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Objects of Historic or Scientific Interest in 2021 Proclamation

General

  • the entire GSE landscape: Skutumpah Terrace and escarpments of the Grand Staircase, Nipple Bench, Smoky Mountain, Burning Hills, Grand Bench, East and West Clark Benches, Buckskin Mountain, Hole-in-the-Rock Road, Escalante Desert, Upper Escalante Canyons, Circle Cliffs, Alvey Wash, the Blues
  • landscape as biological resource
  • rare or endemic flora:
    • Camissonia atwoodii (Atwood evening primrose; Atwood’s suncup)
    • Sphaeralcea fumariensis (Smoky Mountain globemallow)
    • Cymopterus higginsii (Higgins’ spring-parsley)
    • Heliomeris soliceps (Tropic goldeneye (Paria sunflower))
    • Pediomelum epipsilum (Kane breadroot)
    • Phacelia pulchella var. atwoodii (Atwood’s pretty phacelia)
  • unique, isolated plant communities
    • hanging gardens, tinajas, rock crevice, canyon bottom, dunal pocket communities
    • relict plant communities
  • unusual and diverse soils, including desert pavement and biological soil crusts
  • pollinators
    • biodiversity of bees, including endemic species, and their associated flowering plants
  • wildlife:  mountain lion, bear, pronghorn, desert bighorn, hundreds of species of birds
  • dark skies: starlight, airglow, aurora, zodiacal light
    • an opportunity for visitors to encounter a landscape at night, undisturbed by electric lights, in the same way people have experienced the West for most of America’s history
  • remarkable natural soundscape, quiet conditions 
  • cultural resources

