National monument (United States)
In the United States, a national monument is a protected area that can be created from any land owned or controlled by the federal government by proclamation of the President of the United States or an act of Congress. National monuments protect a wide variety of natural and historic resources, including sites of geologic, marine, archaeological, and cultural importance. In contrast, national parks in the U.S. must be created by Congressional legislation. Some national monuments were first created by presidential action and later designated as national parks by congressional approval.
The 129 national monuments are managed by several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (in the case of marine national monuments). Historically, some national monuments were managed by the War Department.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives presidents the power to proclaim national monuments by executive action. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first U.S. national monument.