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Overview:
Located in the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for overseeing, maintaining and preserving the National Park System—which comprises 391 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, and scenic rivers and trails. Notable areas such as the White House, the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty and Gettysburg are also under NPS administration.
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History:
The history of NPS began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Yellowstone sparked a worldwide national park movement, which today includes more than a thousand national parks or preserves in more than 100 nations. Over time, the U.S. government authorized additional national parks and monuments, mostly established on federal lands in the West and under control of the Department of the Interior.
 
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation (the National Park Service Organic Act) creating the NPS, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments. In 1933 an executive order transferred 56 national monuments and military sites to the NPS from the Forest Service and the War Department. (Formerly, administration for other monuments and natural and historical areas had been under the aegis of these latter two agencies).
 
The General Authorities Act of 1970 reiterated the government’s intention to bring all federal parklands, as well as historical monuments and scenic sites, under the management of a single agency: “the National Park System, which began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, has since grown to include superlative natural, historic, and recreation areas in every region . . . and that it is the purpose of this Act to include all such areas in the System. . . .”
 
The National Park System of the United States now comprises 391areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands.
 

History & Culture: People

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What it Does:
NPS manages the almost 400 sites in the National Park system covering 84. 6 million acres, or 3.4 percent of U.S. land. 79 million acres of this is NPS stewardship land, and the remaining lands are not federally owned, but managed by NPS.
 
Historically relegated to the Western U.S., now more than half of national park areas are east of the Mississippi River. NPS areas and sites include natural, historical and recreational areas. Parks in each category are governed according to specific management systems.
 
In addition to the national park system, the agency also oversees the National Historic Landmarks program and the National Register of Historic Places, including more than 8,000 monuments and statues.
 
In its preservation function, the NPS offers grants and assistance to register, record and save historic lands and locations, to create community parks and recreation facilities, as well as conserve waterways and wildlife and develop trails and greenways.
 
Organization
The agency is overseen by a Secretary, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Much of the agency’s operations are directly managed by the Secretary to the National Park Service Director, who must also be confirmed by the Senate.
 
Parks
The NPS oversees 391 units, of which 58 are designated national parks. According to the National Park Service, the unit designations include:
 
Nature
-        National Park - These are generally large natural places having a wide variety of attributes, at times including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining, logging and grazing are not authorized.
-        National Preserve - National preserves are areas having characteristics associated with national parks, but in which Congress has permitted continued public hunting, trapping, oil/gas exploration and extraction. Many existing national preserves, without sport hunting, would qualify for national park designation.
-        National Recreation Area - Twelve NRAs in the system are centered on large reservoirs and emphasize water-based recreation. Five other NRAs are located near major population centers. Such urban parks combine scarce open spaces with the preservation of significant historic resources and important natural areas in location that can provide outdoor recreation for large numbers of people.
-        National Seashore - Ten national seashores have been established on the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts; some are developed and some relatively primitive. Hunting is allowed at many of these sites.
-        National Lakeshore - National lakeshores, all on the Great Lakes, closely parallel the seashores in character and use.
-        National River - There are several variations to this category: national river and recreation area, national scenic river, wild river, etc. The first was authorized in 1964 and others were established following passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.
-        National Trail - National scenic trails and national historic trails are the titles given to these linear parklands (over 3,600 miles) authorized under the National Trails System Act of 1968.
-        National Parkway - The title parkway refers to a roadway and the parkland paralleling the roadway. All were intended for scenic motoring along a protected corridor and often connect cultural sites.
 
Historic Sites
-        National Monument - The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the President to declare landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest situated on lands owned or controlled by the government to be national monuments.
-        National Historic Site - Usually, a national historic site contains a single historical feature that was directly associated with its subject. Derived from the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (PDF), a number of historic sites were established by secretaries of the Interior, but most have been authorized by acts of Congress.
-        National Historical Park - This designation generally applies to historic parks that extend beyond single properties or buildings.
-        National Memorial - A national memorial is commemorative of a historic person or episode; it need not occupy a site historically connected with its subject.
-        National Battlefield - This general title includes national battlefield, national battlefield park, national battlefield site, and national military park. In 1958, an NPS committee recommended national battlefield as the single title for all such park lands.
-        National Cemetery - There are presently 14 national cemeteries in the National Park System, all of which are administered in conjunction with an associated unit and are not accounted for separately.
-        Affiliated Areas - In an Act of August 18, 1970, the National Park System was defined in law as, "any area of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational or other purposes." The Affiliated Areas comprise a variety of locations in the United States and Canada that preserve significant properties outside the National Park System. Some of these have been recognized by Acts of Congress, others have been designated national historic sites by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935. All draw on technical or financial aid from the National Park Service.
-        Other Designations - Some units of the National Park System bear unique titles or combinations of titles, like the White House and Prince William Forest Park.
 
