National Park Service

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National Park Service_table_infobox_0

National Park ServiceNational Park Service_table_caption_0
Agency overviewNational Park Service_header_cell_0_0_0
FormedNational Park Service_header_cell_0_1_0 August 25, 1916; 104 years ago (1916-08-25)National Park Service_cell_0_1_1
JurisdictionNational Park Service_header_cell_0_2_0 United States federal governmentNational Park Service_cell_0_2_1
HeadquartersNational Park Service_header_cell_0_3_0 Main Interior Building

1849 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20240National Park Service_cell_0_3_1

EmployeesNational Park Service_header_cell_0_4_0 12,363 (2018)National Park Service_cell_0_4_1
Annual budgetNational Park Service_header_cell_0_5_0 $4.085 billion (2019)National Park Service_cell_0_5_1
Agency executiveNational Park Service_header_cell_0_6_0 National Park Service_cell_0_6_1
Parent agencyNational Park Service_header_cell_0_7_0 Department of the InteriorNational Park Service_cell_0_7_1
WebsiteNational Park Service_header_cell_0_8_0 National Park Service_cell_0_8_1

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the federal government of the United States that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations. National Park Service_sentence_0

The United States Congress created the agency on August 25, 1916 through the National Park Service Organic Act. National Park Service_sentence_1

The NPS is an operating unit of the United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service_sentence_2

The agency is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment. National Park Service_sentence_3

In 2018, the NPS employed approximately 12,363 employees who oversaw 423 units, of which 62 were designated national parks. National Park Service_sentence_4

History National Park Service_section_0

Main article: History of the National Park Service National Park Service_sentence_5

See also: National Park Service Organic Act National Park Service_sentence_6

National parks and national monuments in the United States were originally individually managed under the auspices of the Department of the Interior. National Park Service_sentence_7

The movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. National Park Service_sentence_8 Horace McFarland. National Park Service_sentence_9

With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior. National Park Service_sentence_10

They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational, inspirational, and recreational benefits. National Park Service_sentence_11

This campaign resulted in the creation of the NPS. National Park Service_sentence_12

On August 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson 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". National Park Service_sentence_13

Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS. National Park Service_sentence_14

On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed the Reorganization Act of 1933. National Park Service_sentence_15

The act authorized the President to reorganize the executive branch of the United States government. National Park Service_sentence_16

Later that summer, the new president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, made use of this power after NPS Deputy Director Horace M. Albright suggested that the NPS, rather than the War Department should manage historic American Civil War sites. National Park Service_sentence_17

President Roosevelt agreed and issued two Executive orders to implement the reorganization. National Park Service_sentence_18

These two executive orders transferred to the NPS all of the War Department's historic sites as well as national monuments that the Department of Agriculture had managed and parks in and around Washington, D.C. that an independent federal office had previously operated. National Park Service_sentence_19

The demand for parks after the end of the World War II left the parks overburdened with demands that the NPS could not meet. National Park Service_sentence_20

In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the NPS and began to bring park facilities up to the standards that the public was expecting. National Park Service_sentence_21

In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Wirth began Mission 66, a ten-year effort to upgrade and expand park facilities for the 50th anniversary of the Park Service. National Park Service_sentence_22

New parks were added to preserve unique resources and existing park facilities were upgraded and expanded. National Park Service_sentence_23

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. National Park Service_sentence_24

Director George Hartzog began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and then National Recreation Areas. National Park Service_sentence_25

National Park Service National Park Service_section_1

Holdings National Park Service_section_2

For current specifics and a multitude of information, see the Quick Facts section of the NPS website. National Park Service_sentence_26

National Park Service_table_general_1

TypeNational Park Service_header_cell_1_0_0 AmountNational Park Service_header_cell_1_0_1
Area of landNational Park Service_cell_1_1_0 84,000,000 acresNational Park Service_cell_1_1_1 340,000 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_1_2
Area of oceans, lakes, reservoirsNational Park Service_cell_1_2_0 4,502,644 acresNational Park Service_cell_1_2_1 18,222 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_2_2
Length of perennial rivers and streamsNational Park Service_cell_1_3_0 85,049 miNational Park Service_cell_1_3_1 136,873 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_3_2
Archeological sitesNational Park Service_cell_1_4_0 68,561National Park Service_cell_1_4_1
Length of shorelineNational Park Service_cell_1_5_0 43,162 miNational Park Service_cell_1_5_1 69,463 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_5_2
Historic structuresNational Park Service_cell_1_6_0 27,000National Park Service_cell_1_6_1
Objects in museum collectionsNational Park Service_cell_1_7_0 121,603,193National Park Service_cell_1_7_1
BuildingsNational Park Service_cell_1_8_0 21,000National Park Service_cell_1_8_1
TrailsNational Park Service_cell_1_9_0 12,250 miNational Park Service_cell_1_9_1 19,710 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_9_2
RoadsNational Park Service_cell_1_10_0 8,500 miNational Park Service_cell_1_10_1 13,700 kmNational Park Service_cell_1_10_2

Criteria National Park Service_section_3

Most NPS units have been established by an act of Congress, with the president confirming the action by signing the act into law. National Park Service_sentence_27

The exception, under the Antiquities Act, allows the president to designate and protect areas as national monuments by executive order. National Park Service_sentence_28

Regardless of the method used, all parks are to be of national importance. National Park Service_sentence_29

A potential park should meet all four of the following standards: National Park Service_sentence_30

National Park Service_unordered_list_0

  • It is an outstanding example of a particular type of resource.National Park Service_item_0_0
  • It possesses exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the natural or cultural themes of the nation's heritage.National Park Service_item_0_1
  • It offers superlative opportunities for recreation, for public use and enjoyment, or for scientific study.National Park Service_item_0_2
  • It retains a high degree of integrity as a true, accurate, and relatively unspoiled example of the resource.National Park Service_item_0_3

Special designations National Park Service_section_4

Wilderness areas are covered by the US National Wilderness Preservation System, which protects federally managed lands that are of a pristine condition, established by the Wilderness Act (Public Law 88-577) in 1964. National Park Service_sentence_31

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 km). National Park Service_sentence_32

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) began with Executive Order 13158 in May 2000, when official MPAs were established for the first time. National Park Service_sentence_33

