By the President of the United States of America
This monument on the Alaska Peninsula supports one of the densest known populations of the great Alaska brown bear. This area encompasses habitat used by a discrete population of bears for denning and foraging, both north and south of Becharof Lake.
At the southern end of Becharof Lake, several hundred bears concentrate during salmon spawning season. Certain of the bears make their dens in the area on islands a few feet above the water level, a unique phenomenon of great interest in the study of this great carnivore. Deeply worn bear trails also indicate decades of extensive use, making this area important to the study of the bears' long-term habits and population fluctuation. Rich salmon spawning habitats and the presence of such prey species as caribou and moose are key factors in the intensive use of the area by the bears.
The biology of the brown bears, their habitat and associated plant and animal species within the monument, together with other ecological features of the area, combine to offer excellent opportunities for scientific study and research.
The area is interesting and significant geologically, as it contains one of Alaska's most recent volcanically active areas, the Gas Rocks under Mount Peulik. Studies here of recent volcanism may contribute to the growing understanding of this powerful geological force.
The land withdrawn and reserved by this Proclamation for the protection of the geological, biological and other phenomena enumerated above supports now, as it has in the past, the unique subsistence culture of the local residents. The continued existence of this culture, which depends on subsistence hunting, and its availability for study, enhance the historic and scientific values of the natural objects protected herein because of the ongoing interaction of the subsistence culture with those objects. Accordingly, the opportunity for the local residents to engage in subsistence hunting is a value to be protected and will continue tinder the administration of the monument.
Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), 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 Government of the United States to be national monuments, and to reserve as part thereof par(:els of land, 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.
Now, THEREFORE, I, JIMMY CARTER, President of the United States of America, by the authority vested in me by Section 2 of the Act of June 8, 1906 (34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. 431), do proclaim that there are hereby set apart and reserved as the Becharof National Monument all lands, including submerged lands, and waters owned or controlled by the United States within the boundaries of the area depicted as Becharof National Monument on the map numbered FWS-81-00-0414 attached to and forming a part of this Proclamation. The area reserved consists of approximately 1,200,000 acres, and is the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected. Lands, including submerged lands, and waters within these boundaries not owned by the United States shall be reserved as a part of the monument upon acquisition of title thereto by the United States.
All lands, including submerged lands, and all waters within the boundaries of this monument are hereby appropriated and withdrawn from entry, location, selection, sale or other disposition under the public land laws, other than exchange. There is also reserved all water necessary to the proper care and management of those objects protected by this monument and for the proper administration of the monument in accordance with applicable laws.
The establishment of this monument is subject to valid existing rights, including, but not limited to, valid selections under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, as amended (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and under or confirmed in the Alaska Statehood Act (48 U.S.C. Note preceding Section 21 ).
Nothing in this Proclamation shall be deemed to revoke any existing withdrawal, reservation or appropriation, including any public land order effecting a withdrawal under Section 17(d)(1) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1616(d) (1)); however, the national monument shall be the dominant reservation. Nothing in this Proclamation is intended to modify or revoke the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding dated September 1, 1972, entered into between the State of Alaska and the United States as part of the negotiated settlement of Alaska v. Morton, Civil No. A-48-72 (D. Alaska, Complaint filed April 10, 1972).
The Secretary of the Interior shall promulgate such regulations as are appropriate, including regulation of sport hunting, and of the opportunity to engage in a subsistence lifestyle by local residents. The Secretary may (:lose this national monument, or any portion thereof, to subsistence uses of a particular fish, wildlife or plant population or to sport hunting of a particular fish or wildlife population if necessary for reasons of public safety, administration, or to ensure the natural stability or continued viability of such population.
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 1st day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and third.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 2:55 p.m., December 1, 1978]