The Full Wiki

National Park Service: Wikis

Advertisements
  
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...


More interesting facts on National Park Service

Include this on your site/blog:

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

National Park Service
US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg
National Park Service Arrowhead
Agency overview
Formed August 25, 1916
Jurisdiction Federal Government of the United States
Headquarters Main Interior Building (MIB) & 1201 Eye Street, NW Washington, D.C.
Employees 15,828 permanent, 1,256 term, 2,984 seasonal (2007)
Annual budget $2.924 billion (2009)
Agency executive Jonathan Jarvis, Director of The National Park Service
Parent agency US Department of the Interior
Website
nps.gov

The National Park Service (NPS) is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations.[1] It was created on August 25, 1916, by Congress through the National Park Service Organic Act.[2]

It is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior, a federal executive department whose head, the Secretary of the Interior, is a Cabinet officer nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Most of the direct management of the NPS is delegated by the Secretary to the National Park Service Director, who must now also be confirmed by the Senate.

The 21,989 employees of the NPS oversee 392 units, of which 58 are designated national parks.[3]

Contents

History

In 1916, a portfolio of nine major parks were published to generate interest. Printed on each brochure was a map showing the parks and principal railroad connections.

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 and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. Horace McFarland. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior. They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational, inspirational, and recreational benefits.[4] This campaign resulted in the creation of a National Park Service. 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."[5] Mather became the first director of the newly formed NPS.[6]

On March 3, 1933, President Herbert C. Hoover 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, made use of this power. Deputy Director Horace M. Albright 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.[7]

In 1934, a series of ten postage stamps were issued to commemorate the reorganization and expansion of the National Park Service.

In 1951, Conrad Wirth 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 had left the parks overburdened with demands that could not be met. In 1952, with the support of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, he began Mission 66, 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.[7]

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 began the process with the creation of the National Lakeshores and then National Recreation Areas. By the end of the Twentieth Century, numerous National Heritage Areas were spread across the nation, preserving local parks for local people.[8]

Directors

Stephen Mather (center) and his staff, 1927 or 1928
Jon Jarvis, NPS Director
Name[9] Term of Office
Start End
1 Stephen Mather May 16, 1917 January 8, 1929
2 Horace M. Albright January 12, 1929 August 9, 1933
3 Arno B. Cammerer August 10, 1933 August 9, 1940
4 Newton B. Drury August 20, 1940 March 31, 1951
5 Arthur E. Demaray April 1, 1951 December 8, 1951
6 Conrad L. Wirth December 9, 1951 January 7, 1964
7 George B. Hartzog, Jr. January 9, 1964 December 31, 1972
8 Ronald H. Walker January 7, 1973 January 3, 1975
9 Gary Everhardt January 13, 1975 May 27, 1977
10 William J. Whalen July 5, 1977 May 13, 1980
11 Russell E. Dickenson May 15, 1980 March 3, 1985
12 William Penn Mott, Jr. May 17, 1985 April 16, 1989
13 James M. Ridenour April 17, 1989 January 20, 1993
14 Roger G. Kennedy June 1, 1993 March 29, 1997
15 Robert Stanton August 4, 1997 January 2001
16 Fran P. Mainella July 18, 2001 October 15, 2006
17 Mary A. Bomar October 17, 2006 January 20, 2009[10]
18 Jonathan Jarvis September 24, 2009 incumbent[11]

National Park System

Sample National Park Service pictographs

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 acres (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, 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, Pennsylvania, 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 of the United States, and some of the more famous national parks and monuments are sometimes referred to metaphorically as "crown jewels."[12]

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 at 1,164,025 acres (4711 km²). The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than one hundredth of an acre.