The initial listing of U.S. areas was presented in 2010, consisting of areas already set aside under other legislation. National Park Service_sentence_34

The NPS has 19 park units designated as MPAs. National Park Service_sentence_35

See also: § International Affairs National Park Service_sentence_36

Budget National Park Service_section_5

See also: United States federal budget and United States budget process National Park Service_sentence_37

In 2019, the NPS had an annual budget of $4.085 billion and an estimated $12 billion maintenance backlog. National Park Service_sentence_38

On August 4, 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act was signed into law reducing the $12 billion maintenance backlog by $9.5 billion over a 5-year period beginning in FY 2021. National Park Service_sentence_39

The NPS budget is divided into two primary areas, discretionary and mandatory spending. National Park Service_sentence_40

Within each of these areas, there are numerous specific purposes to which Congress directs the services activities. National Park Service_sentence_41

The NPS budget includes discretionary spending which is broken out into two portions: the direct operations of the National Parks and the special initiatives. National Park Service_sentence_42

Listed separately are the special initiatives of the service for the year specified in the legislation. National Park Service_sentence_43

During fiscal year 2010, the service was charged with five initiatives. National Park Service_sentence_44

They include: stewardship and education; professional excellence; youth programs; climate change impacts; and budget restructure and realignment. National Park Service_sentence_45

Discretionary spending National Park Service_section_6

Discretionary spending includes the Operations of the National Parks (ONPS), from which all park operations are paid. National Park Service_sentence_46

The United States Park Police funds cover the high-profile law enforcement operations at some of the large parks, including Gateway National Recreation Area, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the National Mall. National Park Service_sentence_47

The National Recreation and Preservation Program and the Urban Park and Recreation Fund are outreach programs to support state and local outdoor recreational activities. National Park Service_sentence_48

The ONPS section of the budget is divided into five operational areas. National Park Service_sentence_49

These areas include: National Park Service_sentence_50

Resource stewardship National Park Service_section_7

These are funds and people directed towards the restoration, preservation, and maintenance of natural and cultural resources. National Park Service_sentence_51

The resource staff includes biologists, geologists, archeologists, preservation specialists and a variety of specialized employees to restore and preserve cultural buildings or natural features. National Park Service_sentence_52

Visitor services National Park Service_section_8

The NPS allocates funds obtained from its visitor services for use in public programs and for educational programs for the general public and school groups. National Park Service_sentence_53

Park rangers trained in providing walks, talks, and educational programs to the public frequently conduct such programs. National Park Service_sentence_54

Media specialists prepare exhibits along trails, roads and in visitor contact facilities, as well as written brochures and web-sites. National Park Service_sentence_55

Park protection National Park Service_section_9

This includes the staff responding to visitor emergencies (criminal, medical and SAR), and the protection of the park's natural and cultural resources from damage by those persons visiting the park. National Park Service_sentence_56

The staff includes law enforcement rangers, park police, criminal investigators, and communication center operators. National Park Service_sentence_57

Facility maintenance and operations National Park Service_section_10

This is the cost of maintaining the necessary infrastructure within each park that supports all the services provided. National Park Service_sentence_58

It includes the plows and heavy equipment for road clearing, repairs and construction. National Park Service_sentence_59

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. National Park Service_sentence_60

The staff includes equipment operators, custodians, trail crews, electricians, plumbers, engineers, architects, and other building trade specialists. National Park Service_sentence_61

Park support National Park Service_section_11

This is the staff that provides for the routine logistical needs of the parks. National Park Service_sentence_62

There are human resource specialists, contracting officers, property specialists, budget managers, accountants and information technology specialists. National Park Service_sentence_63

External administrative costs National Park Service_section_12

The NPS pays external administrative costs to outside organizations that provide the logistical support that the NPS needs to operate its facilities. National Park Service_sentence_64

These costs include rent payments to the General Services Administration for building space, postage payments to the postal machine vendor and other direct payments. National Park Service_sentence_65

National Park Service_table_general_2

Functional areaNational Park Service_header_cell_2_0_0 FY 2010 (in thousands)National Park Service_header_cell_2_0_1 % of totalNational Park Service_header_cell_2_0_2
Resource stewardshipNational Park Service_cell_2_1_0 $347,328National Park Service_cell_2_1_1 15.3%National Park Service_cell_2_1_2
Visitor servicesNational Park Service_cell_2_2_0 $247,386National Park Service_cell_2_2_1 10.9%National Park Service_cell_2_2_2
Park protectionNational Park Service_cell_2_3_0 $368,698National Park Service_cell_2_3_1 16.3%National Park Service_cell_2_3_2
Facility maintenance and operationsNational Park Service_cell_2_4_0 $705,220National Park Service_cell_2_4_1 31.1%National Park Service_cell_2_4_2
Park supportNational Park Service_cell_2_5_0 $441,854National Park Service_cell_2_5_1 19.5%National Park Service_cell_2_5_2
External administrative costsNational Park Service_cell_2_6_0 $155,530National Park Service_cell_2_6_1 6.9%National Park Service_cell_2_6_2
Total (2010)National Park Service_cell_2_7_0 $2,266,016National Park Service_cell_2_7_1 National Park Service_cell_2_7_2

Park partnerships National Park Service_section_13

Parterships with external organizations help the NPS in its efforts to preserve and operate its parks. National Park Service_sentence_66

25 million dollars have been provided for FY 2010. National Park Service_sentence_67

NPS funding for such partnerships require matching grants from individuals, foundations, businesses, and the private sector. National Park Service_sentence_68

Land and Water Conservation Fund National Park Service_section_14

The NPS Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) supports Land Acquisition and State Conservation Assistance (SCA) grant programs. National Park Service_sentence_69

In 2010, the LWCF began an incremental process to fully fund its programs at a total cost of $900 million. National Park Service_sentence_70

The Department of the Interior and the United States Forest Service use these funds to purchase critical lands to protect existing public lands. National Park Service_sentence_71

The LWCF also issues grants to States and local jurisdictions to preserve and protect Civil War battlefield sites that are not part of the national park system. National Park Service_sentence_72

The SCA program distributes funds for land preservation to individual states. National Park Service_sentence_73

Construction National Park Service_section_15

This segment of the budget provides for the construction of new facilities or the replacement of aging and unsafe facilities. National Park Service_sentence_74

