General Management Plan
A general management plan (GMP) is periodically prepared for each unit of the national park system in order to help the NPS, in consultation with the public, decides what resource conditions and visitor experiences a park should provide and why. Each GMP defines the basic philosophy of park management and provided broad guidance to park managers, who make hundreds of decisions each year that can affect a park's resources and its visitors. The GMP sets directions for a resources protection and visitor use and the NPS adopts its findings and uses them to guide the management of the park for 10-20 years. The clarification of what must be achieved according to law and policy is based on a review of the park's purpose, significance, and mission.
The Draft General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) presents three alternatives for the future management of Valley Forge National Historical Park (NHP). Alternative A, the No-Action Alternative, assumes continuation of current policies and associated actions. It retains the management direction of the 1982 GMP and reflects current conditions. Some initiatives already underway, such as rehabilitation of the Valley Forge Train Station by the National Park Service (NPS) and construction of the River Crossing Complex by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT), are reflected in this alternative. The action alternatives, B and C, would enhance the management and preservation of the park's cultural and natural resources, while providing new opportunities for visitors. Alternative B would provide an exciting palette of new options for visitors to tailor visits and experiences to best meet their own needs and interests. Experiences would focus on exploration and self-discovery of the full cultural and natural history of Valley Forge. Excellent orientation, as well as the use of new technologies, would be the key to this approach. Alternative C (the NPS Preferred Alternative) would provide visitors the opportunity to decide the kind of experience they want, depending on learning style, interest, and time. The park would provide a core message and experience for all visitors that are primarily immersive and focus on the encampment and the American Revolution. A self-discovery approach would illustrate additional areas of the park, as well as historical and natural resource themes and topics. This document provides the full cultural and natural histories of Valley Forge Park. An abbreviated GMP is also available.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS) has prepared this Record of Decision (ROD) for the Valley Forge National Historical Park (NHP) General Management Plan / Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS). This ROD includes a description of the project background, a statement of the decision made, a description of the selected action, a list of measures to minimize and/or mitigate environmental harm, synopses of other alternatives considered, the basis for the decision, findings on impairment of park resources and values, a description of the environmentally preferred alternative, and an overview of public and agency involvement in the decision-making process. In addition, the complete list of management objectives and potential actions related to the selected action and the executed Programmatic Agreement (PA) between the NPS and the Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) are appended to this ROD.
Did You Know?
Valley Forge NHP is part of the Schuylkill River National & State Heritage Area, which stretches 128 miles from Philadelphia to Pottsville. The region is nationally significant for the roles that its people, places, and events played in the American, industrial, and environmental revolutions.