The monument contains regionally representative natural and cultural landscapes, as well as examples of geological processes that have and continue to shape the Pacific Northwest.  Some of its more recent (neontological) values are significant at the regional and local levels.  The John Day River, for example, is regionally significant as a recreational resource. A large portion of the drainage (including a part close to the Clarno Unit) has been designated as a federal Wild and Scenic River, as well as a state scenic waterway. 
Locally significant natural resources within the monument's boundaries include representative fauna such as raptors, coyotes, deer, and native fish. Lands embraced by the Congressionally-authorized boundaries may also act as refugia for sensitive or representative flora. As a mosaic of pastoral and comparatively undisturbed landscapes, the monument has been a staging ground for ongoing natural resource management programs which include riparian restoration efforts and a prescribed fire program. Two localities encompassing some 600 acres in the Sheep Rock Unit have been identified as possible research natural areas, but this nomination has not yet resulted in formal designation. 
At least one pictograph located in the monument's Sheep Rock Unit has continuing ethnographic significance to members of the Wasco and other Indian tribes. No formal assessment of these features has been made though the need for study has been identified.  The extent and significance of other prehistoric cultural resources within the boundaries of the monument, such as archeological sites, are still largely unknown.
The National Park Service has made some efforts to document the monument's historic resources, most notably at the locally significant Cant Ranch complex, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In addition, the Kam Wah Chung Museum, administered by the municipality of John Day and on the National Register, has been periodically suggested as an affiliated site. This museum is at least regionally significant, and awaits formal evaluation as a National Historic Landmark because of its exceptional ability to convey the Chinese role on the western American mining frontier. 
Last Updated: 30-Apr-2002