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, presidential proclamation. For example, because of provisons within their enabling legislation, Congaree National Park is almost entirely wilderness area, yet Yosemite allows unique developments such as the Badger Pass Ski Area and the O'Shaughnessy Dam within its boundaries. Death Valley National Park 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$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, National Park Service, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation) 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.[13]

Advertisements

National Parks

Grand Canyon National Park, south rim of canyon.
A National Park Service MD 900 helicopter
NPS Preliminary Survey party, Great Smoky Mountains, 1931
Winter at the Gettysburg Battlefield

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 was the first national park in the world. In 1872, there was no state government to manage it, so the Federal Government assumed direct control. Yosemite National Park began as a state park; the land for the park was donated by the Federal Government to the State of California 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 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 challenged him to lobby 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.[14] 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
Acres of Land[15] 84,000,000 acres 34,000,000 ha
Acres of oceans, lakes, reservoirs[15] 4,502,644 acres 1,822,155 ha
Miles of perennial rivers and streams[15] 85,049 mi 136,873 km
archeological sites[15]
68,561
miles of shoreline[15] 43,162 mi 69,463 km
historic structures[15]
27,000
objects in museum collections[15]
121,603,193
Buildings
21,000
Trails 12,250 mi 19,710 km
Roads 8,500 mi 13,700 km

Criteria

National Parks are established only by an act of Congress. However the president may designate and protect areas as National Monuments by Executive order under the Antiquities Act. Most have been established by an act of Congress with the President confirming the action by signing the act into law. Regardless of the method used, all parks are to be of national importance.[16]

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.

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.[17] 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. 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. SCA places volunteers in more than 350 national park units and NPS offices each year.[18]

­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 Corp (CCC) of the 1930’s that built park facilities in the national parks and other public parks around the country. The Corps Network was established in 1985.[19]

  • 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.[20]
  • 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 enviromental issues and the park. A dozen non-profit.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • 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.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25] Listed separately are the special initiatives of the servcie 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.[25]

Discretionary Spending

NPS Operations of the National Parks budget from FY 2001-FY 2006

Discretionary spending includes the Operations of the National Parks (ONPS), where all park operations are paid from. 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, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and the National Mall. The National Recreation and Preservation Program and the Urban Park and Recreation Fund are outreach programs to support state and local outdoor recreational activities..[24]

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 biologist, geologist, archeologist, preservation specialist and a variety of specialized employees to restore and preserve cultural buildings or natural featurs.[25]

Visitor Services: These funds go towards providing for public programs and educational programs for the general public and school groups. This area is commonly staff by park rangers, who are trained in providing walks, talks, and educational programs to the public. There is and increased number of media specialist, who provide for the exhibits along trails, roads and in visitor contact facilities, as well as the written brochures and web-site information.[25]

Park Protection: This includes the staff which responds 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 communcation center operators.[25]

Facility Maintenance & Operations: This is the cost of maintaining the necessary infrastructure human created 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 specialist.[25]

Park Support: This is the staff that provides for the routine logistical needs of the parks. There are human resource specialist, contracting officers, property specialist, budget managers, accountants and information technology specialist.[25]

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 for building space; postage payments to the postal machine vendor, and other direct payments.[25]

Functional area FY 2010[25] % of Total
Resource Stewardship
$347,328
15.3%
Visitor Services
$247,386
10.9%
Park Protection
$368,698
16.3%
Facility Maintenance & Operations
$705,220
31.1%
Park Support
$441,854
19.53%
External Administrative Costs
$155,530
6.9%
Total (2010) 2,266016

Park Partnerships
These funds support the use of partnerships in achieve park presrvation. 25 million dollars have been provided for FY 2010. These funds require matching grants from individuals, foundations, businesses, and the private sector.[25]

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 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.[25]

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 for the construction and repair of Park roads.[25]

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 and the Preserve America. The Historic Preservation Offices makes grants availabe to the States, territories, and tribal lands.[25]

National Recreation and Preservation
This funds go to local communities to preserve natural and cultural resources. Among the programs supported are the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance programs that promotes community links to parks, natural resource conservation and outdoor recreationacross America.[25]

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 or 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.[25]

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
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.[25]

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. Acitivites 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.[25]

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. Misscellaneous 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. An 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..[24]

Nomenclature of the National Park System

The National Park Service uses over 20 different titles for the park units it manages. The best known are national park and national monument.

