National Park Service

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Encyclopedia
The National Park Service (NPS) is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments
U.S. National Monument
A National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress. National monuments receive less funding and...

, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 through the National Park Service Organic Act.

It is an agency
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 of the United States Department of the Interior
United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

, a federal executive department
United States Federal Executive Departments
The United States federal executive departments are among the oldest primary units of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States—the Departments of State, War, and the Treasury all being established within a few weeks of each other in 1789.Federal executive...

 whose head, the Secretary of the Interior
United States Secretary of the Interior
The United States Secretary of the Interior is the head of the United States Department of the Interior.The US Department of the Interior should not be confused with the concept of Ministries of the Interior as used in other countries...

, is a Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 officer nominated by the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 and confirmed
Advice and consent
Advice and consent is an English phrase frequently used in enacting formulae of bills and in other legal or constitutional contexts, describing a situation in which the executive branch of a government enacts something previously approved of by the legislative branch.-General:The expression is...

 by the Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. Most of the direct management of the NPS is delegated by the Secretary to the National Park Service Director, who must also be confirmed by the Senate.

The 21,989 employees of the NPS oversee units, of which 58 are designated national parks.

History


National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior. The movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate
Business magnate
A business magnate, sometimes referred to as a capitalist, czar, mogul, tycoon, baron, oligarch, or industrialist, is an informal term used to refer to an entrepreneur who has reached prominence and derived a notable amount of wealth from a particular industry .-Etymology:The word magnate itself...

 and conservationist
Conservation movement
The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

 Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland
J. Horace McFarland
J. Horace McFarland from McAlisterville, Pennsylvania was a leading proponent of the "City Beautiful Movement" in the United States....

. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard
Robert Sterling Yard
Robert Sterling Yard was an American writer, journalist, and wilderness activist. Born in Haverstraw, New York, Yard graduated from Princeton University and spent the first twenty years of his career in the editing and publishing business...

, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior
United States Department of the Interior
The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

. They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational, inspirational, and recreational benefits. This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 signed a bill that mandated the agency "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.

On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover
Herbert Hoover
Herbert Clark Hoover was the 31st President of the United States . Hoover was originally a professional mining engineer and author. As the United States Secretary of Commerce in the 1920s under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, he promoted partnerships between government and business...

 signed the Reorganization Act of 1933. The act would allow the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. It wasn't until later that summer when the new President, Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright
Horace M. Albright
Horace Marden Albright was an American conservationist.Horace Albright was born 1890 in Bishop, California, the son of George Albright, a miner. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1912 , and earned a law degree from Georgetown University...

 had suggested to President Roosevelt that the historic sites from the American Civil War should be managed by the National Park Service, rather than the War Department. President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to make it happen. These two executive orders not only transferred to the National Park Service all the War Department historic sites, but also the national monuments managed by the Department of Agriculture and the parks in and around the capital, which had been run by an independent office.
In 1951, Conrad Wirth
Conrad Wirth
Conrad L. Wirth was an American administrator. He served as the director of the National Park Service between 1951 and 1964....

 became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected. The demand for parks after the end of the World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower was the 34th President of the United States, from 1953 until 1961. He was a five-star general in the United States Army...

, he began Mission 66
Mission 66
Mission 66 was a US National Park Service ten-year program that was intended to dramatically expand Park Service visitor services by 1966, in time for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Park Service....

, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded.

In 1966, as the Park Service turned 50 years old, emphasis began to turn from just saving great and wonderful scenery and unique natural features to making parks accessible to the public. Director George Hartzog
George B. Hartzog, Jr.
George B. Hartzog, Jr. was an American attorney and Director of the National Park Service. Admitted to the bar in South Carolina in 1942, he became an attorney for the General Land Office in the Department of the Interior in 1945, and six months later transferred to the National Park Service.He...

 began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores
United States National Lakeshore
The United States has ten protected areas known as national seashores and four known as national lakeshores, which are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National seashores and lakeshores must be established by an act of the United States Congress...

 and then National Recreation Area
National Recreation Area
National Recreation Area is a designation for a protected area in the United States, often centered on large reservoirs and emphasizing water-based recreation for a large number of people. The first National Recreation Area was the Boulder Dam Recreation Area...

s. By the end of the Twentieth Century, numerous National Heritage Areas were spread across the nation, preserving local parks for local people.

Directors


Name Term of Office
Start End
1 Stephen Mather  May 16, 1917 January 8, 1929
2 Horace M. Albright
Horace M. Albright
Horace Marden Albright was an American conservationist.Horace Albright was born 1890 in Bishop, California, the son of George Albright, a miner. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley in 1912 , and earned a law degree from Georgetown University...

 
January 12, 1929 August 9, 1933
3 Arno B. Cammerer
Arno B. Cammerer
Arno Berthold Cammerer was the third director of the U.S. National Park Service.Cammerer was born in Arapahoe, Nebraska in 1883. He was the son of a Lutheran pastor. He went to Washington, D.C in 1904 to work as a civil service bookkeeper, and earned a Bachelor of Law degree at Georgetown Law...

 
August 10, 1933 August 9, 1940
4 Newton B. Drury
Newton B. Drury
Newton Bishop Drury was the fourth director of the American National Park Service and the executive director of the Save-the-Redwoods League.-Early life and career:...

 
August 20, 1940 March 31, 1951
5 Arthur E. Demaray
Arthur E. Demaray
Arthur Edward Demaray was an American administrator and brief Director of the National Park Service....

 
April 1, 1951 December 8, 1951
6 Conrad L. Wirth  December 9, 1951 January 7, 1964
7 George B. Hartzog, Jr.
George B. Hartzog, Jr.
George B. Hartzog, Jr. was an American attorney and Director of the National Park Service. Admitted to the bar in South Carolina in 1942, he became an attorney for the General Land Office in the Department of the Interior in 1945, and six months later transferred to the National Park Service.He...

 
January 9, 1964 December 31, 1972
8 Ronald H. Walker
Ronald H. Walker
Ronald H. Walker is an American executive. Walker served in the administration of President Richard Nixon, first as the first Director of the White House Office of Presidential Advance, and later as Director of the National Park Service...

 
January 7, 1973 January 3, 1975
9 Gary Everhardt
Gary Everhardt
Gary E. Everhardt was the ninth Director of the US National Park Service . He began his NPS career as an engineer in 1957 and rose to the superintendency of Grand Teton National Park in 1972. Favorable notice there propelled him to the directorship in January 1975...

 
January 13, 1975 May 27, 1977
10 William J. Whalen
William J. Whalen
William Jerome Whalen III was the 10th director of the United States National Park Service. He joined Park Service in 1965 as a Job Corps counselor and advanced to posts in National Capital Parks and Yosemite before becoming superintendent of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1972...

 
July 5, 1977 May 13, 1980
11 Russell E. Dickenson
Russell E. Dickenson
Russell Errett Dickenson began his NPS career as a ranger at Grand Canyon National Park in 1946 and served in a wide range of park and central office assignments — most prominently as head of National Capital Parks, deputy director, and Pacific Northwest regional director — before ascending to the...

 
May 15, 1980 March 3, 1985
12 William Penn Mott, Jr.
William Penn Mott, Jr.
William Penn Mott, Jr. , worked for the NPS as a landscape architect from 1933 to 1940 but devoted most of his later career to California's local and state parks.-Early career:...

 
May 17, 1985 April 16, 1989
13 James M. Ridenour
James M. Ridenour
James Michael Ridenour was the director of the National Park Service. He served as director of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for eight years before becoming NPS director in April 1989. Director Rindenour was not willing to accept additions to the system simply for local economic...

 
April 17, 1989 January 20, 1993
14 Roger G. Kennedy
Roger G. Kennedy
Roger George Kennedy was an American polymath whose career included banking, television production, historical writing, and museum administration, the last as director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, before the Clinton administration selected him to head the...

 
June 1, 1993 March 29, 1997
15 Robert Stanton  August 4, 1997 January 2001
16 Fran P. Mainella
Fran P. Mainella
Frances P. Mainella was the 16th Director of the National Park Service of the United States and first woman to hold that position. She was appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001. She announced her retirement in July 2006 and resigned effective October 15,...

 
July 18, 2001 October 15, 2006
17 Mary A. Bomar
Mary A. Bomar
Mary Amelia Bomar was the 17th Director of the National Park Service of the United States. Raised in Leicester, England, Bomar became a U.S. citizen in 1977. On September 5, 2006, she was nominated by George W. Bush as the Director of the National Park Service, succeeding Fran P. Mainella...

 
October 17, 2006 January 20, 2009
18 Jonathan Jarvis
Jonathan Jarvis
Jonathan B. Jarvis is the 18th Director of the United States National Park Service, confirmed by the United States Senate on September 25, 2009. He was serving as regional director for the Pacific West Region when, on July 10, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Jarvis for the directorship...

 
September 24, 2009 incumbent

National Park System



National Park System is a term that describes the collection of all units managed by the National Park Service. The title or designation of a unit need not include the term park; indeed, most do not. The system encompasses approximately 84.4 million acre
Acre
The acre is a unit of area in a number of different systems, including the imperial and U.S. customary systems. The most commonly used acres today are the international acre and, in the United States, the survey acre. The most common use of the acre is to measure tracts of land.The acre is related...

s (338,000 km²), of which more than 4.3 million acres (17,000 km²) remain in private ownership. The largest unit is Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve
Wrangell–St. Elias National Park and Preserve is a United States National Park in southeastern Alaska. It was established in 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park area is included in an International Biosphere Reserve and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

, Alaska. At 13,200,000 acres (53,000 km²), it is over 16 percent of the entire system. The smallest unit in the system is Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial
Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, at 301 Pine Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, preserves the home of Tadeusz Kościuszko...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, at 0.02 acre (80 m²).

