Press Release Mar 17, 2020

Amid Public Health Threat, Park Superintendents Given Authority to Close Areas Within National Parks

These are unprecedented times, and we need to make sure park staff and visitor's health comes first.

WASHINGTON – Today the National Park Service took action to implement the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and local and state authorities to protect staff and millions of park visitors by granting park superintendents the ability to modify operations for park facilities and programs. In doing so, national park visitor centers, facilities, programs and areas within national parks may close.

For updates regarding the National Park Service’s management of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), follow along here.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association

“It is the job of national park superintendents to ensure the safety of their park, their staff, their visitors and their community. Superintendents must be supported as they make decisions to close visitor centers, buildings and areas within parks. In some cases, they will need to make the difficult decision to close entire parks. The best way we can support national park leaders is to heed their guidance and refrain from visiting sites until a time when they are deemed safe to reopen. These are unprecedented times, and we need to make sure park staff and visitors’ health come first.”


About National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its nearly 1.4 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit

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