This report highlights the successful and critical role that the National Park Service plays in restoring the Great Lakes, safeguarding public health, creating jobs, and protecting these special places belonging to all Americans.
“Pathways to Prosperity” chronicles the experiences of business owners and economic developers, asking the simple question, “Why do you choose to live and work in the Crown?” The answer – lakes, mountains, wildlife – is universal. And once we recognize what we value about a place – what makes it special – we can work to protect it.
The National Parks Conservation Association recently released a report, “Avoiding a Risky Gamble with America’s National Parks,” outlining in disturbing detail the economic and environmental risks of allocating up to 2.5 million acres of public lands in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado for commercial leases for oil shale and tar sands development, which is currently being considered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
On Friday, April 13th, NPCA and fellow members of the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition released the Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study that demonstrates how protection of our sacred places and economic growth can coexist is a planned complimentary manner.
Cleaning up the Haze: Protecting People and America’s Treasured Places asks EPA to drop its proposed BART rule exemption so that our country’s most iconic natural places are fully protected from unsightly and unhealthy air.
In December 2011, the National Parks Conservation Association, Houston Wilderness and Rice University’s SSPEED Center commissioned Harbinger Consulting Group to conduct a study to evaluate the potential economic impacts of the proposed Lone Star Coastal National Recreation Area in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston and Matagorda counties along the upper Texas Gulf Coast.
“Protecting Our Chesapeake, Protecting Our National Parks” explores two historical parks in the Chesapeake watershed, Colonial National Historical Park on the James and York rivers and Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine on the Patapsco River. It recounts what the rivers looked like before significant agricultural practices, oyster harvesting, and extensive human development. It recommends options to restore the Chesapeake Bay and their national parks to a highly productive ecosystem with cleaner water, fewer toxic contaminants, and more abundant aquatic and terrestrial life. Our national parks help us recognize what has been lost and so help us see what we have the opportunity to regain.
America’s national parks drive local economies, provide quality jobs and affordable family vacations, and protect irreplaceable resources, all for a tiny fraction of our federal budget. But now our nation’s greatest places face significant long-term funding cuts which could mean trouble for many iconic parks—as well as the rangers, visitors, and wildlife who enjoy them.
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) commissioned a study—conducted by the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio—to comprehensively examine the economic impact of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and ensure the adequate preservation, protection and interpretation of our nation’s largest collection of Spanish colonial resources. The study was funded with assistance from Bexar County, Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and Western National Parks Association. Using an input-output model, the economic assessment found that San Antonio’s historic missions provide a tremendous economic impact for surrounding communities.
Center for Park Research Reports
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
State of the Parks Reports
Rocky Mountain National Park, July 2002
Muir Woods National Monument, January 2011
Grand Canyon National Park, August 2010
Alcatraz Island, August 2010
Ninety Six National Historic Site, June 2010
Kings Mountain National Military Park, June 2010
Cowpens National Battlefield, June 2010
Point Reyes National Seashore Reassessment, February 2009
Appalachian National Scenic Trail, March 2010
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, December 2009
Lassen Volcanic National Park, November 2009
Effigy Mounds National Monument, August 2009
Scotts Bluff National Monument, July 2009
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, July 2009
Cumberland Island National Seashore , March 2009
Great Basin National Park, March 2009
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park , February 2009
Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, December 2008
Redwood National and State Parks, December 2008
Fort Sumter National Monument, December 2008
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, December 2008
Vicksburg National Military Park, October 2008
Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, October 2008
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, September 2008
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, July 2008
Southern California's Mediterranean Biome Parks, April 2008
Tennessee's Civil War National Parks, May 2009
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, March 2008
Virgin Islands National Park, March 2008
San Juan Island National Historical Park, November 2007
Fort Pulaski National Monument, November 2007
National Parks of the Great Lakes , July 2007
Assateague Island National Seashore, August 2007
Gateway National Recreation Area, May 2007
Big Hole National Battlefield, January 2007
Bryce Canyon National Park, June 2005
Catoctin Mountain Park, March 2006
Canyonlands National Park , September 2004
California Desert, June 2005
Big Thicket National Preserve, July 2005
Biscayne National Park, January 2006
Big Bend National Park, November 2003
Zion National Park, July 2005
Great Smoky Mountains National Park, April 2004
Adams National Historical Park, October 2001
Shenandoah National Park, June 2003
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, September 2004
Andersonville National Historic Site, May 2004
Point Reyes National Seashore, January, 2002
Olympic National Park, May 2004
Longfellow National Historic Site, August 2005
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, June 2003
National Parks Along the Lewis and Clark Trail, September 2006
Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, October 2004
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, November 2002
Fort Necessity National Battlefield, June 2004
Fort Laramie National Historic Site, August 2004
Florida Bay, December 2005
Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, February 2003
Denali National Park and Preserve, July 2003