U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
ePlanning Canyons of the Ancients National Monument Resource Management Plan  
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Last Updated:
08/31/2016 11:42:30 MDT
Home 
LAND USE PLANNING    
BLM COLORADO SOUTHWEST DISTRICT
 
 
 
     
       
  BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT  
CANYONS OF THE ANCIENTS  
NATIONAL MONUMENT  
RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN  
     
 
 
     
  Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (Monument) was designated by Presidential Proclamation on June 9, 2000 in order to protect the area's significant cultural and natural resources on a landscape scale.  The Monument is located in the Four Corners region of southwestern Colorado, about 50 miles west of the town of Durango, 10 miles west of Cortez, and 12 miles west of Mesa Verde National Park and encompasses approximately 171,000 acres of public land administered by the BLM.

The Monument contains the highest known archaeological site density in the United States, with rich, well-preserved evidence of native cultures.  The number of sites is estimated to total between 20,000 and 30,000.
  The archeological record etched into this landscape is much more than isolated islands of architecture. The more than 6,355 recorded sites reflect all the physical components of past human life: villages, field houses, check dams, reservoirs, great kivas, cliff dwellings, shrines, sacred springs, agricultural fields, petroglyphs, and sweat lodges. Some areas have more than 100 sites per square mile.

Lands within and around the Monument have been used or inhabited by humans, including the Northern Ancestral Puebloan culture (or Anasazi), for 10,000 years, and continue to be used by humans today. Historic uses of the Monument include recreation, hunting, livestock grazing, and energy development.


 
  The Approved Resource Management Plan and Record of Decision was issued on June 25, 2010.  The plan provides direction for managing and protecting objects of scientific and historic interest identified in the Proclamation (including archaeological artifacts and geological and biological specimens), as well as the values and historic uses for which the Monument was created.

The plan sets forth management objectives, identifies areas where different types of opportunities and experiences are available, and establishes management standards and guidelines for specific program areas. The plan was completed under authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and is accompanied by an environmental impact statement in compliance with National Environmental Policy Act standards and other applicable laws.