National monument (United States)
In the United States, a national monument is a protected area, similar to a national park, but can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government by proclamation of the President of the United States. National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; some national monuments were managed by the War Department. National monuments can be so designated through the power of the Antiquities Act of 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first U. S. national monument. The Antiquities Act of 1906 resulted from concerns about protecting prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts on federal lands in the American West; the Act authorized permits for legitimate archaeological investigations and penalties for taking or destroying antiquities without permission.
Additionally, it authorized the president to proclaim "historic landmarks and prehistoric structures, other objects of historic or scientific interest" on federal lands as national monuments, "the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."The reference in the act to "objects of...scientific interest" enabled President Theodore Roosevelt to make a natural geological feature, Devils Tower in Wyoming, the first national monument three months later. Among the next three monuments he proclaimed in 1906 was Petrified Forest in Arizona, another natural feature. In 1908, Roosevelt used the act to proclaim more than 800,000 acres of the Grand Canyon as a national monument. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Katmai National Monument in Alaska, comprising more than 1,000,000 acres. Katmai was enlarged to nearly 2,800,000 acres by subsequent Antiquities Act proclamations and for many years was the largest national park system unit.
Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, Great Sand Dunes were originally proclaimed as national monuments and designated as national parks by Congress. In response to Roosevelt's declaration of the Grand Canyon monument, a putative mining claimant sued in federal court, claiming that Roosevelt had overstepped the Antiquities Act authority by protecting an entire canyon. In 1920, the United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Grand Canyon was indeed "an object of historic or scientific interest" and could be protected by proclamation, setting a precedent for the use of the Antiquities Act to preserve large areas. Federal courts have since rejected every challenge to the president's use of Antiquities Act preservation authority, ruling that the law gives the president exclusive discretion over the determination of the size and nature of the objects protected. Substantial opposition did not materialize until 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming.
He did this to accept a donation of lands acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. for addition to Grand Teton National Park after Congress had declined to authorize this park expansion. Roosevelt's proclamation unleashed a storm of criticism about use of the Antiquities Act to circumvent Congress. A bill abolishing Jackson Hole National Monument passed Congress but was vetoed by Roosevelt, Congressional and court challenges to the proclamation authority were mounted. In 1950, Congress incorporated most of the monument into Grand Teton National Park, but the act doing so barred further use of the proclamation authority in Wyoming except for areas of 5,000 acres or less; the most substantial use of the proclamation authority came in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed 15 new national monuments in Alaska after Congress had adjourned without passing a major Alaska lands bill opposed in that state. Congress passed a revised version of the bill in 1980 incorporating most of these national monuments into national parks and preserves, but the act curtailed further use of the proclamation authority in Alaska.
The proclamation authority was not used again anywhere until 1996, when President Bill Clinton proclaimed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. This action was unpopular in Utah, bills were introduced to further restrict the president's authority. None of which have been enacted. Most of the 16 national monuments created by President Clinton are managed not by the National Park Service, but by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System. Presidents have used the Antiquities Act's proclamation authority not only to create new national monuments but to enlarge existing ones. For example, Franklin D. Roosevelt enlarged Dinosaur National Monument in 1938. Lyndon B. Johnson added Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, Jimmy Carter made major additions to Glacier Bay and Katmai National Monuments in 1978. On June 24, 2016, President Barack Obama designated the Stonewall Inn and surrounding areas in Greenwich Village, New York as the Stonewall National Monument, the first national monument commemorating the struggle for LGBT rights in the United States.
List of U. S. National Forests List of areas in the United States National Park System List of U. S. wilderness areas Protected areas of the United States List of proposed national monuments of the United States National monument proclamations under the Antiquities Act Congressional Research Service reports regar
Natural Bridges National Monument
Natural Bridges National Monument is a U. S. National Monument located about 50 miles northwest of the Four Corners boundary of southeast Utah, in the western United States, at the junction of White Canyon and Armstrong Canyon, part of the Colorado River drainage, it features the thirteenth largest natural bridge in the world, carved from the white Permian sandstone of the Cedar Mesa Formation that gives White Canyon its name. The three bridges in the park are named Kachina and Sipapu, which are all Hopi names. A natural bridge is formed through erosion by water flowing in the stream bed of the canyon. During periods of flash floods the stream undercuts the walls of rock that separate the meanders of the stream, until the rock wall within the meander is undercut and the meander is cut off; as erosion and gravity enlarge the bridge's opening, the bridge collapses under its own weight. There is evidence of at least two collapsed natural bridges within the Monument. In 1904, the National Geographic Magazine publicized the bridges and the area was designated a National Monument April 16, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.
