History & Culture

National Parks and National Monuments: There is a (slight) Difference...

 
Highway Entrance sign to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a Bioshpere Reserve

Entrance to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

NPS Photo/ Craig Stocks

Citing authority granted to him by the Antiquities Act of 1906, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument on April 13, 1937. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was created as a way to preserve a representative area of the Sonoran Desert. The new monument was part of a movement in the National Parks to protect not just scenic wonders but also the ecological wonders of the country.

National Parks and National Monuments are both administered by the National Park Service, and are identical in their function and purpose. Both are types of federally protected lands, and share the common goal of preserving and protecting significant natural and cultural resources.

The major difference between a national park and a national monument is the manner in which they are created. A national park is established through an Act of Congress, and the land may originate from a variety of sources, including public and private land. A national monument is established by Presidential proclamation, and this land is to be taken only from existing public (federal) ownership.

Use the links in the navigation at left to explore the history and culture of Organ Pipe Cactus.

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