The parks of the Southeast abound with superlatives. Here you can find the world’s longest cave system (Mammoth Cave) and the highest visited national park in the country (Great Smoky Mountains). Touring the parks will expose you to Southern Appalachia, one of the most biodiverse regions of the world, while also introducing you to this continent’s tragic and triumphant history – from Native American occupation to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and beyond. In a landscape long-settled by people, NPCA’s Southeast Regional Office works to protect the amazing resources of this region’s national parks while also striving to connect this area’s varied stories and landscapes.
Undaunted by lengthy battles, the staff of the Southeast regional and field offices tackle monumental challenges. They advocate for clean air and water at parks like Buffalo National River, for improved visitor experiences at places like Blue Ridge Parkway, and for preservation of the diversity and connectedness of the natural and cultural resources in their region. One of their biggest achievements includes a settlement agreement with Tennessee Valley Authority resulting in the largest cleanup and retirement of coal-fired power plants in U.S. history. With strategic community engagement, they stopped a road from fragmenting a vast roadless area in the Great Smokies and added 4,500 acres of the Fern Lake watershed to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
Hoping to build on these successes, the Southeast team’s current priorities include protecting Cumberland Island National Seashore from a commercial spaceport, expanding its coastal program at parks like Cape Hatteras, ensuring the biological connectivity of the parks in the Southern Appalachians, and establishing the first national park in Georgia – Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve. In addition, whether it’s an industrial-sized hog farm threatening the Buffalo River, our nation’s first national river, or mountaintop removal impacting the Big South Fork, the Southeast office will continue to focus on ensuring that our nation’s vital waters run strong and clear. Join the Southeast in their rewarding work to protect this region’s unique parks.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
To save the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse from rising sea levels and shoreline erosion, the lighthouse was moved over half a mile inland in 1999!
Field Offices in the Southeast Region
More about the Southeast region
Blog Post Vacation with Ghosts in These 10 Deserted Park Towns Enjoy the spookiest time of year in one of the many abandoned towns that dot scenic national park landscapes around the country.
Blog Post 10 (Truly) Hidden National Park Gems Many of the national parks’ wonders are out in plain sight, but some are nearly impossible to see. Here are 10 of those frustratingly out-of-reach attractions as well as easier-to-get-to alternatives.
Blog Post Your Favorite Park Photos and Stories People around the country have shared some of their most poignant and intriguing moments in national parks on NPCA’s recently relaunched MyParkStory site.
Blog Post 11 of America’s Best National Park Beaches Need some sun and surf in your travel plans? NPCA staff highlight top beach vacation spots at national parks around the country.
I believe these wild places need to be preserved and should be shared. They are precious. They inspire a sense of humanity, character, wonder and joy. And they should belong to all of us! — Belinda
Fact Sheet Ozone Fact Sheet Ozone threatens the health of park visitors and contributes to the disease and death of park species such as the black cherry tree in the East and aspen and ponderosa pine in the West. National park ecosystems across the country are already showing damage from ground-level ozone pollution.
Magazine Article Small Plastic, Big Problem Plastic is polluting oceans and national park beaches alike, and new studies show that even the tiniest pieces pose a large threat.
Report Southeast Regional Office Field Reports These field reports provide timely updates and perspectives on issues of interest to our members and supporters in North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.
Blog Post Celebrate Dark Skies at These 18 National Parks Lay out a blanket after the sun goes down and see a clearer view of the universe at these designated dark-sky parks.
Blog Post Get Underground for Mammoth Adventures This Spring Go below the Earth’s surface to explore exquisite realms that evolved in total darkness. See twisting pathways through limestone and marble, crystal-lined walls, and distinctive rock formations that can only be discovered on foot. These 10 national park caves are places to learn about the mysterious worlds under our feet.
Blog Post Space Exploration Should Not Threaten One of Our Country’s Wildest Beaches On World Water Day, I’m speaking out against a plan to build a new spaceport near Cumberland Island.
Magazine Article The Appalachian Trail Blazer Just how far could long-distance hiker Jennifer Pharr Davis push herself?
Blog Post Old School: Unique Treasures from National Park Museums The National Park Service manages one of the largest museum systems in North America, preserving more than 45 million objects across 385 park collections. Here are 7 of those objects and the stories they tell across time.