It is Utah's first National Monument. The Monument was nearly inaccessible for many decades, as reflected by the visitor log kept by the Monument's superintendents; the park received little visitation until after the uranium boom of the 1950s, which resulted in the creation of new roads in the area, including modern day Utah State Route 95, paved in 1976. The bridges and other features present on the Colorado Plateau today were molded by the processes of erosion; the destructive forces of wind and rain, running water, freezing temperatures attacked the uplifts as soon as all the tectonic havoc started in the Late Cretaceous. The Colorado Plateau has been uplifted about 12,000 feet since the end of the Cretaceous about 66 million years ago; some of this uplift occurred geologically rapidly. As the rate of uplift increased, so did the rate of erosion; the Colorado River, for example, carved its present course within the last 6 million years. With uplift, streams throughout the Colorado Plateau began to dissect the topography into the landscape we see today with unprecedented vigor, carving the rocks and carrying away the dismantled strata into the landscape we see today.
The Monument's elevation ranges up to 6,500 feet. The Monument's vegetation is predominantly pinyon-juniper forest, with grass and shrubs typical of high-elevation Utah desert. In the canyons, where there is more water and seasonal streams, riparian desert plants, such as willow and cottonwood trees, thrive; because the Monument has been closed to grazing for nearly a century, off-road motorized travel is restricted, Natural Bridges contains extensive areas of undisturbed, mature cryptobiotic soils. Potential bridge collapse is possible at Natural Bridges National Monument along the span of Owachomo Bridge in Armstrong Canyon, only 9 feet thick at the crest of its span. Earthquake potential is high along the Moab Fault in nearby Arches National Park, Southeast Utah Group. While this and other faults in the Paradox Basin are associated with salt structures, the Colorado Plateau interior does possess a low level of seismic hazard. Ground shaking from earthquakes may impact the bridges at Natural Bridges National Monument causing catastrophic failure of one or more of the bridges.
The main attractions are the natural bridges, accessible from the Bridge View Drive, which winds along the park and goes by all three bridges, by hiking trails leading down to the bases of the bridges. There is a campground and picnic areas within the park. Electricity in the park comes from a large solar array near the visitors center. In 2007, the International Dark-Sky Association named Natural Bridges the first International Dark-Sky Park, a designation that recognizes not only that the park has some of the darkest and clearest skies in all of the United States, but that the park has made every effort to conserve the natural dark as a resource worthy of protection. To date, Natural Bridges has the only night sky monitored by the NPS Night Sky Team that rates a Class 2 on the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale, giving it the darkest sky assessed. Horsecollar Ruin is an Ancestral Puebloan ruin visible from an overlook a short hike from Bridge View Drive; the site was abandoned more than 700 years ago but is in a remarkable state of preservation, including an undisturbed rectangular kiva with the original roof and interior, two granaries with unusual oval shaped doors whose shape resembles horse collars.
Animals species found in the National Monument include birds such as the pinyon jay, canyon wren, turkeys and mammals like rabbits, pack rats, coyotes, mule deer, mountain lion. The Monument's pygmy rattlesnakes have been the subject of occasional study. In May 2006, KSL Newsradio reported a case of plague found in dead field mice and chipmunks at Natural Bridges. Native plant species include willow, Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, grasses and perennials such as asters, penstamons and Indian paintbrush, various shrubs such as dwarf oaks, manzanita, rabbitbrush, brittlebrush, Apache's plume, sage and Mormon tea. Invasive species include tumbleweeds, certain thistles and tamarisk. Much o
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is a recreation and conservation unit of the National Park Service that encompasses the area around Lake Powell and lower Cataract Canyon in Utah and Arizona, covering 1,254,429 acres of desert. The recreation area borders Capitol Reef National Park and Canyonlands National Park on the north, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument on the west, Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and the northeasternmost reaches of Grand Canyon National Park on the southwest, the Navajo Nation on the southeast; the Glen Canyon NRA was established in 1972 "to provide for public use and enjoyment and to preserve the area's scientific and scenic features." The stated purpose of Glen Canyon NRA is for recreation as well as preservation. As such, the area has been developed for access to Lake Powell via 5 marinas, 4 camping grounds, two small airports, houseboat rental concessions; the southwestern end of Glen Canyon NRA in Arizona can be accessed via U. S. Route 89 and State Route 98.
State Route 95 and State Route 276 lead to the northeastern end of the recreation area in Utah. The current Lake Powell lies above Glen Canyon, flooded by the Glen Canyon Dam, completed in 1966. Lake Powell has nearly 2,000 miles of fish-holding shoreline and provides opportunity to fish for largemouth bass, smallmouth bass and striped bass that swim in the midst of the recreation area. Several local marinas provide houseboats, jet skis, fishing gear, related equipment to visitors; the geology of the area is dominated by the Glen Canyon Group, consisting of the Navajo Sandstone, Kayenta Formation, Wingate Sandstone. The entire stratigraphic section included rocks dating from the Cretaceous to Pennsylvanian. With over one million visitors per year, it is inevitable that some will deface the rock faces of the canyon; the Glen Canyon NRA has implemented a voluntourism program wherein volunteers sign up for a five-day houseboat trip to remove graffiti from the canyon walls. Glen Canyon Glen Canyon Dam Glen Canyon Institute Rainbow Bridge National Monument Official National Park Service site Official National Park Service Concessionaire Site Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas, managed by ARAMARK, is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Glen Canyon Natural History Association Page Lake Powell Chamber of Commerce Lake Powell National Golf Course scenic 18-hole golf course Lake Powell Yacht Club to serve the interest of boat owners and water recreational enthusiasts
Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a national park in eastern Utah, United States. The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles north of Utah. More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches are located in the park, including the well-known Delicate Arch, as well as a variety of unique geological resources and formations; the park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world. The park consists of 76,679 acres of high desert located on the Colorado Plateau; the highest elevation in the park is 5,653 feet at Elephant Butte, the lowest elevation is 4,085 feet at the visitor center. The park receives an average of less than 10 inches of rain annually. Administered by the National Park Service, the area was named a national monument on April 12, 1929, was redesignated as a national park on November 12, 1971; the park received more than 1.6 million visitors in 2018. The national park lies above an underground evaporite layer or salt bed, the main cause of the formation of the arches, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, eroded monoliths in the area.
This salt bed is thousands of feet thick in places, was deposited in the Paradox Basin of the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and evaporated. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with debris eroded from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the northeast. During the Early Jurassic, desert conditions prevailed in the region and the vast Navajo Sandstone was deposited. An additional sequence of stream-laid and windblown sediments, the Entrada Sandstone, was deposited on top of the Navajo. Over 5,000 feet of younger sediments were deposited and have been eroded away. Remnants of the cover exist in the area including exposures of the Cretaceous Mancos Shale; the arches of the area are developed within the Entrada formation. The weight of this cover caused the salt bed below it to liquefy and thrust up layers of rock into salt domes; the evaporites of the area formed more unusual linear regions of uplift. Faulting occurred and whole sections of rock subsided into the areas between the domes.
In some places, they turned on edge. The result of one such 2,500-foot displacement, the Moab Fault, is seen from the visitor center; as this subsurface movement of salt shaped the landscape, erosion removed the younger rock layers from the surface. Except for isolated remnants, the major formations visible in the park today are the salmon-colored Entrada Sandstone, in which most of the arches form, the buff-colored Navajo Sandstone; these are visible in layer-cake fashion throughout most of the park. Over time, water seeped into the surface cracks and folds of these layers. Ice formed in the fissures and putting pressure on surrounding rock, breaking off bits and pieces. Winds cleaned out the loose particles. A series of free-standing fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed. Others, with the right degree of hardness and balance, survived despite their missing sections; these became the famous arches.