Additions
Additions to the National Park System are now generally made through acts of Congress, and national parks can be created only through such acts. But the President has authority, under the Antiquities Act of 1906, to proclaim national monuments on lands already under federal jurisdiction. The Secretary of the Interior is usually asked by Congress for recommendations on proposed additions to the System. The Secretary is counseled by the National Park System Advisory Board, composed of private citizens, which advises on possible additions to the System and policies for its management.
 
Travel Help
 
Annual visits average 270 million (in 2006, recreational visitors to the parks totaled 272,623,980).
See Public Use Statistics for details
 
Legislation
 
Programs
A
C
F
H
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
 
Preservation
National Park Service archeologists, architects, curators, historians, and other cultural resource professionals work in America’s nearly 400 national parks to “preserve, protect, and share the history of this land and its people.” This includes:
-        27,000 significant structures in national parks
-        66,000 archeological sites in national parks
-        115 million objects in park museum collections
 
Beyond the parks, the National Park Service is part of a national preservation partnership working with American Indian tribes, states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, historic property owners, and others who believe in the importance of our shared heritage–and its preservation. This includes:
-        $1.2 billion in preservation grants
-        80,000 listings in the National Register of Historic Places
-        2,400 National Historic Landmarks
-        $30 billion in historic rehabilitation tax credit projects
-        27 National Heritage Areas
 
The National Park Service also develops standards and guidelines for historic rehabilitation projects, offers “how to” advice for hands-on preservationists, and helps find new owners for historic lighthouses.
 
Nature/Science
 
Science and Research
-        Science.gov - Science.gov is a gateway to authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. Government agencies
-        Inventory and Monitoring - Inventory and Monitoring of park resources to acquire information needed by park managers to maintain ecosystem integrity in the approximately 270 National Park System units that contain significant natural resources.
-        Park Science - The quarterly research and resource management bulletin of the National Park Service.
-        U.S. National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System - This site helps investigators find out about park needs for research, apply for permission to conduct scientific studies pertaining to natural resources or social sciences within park units, and to report on their research accomplishments.
-        Research in the Parks - National parks serve as outdoor laboratories for the study of physical, biological, and cultural systems and their components.
-        Research Learning Centers - Research Learning Centers have been developed to facilitate research efforts and provide educational opportunities for all people to gain new knowledge about the National Parks.
-        GeoScientists-in-the-Parks - The National Park Service is looking for experienced earth science professionals and students to work with park staffs to help them understand and manage the resources through examining the geology, water, air, and integrated sciences.
-        Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit National Network - A network of cooperative research units established to provide research, technical assistance, and education to resource and environmental managers. Each CESU is structured as a working collaboration among federal agencies and universities.
-        Sabbaticals in the Parks - The Sabbatical in the Parks Program was created to assist in arranging faculty sabbaticals to conduct research and other scholarly activity, which provides usable knowledge for NPS management and/or advances science and human understanding.
-        History Theme: Science - The Park History Program provides access to numerous publications, reports, and online books related to history within the park service.
-        Benefits-Sharing in the National Parks Environmental Impact Statement - The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning a process to evaluate the environmental impacts of implementing profits-sharing agreements with scientists, companies and institutions who conduct research in the national parks that leads to commercial profit..
-        Joint Fire Science Program - The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) was established through a six-agency partnership to fill the gaps in knowledge about wildland fire and fuels.
-        Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia - A tool that can be used to quickly ascertain general information about 118 environmental toxicology elements, compounds, and products.
-        Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) - The PEPC system is an on-line collaborative tool designed to facilitate conservation planning and environmental impact analysis. This site provides access to current plans, environmental impact analyses, and related documents on public review. Users of the site can submit comments for documents available for public review.
 
Additional Links

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Where Does the Money Go:
To service the 270 million annual visitors (house, feed and transport them), the NPS contracts with businesses to provide goods and services - for an annual expenditure of about $300-$400 million.
 
According to the agency, more than 90 percent of these contracts are awarded to small businesses, and the majority is spent on construction, with the remainder for information technology hardware, software and services; maintenance services; professional services (including architect and engineer services); and heavy equipment and various other supply type items.
 