Specific Areas

  • Circle Cliffs area
    • sky islands:  Studhorse Peaks, Colt Mesa, Deer Point
    • winter habitat for elk
    • Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont cultural sites
    • petrified wood, including Wolverine Petrified Wood Area
    • paleontological sites, including a Popsaurus discovery (rare bipedal crocodilean)
    • Burr Trail
  • Upper Escalante Canyons area
    • natural bridges and arches:  Maverick Natural Bridge, Phipps Arch, Escalante Natural Bridge, Bowington Arch
    • Cosmic Navel
    • slot canyons:  Dry Fork Coyote Gulch, Brimstone, Peek-a-boo, Spooky, Zebra, Tunnel, Egypt Slots
    • High density of Fremont sites (pithouses, villages, storage cysts)
    • Dense rock writings (Fremont, Ancestral Puebloan, Southern Paiute; polychromatic Archaic panel), including a panel that is particularly meaningful to Tribal Nations with ancestral and historical ties to the area and another panel containing polychromatic depictions of long, linear figures that may date back to the Archaic period
    • settler inscriptions, historic sites (Boulder Mail Trail)
    • Sand Creek (perennial, supports riparian habitat and hanging gardens)
    • Death Hollow (perennial, ponderosa pine and riparian habitat)
    • seeps and springs, hanging gardens, tinajas, riparian vegetation
    • Calf Creek (perennial, lush vegetation, cultural sites, waterfalls, basalt boulders, iron concretion sheets)
  • Hole-in-the-Rock area
    • Devil’s Garden (Metate Arch), Little Jumbo Arch, Sunrise and Sunset arches, Chimney Rock
    • Dance Hall Rock
    • Twentymile Wash Dinosaur Megatrackway
  • Kaiparowits Plateau area
    • Cockscomb
    • evidence of human habitation; petroglyph and pictograph panels, including representations of bighorn
    • reintroduced bighorn and pronghorn
    • populations of chuckwalla and desert night lizard
    • fossils (thousands of sites)
      • evidence of mammals from Cenomanian through Santonian ages (only evidence in western Hemisphere)
      • one of world’s best and most continuous records of Late Cretaceous terrestrial life
      • evidence of 15 previously unknown species of dinosaur
      • traces of soft tissue, impressions of skin, beaks, claws
      • diverse assemblage of Campanian fauna
      • pterosaurs, frogs, salamanders, snakes
      • Kaiparowits Formation
        • vertebrate taxa new to science, including horned dinosaurs (e.g., Nasutoceratops, Kosmoceratops, Utahceratops), Gryposaurus species, a raptor, tyrannosaurid Teratophoneus, potentially new crested duck-billed dinosaur, Akainacephalus
        • diverse vegetative communities with previously undescribed trees and aquatic plants
      • Wahweap Formation:  horned Diabloceratops, tyrannosaurid Lythronax
      • Dakota Formation:  some of the earliest evidence of mammals in fossil record
      • Tropic Shale Formation:  marine reptiles, including five species of plesiosaur and North America’s oldest mosasaur
      • mass mortality sites:  Rainbows and Unicorns (four tyrannosaurs), Uncle Charley’s Bonebed (extinct tortoises)
      • oyster beds, other marine mollusk shells
      • petrified wood in the Morrison, Wahweap, and Kaiparowits Formations
    • pinyon and juniper woodlands, ponderosa pine forests, aspen groves
    • canyons with important riparian ecosystems
    • Fiftymile Mountain and Fiftymile Bench: high density of archaeological sites (masonry structures suggesting convergence of Virgin and Kayenta Branch Ancestral Puebloans and Fremont culture); also sites considered sacred to several Tribal Nations
    • historic cabins, fences, stock trails
    • Fiftymile Bench sagebrush steppe ecosystem
    • Window Wind Arch
    • Straight Cliffs Formation fossils (primitive mammals, straight cone cephalopods, ammonites,gastropods, pelecypods, Cretaceous shark teeth)
    • hoodoos, Sooner Rocks mega-potholes
    • Grand Bench:  unspoiled night sky, Woolsey Arch, paleontology sites (including petrified wood and fossils)
    • Smoky Mountain:  coal chimneys, rare and endemic plant species (Atwood evening primrose, Smoky Mountain globemallow), bighorn sheep herd, nesting areas for high density of raptors
    • John Henry Bench, Tibbet Bench, Nipple Bench, Jack Riggs Bench:  big game habitat (including bighorn and pronghorn), Wahweap Formation fossils (turtle shells, dinosaurs, crocodile teeth), Wahweap Hoodoos
    • Alvey Wash:  arches, Smoky Mountain Road, Cretaceous paleontological sites (more than a hundred), Fremont and Ancestral Puebloan sites (rock writings, rock shelters, cliffside storage structures, pithouses) likely acted as an important travel route between the Escalante River and the top of the Kaiparowits Plateau
  • The Blues:  Kaiparowits Formation fossils (early mammals, lizards, dinosaurs, crocodilians,turtles, mollusks, one of largest oviraptors ever discovered), habitat for raptors (Swainson’s hawks, golden eagles, peregrine falcons)
  • Butler Valley area:  microvertebrate fossils, Grosvenor Arch, Butler Valley and Round Valley Draw canyons    
  • Hackberry Canyon area:  Yellow Rock, Sam Pollock Arch,Ancestral Puebloan sites (Virgin Branch; rock shelters, pithouses, lithic scatters, masonry structures, rock writings in side canyons), Anglo habitation (including Watson Cabin)
  • Upper Paria River area
    • many perennial streams, Paria River, hundreds of acres of riparian vegetation, which support a rich diversity of terrestrial vertebrate and avian species
    • spring-fed Willis Creek, Lick Wash, Bull Valley Gorge
    • paleontological sites
    • Paria ghost town (only historic townsite in monument)
  • Lower Paria River area
    • after Paria enters Cottonwood Canyon, rich riparian area and habitat for endangered southwestern willow flycatcher
    • rare plants (Tropic goldeneye, Atwood’s pretty phacelia)
    • area down to West Clark Bench characterized by high ecosystem diversity, number of rare bee species and hot desert endemic bees at the northernmost extent of their range
    • Toadstool Hoodoos
    • rock writings, paleontological resources
  • Grand Staircase area
    • Grey Cliffs
    • White Cliffs:  rare and endemic bees near Timber Mountain, relict sky islands of No Mans Mesa and Little No Mans Mesa
    • Vermilion Cliffs
      • fossils (fish, dinosaurs, early reptiles, tracksites [including Flag Point and associated pictographs])
      • projectile points and hunter-gatherer residential pit structures in higher elevations
      • evidence of some of earliest corn-related agriculture in the Southwest (Virgin Branch Ancestral Puebloan), and evidence of Southern Paiute people in lower elevations
      • petrified wood
  • Buckskin Mountain area
    • Paunsaugunt mule deer winter range
    • Eagle Sink
    • Ancestral Puebloan sites
    • access to Buckskin Gulch

 

 

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