Margi Brooks of the National Natural Landmarks Program was on hand at the recent BioBlitz in Saguaro National Park to promote an extensive system of natural heritage preservation that not many Americans know about.
The National Natural Landmarks Program was started in 1962, so getting ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary, Brooks told me. It’s a program the National Park Service manages, and the designations of National Natural Landmarks are done by the Secretary of the Interior. “The designations recognize outstanding natural areas that may be private, public … sites owned by states, tribes, municipalities,” Brooks explained. There are 591 in all.
The benefit of designation of an outstanding resource as a National Natural Landmark is recognition, technical support, and National park Service support for conservation of the site, Brooks said. Anyone can apply for the designation of a specific area; details are on the National Natural Landmarks website.