National Park Service

National Park Service
US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg
National Park Service Arrowhead
Guidon of the United States National Park Service.svg
Guidon of the National Park Service
Agency overview
Formed August 25, 1916; 101 years ago (1916-08-25)
Jurisdiction United States federal government
Headquarters 1849 C Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20240
Employees 15,828 permanent, 1,256 term, 2,984 seasonal (2007)
Annual budget $2.924 billion (2009)
Agency executive
  • Mike Reynolds, Acting Director
Parent agency Department of the Interior
Website www.NPS.gov

The National Park Service (NPS) is an agency of the United States federal government 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] and is an agency of the United States Department of the Interior. The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management, while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.

As of 2017, the NPS employs approximately 27,000 employees who oversee 417 units, of which 59 are designated national parks. [3]

History

In 1916, a portfolio of nine major parks was published to generate interest. Printed on each brochure was a map showing the parks and principal railroad connections.
In 1934, a series of ten postage stamps were issued to commemorate the reorganization and expansion of the National Park Service.

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 and historic 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 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 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.

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 59.

Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States. 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 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. [8] Later, the agency was given authority over other protected areas, many with varying designations as Congress created them.

Other Languages
Bahasa Indonesia: National Park Service
Simple English: National Park Service