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.4 million acres).

Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (296,937 acres).

Sand to Snow National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (154,000 acres).

(stats from USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/04/26/24-national-monuments-threatened-trumps-executive-order/100925418/)

Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument in Montana remains largely unchanged in the nearly 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled through this area on their epic journey. What’s more, the first skeletal remains of dinosaurs ever discovered in North America were found right here. The monument offers natural beauty in a remote setting and plenty of opportunities to explore by hiking, fishing, or floating along the National Wild and Scenic River portion of the Missouri River. Photo by Bob Wick, @mypubliclands

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Small finds, big discoveries

Story by Greg Liggett, Geologist (Paleontology), Montana/Dakotas State Office. Photos by Ray Rogers, Macallister College; and Greg Wilson, Burke Museum of Natural History.

One of the primary goals of paleontology is to learn about past environments and ecosystems. Documenting how past ecosystems changed, and the responses of the plants and animals to those changes, can help us predict what will happen in the future. So, it is not all about the past.

Keep reading

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Explore the Upper Missouri with #mypubliclandsroadtrip this weekend for solitude and stunning scenery!

The Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana spans 149 miles of the Upper Missouri River, the adjacent Breaks country, and portions of Arrow Creek, Antelope Creek and the Judith Rivers. The monument includes six wilderness study areas, the Cow Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern, segments of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, the Fort Benton National Historic Landmark, a watchable wildlife area and the Missouri Breaks Back Country Byway. In 1976, Congress designated the Missouri River segment and corridor in this area a National Wild and Scenic 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. Within the monument, you can float the river, fish, hike, hunt, drive for pleasure – or simply find a little solitude and enjoy a sense of exploration in this beautiful natural setting.

Photos by Alyse Backus and Bob Wick, BLM

Follow in the footsteps of the Lewis & Clark expedition and explore the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana. The monument spans 149 miles and contains a spectacular array of biological, geological, and historical points of interest. You can float the river, hike a trail, drive for pleasure, find a little solitude in a remote setting or simply marvel at the variety of natural beauty. Photo by @mypubliclands

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#TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick to Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks Country.

“The Breaks” are the heart of Montana’s big sky country and encompass the same untouched landscapes that inspired beloved western painter Charles Russell.  Start your visit to the area at the interpretive center in Fort Benton where you’ll learn about such significant events as Lewis and Clark Corp’s of Discovery exploration and the Nez Perce Indians’ somber journey through the area while fleeing the U.S. Cavalry. The Mighty Missouri continues to slowly shape the land and the people who have called this area home. Westward settlement in our emerging nation made this river one of the most significant routes of expansion.  Once steamers traveled up the river making Fort Benton a sizable inland port.   The area is much quieter now with mostly canoes plying the Mighty Mo.

Canoeing is one of the premiere activities in the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and allows you to retrace the same route documented in the journals of the early explorers – the white cliffs and hole in the rock are just two scenic and very photogenic landmarks.  Bighorn sheep and elk can be seen on the uplands and are among the many wildlife photo opportunities.
BLM published boating guides are available for the corridor as are canoe rentals from several outfitters. Trips can be organized for several days up to a week or more.  

My favorite time to visit the breaks is in September when the cottonwoods turn golden.  Crisp mornings cause mist to rise from the warmer water giving photos a dreamy quality.

Photo tip: It’s hard for viewers to judge the vast treeless landscapes of areas like The Breaks country. Get people into landscape photos to add perspective to these immense landscapes and truly show off their scale.

Check out our @esri Upper Missouri River Breaks multimedia storymap for more stunning photos, helpful links and a map of the area: mypubliclands.tumblr.com/traveltuesdaymontana.

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Our November #conservationlands15 Ends with the Top 15 Places to View Wildlife on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands!

1. Steese National Conservation Area, AK. The Steese NCA provides habitat for moose, dall sheep, grizzly bear, black bear, small game, raptors, waterfowl and numerous other species of small mammals and birds. Portions of the Steese NCA are used by the White Mountains and Fortymile caribou herds.

2. King Range National Conservation Area, CA. At the King Range NCA, offshore rocks, tidepools and kelp beds are inhabited by seals, sea lions and a variety of marine birds; California grey whales can be spotted offshore in winter and spring. 

3. Browns Canyon National Monument, CO. Browns Canyon NM visitors can spot iconic mammals such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, black bear, mountain lion and elk.  Fishermen enjoy Gold Medal Trout waters, with a consistent standing stock of 60 pounds per acre. 

4. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area, FL. Despite its urban setting, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse ONA is home to a wide array of wildlife, from osprey and snowy egret to bobcat to west Indian manatee.

5. Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, ID. The deep canyon of the Snake River, with its crags and crevices and thermal updrafts, is home to the greatest concentration of nesting birds of prey in North America – and perhaps, the world.  Some 800 pairs of hawks, owls, eagles and falcons come each spring to mate and raise their young.

6. Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument, MT. The Upper Missouri River Breaks NM contains a variety of wildlife habitat types, supporting 60 species of mammals, 233 species of birds, 20 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 49 species of fish. The river provides habitat for one of the six remaining paddlefish populations (and perhaps the largest) in the US, as well as the endangered pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon. 

7. Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, NM. The Río Grande del Norte NM is comprised of rugged, wide open plains  cut by steep canyons. Several species of bats make their home in the gorge, which also provides important nesting habitat for the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher. Large mammals find their winter homes on the plateau alongside a population of rare Gunnison’s prairie dogs. 

8. Black Rock High Rock Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, Soldier Meadows Area of Critical Environmental Concern, NV. Soldier Meadows Area ACEC was designated to protect the desert dace, a threatened fish listed under the Endangered Species Act. The desert dace are only known to occur within the hot springs in the Soldier Meadows area and nowhere else in the world.

9. San Juan Islands National Monument, WA. The diverse habitats found on these islands provide a refuge for countless species of mammals, birds, and insects, including the island marbled butterfly, which was once thought to be extinct. 

10. Deep Creek Mountains Wilderness Study Area, UT. The Deep Creek Mountains WSA provides crucial habitat for Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, mule deer, elk and pronghorn. Found in several streams in the Deep Creek Mountains is a rare insect, the giant stonefly, which is only found elsewhere in watercourses flowing to the Pacific Ocean. 

11. Ferris Mountain Wilderness Study Area, WY. The Ferris Mountain WSA is known for ecological diversity along with outstanding geological and recreational characteristics. Pine marten, blue grouse, and snowshoe hare take up residence in some of the patches of old growth forest.  

12. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, OR.  Harbor seals are often on the coastal rocks and can be seen caring for their pups in spring. During winter and spring, the area offers outstanding whale watching opportunities. 

13. Paria Canyon Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, AZ. The remote and unspoiled, 280,000-acre Vermilion Cliffs NM offers opportunities to view endangered California condors.

14. San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ. The San Pedro Riparian NCA contains a Globally Important Bird Area which attracts thousands of birdwatchers from all over the world each year.

15. Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, OR. The Cascade-Siskiyou NM is the first national monument in the United States set aside solely to protect biodiversity. 

Thanks for following this month’s #conservationlands15 takeover. Join us next month for movie locations on National Conservation Lands.

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#TravelTuesday Recap! 

Last week, we wrapped up our #TravelTuesday with Guest Photographer Bob Wick winter series.  Each #TravelTuesday post featured beautiful BLM landscapes, with helpful hints for travel planning.  Check out each featured travel location through the links below.

California’s Humboldt Coast

Colorado’s Alpine Loop National Backcountry Byway 

Northern Arizona’s Vermilion Cliffs

Retrace Wyoming’s Historic Emigrant Trails 

Southeastern Utah’s Red-Rock Riches 

Northwest Oregon’s BLM Wilds 

Day Trips Near the Vegas Strip 

Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks Country  

New Mexico’s Rio Grande del Norte National Monument 

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area – A Quiet Oasis in Urban Southern Florida 

Idaho’s Canyon Country 

A Road Less Traveled - The Denali Highway in Alaska 

Or visit and bookmark our #TravelTuesday page for roadtrip planning any time.

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Since our launch in August 2012, we’ve shared 2,000 posts!  

Thank you, Tumblrs, for following along as we share beautiful landscapes, stories about our employees, and cool information about our mission work in conservation, energy, science, and so much more!

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Welcome to the May #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover!

Today’s takeover will feature National Historic and Scenic Trails to blaze on BLM’s National Conservation Lands - with the top 15 trails for summer adventure, partners who maintain those trails, and a feature location for your bucket list.

Note: The #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover is a 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.

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Today, May 28, 2015, the BLM announces its “Making a Difference” National Volunteer Awards for outstanding volunteer service in 2014 on BLM-managed lands.   The annual “Making a Difference” Award recognizes exceptional volunteers who have contributed thousands of hours maintaining recreation trails, protecting archaeological sites and wildlife, providing environmental education and other visitor services, and much more.

Meet this year’s award winners through the links below.

We congratulate this year’s winners, and thank all BLM volunteers for your dedication and service!