Overview of Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Parks mission is to preserve and enhance the natural, historic and scenic resources of the lands north and south of the Golden Gate for the education, recreation and inspiration of people today and in the future. In the spirit of bringing national parks to the people, we reach out to a diverse urban community, promote the richness and breadth of the national park system to many who are experiencing a national park for the first time and foster broad-based public stewardship through various volunteer and partnership programs.
Click the links below to read the park's first General Management Plan, finalized in 1980; and the new General Management Plan/Final Environmental Impact Statement, released in April 2014.
*No part of the GMP will be implemented until a final decision document, a Record of Decision, is approved by the Regional Director. It will be available on this site once the document has been signed.
To learn more about the park's vision for Interpretation & Education, download a copy of our latest Comprehensive Interpretive Plan:
Golden Gate National Recreation Area was established by Congress in 1972 as part of a movement known as "Parks to the People." The park has grown into the largest national park unit in an urban area in this country, and includes under its management two additional NPS units- and . The park's lands are located in three counties-Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo. Upwards of 20 million people per year visit this remarkable park, located in the midst of a highly diverse metropolitan area of 7 million people.
The park includes world-renowned visitor destinations such as and Muir Woods, as well as many other destination of regional and national import such as the Crissy Field, the , Marin Headlands, , Fort Mason, Ocean Beach, Fort Funston, Sweeney Ridge, and Mori Point. One of the largest collections of historic buildings of any national park can be found in the park, along with dozens of plants and animal species that are accorded state or federal protected status. The park is part of the United Nations-designated Golden Gate International Biosphere Reserve.
Partnership is one of the watchwords of the park, with a number of outstanding nonprofit organizations working with the park to make available a wide variety of programs. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is the official support organization for the park, providing an extraordinary level of funds and assistance each year.
The park operates under Federal, Department of the Interior, and National Park Service policies and guidelines, in accordance with a General Management Plan (GMP) which was first published in 1980. The park GMP is currently undergoing revision to reflect new lands and responsibilities added since the park was established.
Park management includes a General Superintendent, Deputy General Superintendent, and a number of operating and administrative divisions. The park's budget includes annual federal appropriations, capital and special purpose project funding, fee funds, and donated funds. Park staffing is augmented by a high level of volunteerism, generally exceeding 350,000 hours of volunteer service per year.
Our Park in numbers
FY 13 Stats
- 1,200 historic structures
- 5 National Historic Landmark Districts
- 13 National Register of Historic Places properties
- 365 identified and over 500 predicted archaeological sites
- 9 cultural landscapes
- 5 lighthouses
- Home to 1,287 plant and animal species, that encompasses 91 miles of bay and ocean shoreline.
- Part of the UNESCO Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve
- Comprised of 19 separate ecosystems in 7 distinct watersheds
- Home to the largest museum collection in the National Park System
- Contains the 3rd largest number of federally protected or endangered species of all 401 units within the National Park Service.
(gross area acres legislated):
80,624 (of which 20,000 are managed by NPS)
Visitation (including all three park units, excluding the Presidio):
Total 16,834,558; (the sum of Golden Gate NRA 14,289,121; Fort Point NHS 1,591,312; and Muir Woods NM 954,125)
287 employees (219 Permanent; 66 Term; 2 Temporary), excluding US Park Police
President's Requested budget for Fiscal Year 2013: $26,776,000
For our basic fact sheet, you can download the PDF below:
National Park Service Director John Jarvis.
NPS Director Jonathon B. Jarvis
Jonathan B. Jarvis began his career with the National Park Service in 1976 as a seasonal interpreter in Washington, D.C. Today, he manages that agency whose mission is to preserve America's most treasured landscapes and cultural icons.
Jarvis's 37-year career has taken him from ranger to resource management specialist to park biologist to superintendent of parks such as Craters of the Moon, North Cascades, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Mount Rainier. Before being confirmed as the 18th Director of the National Park Service on September 24, 2009, Jarvis served as regional director of the bureau's Pacific West Region.
Today, he is responsible for overseeing an agency with more than 22,000 employees, a $3 billion budget, and 401 national parks that attract more than 280 million visitors every year who generate $30 billion in economic benefit across the nation.
For more information on Director Jarvis, visit the link here.
Regional Director of the Pacific West Region, Chris Lehnertz.
Pacific West Regional Director Christine Lehnertz
Chris Lehnertz oversees the Pacific West Region, which spans 106 degrees across the globe and preserves and protects 58 spectacular national parks as far west as American Samoa and as far east as Saipan. In between, there are Pacific West park units in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, western Montana, northwestern Arizona and Guam. The Pacific West Region also is instrumental in working with a variety of community assistance partnership programs.
Prior to serving as Regional Director, Lehnertz was Deputy Superintendent at Yellowstone National Park. She has also served as acting Associate Director for Cultural Resources in the National Park Service's office in Washington DC.
Before arriving at the National Park Service, she spent 16 years working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Primarily working under the Clean Water Act, she also served in other program areas including multiple compliance and enforcement program areas, tribal assistance grants, and global climate change. A federal employee since 1989, she has worked at posts in Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington DC, and is currently stationed in Oakland, Calif.
George "Doc" Miles/NPS
Acting Superintendent Aaron Roth
Aaron Roth is the Acting Superintendent and Chief of Business Management for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and a member of the Healthy Food for the Parks team.
He has worked with the National Park Service since 2004, working first as a Business Management Specialist for the Intermountain Region and moved to Golden Gate National Recreation Area in October of 2007. Roth has been Deputy Superintendent of GGNRA since May of 2010 and is an alumni of University of Colorado, Boulder and University of Virginia.
If you'd like to contact GGNRA staff or offices, click here.