Nonfederal Oil and Gas—Legal Instruments

The NPS Geologic Resources Division developed this article as part of a series to summarize laws, regulations, and policies that specifically apply to NPS minerals and geologic resources. The table below does not include laws of general application (e.g., Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Wilderness Act, National Environmental Policy Act, or National Historic Preservation Act). Also, the table does include the NPS Organic Act when it serves as the main authority for protection of a particular resource or when other, more specific laws are not available. Information is current as of December 2018. Contact the NPS Geologic Resources Division for detailed guidance.

Nonfederal Oil and Gas

Resource-specific Laws


NPS Organic Act, 54 USC § 100751 et seq.

authorizes the NPS to promulgate regulations to protect park resources and values (from, for example, the exercise of mining and mineral rights).

Individual Park Enabling Statutes:

  • 16 USC § 230a (Jean Lafitte NHP & Pres.)
  • 16 USC § 450kk (Fort Union NM),
  • 16 USC § 459d-3 (Padre Island NS),
  • 16 USC § 459h-3 (Gulf Islands NS),
  • 16 USC § 460ee (Big South Fork NRRA),
  • 16 USC § 460cc-2(i) (Gateway NRA),
  • 16 USC § 460m (Ozark NSR),
  • 16 USC § 698c (Big Thicket N Pres.),
  • 16 USC § 698f (Big Cypress N Pres.)

Resource-specific Regulations


36 CFR Part 6

regulates solid waste disposal sites in park units.

36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B

requires the owners/operators of nonfederally owned oil and gas rights outside of Alaska to:

  • demonstrate bona fide title to mineral rights;
  • submit an Operations Permit Application to NPS describing where, when, how they intend to conduct operations;
  • prepare/submit a reclamation plan; and
  • submit a bond to cover reclamation and potential liability.

43 CFR Part 36

governs access to nonfederal oil and gas rights located in, or adjacent to, National Park System units in Alaska.

2006 Management Policies


Section 8.7.3

requires operators to comply with 9B regulations.

Related Links

Last updated: October 9, 2019