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 www.npca.org.

Read more from NPCA

  • Blog Post

    Latinos Are Critical to the Environmental Movement

    Jul 2023 | By Sally Garcia

    Latino Conservation Week highlights the contributions of Latinos in caring for the environment, while encouraging the community’s culture of stewardship. Here’s how NPCA supports Latino engagement every day. 

  • Blog Post

    Visiting Rocky Mountain at Peak Season? Not a Problem.

    Jul 2023 | By Megan Tran

    An NPCA intern shares her experiences navigating this highly visited park's reservation system — and offers some insights to help make your visit just as successful.  

  • Blog Post

    7 for 7: How NPCA Is Improving Your Next Visit to Stonewall

    Jun 2023 | By Shira Michaeli, Timothy Leonard

    Stonewall National Monument in New York City was established seven years ago. NPCA is leading improvements at the site in seven ways — including the addition of a visitor center.