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. National Park Service_sentence_75

Additional funds come from the Federal Land Highway Administration for the construction and repair of Park roads. National Park Service_sentence_76

Historic preservation fund National Park Service_section_16

As the nation's leader in cultural preservation, funds are provided for a variety of programs to meet these needs nationwide. National Park Service_sentence_77

Two specific programs include the Save America's Treasures and the Preserve America. National Park Service_sentence_78

The Historic Preservation Offices makes grants available to the States, territories, and tribal lands. National Park Service_sentence_79

National recreation and preservation National Park Service_section_17

These funds go to local communities to preserve natural and cultural resources. National Park Service_sentence_80

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. National Park Service_sentence_81

Offsetting reductions and fixed costs in various accounts National Park Service_section_18

Within this category are a number of one-time events, which are added or removed as the events require. National Park Service_sentence_82

Notably in the FY 2009 and FY 2010 is the removal of the costs for the presidential inaugural. National Park Service_sentence_83

Other savings are identified through reduced operational costs from energy-efficient retro-fitting and the demolition of structures beyond repair. National Park Service_sentence_84

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act National Park Service_section_19

Otherwise known as "stimulus funds", the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides funds to restore and preserve major infrastructures within the national parks. National Park Service_sentence_85

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative National Park Service_section_20

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, is a $475.0 million proposal included in the U.S. National Park Service_sentence_86 Environmental Protection Agency budget. National Park Service_sentence_87

The park service will participate through the EPA in restoration activities in those parks that are within the watershed of the Great Lakes. National Park Service_sentence_88

Activities will include such actions as removal of dumps and fuel spills. National Park Service_sentence_89

Park will monitor mercury, lead, DDT, and other contaminants in six parks on the Great Lakes. National Park Service_sentence_90

Work also includes the removal of invasive species and education on how to prevent their spread. National Park Service_sentence_91

There are YouTube videos about the work being done in this field. National Park Service_sentence_92

Mandatory spending National Park Service_section_21

Mandatory appropriations are those items created by other congressional legislation that must be paid for. National Park Service_sentence_93

They include the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program, which requires the distribution and expenditure of fees that the NPS collects. National Park Service_sentence_94

Other Permanent Appropriations includes special funding categories to non-profit and state entities, which the NPS manages. National Park Service_sentence_95

Miscellaneous Trust Funds includes funding sources that have been created by the federal government or private citizen, where the NPS or a specific park have been identified as the beneficiaries. National Park Service_sentence_96

And there is also the L&WCF Contract Authority which is the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a congressionally created source of revenues that the NPS manages. National Park Service_sentence_97

Employees and volunteers National Park Service_section_22

The NPS employs more than 12,000 people each year. National Park Service_sentence_98

Approximately 221,000 Volunteers-In-Parks contribute about 6.4 million hours of their time to the NPS each year without receiving compensation from the federal government. National Park Service_sentence_99

Economic benefits National Park Service_section_23

The NPS affects economies at national, state, and local levels. National Park Service_sentence_100

According to a 2011 Michigan State University report prepared for the NPS, for each $1 invested in the NPS, the American public receives $4 in economic value. National Park Service_sentence_101

In 2011, national parks generated $30.1 billion in economic activity and 252,000 jobs nationwide. National Park Service_sentence_102

Thirteen billion of that amount went directly into communities within 60 miles of a NPS unit. National Park Service_sentence_103

In a 2017 study, the NPS found that 331 million park visitors spent $18.2 billion in local areas around National Parks across the nation. National Park Service_sentence_104

This spending helped support 306,000 jobs. National Park Service_sentence_105

The NPS expenditures supported $297 million in economic output in Missouri alone. National Park Service_sentence_106

Nomenclature National Park Service_section_24

The NPS uses over 20 different titles for the park units it manages, including national park and national monument. National Park Service_sentence_107

National Park Service_table_general_3

Classification as of 2009National Park Service_header_cell_3_0_0 NumberNational Park Service_header_cell_3_0_1 AreaNational Park Service_header_cell_3_0_2 VisitorsNational Park Service_header_cell_3_0_3
National Military Park (9), National Battlefield Park (4), National Battlefield Site (1), and National Battlefield (11)National Park Service_cell_3_1_0 25National Park Service_cell_3_1_1 71,502.49 acres (289 km)National Park Service_cell_3_1_2 8,360,261National Park Service_cell_3_1_3
National Historical Park (58), National Historic Site (76), and International Historic Site (1)National Park Service_cell_3_2_0 135National Park Service_cell_3_2_1 228,260.60 acres (924 km)National Park Service_cell_3_2_2 34,407,217National Park Service_cell_3_2_3
National LakeshoreNational Park Service_cell_3_3_0 3National Park Service_cell_3_3_1 228,995.14 acres (927 km)National Park Service_cell_3_3_2 3,728,821National Park Service_cell_3_3_3
National MemorialNational Park Service_cell_3_4_0 31National Park Service_cell_3_4_1 10,588.45 acres (43 km)National Park Service_cell_3_4_2 30,559,258National Park Service_cell_3_4_3
National MonumentNational Park Service_cell_3_5_0 84National Park Service_cell_3_5_1 2,027,864.58 acres (8,206 km)National Park Service_cell_3_5_2 22,646,428National Park Service_cell_3_5_3
National ParkNational Park Service_cell_3_6_0 62National Park Service_cell_3_6_1 52,095,045.71 acres (210,821 km)National Park Service_cell_3_6_2 62,950,968National Park Service_cell_3_6_3
National ParkwayNational Park Service_cell_3_7_0 4National Park Service_cell_3_7_1 177,339.69 acres (718 km)National Park Service_cell_3_7_2 29,948,911National Park Service_cell_3_7_3
National Preserve (19) and National Reserve (2)National Park Service_cell_3_8_0 21National Park Service_cell_3_8_1 24,191,311.63 acres (97,899 km)National Park Service_cell_3_8_2 2,956,325National Park Service_cell_3_8_3
National Recreation AreaNational Park Service_cell_3_9_0 18National Park Service_cell_3_9_1 3,700,277.20 acres (14,974 km)National Park Service_cell_3_9_2 50,645,414National Park Service_cell_3_9_3
National River (5) and National Wild and Scenic River and Riverway (10)National Park Service_cell_3_10_0 15National Park Service_cell_3_10_1 746,262.99 acres (3,020 km)National Park Service_cell_3_10_2 5,999,161National Park Service_cell_3_10_3
National Scenic TrailNational Park Service_cell_3_11_0 3National Park Service_cell_3_11_1 239,659.27 acres (970 km)National Park Service_cell_3_11_2 not availableNational Park Service_cell_3_11_3
National SeashoreNational Park Service_cell_3_12_0 10National Park Service_cell_3_12_1 595,013.55 acres (2,408 km)National Park Service_cell_3_12_2 17,920,507National Park Service_cell_3_12_3
Other DesignationsNational Park Service_cell_3_13_0 11National Park Service_cell_3_13_1 36,826.96 acres (149 km)National Park Service_cell_3_13_2 11,156,670National Park Service_cell_3_13_3
TotalsNational Park Service_cell_3_14_0 422National Park Service_cell_3_14_1 84,331,948.26 acres (341,279 km)National Park Service_cell_3_14_2 320,309,151National Park Service_cell_3_14_3

