Antiquities Act : NPS Takes Control

The National Park Service was created 10 years after the Antiquities Act was signed into law by Teddy Roosevelt. That may leave you wondering "who was managing these Monuments before the NPS, and when did management shift over to the NPS? " The answer is explained in a very good article which appears in the online version of "Archaeology". I have included part of the article below:

A Visionary Act by Kris Hirst
Who's in Charge?
One of the questions associated with the Antiquities Act since the beginning, and indeed part of the original debate, has been which agency should be responsible for the management of the monuments created by the president. Although the Antiquities Act did not specify who would manage the properties, the implications of the permitting process in Section 3 are that management of the monuments would be under the jurisdiction of the governmental agency that owned the property prior to the monument designation--specifically, the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and War. ... However, by 1916, it was clear that neither the Department of War nor the Department of Agriculture were truly suited to manage properties they could not use in their normal course of operations, and the National Park Service was created that year in part for that purpose. However, the U.S. Forest Service (as part of the Department of Agriculture) still maintained control over monuments in its purview, and continued to do so for monuments named between 1916 and 1933. In 1933, Congress granted President Franklin Roosevelt the authority to transfer jurisdiction of properties, and he signed Executive Order 6166 transferring administrative functions of "public buildings, reservations, national parks, national monuments and national cemeteries" over to the National Park Service, moving many monuments from within the Forest Service into its jurisdiction. Between 1933 and 1978, the management of all the National Monuments created by the presidents lay within the responsibility of the Park Service.

To give you a sense of the level of responsibility this placed on the National Park Service, take a look at the long list of National Monuments that have been created by Presidents or the Congress since 1906. [NPS Monument List, near bottom of page after main article]. As a sample, I have copied the list from Teddy Roosevelt's administration below:

Theodore Roosevelt
09/24/06 - Devils Tower, WY*
12/08/06 - El Morro, NM*
12/08/06 - Montezuma Castle, AZ*
12/08/06 - Petrified Forest, AZ
03/11/07 - Chaco Canyon (now Chaco Culture), NM
05/06/07 - Cinder Cone (now part of Lassen Volcanic NP), CA
05/06/07 - Lassen Peak (now Lassen Volcanic NP), CA
11/16/07 - Gila Cliff Dwellings, NM*
12/19/07 - Tonto, AZ*
01/09/08 - Muir Woods, CA*
01/11/08 - Grand Canyon, AZ
01/16/08 - Pinnacles, CA*
02/07/08 - Jewel Cave, SD*
04/16/08 - Natural Bridges, UT*
05/11/08 - Lewis and Clark Cavern, MT
09/15/08 - Tumacacori, AZ
12/07/08 - Wheeler, CO
03/02/09 - Mount Olympus (now Olympic NP), WA
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