After the Department of State announced that the US will be withdrawing from UNESCO as a member, we thought it would a good idea to remind you where you can find America’s World Heritage Sites.

Since 1978, UNESCO has established 23 cultural and historic sites within the US. Most of these sites are also National Parks, so it is unlikely that they will encounter any immediate negative affects. This is also not the first time the US has left UNESCO: President Reagan withdrew from the organization in 1984, while the Obama administration cut off payments to the organization in 2011. Both these administrations and others have cited “anti-Israel bias” as a cause for criticism. But by giving up UNESCO membership, the US is forfeiting its obligation to fund the protection of other sites across the globe, including sites at risk from climate change and warfare.

Founded in 1945, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established to, “contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information”, according to its website.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites span every corner of the US, from San Juan to Hawaii, California to Virginia, and we at Matador feel lucky to have every one of them.

1. Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado

2. Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

Photo: 12019

3. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Yukon, Alaska

4. Grand Canyon National Park in northern Arizona

5. Everglades National Park in southern Florida

(the only “in danger” UNESCO site in the US)

Photo: Skeeze

6. Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo: skeeze

7. Redwoods National and State Parks in Humboldt County, California

Photo: 12019

8. Mammoth Cave National Park in central Kentucky

Photo: NPS Photo

9. Olympic National Park in northwestern Washington

10. Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina

Photo: Broesis

11. La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Photo: Zarelho

12. Statue of Liberty National Monument in New York, New York

Photo: StockSnap

13. Yosemite National Park in Madera County, California

Photo: 12019

14. Chaco Culture National Historic Park in San Juan County, New Mexico

Photo: 12019

15. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii County, Hawaii

Photo: Skeeze

16. Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia

Photo: Skeeze

17. Taos Pueblo in Taos, New Mexico

18. Carlsbad Caverns National Park in Eddy County, New Mexico

Photo: Martin Str

19. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park in Glacier County, Montana

Photo: Pixel1

20. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument in Hawaii and Midway Atoll

21. San Antonio Missions in San Antonio, Texas

Photo: Skeeze

22. Cahokia in St. Clair County, Illinois

23. Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point in West Carroll Parish, Louisiana

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