Center for Park Research Reports

National Parks and Hydraulic Fracturing
April 2013

Hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking”) is a relatively new extraction method that is now responsible for 90 percent of domestic oil and gas production, with thousands of wells peppering the countryside. The number of wells is expected to skyrocket during the next two decades. The Energy Information Administration estimates that the United States has 2,119 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 25.2 billion barrels of crude oil recoverable through fracking. What will history say about this innovation? What will the impacts be on America’s public lands—especially our cherished national parks?

Preservation Maintenance in the National Parks
October 2012

For years, the National Park Service has not received the funding it needs to maintain America’s iconic historic buildings, monuments, roads, and other structures in its care. The maintenance backlog for historic structures in the National Park System―the amount of work needed to restore these resources to good condition―is estimated at about $3 billion. While it is critical that Congress and the President meet their obligation to provide funding to maintain and interpret historic structures, there are also alternative strategies that parks can employ to help care for these irreplaceable resources. The Center for Park Research produced this guide for park and preservation advocates to use in sharing information about these alternatives, advocating for their consideration in park planning processes, and building community support for them as a means to preserve and interpret historic structures that often have a strong connection to local communities.

Solar Energy, National Parks, and Landscape Protection in the Desert Southwest
September 2012

In this report, NPCA’s Center for Park Research and the California Desert Field Office document the recent rise in solar technology and development; identify areas in the American Southwest that are currently being targeted for industrial-scale solar developments; and examine the effects such developments would have on desert resources, particularly within national parks in the region. The Center and California Desert Field Office also suggest solutions for minimizing harm to fragile desert resources while encouraging appropriate siting of solar energy developments on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

The State of America's National Parks
June 2011

This report provides the most comprehensive overview ever conducted on resource conditions in America’s national parks. A decade in the making, The State of America’s National Parks analyzes 80 national parks across the country to gauge how America’s most precious places are faring in the face of pollution, invasive species, climate change, energy development, adjacent land development, and chronic funding shortfalls.

National Parks of the Colorado River Basin
April 2011

This report by NPCA’s Center for Park Research identifies the effects that large dams have on natural and cultural resources in Dinosaur National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Grand Canyon National Park. The report also considers the economic value of national parks as well as the economic value of hydropower generated by large dams in the Colorado River Basin.


Want to learn more about the  ?

The   can be seen in the wild in America’s national parks. Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect parks in   & other states

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Sign up to protect   and other National Parks

Why not join the National Parks Conservation Association Community to protect and preserve our national parks?

Please leave this field empty
Yes, please sign me up for NPCA’s newsletter and other emails about protecting our national parks!

National Parks Conservation Association
National Parks Conservation Association

Log In

Or log in with your connected Facebook or Twitter account:


Welcome to our growing community of park advocates. Thanks for signing up!

Sign Up:

Or sign up by connecting your Facebook or Twitter account: