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What Does the 1916 Organic Act Require of the National Park Service?

It is vitally important that National Park Service employees understand the purpose for which we manage the parks. That purpose is articulated in the 1916 Organic Act establishing the National Park Service. The Organic Act tells us that the purpose is:

"to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life
therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such
means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations."

This web site provides information to help employees better understand how the Service interprets this most important provision of law, and how that interpretation will be applied to NPS decision-making. The Service's baseline interpretation of the Organic Act is found in Section 1.4 of the 2006 Edition of NPS Management Policies. It sets the standard by which the Service will protect park resources and values.

Necessary resources are provided here:

Impairment  home page Section 1.14 of the Management Policies Impairment Primer Impairment Questions and Answers NLC Journal, April 2000 Dr. Robin W. Winks' Treatise on the "contradictory mandate"  within the Organic Act The Organic Act, 16 USC 1-1a-1
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