Abolished Monuments

My list is a little different than the one provided by the National Park Service (NPS), but I stand by it for the reasons given on each individual page. Neither list includes the many, many monuments over the years that became National Parks or were incorporated into other National Park Service units. Over time, I may add that information to this website, but for now, those former monuments do not seem to be in any immediate danger of being eliminated.

Use the menu on the left to navigate the pages on the monuments currently on my list.

The NPS' List of 11 Abolished Monuments

Lewis and Clark Caverns National Monument (1908 - 1937)

Wheeler National Monument (1908 - 1950)

Shoshone Cavern National Monument (1909 - 1954)

Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914 - 1930)

Old Kasaan National Monument (1916 - 1955)

Verendrye National Monument (1917 - 1956)

Fossil Cycad National Monument (1922 - 1956)

Castle Pinckney National Monument (1924 - 1956)

Father Millet Cross National Monument (1925 - 1949)

Holy Cross National Monument (1929 - 1950)

Misty Fjords National Monument (1978 - 1980)

About "Abolished" National Monuments (2006)

National Park Service

Eleven national monuments have been abolished by acts of Congress. Most often, the abolishment occurred because the nationally important resources for which the monument was established originally became diminished or were found to be of less than national significance. In these cases, the federal government transferred the areas to state or local governments, or incorporated them into existing federal land units.


Glimpses of Our National Monuments (1930)

National Park Service

A fascinating look at the National Monuments in 1930, including entries on several of the abolished monuments, and others that have since been incorporated into other NPS units.


Pruning the Parks: Six National Parks Acquired via Transfer in 1933 Were Subsequently Abolished

National Parks Traveler

The National Park System grew by 69 units via the Reorganization of 1933, which was signed August 10, 1933. However, six of the “1933T” (1933 transfer) national parks were subsequently abolished.

Among the 12 natural area parks and 57 historical parks transferred to the National Park System via the Reorganization of 1933 were various parks that, for one reason or another, did not belong in the system. It took time to sort this out. The first pruning of the 1933T parks occurred in 1944, and by 1956 five more had been delisted.


Gone and Mostly Forgotten: 26 Abolished National Parks

National Parks Traveler

As of this writing, there are 397 national parks -- or as some might prefer to say, 397 National Park System units. The National Park System would be even larger had it not been for a bit of pruning here and there over the decades.

Let's first make it clear what pruning is not. At least ten sites initially authorized for national park status were subsequently removed from consideration without ever having been assigned to the National Park Service for administration, These sites were not pruned national parks in the strictest sense, since the sites were never part of the system. Thirty-four additional sites or areas, including a National Park-designated one (Platt National Park ), once had independent identities but subsequently became administrative components of national parks bearing other names. Since all of these sites have remained within the National Park System, we cannot fairly say that they have been pruned either.

Here is what we mean by pruning. During the period 1895-2004, 26 sites or areas with independent national park-authorized identities ended up being abolished and either transferred outside the National Park System for administration or simply delisted. Whether you call them abolished, decommissioned, or delisted, these 26 sites or areas have been removed from the National Park System. They are the pruned national parks.

We've posted articles about all 26 of the pruned parks in the Traveler. To learn more about these sites, why they were pruned, and what subsequently happened to them, click on the links below.