National Monument

A brown wooden welcome sign with the NPS Arrowhead reads "Welcome to Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument"
The Welcome to Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument sign at the southern entrance.

NPS Photo / Alyssa Mattei

What is a “national monument” established by the President?

A “national monument” established by the President protects “objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated on lands owned or controlled by the Federal Government” (54 U.S.C. § 320301, known as the Antiquities Act). If the national monument is administered by the National Park Service (NPS), as many national monuments are, it is subject to the same laws and policies as govern other units of the National Park System. Thus, an NPS national monument established by the President is a protected area similar to a national park, administered for the protection and enjoyment of its resources and values.

How does an area become a national monument?

To be established by the President, the area must meet the criteria of the Antiquities Act (54 U.S.C § 320301), including having objects of historic or scientific interest located on land already owned or controlled by the Federal government. The views of the public are carefully considered in the process. National monuments can also be created by Congress under their own enabling statutes, rather than the Antiquities Act. National monuments can be administered by Federal agencies other than NPS. The Presidential proclamation or Congressionally-enacted statute creating the national monument typically indicates which Federal agency will administer it.

What constitutes Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument National Monument?

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument encompasses 87,500 acres in Penobscot County, Maine and is made up of 13 parcels of land donated by Elliotsville Plantation Inc. & Roxanne Quimby, owner of Burt’s Bees. It is a monument in progress with limited services, and in the coming years services will be added to the monument in cooperation with our partners.

What happens now that the area has been designated a national monument?

The National Park Service is beginning to work on the development of a management plan, to ensure that the new national monument preserves the site’s resources and provides for an outstanding visitor experience. The National Park Service’s planning for the new park will be done with full public involvement. Open houses and public meetings will be held to discuss the management plan and invite the public to share ideas for the future of the monument.

Learn more about park name designations.

Last updated: August 22, 2023

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