National Monument Frequently Asked Questions

What is a National Monument?

A national monument (NM) is an area of public land designated to protect historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, or other objects of historic or scientific interest. Each NM is designated for unique purposes and, consequently, each NM is managed in unique ways.

How are NMs established?

NMs are designated either by an act of Congress or presidential proclamation.

What National Monuments are in New Mexico?

There are four NMs in New Mexico: 

What recreation activities occur in NMs?

Recreational uses in NMs include a wide variety of non-motorized and motorized activities.  Each area is unique and offers different opportunities and different restrictions, but common activities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, backpacking, camping, nature study, photography, mountain biking, and driving off-highway vehicle routes.

Are motor vehicles allowed?

Typically, motor vehicles are allowed on routes designated for such use. Because each NM is designated uniquely, conditions of use may vary.

Can I ride my bicycle in a NM?

Typically, bicycles are allowed on routes identified as open to that use. Because each NM is designated uniquely, conditions of use may vary.

Is hunting permitted?

Regulated hunting is permitted in Prehistoric Trackways NM and Río Grande del Norte NM.  However, due to its size and high visitation, hunting is not permitted in Kasha Katuwe-Tent Rocks NM.  Hunting and fishing are subject to applicable State and Federal laws.  Please check with the New Mexico Department of Fish and Game for regulations regarding hunting. 

Are guides and outfitters allowed to operate in NMs?

Yes, when consistent with the managing office’s resource management plan. Guides and outfitters are required to be permitted by the BLM.

Is grazing permitted?

Yes. Grazing is permitted subject to the same management as occurs on other BLM lands.

How does a NM designation impact mining?

NMs are not open to new mining. However, where a valid claim had been identified before designation, those minerals may be mined so long as such mining does not cause unnecessary or undue degradation.

Can roads, power lines, or pipelines be constructed?

Generally no, except where such construction would meet the purpose for which the area was designated. 

Are fires allowed to burn?

In cases where fire plays a key function in the areas ecology, BLM will work to maintain the role of fire. However, all fires must be controlled to prevent loss of human life or property within the NM or on lands adjacent to the NM.