National Monuments

Cabrillo National Monument, California, established in 1939 represents the landing site of the first European explorers on the west coast.

National monuments moderately differ from national parks in that their establishment does not need the approval by Congress, but are rather given their status through executive order of the president. The various monuments throughout the country are also managed by other governmental agencies besides the National Park Service; the U.S. Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management all do their part in preserving the cultural heritage of national monuments. The decision to allow the president to restrict publicly owned lands started with Theodore Roosevelt and was originally intended to preserve historic Indian sites. National monument status protects large and small areas but does not offer the same financial capabilities of national parks.