Park Planning

Park staff at Wrangell St-Elias NP&P participate in a wilderness character workshop. At the workshop the staff articulated what is special about the Wrangell St-Elias designated wilderness. (NPS Photo)
  • Park staff sit in a room while one writes on a board at the front of the room

    Park staff at Wrangell St-Elias NP&P participate in a wilderness character workshop. At the workshop the staff articulated what is special about the Wrangell St-Elias designated wilderness. (NPS Photo)

  • Park service staff in two canoes float along a clearwater river surrounded by forest and mountains

    NPS staff floating the Kobuk River to document the scenic values along the river corridor. (NPS Photo)

  • Three park service employees smile with a rustic background

    Regional planning and cultural resources staff visit the village of Shishmaref to discuss planning efforts for the Serpentine Hot Springs area. (NPS Photo)

  • Three men stand next to and on top of a waist-high ice dam found while rafting

    A team encounters an ice dam on the North Fork Koyukuk River in Gates of the Arctic NP&P. The group was floating the wild river to analyze river values. (NPS Photo)

  • A park ranger and regional office employee stand on a boat and discuss park issues

    Regional planning staff visit Lake Clark NP&P to learn more about the lake shore. (NPS Photo)

  • Park staff discussing planning issues, Sitka NHP. (NPS Photo)

    Park staff discussing planning issues, Sitka NHP. (NPS Photo)

  • Mountains and blue sky reflect off the shallow rocky waters of a lake shore

    The rocky shore of Turquoise Lake, Lake Clark NP&P. (NPS Photo)

Planning News

The NPS is in the process of developing a master plan for the Iyat/Serpentine Hot Springs area of Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and a GMP Amendment/ Environmental Assessment for Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve. Check back at a later date for a link to the projects.

Planning for Our Parks

The National Park Service (NPS) plans for one purpose - to ensure that the decisions it makes will be carried out as effectively and efficiently as possible. The National Park Service prepares a variety of planning and environmental documents to help guide management of park resources. Planning provides methods and tools for resolving issues in ways that minimize conflicts and promotes mutually beneficial solutions - solutions that articulate how public enjoyment of the parks can be part of a strategy for ensuring that resources are protected unimpaired for future generations.


NPS Park Planning guides informed and insightful decisions that provide relevant and timely direction to park management, and informs future decision-making for each National Park System unit in accord with its stated mission.

Portfolio of Management Plans

Park managers are guided by a variety of plans and studies, covering many topics. The totality of a park’s plans is referred to as the Portfolio of Management Plans (portfolio). The portfolio is a dynamic compilation of planning guidance in which certain planning elements are removed and updated, or new elements added as needed.

Planning Portfolio Documents

Foundation Statement - The foundation is grounded in the unit’s legislation and from knowledge acquired since the unit was originally established. The Foundation Statement provides a shared understanding of what is most important about the unit. The Foundation Statement describes the unit’s purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, primary interpretive themes, and special mandates.

Land Protection Plans - Land Protection Plans are required by agencies with nonfederal lands or interests in land within the authorized boundary, and the LPP serves as a strategy for the acquisition and/or interests of those lands.

Park Atlas - The park atlas is a collection of maps and geospatial data indicating areas of particular importance as to wilderness, natural, historical, wildlife, cultural, archeological, paleontological, geological, recreational, and similar resources.

Wild and Scenic River Value Statements - Every designated river must have a Values Statement. The Wild and Scenic River Values Statement identifies and articulates those resources and values that were critical to a river’s designation and inclusion in the national wild & scenic river system. The Outstandingly Remarkable Values (ORVs) are the unique and/or exemplary resources contained in the river’s corridor than must be protected and enhanced in order for a river to be in compliance with the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

General Management Plan - Comprehensive park plan that guides the long-term management of resources, visitor use, and general development at the park. Every park has a GMP.

Implementation Plans - More detailed plans for specific areas or programs that implement decisions made in the General Management Plan.

Fire Management Plan - Provides direction for wildland fire management.

Long-Range Interpretive Plan - Provide a vision for the future (5-10 years) of interpretation, education, and visitor experience opportunities. They identify and analyze interpretation, education, and visitor experience goals and issues. They recommend the most effective, efficient, and practical ways to address those goals and issues.

Transportation Plan - Assesses and monitors transportation related issues, performance and maintenance.

Planning Documents by Park

Planning and compliance documents can be found in two places: The National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website, and under "Park Planning" on the respective park website.

We’ve posted on our websites the Park Portfolio of Management Plans. These plans, reports, and compilations can help explain what issues the park faces and how management plans to address them.


    Planning Highlights

  • Planning, Environment and Public Comment

    Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC)

    Welcome to the National Park Service Planning, Environment and Public Comment site.

  • Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act


    The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980 created most of the national parks in Alaska and governs their planning and management.

  • Current Planning Projects

    Current Regional Office Planning Projects

    This is a list of current planning and environmental compliance projects in Alaska being conducted at the regional level.

  • Planning Links

    Planning Links

    Provides sources of additional information about planning, resources and the environmental impact analysis process.

Last Updated: March 31, 2014