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Tucson Field Office
Release Date: 10/19/12
Contacts: Diane Drobka, 928-348-4403,    

Southeastern Arizona Gets New National Historic Landmark

Sierra Vista, AZ – An important fossil and archaeological site within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area has just been nationally recognized for its special scientific values.  On October 17, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced his designation of the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Murray Springs Clovis Site as a National Historic Landmark.

Murray Springs, located in southeastern Arizona, is one of the best-dated Paleoindian sites in North America. It is also one of the most significant Clovis sites, providing evidence of the earliest well-documented culture in the Americas. The 13,000-year-old site contains a multiple bison kill, a mammoth kill, and possibly a horse kill in a deeply stratified sedimentary context.

Several thousand stone tools and waste flakes from their manufacture were found along with the bones of late Pleistocene animals.  Murray Springs has been called the largest single sample of Clovis flint knapping activity yet known in the western United States.  Photos of the site, excavations, and artifacts are posted on the BLM Arizona Facebook page. 

The BLM encourages Arizona residents and visitors to our state to walk the 1/3-mile-long trail and read its 10 interpretive exhibits.  For information on the Murray Springs Clovis Site Trail, visit

Murray Springs was among 26 new national historic landmarks and one national natural landmark that Secretary Salazar recognized as places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.  Currently there are only 2,527 designated national historic landmarks and 592 national natural landmarks across the country bearing this national distinction.

“Each of these landmarks represents a thread in the great tapestry that tells the story of our beautiful land, our diverse culture and our nation’s rich heritage,” said Salazar.  For a list of all 26 national historic landmarks, visit the Department of the Interior website at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 04-06-2015