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National Monuments

What is a National Monument?

The Antiquities Act of 1906 gave U.S. Presidents the ability to declare an area to be a national monument. In the over 100 years of this act, seventeen U.S. Presidents have declared over 140 national monuments under the Act; eight Republicans and nine Democrats. 

Part of the process of making an area a national monument is the management plan for the area, which determines what the area is able to be used for recreationally. Each national monument proclamation is different because they are based on the natural resources and landscape of the area they're in. Each plan identifies the values that are to be protected for that specific area including fish, wildlife, hunting, angling., and cultural sites. Uses that were allowed before a monument is created are typically allowed after a monument is created.

How are National Monuments Different Than Other Public Lands?

Though national monuments are a type of public land, they are far more flexible in their management plan than Wilderness Areas or National Parks are.

National monument designations apply only to the existing public lands that already belong to all Americans. They prevent future actions like land swaps that would be damaging to wildlife and open places. For those reasons, National Monuments are an effective conservation tool for protecting our hunting and angling heritage for future generations.

Facts about National Monuments:

  • Many monuments allow traditional usage to continue including hunting and fishing
  • The agency managing the monument is required by law to involve the public in the development of the management plan, including consultation with tribal, state, and local governments
  • A president or congress can only create national monuments from land that is already owned by the federal government
  • A designation typically doesn’t change who manages public lands, only what features will be conserved
  • Regions surrounding national monuments have seen continued growth or improvement in employment, personal income and increased per-capita income after the designation of a monument\

Arizona has 18 different national monuments — all of which protect wildlife, land, cultural and natural resources and many of which ensure future access for outdoor recreational activities.

A New National Monument:

Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument

On April 11th, 2023, 11 tribes, supported by Representative Raul M. Grijalva and Senator Kyrsten Sinema, called on POTUS to designate Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument in northern Arizona.

A national monument designation would prevent further contamination of springs and streams that feed into larger bodies of water like the Colorado River. Additionally, this designation would ensure continued outdoor recreation, healthy wildlife and communities, and the conservation of cultural resources in the area.

The Arizona Wildlife Federation has been a supporter and advocate for protecting this area of the Grand Canyon from uranium mining. A national monument designation would do just that.

We are urging the President to designate 1.1 million acres adjacent to the National Park of the Grand Canyon as a national monument and we encourage you to do the same.

Send the email below to President Biden below to show your support for the Baaj Nwaavjo I'tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument

Letter to be sent:

Arizona is blessed to be an outdoor recreation and sporting paradise, and the area around the Grand Canyon is simply too precious to risk with toxic uranium mining.  

I support the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon Monument. This monument proposal honors the rights and privileges of Arizona’s Native American tribes, recognizes the importance of hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation, and still allows for responsible timber harvesting and grazing. 

The same unique hydrology and geology that created the majesty of the Grand Canyon make this area particularly vulnerable. Toxic uranium mining in an area with these complexities poses a serious risk to our natural resources, the economy of Northern Arizona, and all the communities that depend on Colorado River water.  

Mr. President, please designate the 1.1-million-acre Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument and permanently protect the water and habitat of this iconic landscape.

Western National Monuments Where You Can Hunt and Fish

Protecting wildlife and their habitats through education, inspiration, advocacy, and action since 1923


Arizona Wildlife Federation

PO Box 1182,  Mesa, AZ 85211
(480) 702-1365


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