A national monument is an area of public land designated to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest. Since its creation in 2000, the National Landscape Conservation Service (NLCS) has grown to include 16 national monuments in eight western states.
Why are National Monuments designated?
The Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President authority to designate national monuments in order to protect “objects of historic or scientific interest.” While most national monuments are established by the President, Congress has also occasionally established national monuments to protect natural or historic features. Since 1906, the President and Congress have created more than 100 national monuments. National monuments are currently managed by agencies including the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, or BLM.
What National Monuments are in Utah?
Utah is the home of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the first national monument to be managed by the BLM and also the first area to be designated as part of the NLCS.
Grand Staircase-Escalante remains the largest national monument at almost 1.9 million acres. Its size, resources, and remote character provide rich opportunities for geologists, archeologists, historians, and biologists in scientific research, education, and exploration. For example, world-class dinosaur excavations at Grand Staircase-Escalante have yielded more information about ecosystem change at the end of the dinosaur era than almost any other place in the world.