The National Monument

At the close of the nineteenth century, men such as Join Muir, Gifford Pinchot, and Stephen Mather were pressing for protection of America's natural resources and beauty. Their efforts led President Harrison to set aside the first National Forest Reserves, including Grand Canyon Forest Reserve in 1893. President Theodore Roosevelt was one of the earlier visitors to the Grand Canyon, and his visit helped fuel his growing opinion that the United States needed to preserve places such as Grand Canyon as the common heritage of all the people. In 1908 President Roosevelt proclaimed Grand Canyon National Monument, taking advantage of a new law allowing the president to establish preserves to protect antiquities.