Pennsylvania Field Office: Pennsylvania and Delaware
Across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, our national parks showcase America’s history, cultural heritage and natural beauty. From Gettysburg National Military Park, to Valley Forge National Historical Park, to Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site, to Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, our national parks host not only an impressive array of plant and animal biodiversity, but hold many keys to our shared history.
The National Park Service recently added its first national park in Delaware--First State National Monument. The nation's first state also features several other sites managed by the NPS, including White Clay Wild and Scenic River, and sites that are part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network.
National parks in Pennsylvania and Delaware attract visitors from all over the world. More than nine million people visit national parks in Pennsylvania each year, generating almost $350 million in spending, and supporting more than 9,000 jobs.
The Problem: “They’re national parks…aren’t they protected?”
Our historical treasures and wildlife sanctuaries are under attack from incompatible development and chronic under-funding. Nationwide, the National Park Service has a budget that, in today's dollars, is already 13 percent less than it was three years ago, a loss of $315 million. In addition, incompatible development proposed on private lands inside and adjacent to parks pose real problems. Valley Forge National Historical Park has narrowly escaped a number of proposals to inappropriately develop private land inside the park's boundary. Development pressures also threaten Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, one of the country’s most-visited national parks, and Upper Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. Located on the Delaware River, one of the cleanest rivers in the country, these parks are home to spellbinding waterfalls and diverse wildlife that includes bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black bears. Among other things, the river and parks are currently threatened by the potential impact of hydraulic fracturing.
NPCA's Recent Accomplishments in Pennsylvania
- Stopped two proposals to locate a casino within cannon range of Gettysburg.
- Contested draft regulations to allow fracking in the Delaware River Basin resulting in a de facto moratorium. See NPCA's March 2014 comments on Pennsylvania's proposed regulations for oil and gas surgface activities here.
- Halted two ill-considered developments inside Valley Forge, and successfully advocated for federal funding for the NPS to buy lands at risk from development.
- Advocated for increased park operations budgets, resulting in national parks across the Commonwealth adding seasonal rangers and full-time positions in 2008.
- Protected Independence Square from a proposed 7-foot-high security fence.
NPCA’s Goals in Pennsylvania and Delaware
By empowering local citizens, community leaders, organizations and elected officials to implement innovative strategies and tactics that advance park advocacy, NPCA is building an active, effective constituency to protect and preserve our national parks in the region, and to advocate on behalf of the national park system.
Last Update: November 2013