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Laws/Regulations/Policies/Guidance

Laws
Executive Orders & Presidential Proclamations
Regulations
Policy - General
NPS Policy

Laws

Laws are acts passed by the US Congress and approved by the President; all laws must be consistent with the U.S. Constitution; federal laws have supremacy over state and local laws. Legislative history (e.g., committee reports, transcripts of congressional debates) often helps to clarify the congressional intent in enacting a law.

Examples

  • Act of August 25, 1916 (NPS Organic Act), P.L. 64-235, 16 U.S.C. §1 et seq., as amended
  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as amended (PL 91-90, 42 USC 4321-4347, January 1, 1970, as amended by PL 94-52, July 3,1975, and PL 94-83, August 9, 1975)

Primary Sources

  • U.S. Statutes at Large - Contains record of laws, amendments, concurrent resolutions enacted by each session of Congress; organized chronologically; published annually.
  • U.S. Code (USC) - The consolidation and codification of general and permanent federal laws; consists of 50 titles (subject areas); new edition published every 6 years with cumulative supplements following each session of Congress.
  • Congressional Record (CR) - Contains proceedings and debates that make up legislative history; published daily with an index developed at the end of each congressional session.

Websites

Other Helpful Law Sites


Executive Orders & Presidential Proclamations

Executive Orders are directives from the President to departments and agencies of the executive branch.

Presidential Proclamations are decrees by the President under the Constitution and other authorities (e.g., Antiquities Act).

Example: E.O. 11990 Protection of Wetlands Proclamation 6920-Establishment of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Primary Sources

  • Federal Register (FR) - Contains executive orders, presidential proclamations, agency regulations and notices, and other public documents; published daily and indexed monthly.
  • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - Since 1976 Title 3 of CFR contains an annual compilation of executive orders and proclamations.
  • Codification of Presidential Proclamations and Executive Orders (most recent ed., 1945-1989)

Websites


Regulations

Regulations are rules for complying with a federal law developed by the authorized department or agency. Regulations include codification of agency policy.

Example: 36 CFR Part 1 - 199 contains general and specific regulations for the management and use of the national park system (these regulations are augmented by the superintendent's compendium for each unit).

Other Examples

  • 16CFR Parts 1-199 Parks, Forest, and Public Property [NPS general and special regulations]
  • 40CFR Parts 1500 - 1508 Council on Environmental Quality Regulations for Implementing the Procedural Provisions of NEPA
  • 44CFR Part 9 FEMA Floodplain Management and Protection of Wetlands Regulations

Primary Sources

  • Federal Register - Regulations are first published and revised in the register.
  • Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) - Consolidation and codification of general and permanent rules and regulations of federal agencies and presidential documents; there are 50 titles.
    • Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) - The principal set of rules in the Federal Acquisition Regulation System. This system consists of sets of regulations issued by agencies of the Federal government of the United States to govern what is called the "acquisition process," which is the process through which the government purchases ("acquires") goods and services. That process consists of three phases:
      1. need recognition and acquisition planning
      2. contract formation
      3. contract administration
      The FAR System regulates the activities of government personnel in carrying out that process.

Websites


Policy - General

Policies are guiding principles or procedures that set the framework and provide direction for management decisions; they may prescribe the process by which decisions are made, how an action is to be accomplished, or the results to be achieved.

Primary Sources

  • Federal Register - Policies for most agencies are usually first published in the register, as well as published separately.
  • DOI policy is contained in the Departmental Manual.

Websites

Other Helpful Policy Sites


NPS Policy

The NPS has adopted a 3-tiered Directives System to express policy and provide instructions for its implementation; this approach is described below.

Level 1: NPS Management Policies

This is the only level 1 policy statement that provides a framework for making management decisions.

  • Approved by the Director after review by the WASO Office of Policy and the NLC.
  • Adherence is mandatory (unless waived by the SOI, Assist. SOI, or the Director).

Primary Source: Management Policies

Website: Current NPS Management Policies

Level 2: Director's Orders (DOs)

NPS Director's instructions for implementing management policy.

  • May articulate new or revised policy.
  • May provide specific instructions.
  • May outline requirements or standards for NPS functions, programs, and activities.
  • Approved by the Director after review by the WASO Office of Policy and the NLC.
  • Adherence is mandatory (unless waived by the SOI, Assist. SOI, or the Director).

Example: DO-12 Conservation Planning and Environmental Impact Analysis (NEPA compliance guidelines)

Primary Source: Director's Orders

Websites

Level 3: Handbooks, reference manuals, and other professional materials

Example: DO-12 Handbook

Website: Director's Orders and Related Documents