NM Defense - header
Ed Moss

NM - Grand Staircase and Bears Ears 2021 map

Map of President Biden's restoration of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.

National Monuments - Thank President Biden

Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments are restored!
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 exploring ›

National Monuments Blog


Whether tucked into lush creekside vegetation, soaring high above rocky cliffs, or flitting through old-growth forests, over 200 bird species call the Grand Staircase-Escalante region home.

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Polling shows strong support for designating public lands near the Grand Canyon a national monument.

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is known for its staircase, a series of colorful rock layers that step up through geologic time.

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