Press Release May 25, 2023

Parks Group Hails New and Diverse National Park System Advisory Board

“We look forward to working with this group to ensure that we are doing everything we can to preserve and protect our nation’s most inspirational places." - Theresa Pierno, NPCA's President and CEO

Washington, DC – The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) welcomes the recent reestablishment of the National Park System Advisory Board, which was inactive for nearly two and a half years. NPCA looks forward to working with this diverse group of experts to ensure our national parks are protected and preserved now and for generations to come.

Since 1935, the federally charted board has advised the Director of the National Park Service (NPS) and the Secretary of the Interior on matters relating to the National Park System and programs administered by NPS. In fact, the Interior secretary relies on the board’s recommendations and approval to establish new historic or natural landmarks. Beyond its charted mission, the board has played a key role in helping shape the direction and priorities of NPS, recommending new park sites, and consulting on other park policies related to climate change and visitation.

The newly reconstituted board includes members with experience relevant to park management, as well as environmental law and science and local and state policy. Understanding the importance of elevating and engaging underrepresented communities, Secretary Haaland added a new requirement that one advisory board member must represent a federally recognized Tribe.

Former President and CEO of NPCA (1998-2013), Thomas Kiernan, and current member of NPCA’s Board of Trustees, Robert Keiter, are among the newly appointed members. Kiernan brings a strong park protection background to the NPS Advisory Board, especially in the funding needs of our national parks and importance of establishing new parks. Keiter is the Wallace Stegner Professor of Law and founding Director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. He brings a unique expertise and perspective on public land law and policy, ecosystem management, national parks and endangered species.

The terms of the appointed members will be limited to four years. The Board will meet for the first time later this year. The full list of newly appointed members is available here.

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

“For nine decades, the nonpartisan National Park System Advisory Board has helped shape the future and success of our national parks. We are thrilled to see this board reestablished and filled with a diverse group of leaders and park advocates who are committed to advising the Park Service as it tackles some of the most pressing issues facing parks.

“The knowledge and expertise the Board brings comes at a critical time for our national parks, as they continue to deal with skyrocketing visitation, decreasing employee morale and the worsening consequences of climate change. However, these challenges also present opportunities to mark a new era for our national parks. Together, we must ensure our Park System not only thrives for another century but is one where everyone feels welcome and sees themselves and their stories honored.

“We look forward to working with this group to ensure that we are doing everything we can to preserve and protect our nation’s most inspirational places and rich and diverse history now and for future generations.”


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 more than 1.6 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