Although the park's terrain may appear rugged and durable, it is fragile. More than 1 million visitors each year threaten the fragile high-desert ecosystem; the problem lies within the soil's crust, composed of cyanobacteria, algae and lichens that grow in the dusty parts of the park. Factors that make Arches National Park sensitive to visitor damage include being a semiarid region, the scarce, unpredictable rainfall, lack of deep freezing, lack of plant litter, which results in soils that have both a low resistance to, slow recovery from, compressional forces such as foot traffic. Methods of indicating effects on the soil are cytophobic soil crust index, measuring of water infiltration, t-tests that are used to compare the values from the undisturbed and disturbed areas. Humans have occupied the region since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Fremont people and Ancient Pueblo People lived in the area until about 700 years ago. Spanish missionaries encountered Ute and Paiute tribes in the area when they first came through in 1775, but the first European-Americans to attempt settlement in the area were the Mormon Elk Mountain Mission in 1855, who soon abandoned the area.
Ranchers and prospectors settled Moab in the neighboring Riverine Valley in the 1880s. Word of the beauty of the surrounding rock formations spread beyond the settlement as a possible tourist destination; the Arches area was first brought to the attention of the National Park Service by Frank A. Wadleigh, passenger traffic manager of the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Wadleigh, accompanied by railroad photographer George L. Beam, visited the area in September 1923 at the invitation of Alexander Ringhoffer, a Hungarian-born prospector living in Salt Valley. Ringhoffer had written to the railroad in an effort to interest them in the tourist potential of a scenic area he had discovered the previous year with his two sons and a son-in-law, which he called the "Devil's Garden". Wadleigh was impressed by what Ringhoffer showed him, suggested to Park Service director Stephen T. Mather that the area be made a national monument; the following year, additional support for the monument idea came from Laurence Gould, a University of Michigan graduate student studying the geology of the nearby La Sal Mountains, shown the scenic area by local physician Dr. J. W. "Doc" Williams.
A succession of government investigators examined the area, in part due to confusion
Protected areas of the United States
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state and local level authorities and receive varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation; as of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2, or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is one-tenth of the protected land area of the world; the U. S. had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2, or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States. Some areas are managed in concert between levels of government; the Father Marquette National Memorial is an example of a federal park operated by a state park system, while Kal-Haven Trail is an example of a state park operated by county-level government. As of 2007, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U. S. had a total of 6,770 terrestrial nationally designated protected areas. Federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior.
They are considered the crown jewels of the protected areas. Other areas are managed by the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; the United States Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are Level I and Level II; the United States maintains 12 percent of the Level II lands in the world. These lands had a total area of 210,000 sq mi. A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency. For instance, both the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service operate areas designated National National Recreation Areas; the National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management operate areas called National Monuments. National Wilderness Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies.
There are existing federal designations of historic or landmark status that may support preservation via tax incentives, but that do not convey any protection, including a listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a designation as a National Historic Landmark. States and local zoning bodies may not choose to protect these; the state of Colorado, for example, is clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties. Federal protected area designations National Park System National Parks National Preserves National Seashores National Lakeshores National Forest National Forests National Grasslands National Conservation Lands National Monuments National Conservation Areas Wilderness Areas Wilderness Study Areas National Wild and Scenic Rivers National Scenic Trails National Historic Trails Cooperative Management and Protection Areas Forest Reserves Outstanding Natural Areas National Marine Sanctuaries National Recreation Areas National Estuarine Research Reserves National Trails System National Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Wilderness Preservation System National Wildlife Refuge System International protected area designations UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the USA Every state has a system of state parks.
State parks vary from urban parks to large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the national parks of England and Wales, with numerous towns inside the borders of the park. About half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres, is state-owned and preserved as "forever wild" by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska is the largest state park by the amount of contiguous protected land. S. National Parks, with some 1,600,000 acres, making it larger than the state of Delaware. Many states operate game and recreation areas. Lists of state parks in the United States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming List of U.