National parks preserve nationally and globally significant scenic areas and nature reserves. National Park Service_sentence_108

National monuments preserve a single unique cultural or natural feature. National Park Service_sentence_109

Devils Tower National Monument was the first in 1906. National Park Service_sentence_110

While the National Park Service holds the most National Monuments, a Monument may be managed or co-managed by a different entity such as the Bureau of Land Management or the Forest Service National Park Service_sentence_111

National preserves are for the protection of certain resources and operate similar to many National Parks, but allow limited resource extraction. National Park Service_sentence_112

Activities like hunting, fishing, and some mining may be allowed depending on the cite. National Park Service_sentence_113

Big Cypress National Preserve and Big Thicket National Preserve were created in 1974 as the first national preserves. National Park Service_sentence_114

National reserves are similar to national preserves, but the operational authority can be placed with a local government. National Park Service_sentence_115

New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve was the first to be established in 1978. National Park Service_sentence_116

National historic sites protect a significant cultural resource that is not a complicated site. National Park Service_sentence_117

Examples of these types of parks include Ford's Theatre National Historic Site and William Howard Taft National Historic Site. National Park Service_sentence_118

National historical parks are larger areas with more complex subjects. National Park Service_sentence_119

Appomattox Court House National Historical Park was created in 1940. National Park Service_sentence_120

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park was dedicated in 1936. National Park Service_sentence_121

Historic sites may also be protected in national parks, monuments, seashores, and lakeshores. National Park Service_sentence_122

National military parks, battlefield parks, battlefield sites, and battlefields preserve areas associated with military history. National Park Service_sentence_123

The different designations reflect the complexity of the event and the site. National Park Service_sentence_124

Many of the sites preserve important Revolutionary War battles and Civil War battlefields. National Park Service_sentence_125

Military parks are the sites of larger actions, such as Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Shiloh National Military Park—the original four from 1890. National Park Service_sentence_126

Examples of battlefield parks, battlefield sites, and national battlefields include Richmond National Battlefield Park, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site, and Antietam National Battlefield. National Park Service_sentence_127

National memorials are areas that officially memorialize a person or event, though unlike a National Histrorical Site, may or may not be placed at a specific historical location. National Park Service_sentence_128

The Washington Monument, Lincoln memorial, and Jefferson memorials are perhaps the most some of the most well known NPS National Memorials. National Park Service_sentence_129

Like National Monuments, a Memorial may be managed or co-managed by an entity other than the NPS. National Park Service_sentence_130

National seashores and national lakeshores offer preservation of the national coast line, while supporting water–based recreation. National Park Service_sentence_131

Cape Hatteras National Seashore was created in 1937. National Park Service_sentence_132

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, created in 1966, were the first national lakeshores. National Park Service_sentence_133

National rivers and wild and scenic riverways protect free-flowing streams over their length. National Park Service_sentence_134

The riverways may not be altered with dams, channelization, or other changes. National Park Service_sentence_135

Recreational pursuits are encouraged along the waterways. National Park Service_sentence_136

Ozark National Scenic Riverways was established in 1964. National Park Service_sentence_137

National recreation areas originally were units (such as Lake Mead National Recreation Area) surrounding reservoirs impounded by dams built by other federal agencies. National Park Service_sentence_138

Many of these areas are managed under cooperative agreement with the NPS. National Park Service_sentence_139

Some national recreation areas are in urban centers, because of the recommendations of a presidential commission, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission (ORRRC). National Park Service_sentence_140

These include Gateway National Recreation Area and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which encompass significant cultural as well as natural resources. National Park Service_sentence_141

The National Trails System preserves long-distance routes across America. National Park Service_sentence_142

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. National Park Service_sentence_143

They received official protection in 1968. National Park Service_sentence_144

The Appalachian Trail is the best known. National Park Service_sentence_145

National historic trails commemorate the routes of major historic events. National Park Service_sentence_146

Some of the best known are the Trail of Tears, the Mormon Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail. National Park Service_sentence_147

These trails are administered by several federal agencies. National Park Service_sentence_148

Visitors National Park Service_section_25

The National Park System receives over 280 million visits each year throughout the 419 units, with over 307 million visitors in 2015. National Park Service_sentence_149

Park visitation (recreational only) grew 64 percent between 1979 and 2015. National Park Service_sentence_150

The 10 most-visited units of the National Park System handle over 28 percent of the visits to the 419 park units. National Park Service_sentence_151

The top 10 percent of parks (41) handle 62.8 percent of all visits, leaving the remaining 372 units to accommodate 37.2 percent of visits. National Park Service_sentence_152

