The existing national monuments in the county – Natural Bridges, Hovenweep, and Rainbow Bridge – are managed by the National Park Service.
Natural Bridges was created by President Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 as the eighth national monument created using the Antiquities Act of 1906. Natural Bridges contains 91,184 acres of federal land and is now totally enveloped in the new Bears Ears National Monument.
Rainbow Bridge National Monument was created by President William Howard Taft in 1910. It covers 160 acres and was the twelfth national monument created using the Antiquities Act.
Hovenweep National Monument was created in 1923 by President Warren G. Harding. Hovenweep contains 784 acres. Hovenweep is the 25th national monument created using the Antiquities Act.
The new national monument is similar in many respects to the Grand Staircase of the Escalante National Monument. It was created in 1996 by President Bill Clinton. The 1.88 million acre monument, adjacent to San Juan County in Garfield and Kane counties, is the first national monument to be administered by the BLM.
Another national monument near San Juan County is Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado. It was created by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and covers 176,056 acres of federal land adjacent to San Juan County in Montezuma and Dolores counties.
While existing oil, gas, and mining operations within the monument are not prohibited, no new mineral leases, mining claims, prospecting or exploration activities, and oil, gas, and geothermal leases will be allowed.
Similarly, the BLM and Forest Service will continue to manage grazing permits in the monument. Fish and wildlife management within the monument will continue to be managed by the State of Utah.