S. state and tribal wilderness areas Various counties, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are little more than picnic playgrounds. South Mountain Park in Phoenix, for example, is called the largest city park in the United States. Protected areas of American Samoa Protected areas of California Protected areas of Colorado Protected areas of Georgia Protected areas of Illinois Protected areas of Kentucky Protected areas of Michigan Protected areas of Ohio National Landscape Conservation System National Park Service National Wild and S
The Uinta Mountains are an east-west trending chain of mountains in northeastern Utah extending into southern Wyoming in the United States. As a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, they are unusual for being the highest range in the contiguous United States running east to west, lie 100 miles east of Salt Lake City; the range has peaks ranging from 11,000–13,528 feet, with the highest point being Kings Peak the highest point in Utah. The Mirror Lake Highway crosses the western half of the Uintas on its way to Wyoming; the Uinta Mountains are Laramide uplifted metasedimentary rocks deposited in an intracratonic basin in southwest Laurentia during the time of the breakup of the supercontinent Rodinia. The marine and fluvial metasedimentary rocks in the core of the Uinta Mountains are of Neoproterozoic age and consist of quartzite and shale; these rocks comprise the Uinta Mountain Group, reach thicknesses of 13,000 to 24,000 feet. Most of the high peaks are outcrops of the Uinta Mountain Group. Many of the peaks are ringed with bands of cliffs, rising to form flat tops.
The mountains are bounded to the north and south by reverse faults that meet below the range, on the north by the North Flank fault and on the south by the Uinta Basin boundary fault. The Uinta Mountain Group from oldest to youngest includes Uinta Mountain unidivided quartz arenite, overlain by the Moosehorn Lake, Mount Watson, Hades Peak, Red Shale formations; the flanks of the east-west trending Uinta Mountains contain a sequence of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata ranging from the Cambrian Lodore Formation to the Cretaceous Mancos Shale, all of which have been tilted during the uplift of the mountain range. The uplift of the range dates to the Laramide orogeny, about 70 to 50 million years ago, when compressive forces produced high-angle reverse faults on both north and south sides of the present mountain range; the east-west orientation of the Uintas is anomalous compared to most of the ranges of the Rocky Mountains. The high Uintas were extensively glaciated during the last ice age, most of the large stream valleys on both the north and south sides of the range held long valley glaciers.
However, despite reaching to over 13,500 feet in elevation, the climate today is sufficiently dry that no glaciers survived before the rapid current glacial retreat began in the middle nineteenth century. The Uintas are the most poleward mountain range in the world to reach over 13,000 feet without modern glaciers, are in fact the highest mountain range in the contiguous United States with no modern glaciers. Permafrost occurs at times forms large rock glaciers. In between the summits and ridgelines are wide, level basins, with some 500 small lakes. One of the most popular lakes is Mirror Lake because of its good fishing, scenic views, easy road access; the south and east sides of the range are within the Colorado River watershed, including the Blacks Fork and the Duchesne River, which are tributaries of the Green River. The Green is the major tributary of the Colorado River and flows in a tight arc around the eastern side of the range; the Bear and Weber rivers, the two largest tributaries of Great Salt Lake, are born on the west slope of the range.
The Provo River, the largest tributary to Utah Lake, begins on the southern side of the range and flows west to Utah Lake, which itself drains via the Jordan River into Great Salt Lake. Large portions of the mountain range receive over 40 inches of precipitation annually; the high Uintas are snowcapped most of the year except for late July through early September. The Uinta Mountains have more than 400 miles of 1,000 lakes and ponds; the Uinta Mountains are part of the Uinta montane forests ecoregion. Nearly the entire range lies within Ashley National Forest; the highest peaks of the range are protected as part of the High Uintas Wilderness. The forests contain many species of trees, including lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, Engelmann spruce, Douglas-fir, quaking aspen. There are many species of grasses and forbs growing in the Uinta Mountains; the Uintas is home to the highest Boy Scout camp in the United States at 10,400 feet. The camp is near mile marker 33 of the Mirror Lake Highway; the Uinta Highline Trail is a popular backpacking trail.
Dinosaur National Monument is located on the southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains on the border between Colorado and Utah. List of mountain ranges Mountain ranges of Utah High Uintas Wilderness Davis and Veranth, High Uinta Trails, Salt Lake City: Wasatch Publishers, 1988 ISBN 0-915272-37-7 Hansen, Wallace R; the Geologic Story of the Uinta Mountains, Washington, DC: United States Government Printing Office, 1969 Uinta Mountain Lakes Map/Info - an interactive map for exploring the high Uinta lakes
Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, between Cortez and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain. Shallow tributaries run through the deep canyons into the San Juan River. Although Hovenweep National Monument is known for the six groups of Ancestral Puebloan villages, there is evidence of occupation by hunter-gatherers from 8,000 to 6,000 B. C. until about AD 200. A succession of early puebloan cultures settled in the area and remained until the 14th century. Hovenweep is administered by the National Park Service. In July 2014, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Hovenweep an International Dark Sky Park. Evidence from the area indicates that there were people of the Archaic period. During the transitional period from a traditional hunter-gatherer society to pueblo people, there were several distinct cultural changes:Early hunters Hunter-gatherers from 10,000 years Before Present hunted and lived in a difficult terrain, traversed deep canyons and areas of few animals and limited vegetation, managed limited access to water – which made life difficult and limited the size of their hunt groups.
