NM Defense - header
Ed Moss


Andrew Orr

Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni – Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument

A coalition of tribes called on President Biden to permanently protect their ancestral lands around Grand Canyon National Park. Learn about the new monument ›


Thank President Biden for honoring tribes and designating Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni

NM - Bears Ears

NM - Bears Ears
Tim Peterson

Bears Ears National Monument

Originally designated in 2016, Bears Ears National Monument is a living cultural landscape that is home to cliff dwellings, petroglyphs, pictographs, and more. Get the backstory on Bears Ears ›



Blake McCord

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument protects vast expanses of slickrock, twisty slot canyons, cultural sites, and desert creeks and streams. Learn about our work ›

Marc Toso

NM - what's in a name

What's in a name?

National parks, national monuments, national forests, national preserves — confused?

NM - designation intro

There is a lot of misinformation when it comes to national monument designations. Who designates them? How are they different from national parks? What protections do monument designations afford, and what restrictions do they impose?

Here’s a basic breakdown of key differences between national parks and national monuments:

NM - parks vs. monuments

National Parks
  • Generally large, natural places, protected for their scenic, inspirational, educational, and recreational values
  • Designated only by Congress
  • Managed by the National Park Service
  • Mining and drilling are generally not allowed
National Monuments
  • Protect landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic, cultural, or scientific interest 
  • Usually designated by presidential proclamation
  • Managed by a variety of agencies
  • Accommodate land uses such as livestock grazing, fishing, hunting, recreation, and more.

NM - 100+ years of national monuments

100+ years of national monuments

In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law. This law makes the destruction of archaeological sites on federal lands and the removal of artifacts from them punishable offenses. It also gives sitting presidents the authority to protect objects of historic or scientific interest by declaring them national monuments. National monuments are composed solely of federal lands. Monument designations do not take lands away from states or private individuals.

NM - stats

NM - stats

Nonpartisan support

In the 100+ years of the Antiquities Act, nearly every president — Republican and Democrat — has used the Antiquities Act to create more than 125 national monuments protecting cliff dwellings, volcanoes, fossils, coral reefs, and more. Many national parks, including the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce, Capital Reef, Arches, and Petrified Forest started as national monuments before being elevated to park status. 

Ed Moss

NM - why care (text)

Get to know your monuments

National monuments are yours to play in, pray in, and share in. They protect some of our country’s most amazing landscapes and cultural resources and are protected for the benefit of all. Start planning ›

National Monuments Blog


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