Pollution and the impacts of climate change threaten all types of land, whether public or privately owned. Even the most isolated conservation area is not protected from wildfires. Exotic species can still invade wildlife refuges, and plastic pollution litters national parks. Protected public lands aren’t even protected equally. There are many different classifications of public lands, and their protections vary widely.
The National Park Service is a federal agency within the Department of the Interior. It manages 28 different land designations including battlefields and even seashores. Although in theory, they are all national parks, not all designations receive the same level of protection.
Unlike national parks, which are created by Congressional legislation, national monuments are created by the President under the Antiquities Act…