The National Park System (NPS) includes all properties managed by the National Park Service (also, confusingly, "NPS"). The System as a whole is considered to be a national treasure
National treasure
The idea of national treasure, like national epics and national anthems, is part of the language of Romantic nationalism, which arose in the late 18th century and 19th centuries. Nationalism is an ideology which supports the nation as the fundamental unit of human social life, which includes shared...

 of the United States, and some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

ically as "crown jewels
Crown jewels
Crown jewels are jewels or artifacts of the reigning royal family of their respective country. They belong to monarchs and are passed to the next sovereign to symbolize the right to rule. They may include crowns, sceptres, orbs, swords, rings, and other objects...

".

In addition to administering its units and other properties, the National Park Service also provides technical and financial assistance to several "affiliated areas" authorized by Congress. The largest affiliated area is New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve preserves the New Jersey Pine Barrens.The Pinelands is a unique location of historic villages and berry farms amid the vast oak-pine forests , extensive wetlands, and diverse species of plants and animals of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion...

 at 1,164,025 acres (4711 km²). The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
Benjamin Franklin National Memorial
Benjamin Franklin National Memorial — located in the rotunda of The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — features a colossal seated statue of Benjamin Franklin. The high memorial, sculpted by James Earle Fraser between 1906 and 1911, honors the writer, inventor and American...

 at less than 0.01 acres (40.5 m²).

Although all units of the National Park System in the United States are the responsibility of a single agency, they are all managed under individual pieces of authorizing legislation or, in the case of national monuments created under the Antiquities Act
Antiquities Act
The Antiquities Act of 1906, officially An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities , is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of...

, presidential proclamation. For example, because of provisons within their enabling legislation, Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park
Congaree National Park preserves the largest tract of old growth bottomland hardwood forest left in the United States. Located in South Carolina, the 26,546-acre national park received that designation in 2003 as the culmination of a grassroots campaign which had started in 1969...

 is almost entirely wilderness area
National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed land areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. It was established by the Wilderness Act upon the signature of President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964...

, yet Yosemite allows unique developments such as the Badger Pass Ski Area
Badger Pass Ski Area
Badger Pass Ski Area is a small ski area located within Yosemite National Park. Badger Pass is one of only three lift serviced ski areas operating in a US National Park...

 and the O'Shaughnessy Dam
O'Shaughnessy Dam
The O'Shaughnessy Dam is a curved gravity dam on the Tuolumne River in the Hetch Hetchy Valley of California's Sierra Nevada. The dam is located in Yosemite National Park, and creates the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. It is named for former San Francisco chief engineer and the original chief engineer of...

 within its boundaries. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the U.S. states of California and Nevada located east of the Sierra Nevada in the arid Great Basin of the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes,...

 has an active mine legislated within its boundaries. Such irregularities would not be found in other parks unless specifically provided for by the legislation that created them.

Many parks charge an entrance fee ranging from US$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

3 to $25 per week. Visitors can buy a federal interagency annual pass, known as the "America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass," allowing unlimited entry to federal fee areas (USDA Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service
United States Fish and Wildlife Service
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal government agency within the United States Department of the Interior dedicated to the management of fish, wildlife, and natural habitats...

, Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers America's public lands, totaling approximately , or one-eighth of the landmass of the country. The BLM also manages of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal, state and private...

, and Bureau of Reclamation
United States Bureau of Reclamation
The United States Bureau of Reclamation , and formerly the United States Reclamation Service , is an agency under the U.S...

) for $80 per year. This pass applies to entry fees only. Other applicable fees, such as camping, and backcountry access, still apply. U.S. citizens who are 62+ years old may purchase a version with the same privileges for $10, and citizens with permanent disabilities may receive a free version.

National Parks





Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 58.

Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

 was the first national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

 in the United States. In 1872, there was no state government
State government
A state government is the government of a subnational entity in a federal form of government, which shares political power with the federal or national government. A state government may have some level of political autonomy, or be subject to the direct control of the federal government...

 to manage it, so the federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

 began as a state park
State park
State parks are parks or other protected areas managed at the federated state level within those nations which use "state" as a political subdivision. State parks are typically established by a state to preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or recreational...

; the land for the park was donated by the federal government to the state of California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 in 1864 for perpetual conservation. Yosemite was later returned to federal ownership.

At first, each national park was managed independently, with varying degrees of success. In Yellowstone, the civilian staff was replaced by the U.S. Army
Fort Yellowstone
-See also:* Grand Loop Road Historic District* Lake Fish Hatchery Historic District* Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District* North Entrance Road Historic District* Roosevelt Lodge Historic District* Old Faithful Historic District* US Post Office-Yellowstone Main...

 in 1886. Due to the irregularities in managing these national treasures, Stephen Tyng Mather petitioned the federal government to improve the situation. In response, Secretary of the Interior Franklin K. Lane
Franklin Knight Lane
Franklin Knight Lane was an American Democratic politician from California who served as United States Secretary of the Interior from 1913 to 1920...

 challenged him to lobby
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 for creating a new agency, the National Park Service, to manage all national parks and some national monuments. Mather was successful with the ratification of the National Park Service Organic Act in 1916. Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them.

National Park Service holdings


For current specifics and a multitude of information, see the Quick Facts section of the NPS website.
Type Amount
Area of land 84000000339,936.2
Area of oceans, lakes, reservoirs 450264418,222
Length of perennial rivers and streams 85049136,872.8
archeological sites
miles of shoreline 4316269,462.3
historic structures
objects in museum collections
Buildings
Trails 1225019,714.4
Roads 850013,679.4

Criteria


Most units of the National Park Service have been established by an act of Congress, with the president confirming the action by signing the act into law. The exception, under the Antiquities Act
Antiquities Act
The Antiquities Act of 1906, officially An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities , is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of...

, allows the president to designate and protect areas as National Monuments by executive order. Regardless of the method used, all parks are to be of national importance.

A potential park should meet all four of the following standards:
  • It is an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.
  • It possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of our Nation's heritage.
  • It offers superlative opportunities for recreation, for public use and enjoyment, or for scientific study.
  • It retains a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of the resource.

Special designations


Wilderness
Wilderness
Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with...

 areas
are covered by the US National Wilderness Preservation System
National Wilderness Preservation System
The National Wilderness Preservation System of the United States protects federally managed land areas designated for preservation in their natural condition. It was established by the Wilderness Act upon the signature of President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 3, 1964...

, which protects federally managed lands that are of a pristine condition. Established by the Wilderness Act
Wilderness Act
The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

 (Public Law 88-577) in 1964. The National Wilderness Preservation System originally created hundreds of wilderness zones within already protected federally administered property, consisting of over 9 million acres (36,000 km²).

Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Area
Marine Protected Areas, like any protected area, are regions in which human activity has been placed under some restrictions in the interest of conserving the natural environment, it's surrounding waters and the occupant ecosystems, and any cultural or historical resources that may require...

s
- Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the United States began with Executive Order 13158 in May 2000 when official MPAs were established for the first time. The initial listing of U.S. areas was presented in 2010, consisting of areas already set aside under other legislation. The National Park Service has 19 park units designated as MPAs.

Budget


The National Park Services budget is divided into two primary areas, discretionary and mandatory spending. Within each of these areas, there are numerous specific purposes to which Congress directs the services activities. The budget of the National Park Service includes discretionary spending which is broken out into two portions: the direct operations of the National Parks and the special initiatives. Listed separately are the special initiatives of the service for the year specified in the legislation. For Fiscal Year 2010, the service has been charged with five initiatives. They include: Stewardship and Education; Professional Excellence; Youth Programs; Climate Impacts; and Budget Restructure and Realignment.

Discretionary Spending
Discretionary spending includes the Operations of the National Parks (ONPS), from which all park operations are paid. The United States Park Police funds cover the high-profile law enforcement operations at some of the large parks; i.e., Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Scattered over Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, New York and Monmouth County, New Jersey, it provides recreational opportunities that are rare for a dense urban environment, including ocean...

, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

, and the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

. The National Recreation and Preservation Program and the Urban Park and Recreation Fund are outreach programs to support state and local outdoor recreational activities.

The ONPS section of the budget is divided into five operational areas. These areas include:

Resource Stewardship: These are funds and people directed towards the restoration, preservation, and maintenance of natural and cultural resources. The resource staff includes biologists, geologists, archeologists, preservation specialists and a variety of specialized employees to restore and preserve cultural buildings or natural features.

Visitor Services: These funds go towards providing for public programs and educational programs for the general public and school groups. This area is commonly staffed by park rangers, who are trained in providing walks, talks, and educational programs to the public. There is an increased number of media specialists, who provide for the exhibits along trails, roads and in visitor contact facilities, as well as the written brochures and web-sites.

Park Protection: This includes the staff responding to visitor emergencies (medical and criminal), and the protection of the park's natural and cultural resources from damage by those persons visiting the park. The staff includes park rangers, park police, criminal investigators, and communication center operators.

Facility Maintenance & Operations: This is the cost of maintaining the necessary infrastructure within each park that supports all the services provided. It includes the plows and heavy equipment for road clearing, repairs and construction. There are buildings, trails, roads, docks, boats, utility pipes and wires, and a variety of hidden systems that make a park accessible by the public. The staff includes equipment operators, custodians, trail crews, electricians, plumbers, architects, and other building trade specialists.

Park Support: This is the staff that provides for the routine logistical needs of the parks. There are human resource specialists, contracting officers, property specialists, budget managers, accountants and information technology specialists.

External Administrative Costs: These costs are bills that are paid directly to outside organizations as part of the logistical support needed to run the parks. It includes rent payments to the General Services Administration
General Services Administration
The General Services Administration is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. The GSA supplies products and communications for U.S...

 for building space; postage payments to the postal machine vendor, and other direct payments.
Functional area FY 2010 % of Total
Resource Stewardship
Visitor Services
Park Protection
Facility Maintenance & Operations
Park Support
External Administrative Costs
Total (2010) $2,266,016

Park Partnerships

These funds support the use of partnerships to achieve park preservation. 25 million dollars have been provided for FY 2010. These funds require matching grants from individuals, foundations, businesses, and the private sector.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

The LWCF supports Land Acquisition and State Conservation Assistance grant programs. The 2010 funds are the beginning of an incremental process to fully fund LWCF programs at $900 million. The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service use these funds to purchase critical lands to protect exiting public lands. Grants will be made to states and local communities to preserve and protect Civil War battlefield sites that are not park of the national park system. The NPS State Conservation Assistance program distributes funding to States for land preservation.

