February #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover: What is a National Monument?
The Antiquities Act of 1906 was signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt, for “… the protection of objects of historic and scientific interest” through the designation of national monuments by the President and Congress. National monuments are one of the types of specially-designated areas that make up the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.
Some of the earliest national monuments included Devils Tower, the Grand Canyon, and Death Valley. They were initially protected by the War Department, then later by the National Park Service. More recently, the BLM and other Federal agencies have retained stewardship responsibilities for national monuments on public lands. In fact, the BLM manages more acres of national monuments in the continental U. S. than any other agency. This includes the largest land-based national monument, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah featured here.
National monuments under the BLM’s stewardship have yielded numerous scientific discoveries, ranging from fossils of previously unknown dinosaurs to new theories about prehistoric cultures. They provide places to view some of America’s darkest night skies, most unique wildlife, and treasured archaeological resources. In total, twenty BLM-managed national monuments, covering over five million acres, are found throughout the western U. S. and offer endless opportunities for discovery.
Photos and description by Bob Wick, BLM
Note: The #conservationlands15 Social Media Takeover is a 2015 monthly celebration of the 15th anniversary of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands.