On June 8, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Antiquities Act into law, which authorized all future presidents to protect historic landmarks or objects of “scientific interest” on public lands as national monuments.
While most national monuments are established by the President, Congress also has established national monuments protecting natural or historic features. Since 1906, the President and Congress have created more than 100 national monuments. They are currently managed by multiple agencies, including the National Park Service, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.
The photo collection here reflects the diversity and beauty of the BLM-managed national monuments, a part of the BLM’s National Conservation Lands. Photos by Bob Wick, BLM Wilderness Specialist.
The California Desert is certainly full of surprises. I took this photo on BLM lands in the Silurian Valley in the very dry floodplain of Salt Creek. Seeing that this is a major drought year, I was completely surprised to see anything blooming anywhere, let alone in one of the driest parts of the desert, not far from Death Valley. There was a flash flood here last summer and that must have added enough moisture to allow the flowers to sprout.
This is a beautiful valley that drains north into the Amargosa Wild and Scenic River. The lower part of Salt Creek (about 10 miles north of here) is perennial and provides great wildlife habitat (especially birds) so is an Area of Critical of Environmental Concern (ACEC). Once you get away from the highway, the area looks much the way it did when the Old Spanish Trail was the main thoroughfare through the area.