Construction

This segment of the budget provides for the construction of new facilities or the replacement of aging and unsafe facilities. Additionally, there are funds in the recreation fees, park roads funding, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provide for other specific facilities/infrastructure work. Additional funds come from the Federal Land Highway Administration
Federal Highway Administration
The Federal Highway Administration is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. The agency's major activities are grouped into two "programs," the Federal-aid Highway Program and the Federal Lands Highway Program...

 for the construction and repair of Park roads.

Historic Preservation Fund

As the nation's leader in cultural preservation, funds are provided for a variety of programs to meet these needs nationwide. Two specific programs include the Save America's Treasures
Save America's Treasures
Save America's Treasures is a United States Federal initiative to preserve and protect American historic buildings, arts, and published works. It is a public-private partnership between the U.S. National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation...

 and the Preserve America
Preserve America
Preserve America is a United States government program, established under President George W. Bush, intended to encourage and support community efforts to preserve and enjoy the country's cultural and natural heritage....

. The Historic Preservation Offices makes grants available to the States, territories, and tribal lands.

National Recreation and Preservation

These funds go to local communities to preserve natural and cultural resources. Among the programs supported are the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance programs that promote community links to parks, natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation across America.

Offsetting Reductions and Fixed Costs in Various Accounts

Within this category are a number of one-time events, which are added or removed as the events require. Notably in the FY 2009 and FY 2010 is the removal of the costs for the presidential inaugural. Other savings are identified through reduced operational costs from energy-efficient retro-fitting and the demolition of structures beyond repair.

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

Otherwise known as "stimulus funds", the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, abbreviated ARRA and commonly referred to as the Stimulus or The Recovery Act, is an economic stimulus package enacted by the 111th United States Congress in February 2009 and signed into law on February 17, 2009, by President Barack Obama.To...

 provides funds to restore and preserve major infrastructures within the national parks.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is a $475.0 million proposal included in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency‎  budget. The park service will participate through the EPA in restoration activities in those parks that are within the watershed of the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

. Activities will include such actions as removal of dumps and fuel spills. Park will monitor mercury, lead, DDT, and other contaminants in six parks on the Great Lakes.

Mandatory spending

Mandatory appropriations are those items created by other congressional legislation that must be paid for. They include the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, which requires the distribution and expenditure of fees collected by the National Park Service. Other Permanent Appropriations includes special funding categories to non-profit and state entities, which have been assigned to the National Park Service to manage. Miscellaneous Trust Funds includes funding sources that have been created by the federal government or private citizen, where the National Park Service or a specific park have been identified as the beneficiaries. And there is also the L&WCF Contract Authority which is the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a congressionally created source of revenues, managed by the National Park Service.

Nomenclature of the National Park System


The National Park Service uses over 20 different titles for the park units it manages, including national park and national monument.
Classification as of 2003 Number Area Visitors
National Military Park, National Battlefield Park, National Battlefield Site, and National Battlefield
National Historical Park, National Historic Site, and International Historic Site
National Lakeshore
National Memorial
National Monument
National Park
National Parkway
National Preserve and National Reserve
National Recreation Area
National River and National Wild and Scenic River and Riverway
National Scenic Trail not available
National Seashore
Other Designations (White House, National Mall, etc.)
Totals

National Monuments preserve a single unique cultural or natural feature. Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower is an igneous intrusion or laccolith located in the Black Hills near Hulett and Sundance in Crook County, northeastern Wyoming, above the Belle Fourche River...

 was the first in 1906.

National Historic Sites protect a significant cultural resource that is not a complicated site. Examples of these types of parks include Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre
Ford's Theatre is a historic theater in Washington, D.C., used for various stage performances beginning in the 1860s. It is also the site of the assassination of U.S. President Abraham Lincoln on April 14, 1865...

 National Historic Site and William Howard Taft National Historic Site
William Howard Taft National Historic Site
William Howard Taft National Historic Site is a National Historic Site in Cincinnati, Ohio, maintained by the National Park Service of the United States...

.

National Historical Parks are larger areas with more complex subjects. Appomattox Court House
Appomattox Court House
The Appomattox Courthouse is the current courthouse in Appomattox, Virginia built in 1892. It is located in the middle of the state about three miles northwest of the Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, once known as Clover Hill - home of the original Old Appomattox Court House...

 National Historical Park was created in 1940. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, located in Vincennes on the banks of the Wabash River at what is believed to be the site of Fort Sackville, is a United States National Historical Park. A classical memorial here was authorized under President Calvin Coolidge and dedicated by President...

 was dedicated in 1936. Historic sites may also be protected in national parks, monuments, seashores, and lakeshores.
National Military Parks, Battlefield Parks, Battlefield Sites, and Battlefields preserve areas associated with military history. The different designations reflect the complexity of the event and the site. Many of the sites preserve important Revolutionary War battles and Civil War battlefields. Military parks are the sites of larger actions, such as Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, located in northern Georgia and eastern Tennessee, preserves the sites of two major battles of the American Civil War: the Battle of Chickamauga and the Chattanooga Campaign.-History:...

, Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, waged from May 18 to July 4, 1863. The park, in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and Delta, Louisiana, also commemorates the greater Vicksburg Campaign, which preceded the battle. Reconstructed forts and...

, Gettysburg National Military Park
Gettysburg Battlefield
The Gettysburg Battlefield is the area of the July 1–3, 1863, military engagements of the Battle of Gettysburg within and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Locations of military engagements extend from the 4 acre site of the first shot & at on the west of the borough, to East...

, and Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh National Military Park
Shiloh National Military Park preserves the American Civil War Shiloh and Corinth battlefields. The main section of the park is in the unincorporated town of Shiloh, about nine miles south of Savannah, Tennessee, with an additional area located in the city of Corinth, Mississippi, 23 miles ...

—the original four from 1890. Examples of battlefield parks, battlefield sites, and national battlefields include Richmond National Battlefield Park
Richmond National Battlefield Park
Richmond National Battlefield Park commemorates more than 30 American Civil War sites around Richmond, Virginia, which served as the capital of the Confederate States of America for the majority of the war...

, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site
Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site commemorates the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, in which the Confederate army, under Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest, defeated a much larger Union force on June 10, 1864, to ultimately secure supply lines between Nashville and Chattanooga,...

, and Antietam National Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield
Antietam National Battlefield is a National Park Service protected area along Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland which commemorates the American Civil War Battle of Antietam that occurred on September 17, 1862...

.

National Seashores and National Lakeshores offer preservation of the national coast line, while supporting water–based recreation. Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore
Cape Hatteras National Seashore preserves the portion of the Outer Banks of North Carolina from Bodie Island to Ocracoke Island, stretching over . Included within this section of barrier islands along N.C...

 was created in 1937. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore located in northwest Indiana and managed by the National Park Service. It was authorized by Congress in 1966. The national lakeshore runs for nearly along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, from Gary, Indiana, on the west to Michigan...

 and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States. It extends for 42 miles along the shore and covers...

, created in 1966, were the first national lakeshores.

National Recreation Areas originally were units (such as Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The centerpieces of the National Recreation Area are its two large reservoirs: Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. These lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while the surrounding desert rewards...

) surrounding reservoirs impounded by dams built by other federal agencies. Many of these areas are managed under cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. Now some national recreation areas are in urban centers, because of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission (ORRRC). These include Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Scattered over Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, New York and Monmouth County, New Jersey, it provides recreational opportunities that are rare for a dense urban environment, including ocean...

 and Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

, which encompass significant cultural as well as natural resources.

National Rivers and Wild and Scenic Riverways protect free-flowing streams over their length. The riverways may not be altered with dams, channelization, or other changes. Recreational pursuits are encouraged along the waterways. Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a national park in the Ozarks of southern Missouri in the U.S..The park was created by an Act of Congress in 1964 to protect the Current and Jacks Fork rivers, and it was formally dedicated in 1971. The park's are used for many forms of recreation and are...

 was established in 1964.

The National Trails System
National Trails System
The National Trails System was created by the National Trails System Act The Act created a series of National trails "to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation." Specifically,...

preserves long-distance routes across America. The system was created in 1968 and consists of two major components: National Scenic Trails are long-distance trails through some of the most scenic parts of the country. They received official protection in 1968. The Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately long...

 and the Continental Divide Trail
Continental Divide Trail
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a United States National Scenic Trail running 3,100 miles between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico...

 are the best known. National Historic Trails commemorate the routes of major historic events. Some of the best known are the Trail of Tears
Trail of Tears
The Trail of Tears is a name given to the forced relocation and movement of Native American nations from southeastern parts of the United States following the Indian Removal Act of 1830...

, the Mormon Trail
Mormon Trail
The Mormon Trail or Mormon Pioneer Trail is the 1,300 mile route that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traveled from 1846 to 1868...

, and the Santa Fe Trail
Santa Fe Trail
The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico. Pioneered in 1822 by William Becknell, it served as a vital commercial and military highway until the introduction of the railroad to Santa Fe in 1880...

. These trails are administered by several federal agencies.

National Preserves are for the protection of certain resources. Activities like hunting, fishing, and some mining are allowed. Big Cypress National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve
Big Cypress National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in southern Florida, about 45 miles west of Miami. The Big Cypress, along with Big Thicket National Preserve in Texas, became the first national preserves in the United States National Park System when they were...

 and Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Thicket
The Big Thicket is the name of a heavily forested area in Southeast Texas. While no exact boundaries exist, the area occupies much of Hardin County, Liberty, Tyler, San Jacinto, and Polk Counties and is roughly bounded by the San Jacinto River, Neches River, and Pine Island Bayou. To the north, it...

 were created in 1974 as the first national preserves.

National Reserves are similar to national preserves, but the operational authority can be placed with a local government. New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve
New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve preserves the New Jersey Pine Barrens.The Pinelands is a unique location of historic villages and berry farms amid the vast oak-pine forests , extensive wetlands, and diverse species of plants and animals of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion...

 was the first to be established in 1978.

Visitors to the National Parks


The National Park System receives over 280,000,000 visits each year throughout the 395 units. Annually, visitors are surveyed for their satisfaction with services and facilities provided.

The ten most visited units of the National Park System handle thirty percent of the visits to the 395 park units. The top ten percent of parks (39) handle 61.2% of all visits, leaving the remaining 355 units to deal with 38.8% of visits.
Park Rank Visits
Blue Ridge Parkway
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles , mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains...

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area
Gateway National Recreation Area is a National Recreation Area in the Port of New York and New Jersey. Scattered over Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, New York and Monmouth County, New Jersey, it provides recreational opportunities that are rare for a dense urban environment, including ocean...

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The centerpieces of the National Recreation Area are its two large reservoirs: Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. These lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while the surrounding desert rewards...

George Washington Memorial Parkway
George Washington Memorial Parkway
The George Washington Memorial Parkway, known to local motorists simply as the "G.W. Parkway", is a parkway maintained by the U.S. National Park Service. It is located mostly in Northern Virginia, although a short section northwest of the Arlington Memorial Bridge passes over Columbia Island,...

Natchez Trace Parkway
Natchez Trace Parkway
The Natchez Trace Parkway is a National Park Service unit in the southeastern United States that commemorates the historic Old Natchez Trace and preserves sections of the original trail....

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, administered by the National Park Service, preserves almost of land along the Delaware River's New Jersey and Pennsylvania shores, stretching from the Delaware Water Gap northward almost to the New York state line...

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore
The Cape Cod National Seashore , created on August 7, 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, encompasses on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It includes ponds, woods and beachfront of the Atlantic coastal pine barrens ecoregion...


Overnight stays
Over 13.8 million visitors spent a night in one of the National Park Units during 2008. The largest number (3.59 million) stayed in one of the lodges. The second largest group were tent campers (2.96 million) followed by Miscellaneous stays (on boats, group sites—2.06 million). The last three groups of over-night visitors included RV Campers (2.01 million), Back country campers (1.80 million) and users of the Concession run campgrounds (1.22 million). Over the last 30 years the largest change has been with RV users.
Park 2009 Rank 1994 Rank 1979 Rank
RV Campers
Tent Campers
Lodges
Backcountry
Misc
Concession Campers

Services
Consistently, the highest ranked service has been Assistance from Park Employees (82% very good, 2007).

Facilities
Among facilities, the park Visitor Centers obtain a consistent 70% very good rating (73% in 2007).

Youth programs


The National Park Service offers a variety of youth oriented programs. They range from the Web Ranger on-line program to many programs in each National Park Unit. The primary work opporunities for youth are through the Youth Corp networks.

The oldest serving group is the Student Conservation Association (SCA). It was established in 1957, committed to conservation and preservation. The SCA's goal is to create the next generation of conservation leaders. SCA volunteers work through internships, conservation jobs, and crew experiences. Volunteers conduct resource management, historic preservation, cultural resources and conservation programs to gain experience, which can lead to career development and furather educational opportunties. The SCA places volunteers in more than 350 national park units and NPS offices each year.

­The Corps Network, formerly known as the National Association for Service and Corps (NASCC), represents 136 Service and Conservation Corps. These groups have programs in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Corpsmembers are between the ages of 16-25. Service and Conservation Corps are direct descendents of the Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 (CCC) of the 1930s that built park facilities in the national parks and other public parks around the country. The Corps Network was established in 1985.
  • Youth Conservation Corps (ages 15–25)
    • The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC), bring young people into a park to restore, preserve and protect a natural, cultural, or historical resources. Enrollees are paid for their work.
  • Public Land Corps (ages 16–25)
    • The Public Land Corps (PLC) is a job helping to restore, protect, and rehabilitate a local national parks. The enrollees learn about environmental issues and the park. A dozen non-profit.
  • Programs for Boy Scouts (ages 7–18)
    • The National Park Service works with the Boy Scouts of America. Members can become a Scout Ranger and earn a patch. The Service participates every four years at the BSA Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill, Virignia. Many scouts have earned their Eagle projects in a National Park helping preserve the resources, while furthering the scouting experience.
  • Programs for Girl Scouts (ages 5–18)
    • Girl Scouts can become a Girl Scout Ranger and earn a patch! The National Park Service works with Girl Scout Troops through their Linking Girls to the Land.

Accessibility


Access Pass

The Access Pass
Access Pass
The Access Pass is a card provided at no charge by the United States Federal Government to people with a permanent disability. The pass, which works just like the Golden Age Passport, allows the disabled person to enter any United States National Park for free, and to bring up to 3 other people...

 offers free, lifetime admission to federal areas of the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority.

Service Animals
Service animals are allowed in all facilities and on most trails, with the
exceptions of stock trails and areas closed by the superintendent to protect park resources. Service animals must always be leashed. Service animals in training and pets are subject to other park regulations. When traveling with an animal, carry water, and allow for stops. Dispose of pet feces in a trash bin.

Camping

The National Park System offers numerous accessible camping opportunities. In over 120 units, campgrounds have sites specifically designed for tent camper accessibility. Special camp sites are located near restrooms with paved walkways to and from the restroom and water sources. Sites have hardened tenting sites that provide for easy access, but allow for tents to be erected on soil. Many additional units have pull-through trailer sites, providing for motorized use, but may have limited access to the rest of the campground facilities.

Trails
Many National Park units have fully accessible trails. Visitors should check the park's web-site to insure that the trail is designed to meet their individual needs. Trails may have a compacted gravel surface, paved with asphalt, or a board walk. Many will have guardrails, others may have a ridge along the edge, detectable by the visually impaired using a cane and capable of stopping a wheelchair. Many have no detectable edge when there is a stable surface.

Vistas
Parks that are known for their scenic vistas make them available through a variety of designs. Paved overlooks with accessible parking is the most common, and not always identified in written material. Road designs are configured to provide for mountain and landscape visita from a vehicle.

Additional information at The Disabled Traveler's Companion

Concessions


In an effort to increase visitation and allow for a larger audience to enjoy national park land, the National Park Service has numerous concession
Concession (contract)
A concession is a business operated under a contract or license associated with a degree of exclusivity in business within a certain geographical area. For example, sports arenas or public parks may have concession stands. Many department stores contain numerous concessions operated by other...

 contracts with private businesses to bring recreation, resorts and other compatible amenities to their parks. NPS lodging opportunities exist at places such as the Wawona Hotel
Wawona Hotel
The Wawona Hotel is a historic hotel located within Yosemite National Park. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.Wawona Hotel is one of the oldest mountain resort hotels in California and a classic of Victorian era resorts. The Victorian style hotel was built in 1876 to serve...

 in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

 and the Fort Baker
Fort Baker
Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division...

 Retreat and Conference Center in Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

. "Adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse
Adaptive reuse refers to the process of reusing an old site or building for a purpose other than which it was built or designed for. Along with brownfield reclamation, adaptive reuse is seen by many as a key factor in land conservation and the reduction of urban sprawl...

s" like those at Fort Baker, have raised some controversy, however, from concerns about the historical integrity of these buildings, after such extensive renovations and whether such alterations fall within the spirit and/or the letter of the preservation laws
National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
The National Historic Preservation Act is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America...

 they are protected by.
  • Delaware North Corporation at Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

  • Forever Resorts at Big Bend National Park
    Big Bend National Park
    Big Bend National Park is a national park located in the U.S. state of Texas. Big Bend has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States, which includes more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56...

    , Blue Ridge Parkway
    Blue Ridge Parkway
    The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles , mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains...

    , Badlands National Park
    Badlands National Park
    Badlands National Park, in southwest South Dakota, United States preserves of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States....

    , North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the Wonders of the World. The park covers of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.Most...

    , Olympic National Park
    Olympic National Park
    Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. U.S...

    , Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    Lake Mead National Recreation Area
    Lake Mead National Recreation Area is located in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. The centerpieces of the National Recreation Area are its two large reservoirs: Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. These lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen while the surrounding desert rewards...

    , Mammoth Cave National Park
    Mammoth Cave National Park
    Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. The official name of the system is the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System for the ridge under which the cave has formed. The park was established...

    , Isle Royale National Park
    Isle Royale National Park
    Isle Royale National Park is a U.S. National Park in the state of Michigan. Isle Royale, the largest island in Lake Superior, is over 45 miles in length and 9 miles wide at its widest point. The park is made of Isle Royale itself and approximately 400 smaller islands, along with any submerged...

    , and Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park
    Rocky Mountain National Park is a national park located in the north-central region of the U.S. state of Colorado.It features majestic mountain views, a variety of wildlife, varied climates and environments—from wooded forests to mountain tundra—and easy access to back-country trails...

    .
  • Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Bryce Canyon National Park
    Bryce Canyon National Park
    Bryce Canyon National Park is a national park located in southwestern Utah in the United States. The major feature of the park is Bryce Canyon which, despite its name, is not a canyon but a giant natural amphitheater created by erosion along the eastern side of the Paunsaugunt Plateau...

    , Crater Lake National Park
    Crater Lake National Park
    Crater Lake National Park is a United States National Park located in southern Oregon. Established in 1902, Crater Lake National Park is the sixth oldest national park in the United States and the only one in the state of Oregon...

    , Death Valley National Park
    Death Valley National Park
    Death Valley National Park is a national park in the U.S. states of California and Nevada located east of the Sierra Nevada in the arid Great Basin of the United States. The park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes,...

    , South Rim Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the Wonders of the World. The park covers of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.Most...

    , Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Painted Desert at Petrified Forest National Park
    Petrified Forest National Park
    Petrified Forest National Park is a United States national park in Navajo and Apache counties in northeastern Arizona. The park's headquarters are about east of Holbrook along Interstate 40 , which parallels a railroad line, the Puerco River, and historic U.S. Route 66, all crossing the park...

    , Yellowstone National Park
    Yellowstone National Park
    Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

    , and Zion National Park
    Zion National Park
    Zion National Park is located in the Southwestern United States, near Springdale, Utah. A prominent feature of the park is Zion Canyon, which is 15 miles long and up to half a mile deep, cut through the reddish and tan-colored Navajo Sandstone by the North Fork of the Virgin River...

    .

Cooperators, i.e., bookstores


At many Park Service sites a bookstore is operated by a non-profit
Non-profit organization
Nonprofit organization is neither a legal nor technical definition but generally refers to an organization that uses surplus revenues to achieve its goals, rather than distributing them as profit or dividends...

 cooperating association
Cooperating Associations
Cooperating Associations, also known as interpretive associations or natural history associations, support the interpretive, educational and scientific programs and services of governmental land management agencies such as the National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife...

. The largest example is Eastern National
Eastern National
Eastern National is a non-profit organization based in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, that partners with the National Park Service in the United States...

, which runs bookstores in 30 states with 178 stores.

Park specific:

Publisher of National Parks Interpretive Books

Books written by individual National Park interpreters or experts on specific parks are published for each park by:

Offices


Headquarters are located in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, with regional offices in Anchorage
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

, Atlanta, Lakewood, CO
Lakewood, Colorado
Lakewood is a Home Rule Municipality that is the most populous city in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Lakewood is the fifth most populous city in the State of Colorado and the 172nd most populous city in the United States. The United States Census Bureau estimates that in April 1, 2010...

 (Denver), Omaha, NE
Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha is the largest city in the state of Nebraska, United States, and is the county seat of Douglas County. It is located in the Midwestern United States on the Missouri River, about 20 miles north of the mouth of the Platte River...

, Oakland, CA
Oakland, California
Oakland is a major West Coast port city on San Francisco Bay in the U.S. state of California. It is the eighth-largest city in the state with a 2010 population of 390,724...

, Philadelphia and Seattle. The headquarters building of the National Park Service Southwest Regional Office
National Park Service Southwest Regional Office
National Park Service Southwest Regional Office, also known as National Park Service Region III Headquarters Building, is an office building in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Designed by NPS architect Cecil Doty, it is a traditional adobe building, one-story except for a double-height entrance area, with...

 is architecturally signicant and is designated a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

.

The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Director is nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The Director is supported by six senior executives. They manage national programs, policy, and budget from the Washington, DC, headquarters. Under the Deputy Director of Operations are seven regional directors, who are responsible for national park management and program implementation. Together this group is called the National Leadership Council.

The national office is located in the Main Interior Building
Main Interior Building
The Main Interior Building, also known as the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building, located in Washington, D.C., is the headquarters of the United States Department of the Interior....

, 1849 C Street NW, several blocks southwest of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

. The central office is composed of eleven directorates: Director/Deputy Directors; Business Services; Workforce Management; Chief Information Officer; Cultural Resources; Natural Resource Stewardship and Science; Office of the Comptroller; Park Planning, Facilities, and Lands; Partnerships and Visitor Experience; Visitor and Resource Protection; and the United States Park Police
United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

.

Employees of the National Park Service


By the mid-1950s, the primary employee of the Service was the Park Ranger and they did everything that was needed in the parks. They cleaned up trash, operated heavy equipment, fought fires, managed traffic, cleared trails and roads, provided information to visitors, managed museums, performed rescues, flew aircraft, and investigated crime.

By the 21st century, the demands of the service required specialists. Today, there is a broad array of career paths in the service:
  • National Park Service Ranger
    • Interpreter
    • Law Enforcement
  • Park Management (Superintendent/Deputy)
  • United States Park Police
    United States Park Police
    The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

  • Emergency Management (Emergency medical providers, search and rescue specialists)
  • Dispatcher
    Dispatcher
    Dispatchers are communications personnel responsible for receiving and transmitting pure and reliable messages, tracking vehicles and equipment, and recording other important information...

    s
  • Maintenance (including carpenters
    Carpentry
    A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

    , plumbers
    Plumbing
    Plumbing is the system of pipes and drains installed in a building for the distribution of potable drinking water and the removal of waterborne wastes, and the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures in such systems. A plumber is someone who installs or repairs piping...

    , masons, laborers, auto mechanics, motor vehicle operators, heavy equipment operator
    Heavy equipment operator
    A heavy equipment operator drives and operates heavy equipment used in engineering and construction projects.-Operator training:*The International Union of Operating Engineers has equipment schools where apprentice operators are trained....

    s, electrician
    Electrician
    An electrician is a tradesman specializing in electrical wiring of buildings, stationary machines and related equipment. Electricians may be employed in the installation of new electrical components or the maintenance and repair of existing electrical infrastructure. Electricians may also...

    s)
  • Park Planning
    • Architect
      Architect
      An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

      s, Engineer
      Engineer
      An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

      s, and Landscape architect
      Landscape architect
      A landscape architect is a person involved in the planning, design and sometimes direction of a landscape, garden, or distinct space. The professional practice is known as landscape architecture....

      s
  • Resource Management (including archeologist, biologist
    Biologist
    A biologist is a scientist devoted to and producing results in biology through the study of life. Typically biologists study organisms and their relationship to their environment. Biologists involved in basic research attempt to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work...

    , botanist, aquatics, soil scientist, geologist
    Geologist
    A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...

    )
  • History (curator
    Curator
    A curator is a manager or overseer. Traditionally, a curator or keeper of a cultural heritage institution is a content specialist responsible for an institution's collections and involved with the interpretation of heritage material...

    s, historian
    Historian
    A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the study of all history in time. If the individual is...

    s, preservation technicians, historic architects, archivist
    Archivist
    An archivist is a professional who assesses, collects, organizes, preserves, maintains control over, and provides access to information determined to have long-term value. The information maintained by an archivist can be any form of media...

    s)
  • Fire Management (managers, weather specialist, firefighter
    Firefighter
    Firefighters are rescuers extensively trained primarily to put out hazardous fires that threaten civilian populations and property, to rescue people from car incidents, collapsed and burning buildings and other such situations...

    s, engine chiefs)
  • Public Affairs
    Public policy
    Public policy as government action is generally the principled guide to action taken by the administrative or executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs. In general, the foundation is the pertinent national and...

  • Administration (human resources, finance, accountants, information technology, budgeting, concessions management)

In addition, many seasonal workers are hired to handle the increased need for staffing during the busy summer months.

Locations are varied. Parks exist in the nation's larger cities like New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 (Federal Hall
Federal Hall
Federal Hall, built in 1700 as New York's City Hall, later served as the first capitol building of the United States of America under the Constitution, and was the site of George Washington's inauguration as the first President of the United States. It was also where the United States Bill of...

 Memorial National Historic Site), Atlanta (Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site established on October 10, 1980, consists of several buildings surrounding Martin Luther King, Jr.'s boyhood home on Auburn Avenue in the Sweet Auburn historic district of Atlanta, Georgia. The original Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where King...

), and San Diego (Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument
Cabrillo National Monument is located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula in San Diego, California. It commemorates the landing of Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo at San Diego Bay on September 28, 1542. This event marked the first time that a European expedition had set foot on what later...

) to some of the remotest areas of the continent like Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument
Hovenweep National Monument is located on land in southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, located between Cortez, Colorado and Blanding, Utah on the Cajon Mesa of the Great Sage Plain...

 in southeastern Utah, to Aniakchak National Monument in King Salmon, Alaska
King Salmon, Alaska
King Salmon is a census-designated place in Bristol Bay Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. As of the 2000 census the population was 442...

.

Volunteers in Park (VIP)



The Volunteer-in-Parks program was authorized in 1969 by the Volunteers in the Parks Act of 1969. for the purpose of allowing the public to serve in the nations parks providing support and skills for their enhancement and protection.

Volunteers come from all walks of life and perform many varied and exciting duties. Many volunteers come from the surrounding communities and include professionals, artists, laborers, homemakers and students. Some volunteers travel significant distances to reach the park where they wish to provide services. In the 2005 annual report (most current report available), the National Park Service reported:


"...137,000 VIPs contributed 5.2 million hours of service (or 2500 FTEs) valued at $91,260,000 based on the private sector value figure of $17.55 as used by AARP, Points of Light Foundation, and other large-scale volunteer programs including many federal agencies. There are 365 separate volunteer programs throughout the National Park Service. Since 1990, the number of volunteers has increased an average of 2% per year."
  • FTE = Full Time Equivalency (1 work year)


Artist-In-Residence

Across the nation, there are special opportunties for artists (visual artists, photographers, sculptors, performers, writers, composers, and crafts) to live and work in a park. Twenty-nine parks currently participate in the Artist-In-Residence program.

Concessions


As noted above, numerous Concessions operate lodging, gas stations, restaurants, and gift shops. Each offers an opportunity to work in a national park.

Special divisions


The United States Park Police
United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

 is a distinct law enforcement
Law enforcement agency
In North American English, a law enforcement agency is a government agency responsible for the enforcement of the laws.Outside North America, such organizations are called police services. In North America, some of these services are called police while others have other names In North American...

 division of the National Park Service, with jurisdiction
Jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 in all NPS sites, but primarily used in the Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

, New York City and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year...

, in and around San Francisco. Law enforcement services in other NPS units are provided by commissioned (sworn peace officer) park rangers
National Park Ranger
National Park Service Rangers are among the uniformed employees charged with protecting and preserving areas set aside in the National Park System by the United States Congress and/or the President of the United States...

. Other special NPS divisions include the Archeology Program, Historic American Buildings Survey
Historic American Buildings Survey
The Historic American Buildings Survey , Historic American Engineering Record , and Historic American Landscapes Survey are programs of the National Park Service established for the purpose of documenting historic places. Records consists of measured drawings, archival photographs, and written...

