Surprise Arch at Arches National Park, Utah
Jacob W. Smith Photography, flickr
In honor of its birthday, we have chosen Arches National Park in Utah as our Friday mystery photo. Arches was actually first established as a national monument on April 12, 1929.
It wasn't until 1971 that Arches gained its national park designation.
National monuments are an important land designation and The Wilderness Society supports local conservation groups in gaining monument designations for special wildlands.
Many other beloved national parks, including the Grand Canyon, began as national monuments. But can you imagine if no one had the foresight to have protected them?
Right now, the president can create new monuments by using the Antiquities Act, but unfortunately, a vocal group in Congress has been seeking to undermine the president's ability to use the act.