All these contracting activities are governed by Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulations (Title 48, Code of Federal Regulations), the Federal Property Management Regulations (Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations), and various other Agency regulations.
 
However, private businesses under long-term contracts within the national parks are not procurement contracts and not subject to FAR.
Top 10 Contractors 2000-2008
Motorola, Inc
$270,627,432
BAE Systems PLC
$247,401,615
The Weitz Company, LLC
$90,781,484
Watts-Delhur, A J V
$69,649,900
Swank Enterprises
$46,582,550
Marco Enterprises, Inc.
$40,976,011
Miller / Watts-Korsmo, J V
$38,446,442
Interstate Rock Products, Inc
$34,331,769
Dell, Inc
$33,957,935
VF Corporation
$30,052,840
 
$1.2 billion in preservation grants

$30 billion in historic rehabilitation projects

tax credit

 

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Controversies:
Controversy often centers around competing interests over land—namely between environmentalists or preservationists and commercial developers. In recent years, land development projects, guns, roads and vehicle use have sparked debate over use and management of the park system. Environmentalists and animal/wildlife conservationists have come to the rescue of a wide range of fauna - wolves, goats, birds, panthers. And meanwhile, a controversy over creationism rages in the Grand Canyon…
 
National Park Service Meeting 2008
After more than seven years of battling with conservationists and environmentalists, the Bush Administration recently organized a National Park Service Meeting, in what many see as a cheap attempt to salvage its legacy at the last minute. Set for July 2008. The estimated $1 million budget for the conference is further criticized as an unnecessary expense—at a time when the agency already has a host of unfunded maintenance to attend to. Among the critics are retired superintendent of the Shenandoah National Park and current head of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, Bill Wade, who sees the meeting as a transparent way to save face. The move is particularly disconcerting given the Administration’s questionable record with NPS on environmental and development issues. Also President Bush came into office vowing to clean up the multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog in the park system - but detractors point out, as officials head to the conference to praise accomplishments - that he is leaving more problems behind. Park operating budgets have suffered, and the administration has battled with conservationists over guns, vehicles and pollution in the parks. (See below for examples).
National meeting of park officials draws fire (by Jim Drinkard, Associated Press)
 
Land Development
As 'Steamtown' Grows, So Does Parks Debate (by Michael Decourcy Hinds, New York Times)
 
NPS Management Policies Document
In 2005 a proposed revision of the NPS Management Policies document caused division within the agency. The document outlines guiding principles for caretakers, which underscore both daily operations and long-term governance decisions. Agency watchdogs accused the NPS administration of favoring recreational priorities over preservation. As a result, the Secretary threw out most of the proposed revisions.
 
According to the OAH Report below, the controversy began in August of 2005 when Department of the Interior deputy assistant secretary Paul Hoffman, “a former congressional aide to Dick Cheney who has never worked for the National Park Service, drastically revised the NPS Management Policies. Hoffman’s revision would have allowed any activity—such as the installation of cell phone towers or the use of motorized vehicles in wilderness areas—that did not create an irreversible impact on park resources as well as permitted the sale of religious merchandise within park boundaries.”
NPS Controversy Nearing Resolution (by Susan Ferentinos, Organization of American Historians)
 
Wildlife
Island Pig Eradication Spurs Wild Controversy (by Lindsey Clodfelter, Daily Nexus)
 
Religion
Faith-Based Parks? (by Leon Jaroff, Time)
Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon (by Jodi Wilgoren, New York Times)
 
Vehicles
Bush Proposal Revs Up Yellowstone Snowmobile Controversy (by J.R. Pegg, Environmental News Service)
Snowmobile debate moves to Capitol Hill (by Environmental News Network staff, CNN)
 
Pollution
Parks in Peril (editorial, New York Times)
                                                                                                                                              
Flight 93 (September 11 casualties) Memorial
Flight 93 Memorial Effort Gains Over 900 Acres (by Sean D. Hamill, New York Times)
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Suggested Reforms:
Critics of NPS bureaucracy argue that the agency is politically vulnerable to special interests and lobbying - and some advocate putting the land in trusts in an effort to depoliticize the agency.
 