, National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

, National Natural Landmark
National Natural Landmark
The National Natural Landmark program recognizes and encourages the conservation of outstanding examples of the natural history of the United States. It is the only natural areas program of national scope that identifies and recognizes the best examples of biological and geological features in...

s, the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, the Challenge Cost Share Program, the Federal Lands to Parks, the Hydropower Relicensing Program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the National Trails System and the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

Park Police


The United States Park Police (USPP) is the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agency in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City areas. In addition to performing the normal crime prevention, investigation, and apprehension functions of an urban police force, the Park Police are responsible for policing many of the famous monuments in the United States and share law enforcement jurisdiction in all lands administered by the Service with a force of National Park Rangers tasked with the same law enforcement powers and responsibilities.

Centers

The National Park Service operates four archeology-related centers: Harpers Ferry Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, the Midwest Archeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Southeast Archeological Center in Tallahassee, Florida and the Western Archeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, Arizona. The Harpers Ferry Center specializes in interpretive media development and object conservation. The other three focus to various degrees on archaeological research and museum object curation and conservation.

National Park Service training centers include: Horace Albright Training Center, Grand Canyon; Stephen Mather Training Center, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia; Historic Preservation Training Center, Frederick, Maryland and Capital Training Center, Washington, D.C.

The Submerged Resources Center
Submerged resources center
The Submerged Resources Center is a unit within the United States National Park Service. The unit is based out of Lakewood, Colorado in the NPS Intermountain Region headquarters.-History:...

 is the unit responsible for the submerged areas throughout the National Park system. The SRC is based out of the Intermountain Region's headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado.

Preservation programs (HABS/HAER)


The oldest federal preservation program, the Historic American Buildings Survey
Historic American Buildings Survey
The Historic American Buildings Survey , Historic American Engineering Record , and Historic American Landscapes Survey are programs of the National Park Service established for the purpose of documenting historic places. Records consists of measured drawings, archival photographs, and written...

/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER), produces graphic and written documentation of historically significant architectural, engineering and industrial sites and structures. Dating from 1934, the Historic American Buildings Survey
Historic American Buildings Survey
The Historic American Buildings Survey , Historic American Engineering Record , and Historic American Landscapes Survey are programs of the National Park Service established for the purpose of documenting historic places. Records consists of measured drawings, archival photographs, and written...

 (HABS) was chartered to document historic architecture—primarily houses and public buildings—of national or regional significance. Originally a New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 employment/preservation program, after World War II, HABS employed summer teams of advanced undergraduate and graduate students to carry out the documentation, a tradition followed to this day. Many of the structures they documented no longer exist.

HABS/HAER produces measured drawings, large-format photographs and written histories of historic sites, structures and objects, that are significant to the architectural, engineering and industrial heritage of the U.S. Its 25,000 records are part of the Library of Congress. HABS/HAER is administered by the NPS Washington office and five regional offices.

Historic American Building Survey
In 1933, the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, established the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), based on a proposal by Charles E. Peterson, Park Service landscape architect. It was founded as a make-work program for architects, draftsmen and photographers left jobless by the Great Depression. Guided by field instructions from Washington, D.C., the first recorders were tasked with documenting a representative sampling of America's architectural heritage. After 70 years, there is now an archive of historic architecture. HABS provided a database of primary source material for the then fledgling historic preservation movement.

Historic American Engineering Record
Recognizing a similar fragility in our national industrial and engineering heritage, the National Park Service, the Library of Congress and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) formed the HAER program in 1969, to document nationally and regionally significant engineering and industrial sites. A short while later, HAER was ratified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers is a professional body, specifically an engineering society, focused on mechanical engineering....

 (ASME), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers
American Institute of Chemical Engineers
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers is a professional organization for chemical engineers.AIChE was established in 1908 with the purpose of establishing chemical engineers as a profession independent from chemists and mechanical engineers.As of 2010, AIChE had over 40,000 members,...

 (AIChE) and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). HAER documentation, in the forms of measured and interpretive drawings, large-format photographs and written histories, is archivally preserved in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, where it is readily available to the public.

Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program
The RTCA program of the National Park Service is designed to assist local communities and the public in preservation of rivers, trails and greenways. Unlike the mainline National Park Programs, these programs take place on non-federal property at the request of the local community. One of their better known programs is Rails to Trails, where unused railroad right-of-ways are converted into public hiking and biking trails.

National Trails System
The National Trails System
National Trails System
The National Trails System was created by the National Trails System Act The Act created a series of National trails "to promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation." Specifically,...

 is a joint mission of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
The Bureau of Land Management is an agency within the United States Department of the Interior which administers America's public lands, totaling approximately , or one-eighth of the landmass of the country. The BLM also manages of subsurface mineral estate underlying federal, state and private...

 and the U.S. Forest Service
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture that administers the nation's 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass...

. It was created in 1968 to establish a system of long-distance National Scenic
National Scenic Trail
National Scenic Trail is a designation for protected areas in the United States that consist of trails of particular natural beauty.National Scenic Trails were authorized under the National Trails System Act of 1968 along with National Historic Trails and National Recreation Trails...

 and National Historic Trail
National Historic Trail
National Historic Trail is a designation for a protected area in the United States containing historic trails and surrounding areas. They are part of the National Trails System....

s, as well as to recognize existing trails in the states as National Recreation Trail
National Recreation Trail
National Recreation Trail is a designation given to existing trails that contribute to health, conservation, and recreation goals in the United States. Over 1,000 trails in all 50 U.S. states, available for public use and ranging from less than a mile to in length, have been designated as NRTs...

s. Several additional trails have been established since 1968, and in 2009 Congress established the first National Geologic Trail
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail or Ice Age Floods Trail is designated as the first National Geologic Trail in the United States...

.

National Heritage Areas


National Heritage Areas are a unique blend of natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources. Having developed out of a shared historic, they create a unique whole. Currently (April 2010) there are 49 designated heritage areas. A short listing is shown below.

  • Yuma Crossing, Arizona
  • Cache La Poudre
    Cache La Poudre River
    The Cache la Poudre River is in the state of Colorado in the United States.Its headwaters are in the Front Range in Larimer County, in the northern part of Rocky Mountain National Park. The river descends eastward in the mountains through the Roosevelt National Forest in Poudre Canyon...

    , Colorado
  • Cane River
    Cane River
    Cane River is a lake and river formed from a portion of the Red River that is located in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it has been best known as the site of a historic Creole de couleur culture that has centers upon the National Historic Landmark Melrose...

    , Louisiana
  • Silos and Smokestacks
    Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area
    Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area , also known as America's Agricultural Heritage Partnership is one of 49 federally designated heritage areas in the nation and is an Affiliated Area of the National Park Service...

    , Iowa
  • Illinois & Michigan Canal, Illinois - - 1st designated heritage area.
  • Tennessee Civil War, entire State of Tennessee
  • South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

    , South Carolina
  • Augusta Canal
    Augusta Canal
    The Augusta Canal is a historic canal located in Augusta, Georgia. The canal connects two points of the Savannah River. It was devised to harness the power of the fall line of the Savannah River for mills, to provide transportation of goods, and to provide drinking water for the city...

    , South Carolina
  • National Coal, West Virginia
  • Shenandoah Valley Battlefields
    Shenandoah Valley
    The Shenandoah Valley is both a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and West Virginia in the United States. The valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians , to the north by the Potomac River...

    , Virginia
  • Wheeling
    Wheeling, West Virginia
    Wheeling is a city in Ohio and Marshall counties in the U.S. state of West Virginia; it is the county seat of Ohio County. Wheeling is the principal city of the Wheeling Metropolitan Statistical Area...

    , West Virginia
  • Ohio and Erie Canal
    Ohio and Erie Canal
    The Ohio Canal or Ohio and Erie Canal was a canal constructed in the 1820s and early 1830s. It connected Akron, Summit County, with the Cuyahoga River near its mouth on Lake Erie in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and a few years later, with the Ohio River near Portsmouth, Scioto County, and then...

    way, Ohio

  • Motor Cities, Michigan
  • Rivers of Steel, Pennsylvania
  • Path of Progress, Pennsylvania
  • Schuylkill River Valley
    Schuylkill River
    The Schuylkill River is a river in Pennsylvania. It is a designated Pennsylvania Scenic River.The river is about long. Its watershed of about lies entirely within the state of Pennsylvania. The source of its eastern branch is in the Appalachian Mountains at Tuscarora Springs, near Tamaqua in...

    , Pennsylvania
  • Delaware & Lehigh
    Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
    The Delaware & Lehigh Canal National and State Heritage Corridor stretches 165 miles across five counties and some hundred municipalities in eastern Pennsylvania, USA. It follows the historic routes of the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad, Lehigh Valley Railroad, the Lehigh Navigation, Lehigh Canal...

    , Pennsylvania
  • Lackawanna Heritage Valley
    Lackawanna River
    The Lackawanna River is a tributary of the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania in the United States. It flows through a region of the northern Pocono Mountains that was once a center of anthracite coal mining in the United States...

    , Pennsylvania
  • Erie Canal
    Erie Canal
    The Erie Canal is a waterway in New York that runs about from Albany, New York, on the Hudson River to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, completing a navigable water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes. The canal contains 36 locks and encompasses a total elevation differential of...

    way, New York
  • Hudson River Valley, New York
  • Quinebaug & Shetucket Rivers Valley, Connecticut
  • Blackstone River Valley, Massachusetts
  • Essex County
    Essex County, Massachusetts
    -National protected areas:* Parker River National Wildlife Refuge* Salem Maritime National Historic Site* Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site* Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuge-Demographics:...

    , Massachusetts


International Affairs


Since 1973, the number of parks and protected areas globally has swelled from 1,200 to more than 100,000. In this leadership role, the Park Service has shared its talents, expertise, and experiences in with many international partnerships. These partnerships were created to establish, sustain and strengthen parks, heritage sites, and other types of protected areas.

Sister Parks

There are 45 sister parks in eighteen countries. Thirty National Park Units are actively involved in these sister park relationships. Twelve of these ‘sister parks’ are in our neighbor to the south, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Both Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Mexico share common natural and historical events. Many of these sister park relations are built on this, as with Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Waterton was Canada's fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist...

