National Park Service

Established in 1916 under the National Park Service Organic Act, the National Park Service (NPS) manages over 83.6 millions acres of federal parks, including battlefields, cemeteries, historical sites, lakeshores, memorials, monuments, parkways, preserves, recreation areas, rivers, seashores, and trails. The NPS is supervised by both a director and the assistant secretary for fish and wildlife and parks, and serves as a Department of the Interior bureau funded by Congress. As its primary mission, the NPS is charged with the preservation of park lands for the enjoyment and education of current and future generations, incorporating measures such as pollution control to foster this preservation. The NPS advances its mission by serving as an environmental advocate of park lands, funding state and local governmental bodies in their efforts to develop park areas, and sponsoring educational activities to increase public awareness about parks. In addition, the NPS works in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce laws (e.g., Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and Wilderness Act) intended to protect and preserve park lands. Comparable agencies in Argentina, Australia, and Germany have adopted some of the same strategies as the NPS.



Freemuth, John C. (1991). Islands under Siege: National Parks and the Politics of External Threats. Lawrence: University of Kansas Press.

Internet Resource

National Park Service Web site. Available from .

Robert F. Gruenig

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