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Antiquities Act of 1906: Protecting America’s Natural, Historic, and Cultural Treasures for Future Generations

The year 2006 marks the centennial anniversary of the Antiquities Act of 1906 – the law that gives the president the power to designate national monuments. Beginning with Teddy Roosevelt, 14 of the past 17 presidents have used the Antiquities Act to protect over one hundred special places.

The one hundred- year anniversary of this vitally important preservation tool is a time to celebrate the beloved lands that were protected as national monuments – places like Arizona’s Grand Canyon (1908) and Montana’s Upper Missouri River Breaks (2001).

This is also a time to re-examine America’s commitment to these unique public lands, because America’s newest national monuments are at a crossroads. In 2000 and 2001, the Antiquities Act was used to designate twelve national monuments on lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The National Landscape Conservation System was created to encompass and protect these monuments and other hidden treasures under the care of the BLM. But these national treasures still face tremendous threats – and you can help protect them.

Facts: Antiquities Act of 1906 and the National Landscape Conservation System PDF File

The Antiquities Act: A Century of Protecting America's Natural and Cultural Treasures PDF File

Archaeology Magazine, “A Visionary Act” March 20, 2006

Preservation Magazine, “Stealing Beauty: The West’s common lands need real defenders,” May/June 2006

Preservation Magazine, “In the Beginning: At 100, the Antiquities Act has proven its worth,” May/June 2006