On October 26, 1976, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument was designated an International Biosphere Reserve. International Biosphere Reserves are a project of the Man and the Biosphere program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Reserves are protected samples of the world's major ecosystem types. These sites are standards against which we can measure human impact on our environment and predict its probable effects. There are now over 190 reserves in 50 countries.
In 2001 Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (specifically Quitobaquito Springs) and nearby Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge were declared Globally Important Bird Areas (IBA) by the American Bird Conservancy. IBAs are of critical importance to migratory birds, as they provide food, water and shelter for migratory stopovers, and further provide nesting spots for seasonal residents such as the vermillion flycatcher and endangered Bell’s Least Vireo.
Also on October 26, 1976, Congress designated 95% of Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument lands as wilderness. These are semi-pristine lands: no roads, no permanent structures, areas where Man is a visitor who does not remain….
In 1978 Quitobaquito Springs was placed on National Register of Historic Places.