Superintendent's Compendium

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National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Fort Larned National Historic Site
Superintendent’s Compendium

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In accordance with applicable law and policy, and pursuant to the delegated authorities provided in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 1 (“36 CFR”), the following compendium actions apply to all lands and waters administered by the National Park Service (NPS) within the boundaries of Fort Larned National Historic Site (FOLS). This document is the written compilation of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under the discretionary authority of the Superintendent, as required by 36 CFR 1.7(b). Violating any provision in this Compendium may result in criminal penalties under 36 CFR 1.3. The compendium actions in this document apply in addition to all other laws that apply to lands and waters administered by the NPS within the boundaries of Fort Larned National Historic Site. These include:

  • Regulations in 36 CFR and other CFR titles such as Title 43, which contains regulations that apply on public lands administered by the Department of the Interior. The current version of the CFR can be found at Click on “Title 36” and then “Chapter 1” to access 36 CFR.
  • Statute codified in U.S. Code, in particular provisions in Titles 16 and 54.

This Compendium is organized by the sections in 36 CFR that give the Superintendent discretionary authority to take the compendium action. Written determinations that explain why each compendium action is necessary appear in this document in italicized print.

Please contact Chief Ranger George Elmore at Fort Larned National Historic Site if you have any questions or comments about the Superintendent’s Compendium.

NPS regulations in 36 CFR 1.4 define certain terms that are used in 36 CFR. Other sections in 36 CFR may define terms that are used in those sections. To the extent any terms defined in the CFR are used in this Compendium, those definitions apply. In addition to terms defined in the CFR, the following terms used in this Compendium are defined as follows:

Day Use Area: Any area consisting of or adjacent to paved parking lots, buildings, or toilet facilities that are open to the general public.

Uncrewed Aircraft: A device that is used or intended to be used for flight without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the device, and the associated operational elements and components that are required for the pilot or system operator in command to operate or control the device (such as cameras, sensors, communication links). This term includes all types of devices that meet this definition (e.g., model airplanes, quadcopters, and drones) that are used for any purpose, including for recreation or commerce.

Walkway: Sidewalks, paths, trails, or hard-surfaced areas that are closed to the use of bicycles and motorized vehicles.



36 CFR 1.5(a)(1) – Visiting hours, public use limits and closures.

Visiting Hours:

  • Fort Larned National Historic Site is open from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm daily. All buildings within the park are open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily. The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays. Severe winter storms may cause the park to close until such time as it is safe for visitation.

Closing the park in the evening and on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays is necessary because the NPS does not have sufficient staff to manage visitors during those times. In addition, it is more difficult for visitors to stay on designated paths and trails, and outside of closed areas, during the evening. Leaving these areas can cause significant damage to the natural and cultural resources in the park, including plants, wildlife, and archeological sites.

Public Use Limits:

  • The following is prohibited in all buildings:
  • Entering closed areas of historically refurbished rooms without the accompaniment of a staff member or officially designated Volunteer.
  • Carrying or consuming food or beverages, or using any tobacco product, in historically refurbished rooms. Exceptions may be granted by the Superintendent for special events in rooms that contain reproduction furnishings.

Restrictions are necessary to prevent unacceptable impacts to park resources and values and to protect and preserve historic structures and furnishings.


  • All roadways, trails, and other two-tracks, regardless of former use, that are gated and/or marked “Authorized Vehicles Only” are closed to the operation of all motor vehicles, except during administrative use.

These roads are closed to unauthorized motor vehicles to protect cultural and natural landscapes. It is also necessary to protect unsuspecting motorists from the hazards of irregular width, no signage and gravel/dirt surfaces which may be damage by an excessive amount of vehicle traffic.

36 CFR 1.5(a)(2) – Designated areas, conditions or restrictions on a use or activity.

Conditions or Restrictions on a Use or Activity:

  • Launching, landing, or operating an uncrewed aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the NPS within the boundaries of the park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the Superintendent.

This restriction is necessary to prevent unacceptable impacts to park resources and values from the use of uncrewed aircraft. Potential impacts include harming visitors, interfering with rescue operations, causing excessive noise, impacting viewsheds, and disturbing wildlife. This restriction is required by NPS Policy Memorandum 14-05 dated June 19, 2014.

  • Masks.

    When the CDC COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is LOW or Medium in the county or counties where the park is located, individuals are not required to wear masks.

    When the CDC COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is HIGH in the county or counties where the park is located, all individuals over the age of two must wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in all common areas and shared workspaces in buildings owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the National Park Service, including, but not limited to, park visitor centers, administrative offices, lodges, gift shops and restaurants.

    When the CDC COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level is HIGH in Pawnee County, where the park is located, based on data provided by the CDC, the superintendent will determine whether individuals are required to wear masks. The requirement, if any, will apply to all facilities within the park.

    Masks must cover the nose and mouth and fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face. Masks not designed to be protective, masks with ventilation valves, and face shields do not meet the requirement.