Classification as of 2003[26] Number Acreage
National Military Park, National Battlefield Park, National Battlefield Site, and National Battlefield
24
71,502.49
National Historical Park, National Historic Site, and International Historic Site
123
228,260.60
National Lakeshore
4
228,995.14
National Memorial
28
10,588.45
National Monument
74
2,027,864.58
National Park
58
52,095,045.71
National Parkway
4
177,339.69
National Preserve and National Reserve
20
24,191,311.63
National Recreation Area
18
3,700,277.20
National River and National Wild and Scenic River and Riverway
15
746,262.99
National Scenic Trail
3
239,659.27
National Seashore
10
595,013.55
Other Designations (White House, National Mall, etc)
11
36,826.96
Totals
392
84,331,948.26

National Parks include a range of superb natural and cultural wonders. The first national park was Yellowstone National Park in 1872.

National Monuments preserve a single unique cultural or natural feature. Devils Tower National Monument 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 National Historic Site and William Howard Taft National Historic Site.

National Historical Parks are larger areas with more complex subjects. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park was created in 1940. George Rogers Clark National Historical Park 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, Vicksburg National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, and Shiloh National Military Park—the original four from 1890. 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 Seashores and National Lakeshores offer preservation of the national coast line, while supporting water–based recreation. Cape Hatteras National Seashore was created in 1937. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, created in 1966, were the first national lakeshores.

National Recreation Areas originally were units (such as Lake Mead National Recreation Area) 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 and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, 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 was established in 1964.

The National Trails System 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 and the Continental Divide Trail are the best known. National Historic Trails commemorate the routes of major historic events. Some of the best known are the Trail of Tears, the Mormon Trail, and the Santa Fe Trail. 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 and Big Thicket National Preserve 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. City of Rocks National Reserve was the first to be established in 1988.

Visitors to the National Parks

The National Park System receives over 270,000,000 visits each year through out the 392 units.[27] 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 392 park units. The top ten percent of parks (39) handle 61.2% of all visits, leaving the remaining 352 units to deal with 38.8% of visits.[28]

Park Rank[28] Visits
Blue Ridge Parkway
1
16,309,307
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
2
14,554,750
Gateway National Recreation Area
3
9,431,021
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
4
9,044,010
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
5
7,601,863
George Washington Memorial Parkway
6
7,009,630
Natchez Trace Parkway
7
5,747,235
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
8
5,127,074
Lincoln Memorial
9
4,678,861
Cape Cod National Seashore
10
4,644,235

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).[28] Over the last 30 years the largest change has been with RV users.

Park 2009 Rank[28] 1994 Rank[28] 1979 Rank[28]
RV Campers
1
3
4
Tent Campers
2
1
2
Lodges
3
2
1
Backcountry
4
5
3
Misc
5
4
4
Concession Campers
6
6
6

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).

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 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 in Yosemite National Park and the Fort Baker Retreat and Conference Center in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. "Adaptive reuses" 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 they are protected by.

Cooperators, i.e., bookstores

At many Park Service sites a bookstore is operated by a non-profit cooperating association. The largest example is Eastern National, 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

Depicts twelve figures, most in NPS uniforms, shown in occupations from left to right: a lifeguard, a Civil War reenactor, fire management, mounted patrol, researcher and/or natural resources with fish, a female ranger with two visitors, a laborer, a climber/rescuer, and a youth with a male ranger.

Headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., with regional offices in Anchorage, Atlanta, Lakewood, CO (Denver), Omaha, NE, Oakland, CA, Philadelphia and Seattle. The headquarters building of the National Park Service Southwest Regional Office is architecturally signicant and is designated a National Historic Landmark.

