National Park System
- The system contains 83.6 million acres, of which 4.3 million
remain in private ownership
- Mission of Park System: “To conserve the scenery and the
natural and historic objects and the wild life 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."” This mission provides for both
preservation and recreation.
- The FY2001 budget for the NPS is $2,428,973,000.
There are several designations within the park system, all
national park designations come through Congress except
that of “National Monument”, which is declared by the
- National Park—Large natural areas with a wide
number of attributes. No fishing, mining, hunting, etc..
- National Monument—Buildings or places on land
owned or controlled by the federal government may be
declared monuments by the President. (This was
used by President Clinton at the end of his term to
protect millions of acres of forest land)
- 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.
(Alaska National Wildlife Refugee for example)
- National Recreation Area—Twelve National
Recreation Areas (NRA) 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. (Beaches provide all of the
- There are about 10 other designations.
- The National Park Service created a formula entitled the
Monetary Generation Model (MGM), which it uses to
estimate the benefits to the local economy that are created
by National Parks and related federal expenditures.
According to the Park Service, this data is used in the
agency’s budget justification and also in planning and policy