National Park Service_table_general_4

ParkNational Park Service_header_cell_4_0_0 RankNational Park Service_header_cell_4_0_1 VisitsNational Park Service_header_cell_4_0_2
Blue Ridge ParkwayNational Park Service_cell_4_1_0 1National Park Service_cell_4_1_1 15,054,603National Park Service_cell_4_1_2
Golden Gate National Recreation AreaNational Park Service_cell_4_2_0 2National Park Service_cell_4_2_1 14,888,537National Park Service_cell_4_2_2
Great Smoky Mountains National ParkNational Park Service_cell_4_3_0 3National Park Service_cell_4_3_1 10,712,674National Park Service_cell_4_3_2
Lincoln MemorialNational Park Service_cell_4_4_0 4National Park Service_cell_4_4_1 7,941,771National Park Service_cell_4_4_2
Lake Mead National Recreation AreaNational Park Service_cell_4_5_0 5National Park Service_cell_4_5_1 7,298,465National Park Service_cell_4_5_2
George Washington Memorial ParkwayNational Park Service_cell_4_6_0 6National Park Service_cell_4_6_1 7,286,463National Park Service_cell_4_6_2
Gateway National Recreation AreaNational Park Service_cell_4_7_0 7National Park Service_cell_4_7_1 6,392,565National Park Service_cell_4_7_2
Natchez Trace ParkwayNational Park Service_cell_4_8_0 8National Park Service_cell_4_8_1 5,785,812National Park Service_cell_4_8_2
Vietnam Veterans MemorialNational Park Service_cell_4_9_0 9National Park Service_cell_4_9_1 5,597,077National Park Service_cell_4_9_2
Grand Canyon National ParkNational Park Service_cell_4_10_0 10National Park Service_cell_4_10_1 5,520,736National Park Service_cell_4_10_2

Entrance fees National Park Service_section_26

Main article: List of fee areas in the United States National Park System National Park Service_sentence_153

Most areas of the National Park System do not charge entrance fees and are completely supported by tax dollars, although some of the most popular areas do charge entrance fees. National Park Service_sentence_154

Fees vary site to site and are charged either on a per-vehicle or per-person basis, with most passes valid for 7 days. National Park Service_sentence_155

The America the Beautiful Pass series waives the per-vehicle fee or per-person fee for the holder and up to 3 other adults (children age 15 and younger are admitted for free at most sites). National Park Service_sentence_156

Annual passes for single areas are also available for those who visit the same site often. National Park Service_sentence_157

Overnight stays National Park Service_section_27

Over 15 million visitors spent a night in one of the national park units during 2015. National Park Service_sentence_158

The largest number (3.68 million) were tent campers. National Park Service_sentence_159

The second largest group (3.38 million) stayed in one of the lodges, followed by miscellaneous stays (on boats, group sites—2.15 million). National Park Service_sentence_160

The last three groups of over-night visitors included RV campers (2.26 million), backcountry campers (2.02 million) and users of the concession-run campgrounds (1.42 million). National Park Service_sentence_161

Previous years of statistics are below. National Park Service_sentence_162

National Park Service_table_general_5

ParkNational Park Service_header_cell_5_0_0 2010 rankNational Park Service_header_cell_5_0_1 1994 rankNational Park Service_header_cell_5_0_2 1979 rankNational Park Service_header_cell_5_0_3
LodgesNational Park Service_cell_5_1_0 1National Park Service_cell_5_1_1 2National Park Service_cell_5_1_2 3National Park Service_cell_5_1_3
Tent campersNational Park Service_cell_5_2_0 2National Park Service_cell_5_2_1 1National Park Service_cell_5_2_2 2National Park Service_cell_5_2_3
MiscNational Park Service_cell_5_3_0 3National Park Service_cell_5_3_1 3National Park Service_cell_5_3_2 5National Park Service_cell_5_3_3
RV campersNational Park Service_cell_5_4_0 4National Park Service_cell_5_4_1 4National Park Service_cell_5_4_2 1National Park Service_cell_5_4_3
BackcountryNational Park Service_cell_5_5_0 5National Park Service_cell_5_5_1 5National Park Service_cell_5_5_2 4National Park Service_cell_5_5_3
Concession campersNational Park Service_cell_5_6_0 6National Park Service_cell_5_6_1 6National Park Service_cell_5_6_2 6National Park Service_cell_5_6_3

Visitor satisfaction National Park Service_section_28

Annually, visitors are surveyed for their satisfaction with services and facilities provided. National Park Service_sentence_163

Consistently, the highest ranked service has been Assistance from Park Employees (82% very good, 2007). National Park Service_sentence_164

Among facilities, the park Visitor Centers obtain a consistent 70% very good rating (73% in 2007). National Park Service_sentence_165

Youth programs National Park Service_section_29

The NPS offers a variety of youth oriented programs. National Park Service_sentence_166

They range from the Web Ranger on-line program to many programs in each National Park Unit. National Park Service_sentence_167

The primary work opportunities for youth are through the Youth Corp networks. National Park Service_sentence_168

The oldest serving group is the Student Conservation Association (SCA). National Park Service_sentence_169

It was established in 1957, committed to conservation and preservation. National Park Service_sentence_170

The SCA's goal is to create the next generation of conservation leaders. National Park Service_sentence_171

SCA volunteers work through internships, conservation jobs, and crew experiences. National Park Service_sentence_172

Volunteers conduct resource management, historic preservation, cultural resources and conservation programs to gain experience, which can lead to career development and further educational opportunities. National Park Service_sentence_173

The SCA places volunteers in more than 350 national park units and NPS offices each year. National Park Service_sentence_174

The Corps Network, formerly known as the National Association for Service and Corps (NASCC), represents 136 Service and Conservation Corps. National Park Service_sentence_175

These groups have programs in 42 states and the District of Columbia. National Park Service_sentence_176

Corpsmembers are between the ages of 16–25. National Park Service_sentence_177

Service and Conservation Corps are direct descendants of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of the 1930s that built park facilities in the national parks and other public parks around the country. National Park Service_sentence_178

The Corps Network was established in 1985. National Park Service_sentence_179

National Park Service_unordered_list_1

  • Youth Conservation Corps (ages 15–18)National Park Service_item_1_4
    • 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.National Park Service_item_1_5
  • Public Land Corps (ages 16–25)National Park Service_item_1_6
    • 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.National Park Service_item_1_7
  • Programs for Boy Scouts (ages 7–18)National Park Service_item_1_8
    • The NPS works with the Boy Scouts of America. Members can become a scout ranger and earn a patch. The service formerly participated every four years at the BSA Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia. Many scouts have completed their eagle projects in a National Park helping preserve the resources, while furthering the scouting experience.National Park Service_item_1_9
  • Programs for Girl Scouts (ages 5–18)National Park Service_item_1_10
    • Girl Scouts can become a Girl Scout ranger and earn a patch. The NPS works with Girl Scout troops through their Linking Girls to the Land.National Park Service_item_1_11

