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National Park Service (NPS)

Self Description

January 2008: "Most people know that the National Park Service cares for national parks, a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. The treasures in this system – the first of its kind in the world –have been set aside by the American people to preserve, protect, and share, the legacies of this land.

People from all around the world visit national parks to experience America's story, marvel at the natural wonders, and have fun. Places like the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Gettysburg are popular destinations, but so too are the hundreds of lesser known yet equally meaningful gems like Rosie the Riveter in California, Boston Harbor Islands in Massachusetts, and Russell Cave in Alabama.

The American system of national parks was the first of its kind in the world, and provides a living model for other nations wishing to establish and manage their own protected areas. The park service actively consults with these Nations, sharing what we've learned, and gaining knowlege from the experience of others.

Beyond national parks, the National Park Service helps communities across America preserve and enhance important local heritage and close-to-home recreational opportunities. Grants and assistance are offered to register, record and save historic places; create community parks and local recreation facilities; conserve rivers and streams, and develop trails and greenways.

We hope to see you soon in a national park and invite you to explore the ways we can help you preserve what’s important in your hometown."

Third-Party Descriptions

May 2009: 'Keeping these sites in top condition is the job of the National Park Service, a bureau of the Department of the Interior. But the sheer number it’s responsible for, coupled with long-term underfunding, has left a $9 billion backlog of maintenance projects. This year’s operating budget of $2.13 billion—plus $920 million in stimulus money—will help. But the creation of new parks and sites only compounds the problem, says Jeff Ruch, executive director of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. In the past 20 years, the number has grown by 13 percent, to 391. And don’t ask the Park Service to pick and choose. All the parks and sites are equally important, says Park Service spokesperson David Barna, since they “contribute to what defines us as Americans.”'

January 2008: "The National Park Service envisions a prime venue for demonstrations: a broad space at the foot of the Capitol with restrooms, seating, a paved surface, even a stand for the media. Attorneys for activist groups fear a designated, government-approved "pit," limiting freedom of speech and movement in a hallowed place of protest."
July 2002: Government agency that manages the national parks.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Owned by (partial or full, past or present) US Federal Government - Independent Agencies Organization May 6, 2005
Employee/Freelancer/Contractor (past or present) Robert K. Krick Person Mar 31, 2008

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Sep 29, 2009 The Old Secular Cross?: High Court to Consider Church-State Implications of Mojave Cross

QUOTE: If the court reaches the constitutional issues at hand, (of the Mojave Cross) all sides agree it could provide clarity to the court's blurry rules on church-and-state separations. It could also carry important implications for the fate of war memorials around the country that feature religious imagery

Washington Post
Aug 20, 2009 Debate still rages over new N.J. national park

QUOTE: The battle over the park [Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey], authorized by legislation signed by President Obama this spring, reflects two competing views of how to run national parks...

Aug 17, 2009 Clash Over Rebirth of Mt. St. Helens

QUOTE: Some say the Forest Service should manage it [Mount St. Helens] differently. “There is a certain segment of the population who would say, ‘It’s been 30 years [since Mount St. Helen's major eruption], and it’s over,’ ” said Peter Frenzen, whose job title with the Forest Service is monument scientist.

New York Times
May 22, 2009 10 Things National Parks Won't Tell You

QUOTE: 1. “Frankly, there are just too many parks"....2. “Our mission? We’re conflicted”....3. “We’d throw money at our problems—if we had it to throw"....4. “We’re keen on expansion, not maintenance."

Smart Money
Jan 19, 2008 The Battle to Remold the Mall: Preservation Proposals Spark Debate Over Protest Rights

QUOTE: The proposal to turn Union Square, the site of the Capitol reflecting pool and the Grant Memorial, into an "urban civic square" is one of many ideas the Park Service is mulling over as it plans the future of the Mall...But thas [has]...sparked harsh debate between government officials seeking to preserve one of the country's most heavily used national parks and activists concerned about limits on free speech and civil rights.

Washington Post
Dec 30, 2007 Surge in Off-Roading Stirs Dust and Debate in West

QUOTE: The federal government has been struggling to come up with plans to accommodate the growing numbers of off-highway vehicles — mostly with proposed maps directing them toward designated trails — but all-terrain-vehicle users have started formidable lobbying campaigns when favorite trails have been left off the maps.

