Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
U.S. National Monument
- This article discusses national monuments in the context of the United States. The term "national monument" is also used in other countries (e.g. Ireland), for similar purposes.
A U.S. National Monument is a protected area of the United States that is similar to a national park (specifically a U.S. National Park) except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a national monument without Congressional approval . There are also fewer protections offered to wildlife and to the geographic features in a national monument compared to the protection (and funding) that a national park receives.
Another difference between a national monument and national park is the amount of diversity in what is being protected; national monuments aim to preserve at least one unique resource but do not have the amount of diversity of a national park (which are supposed to protect a host of unique features). However areas within and extending beyond, national parks, monuments or even national forests can be part of wilderness areas, which have an even greater degree of protection than a national park would alone.
The power to grant national monuments came from President Theodore Roosevelt, who declared Devils Tower in Wyoming as the very first national monument. He thought Congress was moving too slowly and it would be ruined by the time they got around to making it a national park.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 resulted from concerns about protecting mostly prehistoric Native American ruins and artifacts - collectively termed "antiquities " - on federal lands in the West. It authorized permits for legitimate archaeological investigations and penalties for persons taking or destroying antiquities without permission. And it authorized presidents to proclaim "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest" as national monuments-"the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected."
So it was originally expected that national monuments would be proclaimed to protect prehistoric cultural features or antiquities and that they would be small. Yet the reference in the act to "objects of ... scientific interest" enabled President Theodore Roosevelt to make a natural geological feature, Devils Tower, Wyoming the first national monument three months later. Among the next three monuments he proclaimed in 1906 was Petrified Forest in Arizona, another natural feature (Congress would later make it into a national park).
The expectation that national monuments would be small was also soon overcome. In 1908 Roosevelt again used the act to proclaim more than 800,000 acres (3,200 km²) of the Grand Canyon as a national monument - a very big "object of scientific interest." And in 1918 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Katmai National Monument in Alaska, comprising more than a million acres (4,000 km²). Katmai was later enlarged to nearly 2.8 million acres (11,000 km²) by subsequent Antiquities Act proclamations and for many years was the largest national park system unit. Petrified Forest, Grand Canyon, and Katmai were among the many national monuments later converted to national parks by Congress.
There was no significant Congressional opposition to this expansive use of the Antiquities Act in Arizona and Alaska - perhaps in part because Arizona and Alaska were then only territories without representation in Congress. Substantial opposition did not materialize until 1943, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Jackson Hole National Monument in Wyoming. He did this to accept a donation of lands acquired by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for addition to Grand Teton National Park after Congress had declined to authorize this park expansion. Roosevelt's proclamation unleashed a storm of criticism about use of the Antiquities Act to circumvent Congress. A bill abolishing Jackson Hole National Monument passed Congress but was vetoed by Roosevelt, and Congressional and court challenges to the proclamation authority were mounted. In 1950, Congress finally incorporated most of the monument into Grand Teton National Park, but the act doing so barred further use of the proclamation authority in Wyoming.
Since 1943 the proclamation authority has been used very sparingly, and seldom without advance Congressional consultation and support. In 1949, for example, President Harry S. Truman proclaimed Effigy Mounds National Monument to accept a donation of the land from the state of Iowa, at the request of Iowa's delegation. On those rare occasions when the proclamation authority was used in seeming defiance of local and congressional sentiment, Congress again retaliated. Just before he left office in 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Monument after Congress had declined to act on related national historical park legislation. The chairman of the House Interior Committee, Wayne Aspinall of Colorado, responded by blocking action on subsequent C & O Canal Park bills to the end of that decade.
The most substantial use of the proclamation authority came in 1978, when President Jimmy Carter proclaimed 15 new national monuments in Alaska after Congress had adjourned without passing a major Alaska lands bill strongly opposed in that state. Congress passed a revised version of the bill in 1980 incorporating most of these national monuments into national parks and preserves, but the act also curtailed further use of the proclamation authority in Alaska.
The proclamation authority was not used again anywhere until 1996, when President Bill Clinton proclaimed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. This action was widely unpopular in Utah, and bills were introduced to further restrict the president's authority. To date none of them have been enacted. The 16 national monuments created by President Clinton are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, not by the National Park Service.
Presidents have used the Antiquities Act's proclamation authority not just to create new national monuments but to enlarge existing ones. A few examples: Franklin D. Roosevelt significantly enlarged Dinosaur National Monument in 1938, Lyndon B. Johnson added Ellis Island to Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1965, and Jimmy Carter made major additions to Glacier Bay and Katmai National Monuments in 1978.
United States national monuments
The following is a partial list of national monuments, in order of establishment, under the agency that operates it:
- (see List of U.S. national parks for full list.)
- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument - (1965), northwest Nebraska
- Bandelier National Monument - (1916), northern New Mexico
- Booker T. Washington National Monument - (1956), Franklin County, Virginia
- Capulin Volcano National Monument - (August 8, 1916), northeastern New Mexico
- Casa Grande Ruins National Monument - (1918), southern Arizona
- Craters of the Moon National Monument - (May 2, 1924), central Idaho
- Devils Tower National Monument - (1906), Devils Tower, Wyoming
- Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument - (November 16, 1907), southwestern New Mexico
- George Washington Carver National Monument - (July 14, 1951), first United States National Monument in honor of an African American
- Governors Island National Monument - (2003) Upper New York Bay
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument - (1975) Oregon
- Lava Beds National Monument - (November 21, 1925) northern California
- Petroglyph National Monument - (1990), next to Albuquerque, New Mexico
- Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument - 1982, southwestern Washington state
- Newberry National Volcanic Monument - (November 1990) south of Bend, Oregon
- Giant Sequoia National Monument - (April 15, 2000), central California
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (September 1996), Utah, 1,870,800 acres (7571 km²)
- Agua Fria National Monument (January, 2000), central Arizona, 71,100 acres (288 km²)
- Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument (January, 2000), Arizona, 807,881 acres (3,269 km²)
- Ironwood Forest National Monument (June 2000), Arizona, 129,022 acres (522 km²)
- Sonoran Desert National Monument (January, 2000), Arizona, 486,603 acres (1,969 km²)
- Vermilion Cliffs National Monument (November 2000), Arizona, 280,324 acres (1,134 km²)
- California Coastal National Monument (January, 2000), California 883 acres (3.6 km²)
- Carrizo Plain National Monument (January, 2001), California, 204,107 acres (826 km²)
- Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument (October, 2000), California, 86,400 acres (350 km²)
- Canyons of the Ancients National Monument (June 2000), Colorado, 163,892 acres (663 km²)
- Craters of the Moon National Monument (November 2000), Idaho, 271,847 acres (1,100 km²)
- Pompeys Pillar National Monument (January, 2001), Montana, 51 acres (0.2 km²)
- Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument (January, 2001), Montana, 374,976 acres (1,517 km²)
- Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (January, 2001), New Mexico, 4,114 acres (17 km²)
- Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (June 2000), Oregon, 52,947 acres (214 km²)
- List of U.S. National Forests
- List of U.S. National Parks (includes list of NPS-managed National Monuments)
- List of U.S. wilderness areas
- List of miscellaneous U.S. public areas
- National Monument Proclamations under the Antiquities Act (public domain text)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details