The “Reform the National Park Service” blog notes a few of the interests that have lobbied the NPS over the years:
-        Blue & Gold Fleet
-        Verizon Communications
-        Edison Electric Institute (an electric utilities group with lobby expenditures topping $11 million)
 
 
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Comments

PAUL Groover 5 months ago
I would like a list of all persons who have been reported missing in ALL National Parks from 1959 until present 2017
james wareham 8 months ago
I recently visited the Richard Nixon Library in Ca. I noted that he and his wife are buried there. The idea struck me that the various presidential libraries could raise money for the upkeep if they were to build a mausoleum wall with locker style nitches which individuals could buy and inter thier ashes. Each locker would be memorialized by a plaque rather than a tombstone. What do you think?
Victoria Shorr 6 years ago
we are appalled that coca cola is now dictating policy in our national parks. we call for an investigation and an immediate reversal of the reversal of the ban on plastic bottles. this is appalling and director jarvis has some explaining to do to the american public. sincerely, victoria shorr and john perkins
Dave Chandler 6 years ago
I am a avid coin collector. I see that the Bullion National park 5 oz silver sets are going for far more than I can afford. It is my understanding that the National Park Director is allowed to purchase these sets from the US Mint and can resell them to the public.I am only interested in the collection of these bullion sets for my own personal hobby, not to resell. Is there any chance that I could obtain the first and future sets from the National Park Director's office ? ...

Leave a comment

Founded: 1916
Annual Budget: $2.289 billion
Employees: 20,056 (full-time and contract NPS employees); 743 NPS Firefighters; 2,342 NPS Law Enforcement; 140,000 volunteers.
Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/
National Park Service
Jarvis, Jon
Previous Director

As with some of his other environmental appointments, President Barack Obama went with a career federal employee to lead the National Park Service. Jonathan B. Jarvis, a trained biologist, has spent the past 30 years working for the agency in a variety of positions overseeing national parks. Jarvis has said one of his primary goals as head of America’s national parks will be to implement policies that help the parks adapt to climate change in the coming years. He took over as Director of the National Park Service on October 2, 2009.

 
Jarvis grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He graduated from The College of William & Mary in 1975 with a degree in biology, and later did graduate work in natural resources management.
 
He began his career with the park service as a seasonal interpreter in the Washington, DC, parks. His other early work included serving as a protection ranger, resource management specialist, and park biologist. His first administrative position was as Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources in the North Cascades National Park for more than five years, making him the chief biologist of the 684,000-acre complex of two recreation areas and one national park. 
 
In 1994, he was made the superintendent of Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve in Copper Center, Alaska. Five years later he was given the same position for Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, where he worked closely with local ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Energy, and rural communities surrounding the national monument. In 1999, Jarvis became the superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park in Ashford, Washington. 
 
In 2001 he completed his training in the Senior Executive Service Candidate Program of the Department of the Interior. The next year, Jarvis was elevated to regional director for the Pacific West Region. In this position he oversaw 3,000 employees and a $350 million annual budget, along with all national parks and programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. 
 
While serving in this capacity, Jarvis irked Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) with a park service report in 2007 that emphasized the negative environmental effects of an oyster operation in Northern California.
 
Environmentalists and historic preservationists praised Jarvis’ selection to lead the park service. Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, said, “He is well-versed in the threats to our natural and cultural treasures, and the leadership, collaboration, and cooperation needed to restore them. Jarvis fully understands the detrimental effect on the park system of long-standing federal funding shortfalls, the importance of science-based decisions, and the threats posed by climate change, chronic air pollution, inappropriate development, and the inability of the Park Service to acquire priority lands from willing sellers within park boundaries.”
 
Jarvis’ older brother, Destry, served as senior advisor to the assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks during the Clinton administration.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Official Biography (Department of the Interior)
Jonathan (Jon) B. Jarvis (National Park Foundation Leadership Summit)
 
 
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Bomar, Mary
Former Director
Born in England, Mary A. Bomar is the first naturalized citizen to hold the director’s post. She joined the National Park Service (NPS) in 1990 after spending more than 12 years with the Department of Defense, United States Air Force. Her first NPS post was with Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas, where she remained for four years and became chief of administration.
 
Before accepting a management position at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Oklahoma) in 1994, she completed a detail as the Acting Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent at San Antonio.
 
In 2000, Bomar was Superintendent of Oklahoma City National Memorial during start-up operations. She was also the first NPS State Coordinator for Oklahoma. She worked as superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia from 2003-05 before becoming the 17th Director of the National Park Service on Oct. 17, 2006.
 

Official Bio

 
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Bookmark and Share
Overview:
Located in the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service (NPS) is responsible for overseeing, maintaining and preserving the National Park System—which comprises 391 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, and scenic rivers and trails. Notable areas such as the White House, the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty and Gettysburg are also under NPS administration.
more
History:
The history of NPS began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Yellowstone sparked a worldwide national park movement, which today includes more than a thousand national parks or preserves in more than 100 nations. Over time, the U.S. government authorized additional national parks and monuments, mostly established on federal lands in the West and under control of the Department of the Interior.
 