Accessibility National Park Service_section_30

Access Pass National Park Service_section_31

The Access Pass offers free, lifetime admission to federal areas of the NPS, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. National Park Service_sentence_180

Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority. National Park Service_sentence_181

Service animals National Park Service_section_32

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. National Park Service_sentence_182

Service animals must always be leashed. National Park Service_sentence_183

Service animals in training and pets are subject to other park regulations. National Park Service_sentence_184

When traveling with an animal, carry water, and allow for stops. National Park Service_sentence_185

Dispose of pet feces in a trash bin. National Park Service_sentence_186

Camping National Park Service_section_33

The National Park System offers numerous accessible camping opportunities. National Park Service_sentence_187

In over 120 units, campgrounds have sites specifically designed for tent camper accessibility. National Park Service_sentence_188

Special camp sites are located near restrooms with paved walkways to and from the restroom and water sources. National Park Service_sentence_189

Sites have hardened tenting sites that provide for easy access, but allow for tents to be erected on soil. National Park Service_sentence_190

Many additional units have pull-through trailer sites, providing for motorized use, but may have limited access to the rest of the campground facilities. National Park Service_sentence_191

Trails National Park Service_section_34

Many national park units have fully accessible trails. National Park Service_sentence_192

Visitors with special needs should check the park's web-site to insure that the trail is designed to meet their individual needs. National Park Service_sentence_193

Trails may have a compacted gravel surface, paved with asphalt, or a board walk. National Park Service_sentence_194

Many trails have guardrails, while others have a ridge along the edge, detectable by the visually impaired using a cane and capable of stopping a wheelchair. National Park Service_sentence_195

Many have no detectable edge when there is a stable surface. National Park Service_sentence_196

Vistas National Park Service_section_35

Parks that are known for their scenic vistas make them available through a variety of designs. National Park Service_sentence_197

Paved overlooks with accessible parking is the most common, and not always identified in written material. National Park Service_sentence_198

Road designs are configured to provide for mountain and landscape vistas from a vehicle. National Park Service_sentence_199

Additional information at "The Disabled Traveler's Companion". National Park Service_sentence_200

Controversy regarding accessibility National Park Service_section_36

On October 24, 2017, Secretary of the Interior Zinke proposed large fee hikes at seventeen of the most visited national parks in order to address a backlog of maintenance at all national parks. National Park Service_sentence_201

The NPS considered that these changes, which would increase entrance fees from $25 to $75, were appropriate because they only targeted the most popular parks, which already have entrance fees. National Park Service_sentence_202

However, there was a nearly unanimous public backlash against this proposal; many families felt this would prohibit them from being able to visit the parks. National Park Service_sentence_203

Further, there was concern that this hike would disproportionately affect low-income families, who are already underrepresented in visitation to national parks. National Park Service_sentence_204

Additionally, many organizations working to increase access to nature for families of color, such as Latino Outdoors and African American Nature and Parks Experience, spoke out against these proposed fee hikes. National Park Service_sentence_205

Altogether, more than 110,000 comments were posted on the NPS website, with 98% of them protesting this change. National Park Service_sentence_206

Representative Raul Grijalva commented, “This is a prime example that activism works.” In response to this strong public reaction, on April 12, 2018, Secretary Zinke released a statement replacing this plan with a more moderate proposal to raise prices incrementally across all parks with entrance fees. National Park Service_sentence_207

Concessions National Park Service_section_37

In an effort to increase visitation and allow for a larger audience to enjoy national park land, the NPS has numerous concession contracts with private businesses to bring recreation, resorts and other compatible amenities to their parks. National Park Service_sentence_208

NPS lodging opportunities exist at places such as the Wawona Hotel in Yosemite National Park and the Fort Baker Retreat and Conference Center in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. National Park Service_sentence_209

Adaptive reuses like those at Fort Baker, have raised some controversy from concerns about the historical integrity of these buildings, after extensive renovations and whether such alterations fall within the spirit and/or the letter of the preservation laws they are protected by. National Park Service_sentence_210

National Park Service_unordered_list_2

Litigation with Delaware North National Park Service_section_38

In 2015, Delaware North sued the NPS in the United States Court of Claims for breach of contract, alleging that the NPS had undervalued its trademarks of the names of iconic Yosemite National Park concession facilities. National Park Service_sentence_211

The NPS estimated the value of the intangible assets including the names "Ahwahnee", "Badger Pass", "Curry Village", and "Yosemite Lodge" at $3.5 million. National Park Service_sentence_212

Delaware North lost the contract, and asserted that the historic names were worth $51 million and maintained that the incoming concessioner had to be paid that amount. National Park Service_sentence_213

The Justice Department and the NPS asserted that this was an "improper and wildly inflated" value. National Park Service_sentence_214

Rather than pay Delaware North's demanded valuation, in January 2016 the NPS instead opted to rename the famous landmarks, effective in March. National Park Service_sentence_215

The Ahwahnee Hotel is slated to become The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, Curry Village will become Half Dome Village, and the Wawona Hotel will become Big Trees Lodge. National Park Service_sentence_216

Widespread public outcry focused on Delaware North's decision to claim ownership of names within a national park. National Park Service_sentence_217

The names were restored in 2019 upon settlement of the dispute. National Park Service_sentence_218

Bookstores National Park Service_section_39

At many Park Service sites a bookstore is operated by a non-profit cooperating association. National Park Service_sentence_219

The largest example is Eastern National, which runs bookstores in 30 states with 178 stores. National Park Service_sentence_220

National Park Service_unordered_list_3

  • National Park Service_item_3_15
  • National Park Service_item_3_16

Park specific: National Park Service_sentence_221

National Park Service_unordered_list_4

  • National Park Service_item_4_17
  • National Park Service_item_4_18
  • National Park Service_item_4_19
  • National Park Service_item_4_20
  • National Park Service_item_4_21
  • National Park Service_item_4_22
  • National Park Service_item_4_23

Offices National Park Service_section_40

Main article: Organization of the National Park Service National Park Service_sentence_222

Headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in Anchorage, Atlanta, Lakewood, CO (Denver), Omaha, NE, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle. National Park Service_sentence_223

The headquarters building of the National Park Service Southwest Regional Office is architecturally significant and is designated a National Historic Landmark. National Park Service_sentence_224