New York Times
Nov 03, 2007 Texas Proceeding With Plan to Auction Nature Preserve

QUOTE: The dispute pits the donors of the land, the Conservation Fund and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, against a pistol-packing commissioner adamant about preserving hunting and firearms rights on the property, even at the cost of denying the land to the National Park Service, although Texas ranks 44th in park land.

New York Times
Oct 08, 2006 Parents, Singles Tussle Over Places to Play

QUOTE: In the dense inner suburbs -- where there is precious little parkland -- young professionals such as Reinisch are battling with parents over tiny scraps of land no bigger than regulation-size basketball courts. Kids might still need swing sets, the thinking goes, but young adults -- now a sizeable chunk of the population -- want their play space, too.

Washington Post
Sep 02, 2006 A Victory for the National Parks

QUOTE: But under this administration, when science and politics conflict, science loses. For the parks to survive in good health for another century, it will take more than a presidential challenge. It will take solid financing and rational leadership.

New York Times
Aug 22, 2006 New outlaws plague Arizona desert refuges

QUOTE: Aggressive crackdowns along the border in recent years in places such as San Diego and El Paso have pushed illegal immigrants and drug smugglers into remote desert areas in southern Arizona...employees...are dealing more with the effects of illegal immigration, instead of protecting wildlife and helping visitors.

Apr 26, 2006 Stolen from US history: its artifacts: Looters are taking mementos and other valuable relics at the rate of $500 million a year.

QUOTE: , US officials say the brazen looting of ancient native-American artifacts, Civil War mementos, and other valuable relics is reaching epidemic proportions. In any given year, cultural thieves make off with $500 million in relics...

Christian Science Monitor
Oct 24, 2005 Poachers Looting National Parks of Treasures

QUOTE: "The poaching of wildlife from national parks has been steadily increasing each year for the past several years,"... Some of these resources are scarce to begin with, and the toll that poaching takes on the national parks is rising.

Washington Post
Jan 31, 2005 Law Cautions Against Outside PR Spending -- Sort Of: Rarely Applied Provision Has Been Interpreted in a Way That Condones Many Agency Public Relations Efforts

QUOTE: The outcry over the Education Department contract -- coming on the heels of the CMS flap and a similar violation involving prepackaged news reports at the Office of National Drug Control Policy -- has stoked interest in Congress for reviewing all federal agencies' PR efforts.

Washington Post
Sep 28, 2003 Road Leads to Alaska-Size Standoff: It's Hillbilly Heaven vs. Park Service

QUOTE: The National Park Service has shut down the bulldozed road to his property, dispatched armed rangers to assess park damage and is pursuing criminal and civil cases....has made the Pilgrims actors in a national dispute over private access to federal land.

Washington Post
Jun 24, 2003 At Custer's last stand, a first stand for Indians

QUOTE: Some 127 years after routing Custer at Little Bighorn, they will finally get a memorial honoring the Indians who died in the famous siege.

Christian Science Monitor
Apr 09, 2003 Battle Lines Drawn Over Proposal for Mine Near Death Valley Park

QUOTE: National Park Service officials … say the open-pit mine … would impinge on bighorn sheep habitat, poison the valley's groundwater and indelibly scar a landscape sacred to the Indians.

Los Angeles Times
Jan 31, 2003 Snowmobile expansion OK'd despite health, noise issues

QUOTE: Snowmobile critics say the Bush administration study supports 10 years of scientific analysis that concluded the snow machines created unhealthful levels of noise and air pollution.

Seattle Times
Aug 27, 2002 The New Battle of Chancellorsville

QUOTE: Here, where thousands fell in one of the greatest battles ever fought on American soil, a new confrontation is shaping up over the fate of the battlefield....At stake is a portion of the battlefield where a developer wants to build a 788-acre ''new community'' complete with stores, restaurants, 2,350 homes and 2.4 million square feet of office space.

New York Times
Feb 04, 2001 Gifts Were Not Meant for Clintons, Some Donors Say

QUOTE: Among the gifts that former president Bill Clinton says he is keeping as personal presents he accepted last year are $28,000 worth of furnishings...

Washington Post