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation (the National Park Service Organic Act) creating the NPS, a new federal bureau in the Department of the Interior responsible for protecting the 35 national parks and monuments. In 1933 an executive order transferred 56 national monuments and military sites to the NPS from the Forest Service and the War Department. (Formerly, administration for other monuments and natural and historical areas had been under the aegis of these latter two agencies).
 
The General Authorities Act of 1970 reiterated the government’s intention to bring all federal parklands, as well as historical monuments and scenic sites, under the management of a single agency: “the National Park System, which began with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, has since grown to include superlative natural, historic, and recreation areas in every region . . . and that it is the purpose of this Act to include all such areas in the System. . . .”
 
The National Park System of the United States now comprises 391areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands.
 

History & Culture: People

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What it Does:
NPS manages the almost 400 sites in the National Park system covering 84. 6 million acres, or 3.4 percent of U.S. land. 79 million acres of this is NPS stewardship land, and the remaining lands are not federally owned, but managed by NPS.
 
Historically relegated to the Western U.S., now more than half of national park areas are east of the Mississippi River. NPS areas and sites include natural, historical and recreational areas. Parks in each category are governed according to specific management systems.
 
In addition to the national park system, the agency also oversees the National Historic Landmarks program and the National Register of Historic Places, including more than 8,000 monuments and statues.
 
In its preservation function, the NPS offers grants and assistance to register, record and save historic lands and locations, to create community parks and recreation facilities, as well as conserve waterways and wildlife and develop trails and greenways.
 
Organization
The agency is overseen by a Secretary, nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Much of the agency’s operations are directly managed by the Secretary to the National Park Service Director, who must also be confirmed by the Senate.
 
Parks
The NPS oversees 391 units, of which 58 are designated national parks. According to the National Park Service, the unit designations include:
 
Nature
-        National Park - These are generally large natural places having a wide variety of attributes, at times including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining, logging and grazing are not authorized.
-        National Preserve - National preserves are areas having characteristics associated with national parks, but in which Congress has permitted continued public hunting, trapping, oil/gas exploration and extraction. Many existing national preserves, without sport hunting, would qualify for national park designation.
-        National Recreation Area - Twelve NRAs in the system are centered on large reservoirs and emphasize water-based recreation. Five other NRAs are located near major population centers. Such urban parks combine scarce open spaces with the preservation of significant historic resources and important natural areas in location that can provide outdoor recreation for large numbers of people.
-        National Seashore - Ten national seashores have been established on the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts; some are developed and some relatively primitive. Hunting is allowed at many of these sites.
-        National Lakeshore - National lakeshores, all on the Great Lakes, closely parallel the seashores in character and use.
-        National River - There are several variations to this category: national river and recreation area, national scenic river, wild river, etc. The first was authorized in 1964 and others were established following passage of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.
-        National Trail - National scenic trails and national historic trails are the titles given to these linear parklands (over 3,600 miles) authorized under the National Trails System Act of 1968.
-        National Parkway - The title parkway refers to a roadway and the parkland paralleling the roadway. All were intended for scenic motoring along a protected corridor and often connect cultural sites.
 
Historic Sites
-        National Monument - The Antiquities Act of 1906 authorized the President to declare landmarks, structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest situated on lands owned or controlled by the government to be national monuments.
-        National Historic Site - Usually, a national historic site contains a single historical feature that was directly associated with its subject. Derived from the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (PDF), a number of historic sites were established by secretaries of the Interior, but most have been authorized by acts of Congress.
-        National Historical Park - This designation generally applies to historic parks that extend beyond single properties or buildings.
-        National Memorial - A national memorial is commemorative of a historic person or episode; it need not occupy a site historically connected with its subject.
-        National Battlefield - This general title includes national battlefield, national battlefield park, national battlefield site, and national military park. In 1958, an NPS committee recommended national battlefield as the single title for all such park lands.
-        National Cemetery - There are presently 14 national cemeteries in the National Park System, all of which are administered in conjunction with an associated unit and are not accounted for separately.
-        Affiliated Areas - In an Act of August 18, 1970, the National Park System was defined in law as, "any area of land and water now or hereafter administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational or other purposes." The Affiliated Areas comprise a variety of locations in the United States and Canada that preserve significant properties outside the National Park System. Some of these have been recognized by Acts of Congress, others have been designated national historic sites by the Secretary of the Interior under authority of the Historic Sites Act of 1935. All draw on technical or financial aid from the National Park Service.
-        Other Designations - Some units of the National Park System bear unique titles or combinations of titles, like the White House and Prince William Forest Park.
 
