Department of the Interior
|Office of the Secretary
June 19, 2006
Contact: Frank Quimby
Kempthorne: Park Management Policies
Will Assure Legacy of Conservation
WASHINGTON – Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne today announced the release of the National Park Service's revised draft 2006 Management Policies, saying they strengthen the national commitment to conserve America's magnificent landscapes and historic sites and pass them unimpaired to future generations.
Noting that the revised policies are the result of an extensive, and at times intense, public and internal review process, Kempthorne said their goal is to provide better guidance for park managers and employees who must carry out their mission in an increasingly complex and demanding world. The draft policies will now undergo a final review by career NPS employees.
At today's news conference, leaders of the National Parks Conservation Association, the Outdoor Industry Association, and the National Park System Advisory Board spoke in support of the revised policies.
"The true test of any vibrant organization is that it can examine itself critically and constructively to strengthen its vision and improve its operations," Kempthorne said. "With these revised policies, the National Park Service has again demonstrated its ability to engage citizens in productive dialog and benefit from the valuable insights and suggestions of its employees, friends and partners.
"I want to thank all of those who participated in this collaborative effort, especially Director Fran Mainella and NPS managers and employees, the National Park System Advisory Board, Members of Congress, and the National Parks Conservation Association."
Kempthorne said he appreciated the work of career NPS employees in revising the draft policies and looked forward to their comments. "Through the judicious and consistent application of these policies, National Park Service employees will continue to earn the trust and confidence of the American people."
Kempthorne also praised management policies that emphasize strengthening National Park Service ties to communities and building public trust, including the use of cooperative conservation and greater consultation and collaboration with local, tribal and state officials. He also lauded the emphasis on using the best available business practices to improve efficiency.
Joining Secretary Kempthorne for the announcement were Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.); NPS Director Fran Mainella; Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association; and Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the Outdoor Industry Association. Also attending were Douglas P. Wheeler, chairman of the National Park System Advisory Board, and Gene Sykes, chairman of the National Parks Conservation Association's Board of Trustees.
Advisory Board Chairman Wheeler said the independent Board was impressed with the revised policies and that they will provide a sound foundation for managing the National Park System. "These policies are a positive indication of the National Park Service's commitment to protect park resources and values so that they can be enjoyed not only today but also by future generations," he said.
The NPS received more than 45,000 comments during its review, and the revised policies reflect not only improvements suggested in that process but also the key principles that career NPS employees used for improving the 2001 Management Policies. (A list of the 10 Key Principles is attached.) The policies provide guidance for park superintendents and decision makers on a spectrum of issues, including planning, land use, visitor services, personnel recruitment, staff training, facilities operations, fire management, civic engagement, law enforcement and homeland security.
NPS decided to revise its management policies because of significant legal, social and technological developments since they were last updated in 2001. There are new executive orders, laws and regulations that affect park management. NPS has increased responsibilities for homeland security, including borders and icons. The initiative also was prompted by rapid population growth around parks, changes in the types of visitors to parks, improvements in technology that provide new ways to enjoy parks or reduce adverse impacts on resources, and a new focus on strengthening community ties and public trust.
The revised draft of the National Park Service's 2006 Management Policies is available for review on line at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/waso
Key Principles Guiding the National Park Service's Development of the