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.[29] 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.[30]

The national office is located in the Main Interior Building, 1849 C Street NW, several blocks southwest of the White House. 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.[31]

Working in a National Park Unit

Employees of the National Park Service

Book on Becoming a Park Ranger
1994 book on NPS Careers

By middle 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.[32]

By the 21st century, the demands of the service required specialists. Today, there are more than eighteen career paths in the service:

National Park Service employment levels. Executives: abt 27; Gen Sch: 16-17,000; Others: 6-7,000[33]

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

Locations are varied. 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.[34]

Volunteers in Park (VIP)

The Volunteer-in-Parks program was authorized in 1969 by the Volunteers in the Parks Act of 1969.[35] for the purpose of allowing the public to serve in the nations parks providing support and skills for their enhancement and protection.[36]

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.[36] 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."[37]

  • 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.[38]

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

Historic Preservation Training Center

The United States Park Police is a distinct law enforcement division of the National Park Service, with jurisdiction in all NPS sites, but primarily used in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, New York City and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in and around San Francisco. Law enforcement services in other NPS units are provided by specially commissioned park rangers. Other special NPS divisions include the Archeology Program,[39] Historic American Buildings Survey, National Register of Historic Places, National Natural Landmarks, the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program,[40] the Challenge Cost Share Program,[41] the Federal Lands to Parks,[42] the Hydropower Relicensing Program,[43] the Land and Water Conservation Fund,[44] the National Trails System[45] and the Partnership Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.[46]

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 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)

Photograph of El Santuario Del Señor Esquipula, Chimayo, New Mexico
LaSalle Street Bridge, Chicago, Illinois
Sign marking many trails in the National Trails System.

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. 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. 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. 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.[47]

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 (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). 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.[48]

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.[49]

National Trails System
The National Trails System is a joint mission of the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service. It was created in 1968 to create a system of national trails. The system now consist of two groups, the National Scenic Trails and the National Historic Trails.[50]

National Scenic Trails

National Historic Trails

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.

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. [51]

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. Both Canada and Mexico share common natural and historical events. Many of these sister park relations are built on this, as with Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta and Glacier National Park, Montana. The same cooperative design is also being used with Big Bend National Park, Texas; Maderas del Carmen, state of Coahuila, Mexico; and Canon de Santa Elena WPA, state of Chihuahua, Mexico. [52] Other pairings are based on common operational issues, i.e., Kampinoski National Park, Poland with Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Indiana; or the Lake Superior parks of Canada and the U.S.; Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.

Cooperative Work
The National Park Service provides technical support to numerous intentional partners, beyond the support managed through the ‘Sister Park’ Program. [53] 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 signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a program of technical exchange and cooperation. The MOU was renewed in 2003. [54]

Latin America and Caribbean – Years of technical support have created numerous relationships. In 2009, major programs were under way in Argentina, Costa Rica, Chile, and Haiti. [55]

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. [56]

Asia – Technical teams and sister park relationship allow China, Korea, Japan, and Cambodia to share skills and techniques.[57]

Africa- Since 1995, the National Park Service and South Africa have worked on numerous park projects. Additionally, technical support and training has been provided to eighteen other nations in Africa.[58]

World Heritage Sites

National Park Service US World Heritage tentative map j.jpg

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. The National Park Service is responsible for 16 of the 19 World Heritage Sites in the United States.[59]

The following sites are not managed by the National Park Service:

Initiatives

  • 24-hr all Taxa BioBlitz: A joint venture of the National Geographic Society 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.
  • 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.[62]
  • 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).[63]
  • South Florida Restoration Initiative: Rescuing an Ecosystem in Peril: In partnership with the State of Florida, 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.[64]
  • 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.[65]
  • 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.[66]
  • 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.[67]

Emissions

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 for private automobiles. Replacement with electric vehicles would eliminate these (25 TPY) emissions entirely.[68]