Additions
Additions to the National Park System are now generally made through acts of Congress, and national parks can be created only through such acts. But the President has authority, under the Antiquities Act of 1906, to proclaim national monuments on lands already under federal jurisdiction. The Secretary of the Interior is usually asked by Congress for recommendations on proposed additions to the System. The Secretary is counseled by the National Park System Advisory Board, composed of private citizens, which advises on possible additions to the System and policies for its management.
 
Travel Help
 
Annual visits average 270 million (in 2006, recreational visitors to the parks totaled 272,623,980).
See Public Use Statistics for details
 
Legislation
 
Programs
A
C
F
H
M
N
O
P
R
S
T
 
Preservation
National Park Service archeologists, architects, curators, historians, and other cultural resource professionals work in America’s nearly 400 national parks to “preserve, protect, and share the history of this land and its people.” This includes:
-        27,000 significant structures in national parks
-        66,000 archeological sites in national parks
-        115 million objects in park museum collections
 
Beyond the parks, the National Park Service is part of a national preservation partnership working with American Indian tribes, states, local governments, nonprofit organizations, historic property owners, and others who believe in the importance of our shared heritage–and its preservation. This includes:
-        $1.2 billion in preservation grants
-        80,000 listings in the National Register of Historic Places
-        2,400 National Historic Landmarks
-        $30 billion in historic rehabilitation tax credit projects
-        27 National Heritage Areas
 
The National Park Service also develops standards and guidelines for historic rehabilitation projects, offers “how to” advice for hands-on preservationists, and helps find new owners for historic lighthouses.
 
Nature/Science
 
Science and Research
-        Science.gov - Science.gov is a gateway to authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. Government agencies
-        Inventory and Monitoring - Inventory and Monitoring of park resources to acquire information needed by park managers to maintain ecosystem integrity in the approximately 270 National Park System units that contain significant natural resources.
-        Park Science - The quarterly research and resource management bulletin of the National Park Service.
-        U.S. National Park Service Research Permit and Reporting System - This site helps investigators find out about park needs for research, apply for permission to conduct scientific studies pertaining to natural resources or social sciences within park units, and to report on their research accomplishments.
-        Research in the Parks - National parks serve as outdoor laboratories for the study of physical, biological, and cultural systems and their components.
-        Research Learning Centers - Research Learning Centers have been developed to facilitate research efforts and provide educational opportunities for all people to gain new knowledge about the National Parks.
-        GeoScientists-in-the-Parks - The National Park Service is looking for experienced earth science professionals and students to work with park staffs to help them understand and manage the resources through examining the geology, water, air, and integrated sciences.
-        Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit National Network - A network of cooperative research units established to provide research, technical assistance, and education to resource and environmental managers. Each CESU is structured as a working collaboration among federal agencies and universities.
-        Sabbaticals in the Parks - The Sabbatical in the Parks Program was created to assist in arranging faculty sabbaticals to conduct research and other scholarly activity, which provides usable knowledge for NPS management and/or advances science and human understanding.
-        History Theme: Science - The Park History Program provides access to numerous publications, reports, and online books related to history within the park service.
-        Benefits-Sharing in the National Parks Environmental Impact Statement - The National Park Service (NPS) is beginning a process to evaluate the environmental impacts of implementing profits-sharing agreements with scientists, companies and institutions who conduct research in the national parks that leads to commercial profit..
-        Joint Fire Science Program - The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) was established through a six-agency partnership to fill the gaps in knowledge about wildland fire and fuels.
-        Environmental Contaminants Encyclopedia - A tool that can be used to quickly ascertain general information about 118 environmental toxicology elements, compounds, and products.
-        Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) - The PEPC system is an on-line collaborative tool designed to facilitate conservation planning and environmental impact analysis. This site provides access to current plans, environmental impact analyses, and related documents on public review. Users of the site can submit comments for documents available for public review.
 
Additional Links

more
Where Does the Money Go:
To service the 270 million annual visitors (house, feed and transport them), the NPS contracts with businesses to provide goods and services - for an annual expenditure of about $300-$400 million.
 
According to the agency, more than 90 percent of these contracts are awarded to small businesses, and the majority is spent on construction, with the remainder for information technology hardware, software and services; maintenance services; professional services (including architect and engineer services); and heavy equipment and various other supply type items.
 