, Alberta and Glacier National Park, Montana. The same cooperative design is also being used with Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park is a national park located in the U.S. state of Texas. Big Bend has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States, which includes more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56...

, Texas; Maderas del Carmen
Maderas del Carmen
Maderas del Carmen is a biosphere reserve in the northern Mexican state of Coahuila.Maderas del Carmen encompasses the Sierra del Carmen, a segment of the Sierra Madre Oriental range...

, state of Coahuila, Mexico; and Canon de Santa Elena WPA, state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Other pairings are based on common operational issues, i.e., Kampinoski National Park, Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore located in northwest Indiana and managed by the National Park Service. It was authorized by Congress in 1966. The national lakeshore runs for nearly along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, from Gary, Indiana, on the west to Michigan...

, Indiana; or the Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 parks of Canada and the U.S.; Pukaskwa National Park
Pukaskwa National Park
Pukaskwa National Park is a national park located south of the town of Marathon, Ontario in the Thunder Bay District of northern Ontario, Canada. Established in 1978, Pukaskwa is known for its vistas of Lake Superior and boreal forests...

, Ontario, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore on the shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, United States. It extends for 42 miles along the shore and covers...

, Michigan.

Cooperative Work

The National Park Service provides technical support to numerous intentional partners, beyond the support managed through the ‘Sister Park’ Program. Technical support is provided through programs at the National Park Service training facilities in the United States and at U.S. Parks and through the dispatch of technical teams to a host country.

Canada - In 1998, the Service and Parks Canada
Parks Canada
Parks Canada , also known as the Parks Canada Agency , is an agency of the Government of Canada mandated to protect and present nationally significant natural and cultural heritage, and foster public understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment in ways that ensure their ecological and commemorative...

 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a program of technical exchange and cooperation. The MOU was renewed in 2003.

Latin America and Caribbean – Years of technical support have created numerous relationships. In 2009, major programs were under way in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Costa Rica , officially the Republic of Costa Rica is a multilingual, multiethnic and multicultural country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east....

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, and Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

.

North Africa and the Middle East - In 2008, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department of the Interior's International Technical Assistance Program (ITAP) brought Two Jordanians and one Bahraini wildlife specialist to US national parks to work with NPS wildlife biologists. Here, they learn and observe how to manage threatened and endangered species.

Asia – Technical teams and sister park relationship allow China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, and Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

 to share skills and techniques.

Africa- Since 1995, the National Park Service and South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

 have worked on numerous park projects. Additionally, technical support and training has been provided to eighteen other nations in Africa.

World Heritage Sites


World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s have enough universally recognized natural and cultural features that they are considered to merit the protection of all the peoples in the world. The National Park Service is responsible for 16 of the 19 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s in the United States.
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park
    Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park for most visitors is the show cave, Carlsbad Caverns...

    , New Mexico
  • Chaco Culture National Historical Park
    Chaco Culture National Historical Park
    Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park hosting the densest and most exceptional concentration of pueblos in the American Southwest. The park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash...

    , New Mexico
  • Everglades National Park
    Everglades National Park
    Everglades National Park is a national park in the U.S. state of Florida that protects the southern 25 percent of the original Everglades. It is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, and is visited on average by one million people each year. It is the third-largest...

    , Florida
  • Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon National Park is the United States' 15th oldest national park and is located in Arizona. Within the park lies the Grand Canyon, a gorge of the Colorado River, considered to be one of the Wonders of the World. The park covers of unincorporated area in Coconino and Mohave counties.Most...

    , Arizona
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a United States National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site that straddles the ridgeline of the Great Smoky Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a division of the larger Appalachian Mountain chain. The border between Tennessee and North...

    , Tennessee and North Carolina
  • Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
    Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916, is a United States National Park located in the U.S. State of Hawaii on the island of Hawaii. It encompasses two active volcanoes: Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive volcano...

    , Hawaii
  • Independence Hall, Pennsylvania
  • Kluane
    Kluane National Park and Reserve
    Kluane National Park and Reserve are two units of Canada's national park system, located in the extreme southwestern corner of Yukon Territory. Kluane National Park Reserve was established in 1972, covering 22,016 square kilometres....

    /Wrangell-St. Elias/Glacier Bay
    Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve
    Glacier Bay National Park is a national park in Alaska. The area around Glacier Bay in southeastern Alaska was first proclaimed a U.S. National Monument on February 25, 1925. It was changed to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve on Dec. 2, 1980 by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation...

    /Tatshenshini-Alsek Park
    Tatshenshini-Alsek Park
    Tatshenshini-Alsek Park or Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Wilderness Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, Canada . It was established in 1993 after an intensive campaign by Canadian and American conservation organizations to halt mining exploration and development in the area and protect...

    , Alaska, U.S./ B.C.
    British Columbia
    British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

     & Yukon, Canada
  • Mammoth Cave
    Mammoth Cave National Park
    Mammoth Cave National Park is a U.S. National Park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. The official name of the system is the Mammoth-Flint Ridge Cave System for the ridge under which the cave has formed. The park was established...

    , Kentucky
  • Mesa Verde National Park
    Mesa Verde National Park
    Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was created in 1906 to protect some of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in the world...

    , Colorado
  • Olympic National Park
    Olympic National Park
    Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the Olympic Peninsula. The park can be divided into four basic regions: the Pacific coastline, alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest and the forests of the drier east side. U.S...

    , Washington
  • Redwood National and State Parks
    Redwood National and State Parks
    The Redwood National and State Parks are located in the United States, along the coast of northern California. Comprising Redwood National Park and California's Del Norte Coast, Jedediah Smith, and Prairie Creek Redwoods State Parks , the combined RNSP contain...

    , California
  • Statue of Liberty
    Statue of Liberty
    The Statue of Liberty is a colossal neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor, designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and dedicated on October 28, 1886...

    , New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

  • Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
    Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
    The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is the name of the union of the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and the Glacier National Park in the United States...

     (union of Waterton Lakes
    Waterton Lakes National Park
    Waterton Lakes National Park is a national park located in the southwest corner of Alberta, Canada, and borders Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. Waterton was Canada's fourth national park, formed in 1895 and named after Waterton Lake, in turn after the Victorian naturalist and conservationist...

     (Canada) and Glacier (U.S.) parks), Montana & Alberta, Canada
  • Yellowstone National Park
    Yellowstone National Park
    Yellowstone National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872, is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho...

    , Wyoming, extending into Montana and Idaho
  • Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite National Park
    Yosemite National Park is a United States National Park spanning eastern portions of Tuolumne, Mariposa and Madera counties in east central California, United States. The park covers an area of and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain...

    , California

Initiatives

  • 24-hr all Taxa BioBlitz: A joint venture of the National Geographic Society
    National Geographic Society
    The National Geographic Society , headquartered in Washington, D.C. in the United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical...

     and the National Park Service. Beginning in 2004, at Rock Creek Parkway, the National Geographic Society and the National Park Service began a 10-year program of hosting a major biological survey of ten selected national park units. The intent is to develop public interest in the nations natural resources, develop scientific interest in America's youth and to create citizen scientist.
    • 2007: Rock Creek Park
      Rock Creek Park
      Rock Creek Park is a large urban natural area with public park facilities that bisects Washington, D.C. The park is administered by the National Park Service.-Rock Creek Park:The main section of the park contains , or , along the Rock Creek Valley...

      , Washington D.C. 661 species
    • 2008: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
      Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
      The Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area or SMMNRA, is a United States National Recreation Area containing many individual parks and open space preserves, located primarily in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California...

      , Los Angeles, California. 1,700 species and more pending.
    • 2009: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
      Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
      Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a U.S. National Lakeshore located in northwest Indiana and managed by the National Park Service. It was authorized by Congress in 1966. The national lakeshore runs for nearly along the southern shore of Lake Michigan, from Gary, Indiana, on the west to Michigan...

      , greater Chicago, in northern Indiana. 1,716 species and still counting.
    • 2010: Biscayne National Park
      Biscayne National Park
      Biscayne National Park is a U.S. National Park located in southern Florida, due east of Homestead. The park preserves Biscayne Bay, one of the top scuba diving areas in the United States. Ninety-five percent of the park is water. In addition, the shore of the bay is the location of an extensive...

      , Miami, Florida. 810 species were identified during this 24-hr event. As classification continues, more species will be added to the list.
    • 2011: Saguaro National Park
      Saguaro National Park
      Saguaro National Park, located in southern Arizona, is part of the United States National Park System.-Overview:The park is divided into two sections, called districts, lying approximately east and west of the center of the city of Tucson, Arizona. The total area in 2010 was of which is...

      , Tucson, Arizona.
    • 2011: A November 2011 report by the U.S. Department of the Interior is giving the Battle of Honey Springs
      Battle of Honey Springs
      The Battle of Honey Springs was an American Civil War battle, an important victory for Union forces in their efforts to gain control of the Indian Territory. The battle was also unique in the fact that white soldiers were the minority in both forces...

       in Oklahoma
      Oklahoma
      Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

       consideration for becoming the next National Battlefield Park.

  • Biological Diversity: Biological Diversity is the vast variety of life as identified through species and genetics. This variety is decreasing as people spread across the globe, altering areas to better meet their needs.
  • Climate Change: Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global sea levels. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007).
  • South Florida Restoration Initiative: Rescuing an Ecosystem in Peril: In partnership with the State of Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , and the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service is restoring the physical and biological processes of the South Florida ecosystem. Historically, this ecosystem contained some of the most diverse habitats on earth.
  • Vanishing Treasures Initiative: Ruins Preservation in the American Southwest: The Vanishing Treasures Initiative began in FY 1998 to reduce threats to prehistoric and historic sites and structures in 44 parks of the Intermountain Region. In 2002, the program expanded to include three parks in the Pacific West Region. The goal is to reduce backlogged work and to bring sites and structures up to a condition where routine maintenance activities can preserve them.
  • Wetlands: Wetlands includes marsh
    Marsh
    In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

    es, swamp
    Swamp
    A swamp is a wetland with some flooding of large areas of land by shallow bodies of water. A swamp generally has a large number of hammocks, or dry-land protrusions, covered by aquatic vegetation, or vegetation that tolerates periodical inundation. The two main types of swamp are "true" or swamp...

    s, and bog
    Bog
    A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens....

    s. These areas and the plants and animals adapted to these conditions spread from the arctic to the equator. The shrinking wetlands provide habitat for fish and wildlife, help clean water and reduce the impact of storms and floods on the surrounding communities.
  • Wildland Fire: Fires have been a natural part of park eco-systems. Many plants and some animals require a cycle of fire or flooding to be successful and productive. With the advent of human intervention and public access to parks, there are safety concerns for the visiting public.