Regulatory impacts

See also

People

Areas

Related Organizations

Other links

Notes

  1. ^ "Designation of National Park System Units". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/legacy/nomenclature.html. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  2. ^ "The National Park Service Organic Act". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/legacy/organic-act.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  3. ^ Budget Justifications and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2008, National Park Service
  4. ^ Sutter, p. 102
  5. ^ Sutter, p. 104
  6. ^ Albright, Horace M. as told to Robert Cahn; The Birth of the National Park Service; The Founding Years, 1913-33; Howe Brothers, Salt Lake City, Utah; 1985.
  7. ^ a b The National Parks: Shaping the System; National Park Service, Dept of the Interior; 1991; pg 24
  8. ^ National Park Service Almanac; Rocky Mountain Region, Public Affair; 2007
  9. ^ "Directors of the National Park Service". National Park Service. http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/hisnps/NPSHistory/directors.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  10. ^ Press Release: Director Bomar To Retire On Tuesday; Dave Barna, Press Office, National Park Service; January 15, 2009
  11. ^ Jonathan Jarvis Confirmed As Director, By Hugh Vickery, September 25, 2009.
  12. ^ Lee, Ronald F.; Family Tree of the National Park System; Eastern National Parks, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1972; pg 9-12
  13. ^ http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm| America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass
  14. ^ National Park Service Organic Act
  15. ^ a b c d e f g National Park Service, 2008 Director's Report; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; Washington, D.C.; 2009
  16. ^ Criteria for Parklands brochure; Department of the Interior, National Park Serivce; 1990
  17. ^ NPS Youth Programs
  18. ^ SCA
  19. ^ Corp Networks
  20. ^ YCC
  21. ^ PLC
  22. ^ BSA in NPS
  23. ^ GSA in NPS
  24. ^ a b c FY 2006 President’s Budget, Executive Summary; National Park Service; Government Printing Office; February 7, 2005
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Budget Justification and Performance Information, Fiscal Year 2010, National Park Service, The United States Department of the Interior, 2009
  26. ^ The National Parks: Index 2009–2011, Official Index of the National Park Service, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.; 01/03/2009
  27. ^ http://www.nature.nps.gov/stats/
  28. ^ a b c d e f Statistical Abstract 2008; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; National Park Service Social Science Program; Denver, Colorado; 2009
  29. ^ NPS About US
  30. ^ National Park Service Headquarters Organization, March 2009
  31. ^ Washington Contacts
  32. ^ Park Ranger, The Work, Thrills and Equipment of the National Park Rangers, Colby, C.B.; Coward-McCann, Inc., New York, 1955
  33. ^ DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, National Park Service, Fiscal Year nnnn Budget Justifications;, where nnnn = 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, and 2009)
  34. ^ Careers in the National Parks; Gartner, Bob; The Rosen Publishing Company, New York; 1993
  35. ^ Director’s Order #7: Volunteers in Parks; June 13, 2005; Department of the Interior, National Park Service
  36. ^ a b Volunteers in Parks; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.; 1990
  37. ^ Volunteer in Parks, FY05 Annual Report, Department of the Interior, National Park Service; GPO, Washington D.C.; 2006
  38. ^ NPS Artist-in-Residence
  39. ^ "National Park Service Archeology Program". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/history/archeology. Retrieved 2009-10-15. 
  40. ^ "Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/rtca. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  41. ^ "Challenge Cost Share Program". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/ccsp. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  42. ^ "Federal Lands to Parks". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/flp. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  43. ^ "Hydropower Relicensing Program". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/hydro. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  44. ^ "Land and Water Conservation Fund". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/lwcf/. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  45. ^ "National Trails System". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/nts/. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  46. ^ "Partnership Wild & Scenic Rivers". National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov/pwsr. Retrieved 2008-04-05. 
  47. ^ NPS brochure A Heritage So Rich
  48. ^ NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ALMANAC, Edited and Compiled by Ben Moffett and Vickie Carson, Rocky Mountain Region -- Public Affairs, 1994
  49. ^ Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program brochure; National Park Service, Department of the Interior
  50. ^ National Trails System Map and Guide; National Park Service (DOI); Bureau of Land Management (DOI); Forest Service (USDA): Government Printing Office, 1993
  51. ^ NPS Office of International Affairs-history
  52. ^ NPS Office of International Affairs-Sister Parks Program
  53. ^ NPS Office of International Affairs
  54. ^ NPS OIA – Canada
  55. ^ NPS OIA-Latin America
  56. ^ NPS OIA-North Africa
  57. ^ NPS OIA-Asia
  58. ^ NPS OIA-Africa
  59. ^ U.S. World Heritage Sites; U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Washington, D.C.; brochure
  60. ^ a b http://www.nationalgeographic.com/field/projects/bioblitz.html
  61. ^ National Parks Traveler, May 17th, 2009; Kurt Repanshek
  62. ^ Biological Diversity brochure; National Park Service; 1993
  63. ^ Climate Change in National Parks brochure; Dept of the Interior, National Park Service; 2007
  64. ^ http://data2.itc.nps.gov/budget2/documents/south_florida_restoration_initiative.pdf
  65. ^ http://data2.itc.nps.gov/budget2/documents/vanishing_treasures_initiative.pdf
  66. ^ Wetlands in the National Parks;Dept of the Interior, National Park Service; 1998
  67. ^ Managing Wildland Fire brochure; Dept of the Interior, National Park Service & National Interagency Fire Center; 2003
  68. ^ http://www.epa.gov/ttnchie1/conference/ei10/intemissions/shepherd.pdf