They were adaptive to find sufficient food, supplementing their diet with nuts and fruit from wild plants. Artifacts were found 1) of Paleo-Indians who camped and hunted along the Cajon Mesa of Hovenweep as early as 8,000 BC and 2) from 20 sites with evidence of Archaic-Early Basketmaker people from about 6,000 BC. Late Basketmaker II Era AD 50 to 500 The people living in the Four Corners region were introduced to maize and basketry through Mesoamerican trading about 2,000 years ago. Able to have greater control of their diet through cultivation, the hunter-gatherers lifestyle became more sedentary as small disperse groups began cultivating maize and squash, they continued to hunt and gather wild plants. They were named "Basketmakers" for their skill in making baskets for storing food, covering with pitch to heat water, using to toast seeds and nuts, they wove bags, belts out of yucca plants and leaves – and strung beads. They lived in dry caves where they dug pits and lined with stones to store food.
These people were ancestors of the pueblo people of Mesa Verde. Basketmaker III Era 500 to 750 The next era, Modified Basketmakers, resulted in the introduction of pottery which reduced the number of baskets that they made and eliminated the creation of woven bags; the simple, gray pottery allowed them a better tool for storage. Beans were added to the cultivated diet. Bows and arrows made hunting easier and thus the acquisition of hides for clothing. Turkey feathers were woven into robes. On the rim of Mesa Verde, small groups built pit houses which were built several feet below the surface with elements suggestive of the introduction of celebration rituals. Pueblo I Era 750 to 900 From pueblos at Mesa Verde we learn of some advancements during this period which are reflected in the Hovenweep structures built in the next cultural period. Pueblo buildings were built with stone, windows facing south, in U, E and L shapes; the buildings were placed more together and reflected deepening religious celebration.
Towers were built near kivas and used for look-outs. Pottery became more versatile, not just for cooking, but now included pitchers, bowls and dishware for food and drink. White pottery with black designs emerged. Water management and conservation techniques, including the use of reservoirs and silt-retaining dams emerged during this period. Pueblo II Era – 900–1150 About 900, the number of Hovenweep residential sites increased. Like the people at Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly National Monument, about 1100 the Hovenweep village communities moved from mesa tops to the heads of canyons. People considered part of the Mesa Verde branch of the northern San Juan Pueblo culture, transitioned from disperse housing and built pueblos in the late 12th century alongside springs or other water sources near or at the canyon heads. Most of the pueblo building was conducted, about the same time as the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings, between 1230 and 1275 when there were about 2,500 residents; the Hovenweep architecture and pottery was like that of Mesa Verde.
Pueblo III Era – 1150–1350 The Hovenweep inhabitants completed construction over a period of time. Buildings with one story towers were built about 1000. By about 1160, they began building larger pueblo residential complexes, up to 3-story towers and reservoirs, they moved their fields into areas. They built large stone towers, living quarters and other shelters to safeguard springs and seeps; the stone course pueblos and towers of the Hovenweep people exhibit expert masonry skills and engineering. The builders did not level foundations for their structures, but adapted construction designs to the uneven surfaces of rock slabs; these stone pueblos were understandably referred to as castles by 19th-century explorers. Prominent structures are Hovenweep Castle, Hovenweep House, Square Tower, Rim Rock House, Twin Towers, Stronghold House and Unit-type house; these structures are part of larger community pueblos that surround the heads of canyons where springs are located. Two murals from Hovenweep conserved prior to area construction.
The kiva murals, which provide great insight into the life of the Ancient people, are now at the Anasazi Heritage Center. Warren Hurley describes them as "some of the best preserved examples of Pueblo III wall paintings in the Northern San Juan Region."Six clusters of pueblo buildings Cajon Group