Climate Friendly Park


The Climate Friendly Parks Program was created as a collaborative effort between the National Park Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As stewards of the nations important natural and cultural resources, the National Park Service is taking a proactive stance towards climate change. This program is meant to achieve two goals. First, it will measure and reduce greenhouse gases to help slow the effects of climate change. Secondly, it is an example of environmental leadership.

Each park that joins the initiative will move to climate affecting pollution and offers public education programs about how the parks are already affect. The program will provide climate friendly solutions to the visiting public, like using clean energy, reducing waste, and making smart transportation choices. The CFP program has an established framework that can provide technical assistance, tools and resources for the parks and their neighboring communities to protect the natural and cultural resources.

Parks in the CFP program are creating and implementing plans to reduce greenhouse gases through reducing energy and water use. Facilities are being designed and retrofitted using sustainable materials. Alternative transportation systems are being developed to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
• Travel Smart – Walk, bike, carpool, take mass transit, and drive a fuel-efficient car.
• Save Energy – Choose energy-efficient appliances and convert lighting to compact fluorescent bulbs.
• Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle – Buy products with reusable, recyclable, and reduced packaging and support community recycling.

The large, isolated parks typically generate their own electricity and heat and must do so without spoiling the values that the visitors have come to experience. There is the pollution emitted by the vehicles used to transport visitors around the often-vast expanses of the parks. Many parks have converted vehicles to electric hybrids, substitute diesel/electric hybrid buses
Diesel-electric
Diesel-electric transmission or diesel-electric powertrain is used by a number of vehicle and ship types for providing locomotion.A diesel-electric transmission system includes a diesel engine connected to an electrical generator, creating electricity that powers electric traction motors...

 for private automobiles. Replacement with electric vehicle
Electric vehicle
An electric vehicle , also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion...

s would eliminate these (25 TPY) emissions entirely.
External link: NPS Climate Friendly Parks

Related acts


  • Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act
    Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act
    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act was a United States federal law passed in 1980 by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on December 2 of that year....

     of 1980
  • Antiquities Act
    Antiquities Act
    The Antiquities Act of 1906, officially An Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities , is an act passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by Theodore Roosevelt on June 8, 1906, giving the President of the United States authority to, by executive order, restrict the use of...

     or Lacy Act of 1906
  • Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008
    Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008
    The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 was an act passed in the 110th United States Congress and enacted on May 8, 2008.-Legislative history:...

  • Endangered Species Act
    Endangered Species Act
    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a "consequence of economic growth and...

  • Endangered Species Act Amendments of 1978
    Endangered Species Act Amendments of 1978
    The Endangered Species Act was first passed in 1973 and forms the basis of biodiversity and endangered species protection in the United States. The original purpose of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was to prevent species endangerment and extinction due to the human impact on natural...

  • Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
    Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act
    The Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of the United States was enacted March 10, 1934 to protect fish and wildlife when federal actions result in the control or modification of a natural stream or body of water...

     of 1934
  • Historic Sites Act
    Historic Sites Act
    The Historic Sites Act of 1935 was enacted by the United States Congress largely to organize the myriad federally-own parks, monuments, and historic sites under the National Park Service and the United States Secretary of the Interior...

     of 1935
  • Lacey Act
    Lacey Act
    The Lacey Act of 1900, or more commonly The Lacey Act is a conservation law introduced by Iowa Rep. John F. Lacey. Protecting both plants and wildlife by creating civil and criminal penalties for a wide array of violations, the Act most notably prohibits trade in wildlife, fish, and plants that...

     of 1900 (Wildlife preservation)
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act
    Marine Mammal Protection Act
    The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 was the first article of legislation to call specifically for an ecosystem approach to natural resource management and conservation. MMPA prohibits the taking of marine mammals, and enacts a moratorium on the import, export, and sale of any marine mammal,...

  • National Park Service General Authorities Act
    National Park Service General Authorities Act
    The National Park Service General Authorities Act of 1970 is an amendment to the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916. The amendment included the following:...

     of 1970
  • National Park Service Organic Act of 1916
  • National Environmental Policy Act
    National Environmental Policy Act
    The National Environmental Policy Act is a United States environmental law that established a U.S. national policy promoting the enhancement of the environment and also established the President's Council on Environmental Quality ....

     of 1970 (NEPA)
  • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
    National Historic Preservation Act of 1966
    The National Historic Preservation Act is legislation intended to preserve historical and archaeological sites in the United States of America...

     (NHPA)
  • National Wild and Scenic River
    National Wild and Scenic River
    National Wild and Scenic River is a designation for certain protected areas in the United States.The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was an outgrowth of the recommendations of a Presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission...

     of 1968
  • Redwood Act
    Redwood Act (1978)
    The Redwood Act is a 1978 amendment to the National Park Service General Authorities Act of 1970. The amendment is particularly notable for clarifying and supplementing the 1970 act and the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 with the following two important sentences as the second and...

     of 1978, creating one protection standard for the System
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
    The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act , enacted in 1976, is the principal Federal law in the United States governing the disposal of solid waste and hazardous waste.-History and Goals:...

     of 1976
  • Wilderness Act
    Wilderness Act
    The Wilderness Act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of The Wilderness Society. It created the legal definition of wilderness in the United States, and protected some 9 million acres of federal land. The result of a long effort to protect federal wilderness, the Wilderness Act was signed...

     of 1964


See also


People
  • Ansel Franklin Hall
    Ansel Franklin Hall
    Ansel F. Hall was an American naturalist. He was the first Chief Naturalist and first Chief Forester of the United States National Park Service.-Early career:...

    , first Chief Naturalist and first Chief Forester of the National Park Service
  • Harry Yount
    Harry Yount
    Henry S. Yount was an American Civil War soldier, mountain man, professional hunter and trapper, prospector, wilderness guide and packer, seasonal employee of the United States Department of the Interior, and the first gamekeeper in Yellowstone National Park...

    , progenitor of the modern national park ranger
  • William Kent (U.S. Congressman)
    William Kent (U.S. Congressman)
    William Kent was an American who served as a United States Congressman representing the State of California. He spearheaded the movement to create the Muir Woods National Monument by donating land to the Federal Government for the Monument.Kent was born in Chicago, Illinois...

    , donated early parklands to the government.
  • John F. Lacey
    John F. Lacey
    John Fletcher Lacey was an eight-term Republican United States congressman from Iowa's 6th congressional district. He was also the author of the Lacey Act of 1900, which made it a crime to ship illegal game across state lines, and the Lacey Act of 1907, which further regulated the handling of...

    , congressman from California.
  • National Park Ranger
    National Park Ranger
    National Park Service Rangers are among the uniformed employees charged with protecting and preserving areas set aside in the National Park System by the United States Congress and/or the President of the United States...


National Park People

Areas
  • List of areas in the United States National Park System
  • List of the United States National Park System official units
  • National Heritage Area
    National heritage area
    National heritage area is a region defined by a government as notable for cultural, historic, natural or recreation reasons. Compared to a national park, a national heritage area is not subject to the same level of zoning and regulations on land use. They are typically managed at a local...

  • National Memorial
    National Memorial
    National Memorial is a designation in the United States for a protected area that memorializes a historic person or event. National memorials are authorized by the United States Congress...

  • National Monument (United States)


Related Organizations
  • National Park Foundation
    National Park Foundation
    Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s nearly 400 national parks. Funds contributed to the Foundation are invested directly into the national parks...

  • National Parks Conservation Association
    National Parks Conservation Association
    The National Parks Conservation Association is the only independent, membership organization devoted exclusively to advocacy on behalf of the National Parks System...



Other links
  • National Park Passport Stamps
    National Park Passport Stamps
    At nearly all of the American National Park units , one or more National Park Passport Stamps can be acquired at no cost at park visitor centers and ranger stations. The stamps are similar in nature to passport stamps stamped in a traveler's national passport...

  • National Park Travelers Club
    National Park Travelers Club
    The National Park Travelers Club is a non-profit 5017 social club organization. Its mission is to provide networking and recognition opportunities for visitors to America's National Park System. This Club acts to support and expand appreciation of the U.S...

  • National Park Service Rustic
    National Park Service Rustic
    National Park Service rustic, also colloquially known as Parkitecture, is a style of architecture that arose in the United States National Park System to create buildings that harmonized with their natural environment. Since its founding, the National Park Service consistently has sought to provide...

    , style of architecture
  • United States Senate Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game
    United States Senate Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game
    The Senate Committee on Forest Reservations and the Protection of Game is a defunct committee of the United States Senate. It was established on March 19, 1896 and was terminated April 18, 1921, when its functions were transferred to the Committee on Agriculture and Forestry...

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund
    Land and Water Conservation Fund
    The United States' Land and Water Conservation Fund is a Federal program that was established by Act of Congress in 1964 to provide funds and matching grants to federal, state and local governments for the acquisition of land and water, and easements on land and water, for the benefit of all...

  • National Park to Park Highway
    National Park to Park Highway
    The National Park to Park Highway was an auto trail in the United States in the 1910s and 1920s, plotted by A. L. Westgard. It followed a large loop through the West, connecting twelve National Parks:*Rocky Mountain National Park*Yellowstone National Park...


External links



Other sources.