References

  • Albright, Horace M. (as told to Robert Cahn). The Birth of the National Park Service. Salt Lake City: Howe Brothers, 1985.
  • Albright, Horace M, and Marian Albright Schenck. Creating the National Park Service: The Missing Years. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.
  • Dilsaver, Lary M., ed. America's National Park System: The Critical Documents. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1994.
  • Everhardt, William C. The National Park Service. New York: Praeger, 1972.
  • Foresta, Ronald A. America's National Parks and Their Keepers. Washington: Resources for the Future, 1985.
  • Garrison, Lemuel A;. The Making of a Ranger. Salt Lake City: Howe Brothers, 1983.
  • Gartner, Bob; Exploring Careers in the National Parks. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. 1993
  • Hartzog, George B. Jr; Battling for the National Parks; Moyer Bell Limited; Mt. Kisco, New York; 1988
  • Ise, John. Our National Park Policy: A Critical History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1961.
  • Lee, Ronald F.; Family Tree of the National Park System; Eastern National Parks, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1972
  • Mackintosh, Barry. The National Parks: Shaping the System. Washington: National Park Service, 1991.
  • National Parks for the 21st Century; The Vail Agenda; The National Park Foundation, 1991
  • National Park Service Almanac, Edited and Compiled by Ben Moffett and Vickie Carson: Rocky Mountain Region, National Park Service, 1991, revised 2006
  • The National Parks: Shaping The System; National Park Service, Washington D.C. 1991.
  • Rettie, Dwight F.; Our National Park System; University of Illinois Press; Urbana, Illinois; 1995
  • Ridenour, James M. The National Parks Compromised: Pork Barrel Politics and America's Treasures. Merrillville, IN: ICS Books, 1994.
  • Rothman, Hal K. Preserving Different Pasts: The American National Monuments. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
  • Runte, Alfred. National Parks, the American Experience, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1987.
  • Sellars, Richard West. Preserving Nature in the National Parks: A History. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.
  • Shankland, Robert; Steve Mather of the National Parks; Alfred A. Knopf, New York; 1970
  • Sontag, William H. National Park Service: The First 75 Years. Philadelphia: Eastern National Park & Monument Assn., 1991.
  • Sutter, Paul. 2002. Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement. Seattle: University of Washington press. ISBN 0295982195.
  • Swain, Donald. Wilderness Defender: Horace M. Albright and Conservation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970.
  • Udall, Stewart L., The Quiet Crisis. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963.
  • Wirth, Conrad L. Parks, Politics, and the People. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.

External links

Other sources.


Simple English

The National Park Service is a government office of the United States Department of the Interior. The National Park Service looks after many natural landscapes and historic and archaeological places and buildings.

The office opened in 1916. The United States Secretary of the Interior appoints a director to head the office in Washington, D.C.

There are more than 350 areas in the National Park System. One of these areas is Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park.

Other websites

National Park Service


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message