Resource 10 Ways to Be a Park Advocate Want to be an advocate for parks, but don't know where to start?
Report A Legacy Threatened NPCA's photo book shows the damage to parks caused by the 2017 hurricanes.
Fact Sheet How to Host a Park Volunteer Event Hosting a park volunteer event is an empowering act that flexes your leadership skills, helps our parks and engages new people. Learn how with this step-by-step guide.
Report Diamond in the Rough An Economic Analysis of the Proposed Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve
Staff Jeffrey Hunter Jeff joined our Southeast Regional Office in Fall 2015, where he is helping to lead our Southern Appalachian Landscape Program.
Staff Tracy Kramer Tracy is proud to work for NPCA because “What’s good for our national parks is good for the people, the land, our shared history and most importantly – our shared future. Leaving our national treasures unimpaired for future generations is important work and I’m excited to be a part of it."
Staff Chris Watson A Senior Program Manager in the Southeast region, Chris Watson works on landscape connectivity, beyond boundary protection, future parks/park expansions, urban parks and wildlands, and Native American cultural connectedness to the parks.
Staff Don Barger Don founded the Southeast Regional Office in 1992, and currently serves as its Senior Regional Director, visiting, loving, and fighting to protect the special parks of this region.
Staff and Media Personnel Alison Zemanski Heis Alison Zemanski Heis joined NPCA in 2010 and leads media outreach and communications for the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and Sun Coast regions as well as NPCA's national water work.
Staff Emily Jones Emily’s work as Director for the Southeast region revolves around building momentum within local communities and garnering congressional support to ensure our national parks become a national priority.
Report Judgment on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation at Buffalo National River Judgment on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation at Buffalo National River
Report Vicksburg National Military Park Expansion NPCA has advocated for an addition to Vicksburg to the national park site for three years.
Fact Sheet Manhattan Project National Historical Park At the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, the National Park Service will interpret and facilitate discussion surrounding the complex stories of the Manhattan Project and the resulting impacts of atomic power and nuclear technology in the three major park site areas.
Letter Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality on Buffalo River Correspondence between Earthjustice and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality regarding the Buffalo River.
Explore Our Parks
- Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park ›
- Andersonville National Historic Site ›
- Andrew Johnson National Historic Site ›
- Arkansas Post National Memorial ›
- Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area ›
- Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument ›
- Blue Ridge Parkway ›
- Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield Site ›
- Buffalo National River ›
- Camp Nelson National Monument ›
- Cape Hatteras National Seashore ›
- Cape Lookout National Seashore ›
- Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site ›
- Charles Pinckney National Historic Site ›
- Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area ›
- Chickamauga And Chattanooga National Military Park ›
- Congaree National Park ›
- Cowpens National Battlefield ›
- Cumberland Gap National Historical Park ›
- Cumberland Island National Seashore ›
- Fort Donelson National Battlefield ›
- Fort Frederica National Monument ›
- Fort Pulaski National Monument ›
- Fort Raleigh National Historic Site ›
- Fort Smith National Historic Site ›
- Fort Sumter National Monument ›
- Freedom Riders National Monument ›
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park ›
- Guilford Courthouse National Military Park ›
- Horseshoe Bend National Military Park ›
- Hot Springs National Park ›
- Jimmy Carter National Historic Site ›
- Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park ›
- Kings Mountain National Military Park ›
- Little River Canyon National Preserve ›
- Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site ›
- Mammoth Cave National Park ›
- Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park ›
- Moores Creek National Battlefield ›
- Natchez National Historical Park ›
- Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail ›
- Natchez Trace Parkway ›
- Ninety Six National Historic Site ›
- Obed Wild & Scenic River ›
- Ocmulgee National Monument ›
- Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail ›
- Pea Ridge National Military Park ›
- President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site ›
- Reconstruction Era National Monument ›
- Russell Cave National Monument ›
- Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail ›
- Shiloh National Military Park ›
- Stones River National Battlefield ›
- Trail of Tears National Historic Trail ›
- Tupelo National Battlefield ›
- Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site ›
- Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site ›
- Vicksburg National Military Park ›
- Wright Brothers National Memorial ›