All these contracting activities are governed by Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and the Department of the Interior Acquisition Regulations (Title 48, Code of Federal Regulations), the Federal Property Management Regulations (Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations), and various other Agency regulations.
 
However, private businesses under long-term contracts within the national parks are not procurement contracts and not subject to FAR.
Top 10 Contractors 2000-2008
Motorola, Inc
$270,627,432
BAE Systems PLC
$247,401,615
The Weitz Company, LLC
$90,781,484
Watts-Delhur, A J V
$69,649,900
Swank Enterprises
$46,582,550
Marco Enterprises, Inc.
$40,976,011
Miller / Watts-Korsmo, J V
$38,446,442
Interstate Rock Products, Inc
$34,331,769
Dell, Inc
$33,957,935
VF Corporation
$30,052,840
 
$1.2 billion in preservation grants

$30 billion in historic rehabilitation projects

tax credit

 

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Controversies:
Controversy often centers around competing interests over land—namely between environmentalists or preservationists and commercial developers. In recent years, land development projects, guns, roads and vehicle use have sparked debate over use and management of the park system. Environmentalists and animal/wildlife conservationists have come to the rescue of a wide range of fauna - wolves, goats, birds, panthers. And meanwhile, a controversy over creationism rages in the Grand Canyon…
 
National Park Service Meeting 2008
After more than seven years of battling with conservationists and environmentalists, the Bush Administration recently organized a National Park Service Meeting, in what many see as a cheap attempt to salvage its legacy at the last minute. Set for July 2008. The estimated $1 million budget for the conference is further criticized as an unnecessary expense—at a time when the agency already has a host of unfunded maintenance to attend to. Among the critics are retired superintendent of the Shenandoah National Park and current head of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, Bill Wade, who sees the meeting as a transparent way to save face. The move is particularly disconcerting given the Administration’s questionable record with NPS on environmental and development issues. Also President Bush came into office vowing to clean up the multibillion-dollar maintenance backlog in the park system - but detractors point out, as officials head to the conference to praise accomplishments - that he is leaving more problems behind. Park operating budgets have suffered, and the administration has battled with conservationists over guns, vehicles and pollution in the parks. (See below for examples).
National meeting of park officials draws fire (by Jim Drinkard, Associated Press)
 
Land Development
As 'Steamtown' Grows, So Does Parks Debate (by Michael Decourcy Hinds, New York Times)
 
NPS Management Policies Document
In 2005 a proposed revision of the NPS Management Policies document caused division within the agency. The document outlines guiding principles for caretakers, which underscore both daily operations and long-term governance decisions. Agency watchdogs accused the NPS administration of favoring recreational priorities over preservation. As a result, the Secretary threw out most of the proposed revisions.
 
According to the OAH Report below, the controversy began in August of 2005 when Department of the Interior deputy assistant secretary Paul Hoffman, “a former congressional aide to Dick Cheney who has never worked for the National Park Service, drastically revised the NPS Management Policies. Hoffman’s revision would have allowed any activity—such as the installation of cell phone towers or the use of motorized vehicles in wilderness areas—that did not create an irreversible impact on park resources as well as permitted the sale of religious merchandise within park boundaries.”
NPS Controversy Nearing Resolution (by Susan Ferentinos, Organization of American Historians)
 
Wildlife
Island Pig Eradication Spurs Wild Controversy (by Lindsey Clodfelter, Daily Nexus)
 
Religion
Faith-Based Parks? (by Leon Jaroff, Time)
Seeing Creation and Evolution in Grand Canyon (by Jodi Wilgoren, New York Times)
 
Vehicles
Bush Proposal Revs Up Yellowstone Snowmobile Controversy (by J.R. Pegg, Environmental News Service)
Snowmobile debate moves to Capitol Hill (by Environmental News Network staff, CNN)
 
Pollution
Parks in Peril (editorial, New York Times)
                                                                                                                                              
Flight 93 (September 11 casualties) Memorial
Flight 93 Memorial Effort Gains Over 900 Acres (by Sean D. Hamill, New York Times)
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Suggested Reforms:
Critics of NPS bureaucracy argue that the agency is politically vulnerable to special interests and lobbying - and some advocate putting the land in trusts in an effort to depoliticize the agency.
 
