Many documents guide the management of Arches. Those available here demonstrate how park operations are structured toward achieving the mission of the National Park Service. All require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing.
Presidential Proclamation No. 1875 signed by President Herbert Hoover on April 12, 1929, established Arches National Monument for its "gigantic arches, natural bridges, windows, spires, balanced rocks, and other unique wind-worn sandstone formations, the preservation of which is desirable because of their educational and scenic value." Only two small sections of land comprised the new monument: 2,600 acres known as "Devil's Garden" and 1,600 acres called "Windows."
Just under a decade later, a second presidential decree (No. 2312) signed November 25, 1938 by Franklin D. Roosevelt expanded the monument to preserve a contiguous 29,160 acres, "necessary for the proper care, management, and protection of the objects of scientific interest situated on the lands included."
Finally, on November 12, 1971, Congress passed Public Law 92-155, signed by President Richard Nixon, creating Arches National Park.
The park's General Management Plan was written in 1989. This plan guides the management of resources, visitor use, and general development in the park. The primary purpose of the plan is to provide a foundation from which to protect park resources while providing for meaningful visitor experiences.
In 2013, the park developed a Foundation Statement to update a shared understanding of the park's purpose, significance, resources and values. This document can serve as a foundation for future planning and management decisions.
Few visitors know that 73,312 acres of Arches National Park are recommended for wilderness designation. Although the recommendation, first submitted in 1974, has yet to be approved by Congress, the park is required to manage this area as though it were formally designated wilderness.
2009 map of recommended wilderness area