Frequently Asked Questions

What is a national monument?
A national monument is a permanent designation for public land that can be established either by Congress or directly by the President. Only lands already owned by the American people – public lands — can be declared national monuments.

The Antiquities Act, signed into law in 1906, gives the president the authority to protect valuable public lands for conservation purposes by designating them as national monuments. To date, more than 100 national monuments have been designated by 16 presidents. They vary in size and reasons for designation, and the management of each national monument is unique, based on the language used in the proclamation establishing the monument.

What land does this national monument proposal include?
The proposed Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument includes the North Kaibab and Tusayan Ranger Districts of the Kaibab National Forest, as well as lands in the Arizona Strip — the portion of Arizona lying north of the Colorado River — that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management. All lands included in the monument proposal are already owned by the American people and are managed by US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Specific notable areas included in this proposal are House Rock Valley grasslands, the Kaibab-Paunsaugunt Wildlife Corridor, an endangered old growth forest, numerous culturally valuable areas such as Kanab Creek and Red Butte, and hundreds of seeps and springs on both the North and South Rims of Grand Canyon that provide wildlife habitat and contribute to the Grand Canyon watershed, which feeds the Colorado River.

What activities are allowed in a national monument?
National monument designation provides for continued existing activities, including public access, rights-of-way, sightseeing, mountain biking, hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, hunting, fishing, and many other activities, including traditional tribal access.

What happens to private or state lands in a national monument?
Designation does not affect private or state lands or private property rights.

Why does this area need additional protection?
Though intimately connected with the well-being of Grand Canyon National Park and the health of local communities and economies, the Grand Canyon watershed remains at risk from threats such as toxic uranium mining and the logging of old-growth forest.

Protection as a national monument will provide diverse users with ongoing recreation opportunities, such as hunting, while preventing damage from uranium mining, conserving rare old-growth forests, and preserving archaeological sites.

How will designation as a national monument affect outdoor recreation?
Designation as a national monument encourages and enhances responsible recreation practices. Current access for hunting, mountain biking, hiking, and other forms of recreation will continue and the land will continue to be managed by federal and state agencies, with a stronger focus on safeguarding monument resources.

How will designation as a national monument affect the local economy?
Across the West, research demonstrates positive growth in local communities surrounding national monuments — from personal income to rates of employment. Designation of a Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument is likewise expected to stimulate local economies and lead to the creation of new, sustainable jobs. Research on other national monuments in the area has demonstrated that monument designation increases tourism and draws new visitors. For instance, areas near Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument experienced job growth of 24 percent and 44 percent respectively after designation.

Will designation of a national monument make visiting this area more expensive?
No, fees for services and activities are established independent of the land’s designation. There is no requirement that national monuments implement new or additional fees. 

What is the difference between a national monument and a national park?
National parks are designated by Congress and generally include limits on specific activities, especially regarding commercial enterprises. National parks typically prohibit hunting, livestock grazing, and mining.  Instead, national monuments managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management generally allow many of these uses to continue. 

Will hunting be allowed on the North Kaibab after a national monument designation?
Yes, wildlife management would be conducted as it is today, based on state and federal interagency cooperation.

How will national monument status affect grazing?
Existing authorized grazing permits or leases could continue, with options for voluntary retirement of grazing permits,giving local ranchers more options as they plan for the future.

How will national monument designation affect uranium mining?
National monument designation will not affect valid existing mining claims. However, lands currently under the Bureau of Land Management’s 20-year withdrawal from mining would be permanently withdrawn, protected from mining.