The proposal by Representative Farr to shift Giant Sequoia National Monument from the the Forest Service care to the National Park Service introduces a question to ponder –
What is the difference between a National Forest, National Monument and a National Park?
Below is an excerpt from a Forest Service document “FOREST, MONUMENT, OR PARK?” providing a brief description of the differences.
National Forests, managed under a “multiple use” concept, provide services and commodities that may include lumber, livestock grazing, minerals, and recreation with and without vehicles. Forest employees work for the U.S. Forest Service, an agency in the Department of Agriculture. The U.S. Forest Service was created in 1905.
National Monuments can be managed by any of three different agencies: the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, or the Bureau of Land Management. They are created by presidential proclamation and all seek to protect specific natural or cultural features. Giant Sequoia National Monument is managed by the U.S. Forest Service and is part of Sequoia National Forest. It was created by former President Bill Clinton in April of 2000.
National Parks strive to keep landscapes unimpaired for future generations. They protect natural and historic features while offering light-on-the-land recreation. Park employees work for the National Park Service, part of the Department of the Interior. The National Park Service was created in 1916.
Forests, Monuments, and Parks may have different rules in order to meet their goals. Read “Where can I…” below to check out what activities are permitted where within the Sequoia National Forest, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Despite confusion over names, these areas provide a wide range of opportunities.