The NPS is an operating unit of the U.S. Department of the Interior. National Park Service_sentence_225

The NPS director is nominated by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate. National Park Service_sentence_226

The director is supported by six senior executives. National Park Service_sentence_227

These executives manage national programs, policy, and budget from the Washington, DC, headquarters. National Park Service_sentence_228

Under the deputy director of operations are seven regional directors, who are responsible for national park management and program implementation. National Park Service_sentence_229

Together this group is called the National Leadership Council. National Park Service_sentence_230

The national office is located in the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street NW, several blocks southwest of the White House. National Park Service_sentence_231

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. National Park Service_sentence_232

Staff and volunteers National Park Service_section_41

Employees National Park Service_section_42

By the mid-1950s, the primary employees of the service were the park rangers, who had broad responsibilities on the parks' behalf. National Park Service_sentence_233

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. National Park Service_sentence_234

The NPS employs many kinds of workers, as shown below. National Park Service_sentence_235

National Park Service_unordered_list_5

  • National Park Service RangerNational Park Service_item_5_24
    • InterpreterNational Park Service_item_5_25
    • Law enforcementNational Park Service_item_5_26
  • Park management (Superintendent/Deputy)National Park Service_item_5_27
  • United States Park PoliceNational Park Service_item_5_28
  • Emergency management (Emergency medical providers, search and rescue specialists)National Park Service_item_5_29
  • DispatchersNational Park Service_item_5_30
  • Maintenance (including carpenters, plumbers, masons, laborers, auto mechanics, motor vehicle operators, heavy equipment operators, electricians)National Park Service_item_5_31
  • Park planningNational Park Service_item_5_32
  • Resource management (including archeologist, biologist, botanist, aquatics, soil scientist, geologist)National Park Service_item_5_34
  • History (curators, historians, preservation technicians, historic architects, archivists)National Park Service_item_5_35
  • Fire management (managers, weather specialist, firefighters, engine captains, crew superintendents, battalion chiefs)National Park Service_item_5_36
  • Public AffairsNational Park Service_item_5_37
  • Administration (human resources, finance, accountants, information technology, budgeting, concessions management)National Park Service_item_5_38

Locations are varied. National Park Service_sentence_236

Parks exist in the nation's larger cities like New York City (Federal Hall Memorial National Historic Site), Atlanta (Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site), and San Diego (Cabrillo National Monument) to some of the remotest areas of the continent like Hovenweep National Monument in southeastern Utah, to Aniakchak National Monument in King Salmon, Alaska. National Park Service_sentence_237

Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) National Park Service_section_43

The Volunteers-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. National Park Service_sentence_238

Volunteers come from all walks of life and include professionals, artists, laborers, homemakers and students, performing varied duties. National Park Service_sentence_239

Many come from surrounding communities and some travel significant distances. National Park Service_sentence_240

In a 2005 annual report, the NPS reported that, National Park Service_sentence_241

FTE stands for full-time equivalent (one work year). National Park Service_sentence_242

In 2012, the National Park Service reported that over 221,000 volunteers contributed about 6.4 million hours annually. National Park Service_sentence_243

Additionally, other types of volunteers also conduct offsite NPS public outreach and education, such as the Trails & Rails program guides on board certain segments of long-haul Amtrak routes, who offer passengers insights to the travel area's natural resources and heritage. National Park Service_sentence_244

Artist-In-Residence National Park Service_section_44

Across the nation, there are special opportunities for artists (visual artists, photographers, sculptors, performers, writers, composers, and crafts) to live and work in a park. National Park Service_sentence_245

Twenty-nine parks currently participate in the Artist-In-Residence program. National Park Service_sentence_246

Law enforcement National Park Service_section_45

Main article: National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers National Park Service_sentence_247

United States Park Rangers National Park Service_section_46

Law enforcement rangers, or protection rangers, are uniformed federal law enforcement officers with broad authority to enforce federal and state laws within NPS sites. National Park Service_sentence_248

The NPS commonly refers to law enforcement operations in the agency as visitor and resource protection. National Park Service_sentence_249

In NPS units, law enforcement rangers are the primary police agency. National Park Service_sentence_250

The NPS also employs special agents who conduct more complex criminal investigations. National Park Service_sentence_251

Rangers and agents receive extensive police training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center and annual in-service and regular firearms training. National Park Service_sentence_252

United States Park Police National Park Service_section_47

Main article: United States Park Police National Park Service_sentence_253

The United States Park Police (USPP) is the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agency in the United States. National Park Service_sentence_254

It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those NPS areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City areas. National Park Service_sentence_255

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. National Park Service_sentence_256

Special divisions National Park Service_section_48

Other special NPS divisions include the Archeology Program, Historic American Buildings Survey, National Register of Historic Places, National Natural Landmarks, 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, the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, and the Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division. National Park Service_sentence_257

Centers National Park Service_section_49

The NPS 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. National Park Service_sentence_258

The Harpers Ferry Center specializes in interpretive media development and object conservation. National Park Service_sentence_259

The other three focus to various degrees on archaeological research and museum object curation and conservation. National Park Service_sentence_260

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. National Park Service_sentence_261

The Submerged Resources Center is the unit responsible for inventory and evaluation of submerged resources throughout the National Park system. National Park Service_sentence_262

The SRC is based out of the Intermountain Region's headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado. National Park Service_sentence_263

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, located in Natchitoches, Louisiana, conducts research and training in the fields of archeology, architecture, landscape architecture and materials conservation. National Park Service_sentence_264

Preservation programs National Park Service_section_50

The oldest federal preservation program, the Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER), produces graphic and written documentation of historically significant architectural, engineering and industrial sites and structures. National Park Service_sentence_265

Dating from 1934, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) was chartered to document historic architecture—primarily houses and public buildings—of national or regional significance. National Park Service_sentence_266

Originally a New Deal 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. National Park Service_sentence_267

Many of the structures they documented no longer exist. National Park Service_sentence_268

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. National Park Service_sentence_269

HABS/HAER is administered by the NPS Washington office and five regional offices. National Park Service_sentence_270

Historic American Buildings Survey National Park Service_section_51

In 1933, the NPS established the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), based on a proposal by Charles E. Peterson, Park Service landscape architect. National Park Service_sentence_271