The “Reform the National Park Service” blog notes a few of the interests that have lobbied the NPS over the years:
-        Blue & Gold Fleet
-        Verizon Communications
-        Edison Electric Institute (an electric utilities group with lobby expenditures topping $11 million)
 
 
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Comments

PAUL Groover 5 months ago
I would like a list of all persons who have been reported missing in ALL National Parks from 1959 until present 2017
james wareham 8 months ago
I recently visited the Richard Nixon Library in Ca. I noted that he and his wife are buried there. The idea struck me that the various presidential libraries could raise money for the upkeep if they were to build a mausoleum wall with locker style nitches which individuals could buy and inter thier ashes. Each locker would be memorialized by a plaque rather than a tombstone. What do you think?
Victoria Shorr 6 years ago
we are appalled that coca cola is now dictating policy in our national parks. we call for an investigation and an immediate reversal of the reversal of the ban on plastic bottles. this is appalling and director jarvis has some explaining to do to the american public. sincerely, victoria shorr and john perkins
Dave Chandler 6 years ago
I am a avid coin collector. I see that the Bullion National park 5 oz silver sets are going for far more than I can afford. It is my understanding that the National Park Director is allowed to purchase these sets from the US Mint and can resell them to the public.I am only interested in the collection of these bullion sets for my own personal hobby, not to resell. Is there any chance that I could obtain the first and future sets from the National Park Director's office ? ...

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Founded: 1916
Annual Budget: $2.289 billion
Employees: 20,056 (full-time and contract NPS employees); 743 NPS Firefighters; 2,342 NPS Law Enforcement; 140,000 volunteers.
Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/
National Park Service
Jarvis, Jon
Previous Director

As with some of his other environmental appointments, President Barack Obama went with a career federal employee to lead the National Park Service. Jonathan B. Jarvis, a trained biologist, has spent the past 30 years working for the agency in a variety of positions overseeing national parks. Jarvis has said one of his primary goals as head of America’s national parks will be to implement policies that help the parks adapt to climate change in the coming years. He took over as Director of the National Park Service on October 2, 2009.

 
Jarvis grew up in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. He graduated from The College of William & Mary in 1975 with a degree in biology, and later did graduate work in natural resources management.
 
He began his career with the park service as a seasonal interpreter in the Washington, DC, parks. His other early work included serving as a protection ranger, resource management specialist, and park biologist. His first administrative position was as Chief of Natural and Cultural Resources in the North Cascades National Park for more than five years, making him the chief biologist of the 684,000-acre complex of two recreation areas and one national park. 
 
In 1994, he was made the superintendent of Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve in Copper Center, Alaska. Five years later he was given the same position for Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho, where he worked closely with local ranchers, the Bureau of Land Management, the Department of Energy, and rural communities surrounding the national monument. In 1999, Jarvis became the superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park in Ashford, Washington. 
 
In 2001 he completed his training in the Senior Executive Service Candidate Program of the Department of the Interior. The next year, Jarvis was elevated to regional director for the Pacific West Region. In this position he oversaw 3,000 employees and a $350 million annual budget, along with all national parks and programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific islands of Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. 
 
While serving in this capacity, Jarvis irked Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) with a park service report in 2007 that emphasized the negative environmental effects of an oyster operation in Northern California.
 
Environmentalists and historic preservationists praised Jarvis’ selection to lead the park service. Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, said, “He is well-versed in the threats to our natural and cultural treasures, and the leadership, collaboration, and cooperation needed to restore them. Jarvis fully understands the detrimental effect on the park system of long-standing federal funding shortfalls, the importance of science-based decisions, and the threats posed by climate change, chronic air pollution, inappropriate development, and the inability of the Park Service to acquire priority lands from willing sellers within park boundaries.”
 
Jarvis’ older brother, Destry, served as senior advisor to the assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks during the Clinton administration.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
Official Biography (Department of the Interior)
Jonathan (Jon) B. Jarvis (National Park Foundation Leadership Summit)
 
 
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Bomar, Mary
Former Director
Born in England, Mary A. Bomar is the first naturalized citizen to hold the director’s post. She joined the National Park Service (NPS) in 1990 after spending more than 12 years with the Department of Defense, United States Air Force. Her first NPS post was with Amistad National Recreation Area, Texas, where she remained for four years and became chief of administration.
 
Before accepting a management position at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park (Oklahoma) in 1994, she completed a detail as the Acting Superintendent of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. She was subsequently promoted to the position of Assistant Superintendent at San Antonio.
 
In 2000, Bomar was Superintendent of Oklahoma City National Memorial during start-up operations. She was also the first NPS State Coordinator for Oklahoma. She worked as superintendent of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia from 2003-05 before becoming the 17th Director of the National Park Service on Oct. 17, 2006.
 

Official Bio

 
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