What is a national monument?
Arizona is filled with 18 spectacular and significant national
monuments-more than any other state. Monumental Arizona offers
a breathtaking aerial journey over these federally protected areas.
How is a national monument different from a national park? The National
Park Service, which manages most of them, says that monuments and parks
differ primarily in the reason why they were established. A national monument
is created because it contains objects of historic, prehistoric or scientific
interest. Its size is unimportant. A national park is usually set aside
because of its outstanding scenery or natural phenomena-like Old Faithful
in Yellowstone National Park. Also, a park is often larger to support
many different uses and visitors. Another difference is that a national
park must be created by an act of Congress. But a national monument can
be created either by Congress or the president of the United States. Since
1906, under the Antiquities Act, U.S. Presidents have named a combined
total of nearly 100 monuments.
Several national parks began as national monuments-Grand Canyon and Saguaro,
for example here in Arizona. Currently, there are 92 national monuments
in the U.S. -18 are located within Arizona. Of Arizona's monuments, 13
are managed by the National Park Service, four by the Bureau of Land Management
and one is managed jointly by both. In Arizona, the five monuments managed
by the BLM were recently designated by President Bill Clinton at the urging
of former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, a native Arizonan.
Monumental Arizona was made possible by the Kemper and Ethel Marley
Foundation and by the KAET Program Partners, Friends of Channel 8 who
provide additional gifts for programs about the Arizona experience.