It was founded as a make-work program for architects, draftsmen and photographers left jobless by the Great Depression. National Park Service_sentence_272

Guided by field instructions from Washington, D.C., the first recorders were tasked with documenting a representative sampling of America's architectural heritage. National Park Service_sentence_273

After 70 years, there is now an archive of historic architecture. National Park Service_sentence_274

HABS provided a database of primary source material for the then fledgling historic preservation movement. National Park Service_sentence_275

Historic American Engineering Record National Park Service_section_52

Recognizing a similar fragility in the national industrial and engineering heritage, the NPS, 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. National Park Service_sentence_276

Later, HAER was ratified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME). National Park Service_sentence_277

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. National Park Service_sentence_278

Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program National Park Service_section_53

The NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program is designed to assist local communities and the public in preservation of rivers, trails and greenways. National Park Service_sentence_279

Unlike the mainline National Park Programs, these programs take place on non-federal property at the request of the local community. National Park Service_sentence_280

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 Park Service_sentence_281

National Trails System National Park Service_section_54

The National Trails System is a joint mission of the NPS, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Park Service_sentence_282 Forest Service. National Park Service_sentence_283

It was created in 1968 to establish a system of long-distance National Scenic and National Historic Trails, as well as to recognize existing trails in the states as National Recreation Trails. National Park Service_sentence_284

Several additional trails have been established since 1968, and in 2009 Congress established the first National Geologic Trail. National Park Service_sentence_285

National Heritage Areas National Park Service_section_55

National Heritage Areas are a unique blend of natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources. National Park Service_sentence_286

Having developed out of a shared historic, they create a unique whole. National Park Service_sentence_287

Currently (2015) there are 49 designated heritage areas. National Park Service_sentence_288

World Heritage Sites National Park Service_section_56

Main article: World Heritage Site National Park Service_sentence_289

World Heritage Sites have enough universally recognized natural and cultural features that they are considered to merit the protection of all the peoples in the world. National Park Service_sentence_290

The NPS is responsible for 16 of the 24 World Heritage Sites in the United States. National Park Service_sentence_291

National Park Service_unordered_list_6

Initiatives National Park Service_section_57

National Park Service_unordered_list_7

  • 24-hr all Taxa BioBlitz: A joint venture of the National Geographic Society and the NPS. Beginning in 2004, at Rock Creek Parkway, the National Geographic Society and the NPS 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.National Park Service_item_7_55
  • 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.National Park Service_item_7_63
  • 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).National Park Service_item_7_64
  • South Florida Restoration Initiative: Rescuing an Ecosystem in Peril: In partnership with the State of Florida, and the Army Corps of Engineers, the NPS is restoring the physical and biological processes of the South Florida ecosystem. Historically, this ecosystem contained some of the most diverse habitats on earth.National Park Service_item_7_65
  • 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.National Park Service_item_7_66
  • Wetlands: Wetlands includes marshes, swamps, and bogs. 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.National Park Service_item_7_67
  • 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.National Park Service_item_7_68

Green Park Plan National Park Service_section_58

In September 2010, the NPS released its Climate Change Response Strategy, followed in April 2012 by the Green Parks Plan. National Park Service_sentence_292

Climate Friendly Parks Program National Park Service_section_59

The Climate Friendly Parks Program is a subset of the Green Parks Plan. National Park Service_sentence_293

It was created in collaboration between the NPS and the U.S. National Park Service_sentence_294 Environmental Protection Agency. National Park Service_sentence_295

The program is meant to measure and reduce greenhouse gases to help slow the effects of climate change. National Park Service_sentence_296

Parks in the CFP program create and implement plans to reduce greenhouse gases through reducing energy and water use. National Park Service_sentence_297

Facilities are designed and retrofitted using sustainable materials. National Park Service_sentence_298

Alternative transportation systems are developed to reduce dependency on fossil fuels. National Park Service_sentence_299

Parks in the program offer public education programs about how the parks are already affected. National Park Service_sentence_300

The CFP program provides climate-friendly solutions to the visiting public, like using clean energy, reducing waste, and making smart transportation choices. National Park Service_sentence_301

The CFP program can provide technical assistance, tools and resources for the parks and their neighboring communities to protect the natural and cultural resources. National Park Service_sentence_302

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. National Park Service_sentence_303

Pollution is emitted by the vehicles used to transport visitors around the often-vast expanses of the parks. National Park Service_sentence_304

Many parks have converted vehicles to electric hybrids, and substitute diesel/electric hybrid buses for private automobiles. National Park Service_sentence_305

In 2001 it was estimated that replacement with electric vehicles would eliminate 25 TPY emissions entirely. National Park Service_sentence_306

In 2010, the NPS estimated that reducing bottled water could eliminate 6,000 tons of carbon emissions and 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year. National Park Service_sentence_307

The NPS Concessions office voiced concerns about concessions impacts. National Park Service_sentence_308

By 2014, 23 parks had banned disposable water bottles. National Park Service_sentence_309

In 2015, the International Bottled Water Association stated the NPS was "leaving sugary drinks as a primary alternative", even though the Park Service provides water stations to refill bottles, "encouraging visitors to hydrate for free". National Park Service_sentence_310

The Water Association made the national parks one of its top lobbying targets. National Park Service_sentence_311

In July 2015 Rep. Keith Rothfus added a "last-minute" amendment into Congress's appropriations bill, blocking the NPS from funding or enforcing the program. National Park Service_sentence_312

The NPS discontinued its ban on disposable water bottles in August 2017. National Park Service_sentence_313

Related acts National Park Service_section_60

See also National Park Service_section_61

People National Park Service_section_62

Individuals National Park Service_section_63

National Park Service_unordered_list_8

  • Ansel Franklin Hall, first Chief Naturalist and first Chief Forester of the NPSNational Park Service_item_8_69
  • William Kent (U.S. Congressman), donated early parklands to the governmentNational Park Service_item_8_70
  • John F. Lacey, congressman from IowaNational Park Service_item_8_71
  • Harry Yount, progenitor of the modern national park rangerNational Park Service_item_8_72

Roles National Park Service_section_64

National Park Service_unordered_list_9

Related organizations National Park Service_section_65

National Park Service_unordered_list_10

Other links National Park Service_section_66

National Park Service_unordered_list_11

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: Park Service.