    Regardless of the COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level, individuals may wear masks if they choose to do so. Where a state, local, tribal, or territorial government where the park is located imposes more protective mask-wearing requirements than those indicated by the COVID-19 Hospital Admission Level, individuals must follow those more protective requirements within the park. More protective state, local, tribal, or territorial mask-wearing requirements are hereby adopted as federal requirements in all units of the National Park System located within that state, locality, area subject to a federally recognized Indian tribe’s regulatory jurisdiction, or territory, regardless of a particular park’s jurisdictional status.

    Additionally, all individuals must wear masks in or on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs/facilities, to the extent required by current orders or directives issued by the CDC, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), or other federal agencies with jurisdiction over those conveyances or areas. As of March 4, 2022, CDC and TSA orders or directives require all individuals regardless of vaccination status to wear masks in indoor areas of all forms of public transportation conveyances, including busses, trains, and boats/ferries, and in the indoor premises of transportation hubs/facilities. Individuals are not required to wear masks while outdoors on conveyances or while outdoors on the premises of transportation hubs/facilities.

    Per E.O. 13991, it is the policy of the Administration to halt the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) by relying on the best available data and science-based public health measures. Such measures include wearing masks when around others, physical distancing, and other related precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).



36 CFR 1.6(f) – Activities that require a permit.

The following activities are prohibited without a permit. Criteria for approving or denying permits are established by applicable law (statutes and regulations) and policy. Permitted activities are subject to applicable terms and conditions.

  • Launching or landing uncrewed aircraft. 36 CFR 1.5.

  • Carrying or possessing a weapon, trap, or net (excluding legal firearms). 36 CFR 2.4

  • Specimen collection. 36 CFR 2.5

  • Gathering of plants or plant parts by Federally recognized Indian tribes. 36 CFR 2.6

  • Camping activities. 36 CFR 2.10

  • Operating a power saw in developed areas and a motor or engine in undeveloped areas. 36 CFR 2.12.

  • Operation of any type of portable motor or engine, or device powered by a portable motor or engine in non-developed areas. 36 CFR 2.12.

  • Operating a public address system 36 CFR 2.12.

  • Fires. 36 CFR 2.13

  • Delivery or retrieval of a person or object by parachute, helicopter or other airborne means. 36 CFR 2.17.

  • Soliciting or demanding gifts, money, goods or services. 36 CFR 2.37.

  • Using, possessing, storing, or transporting explosives; using or possessing fireworks or firecrackers. 36 CFR 2.38.

  • Conducting a special event. 36 CFR 2.50.

  • Conducting a demonstration by groups of more than 25 people. 36 CFR 2.51.

  • Selling or distributing printed matter and other message-bearing items by groups of more than 25 people. 36 CFR 2.52.

  • Running-at-large, herding, driving across, allowing on, pasturing, or grazing of livestock or using the park for agriculture. 36 CFR 2.60.

  • Residing on federal lands. 36 CFR 2.61.

  • Scattering of human ashes from cremation. 36 CFR 2.62.

  • Exceeding of established vehicle load, weight, and size limits. 36 CFR 4.11

  • Displaying, posting, or distributing commercial notices or advertisements. 36 CFR 5.1.

  • Engaging in or soliciting any business. 36 CFR 5.3.

  • Some audio recording (if conditions are met). 36 CFR 5.5.

  • Using commercial vehicles on NPS-administered roads. 36 CFR 5.6.

  • Constructing or attempting to construct any building, structure, road, trail, path, or utility. 36 CFR 5.7.

  • Rights-of-way. 36 CFR part 14.

  • Examining ruins, excavating archeological sites, and gathering of objects of antiquity. 43 CFR part 3.

  • Commercial filming. 43 CFR 5.2.

  • Some still photography (if conditions are met). 43 CFR 5.2.

  • Excavating or removing archeological resources. 43 CFR part 7.

  • Collecting paleontological resources. 43 CFR part 49.



36 CFR 2.2(d) Areas are closed to the viewing of wildlife with the use of an artificial light:

  • All Property within Fort Larned National Historic Site


36 CFR 2.4 – Possession of Weapons

  • A person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law with the exception being: This authority does not extend to Federal facilities within the park (18 USC 930(a)). Federal facilities include all structures/buildings within Fort Larned National Historic Site.


36 CFR 2.10(a) – Permits, designated sites or areas, and conditions for camping.

  • Camping is prohibited except for park sponsored living history demonstrations.

The park closes at 5:00 pm daily, unless closed for weather or certain holidays, because the NPS does not have sufficient staff to manage visitors or property during those times. For these reasons, safety, and to protect the natural and cultural resources of the park, camping is generally prohibited.



  • Certain areas have been closed to picnicking, listed below.
  • Conditions for Picnicking:
  • The “holding” or “reserving” of additional picnicking sites and or tables, within designated picnic areas, for other individuals, is prohibited.
  • The Parade Ground of the fort is closed to picnicking except through an approved special use permit or park sponsored event.

The picnic area is a public use area and is intended as a first come first served use for schools, visitors, etc… For these reasons, the reserving or holding of tables has the potential to create user conflicts and is prohibited. The Parade Ground is central to, and in full view from, all historic structures, roads and trails. Picnicking in this area can negatively affect the historic setting and ambience for which the park is managed and has the potential to impair the visitor experience.


36 CFR 2.15 – PETS

  • Pets must be leashed at all times. This section does not apply to harnessed service dogs accompanying impaired persons.

  • Pets may not be tied to natural or manmade features such as trees, fences, posts, or other historic objects.

  • Pets must not be left unattended except in parked vehicles and only then if properly provided for according to prevailing weather conditions. Patrols may be conducted to assure pets are not at risk and owners contacted if concerns arise.

  • In all areas of the park, pet excrement must be immediately collected and disposed of.

Pets must be leashed to protect all users and resources. For the safety of pets, they must not be left unattended or alone inside a vehicle due to fluctuating/extreme weather conditions. Tying pets to natural or manmade features has the potential to damage them.


36 CFR 2.21 – SMOKING

  • The following portions of the park, or all or portions of buildings, structures or facilities are closed to smoking as noted:
  • All areas of government buildings and historical structures.
  • Except during periods of posted restriction due to extreme fire danger, smoking outdoors is permitted 100 feet from any building with persons required to dispose of all ash and smoldering debris in fireproof containers. Resulting trash and other debris must be disposed of properly.
  • In periods of posted high fire danger, smoking is only allowed in closed private vehicles, in the main parking lot, the parking lot at the Maintenance Shop, and the Handicap parking lot.
  • All smoking material must be totally extinguished and disposed of in the vehicle before opening the vehicle doors or windows.

For the safety of visitors and staff, smoking is prohibited to prevent secondhand smoke within nonsmoker user groups as well as the perception of second hand smoke, and to preserve and protect the cultural and natural resources of the park during times of high fire danger.


36 CFR 2.22 – PROPERTY

36 CFR 2.22(A)(2)

  • Property may be left unattended for longer than 24 hours except by permission/permit by the Superintendent.



CFR 2.35(a)(3) – Closures to alcohol.

  • Illegal possession, sale, or use of controlled substances anywhere on the park is prohibited.
  • Use of alcoholic beverages, except in conjunction with approved special events or written permission from the Superintendent, is prohibited.
The park is listed in the national Register of Historic Places as a historic property, most standing structures are historic and are located around the parade ground where visitors are directed along walking paths. Every effort has been made to keep the buildings, parade ground, and other fort grounds historically accurate so that the visitor is immersed in the circa 1868 timeframe. Visitors of all ages come to the park throughout the year to watch living history demonstrations. For these reasons, and to comply with Federal and State Laws, prevent user conflict and to protect historic objects and structures, the Superintendent has determined that the consumption and possession of alcohol is inappropriate given the historic purpose for which the park is maintained.


36 CFR 2.51(c)(2) – Designated location.

  • The following locations in the park. One location is north of the Officer’s Quarters near the only tree in the area and in close proximity to the Visitor Center and walkway. The other location is immediately south of the parking lot kiosk and sidewalk to the fort. A permit is not required for a demonstration in the designated location if it involves 25 persons or fewer and does not involve structures. Demonstration locations are depicted in Attachment A, “Fort Larned NHS Demonstration Locations.”

The designated locations are in prominent locations near the entrance to the park and to the visitor center and will allow individuals and groups to conduct demonstrations in a manner that will allow for effective communication of speech and other protected activities. At the same time, the designated locations leaves ample space for visitors to enter and leave the park safely and for the NPS to conduct administrative activities such as interpretive events.



  • The locations identified for Demonstration areas are designated as available for the sale or distribution of printed matter, and the free distribution of other message-bearing items. A permit is not required for these activities in the designated location if they involve 25 persons or fewer and do not involve structures.

The designated locations are in prominent locations near the entrance to the park and to the visitor center and will allow individuals and groups to conduct demonstrations in a manner that will allow for effective communication of speech and other protected activities. At the same time, the designated locations leaves ample space for visitors to enter and leave the park safely and for the NPS to conduct administrative activities such as interpretive events.


36 CFR 4.30 – BICYCLES.

36 CFR 4.30(i) – Electric bicycles.

  • Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles are allowed in the following locations where traditional bicycles are also allowed:
  • Park roads and parking areas and the administrative use road behind Officer’s Row going around to the Visitor Center.
  • Except where use of motor vehicles by the public is allowed, using the electric motor to move an e-bike without pedaling is prohibited.
  • Except as specified in this Compendium, the use of an e-bike within Fort Larned National Historic Site is governed by State law, which is adopted and made a part of this Compendium. Any violation of State law adopted by this paragraph is prohibited.
  • No bicycles of any type are allowed on the Parade Ground or around the historic buildings except in the grass area just West of the Visitor Center.

Allowing electric bicycles on roads and parking areas will not create new, adverse impacts to resources or visitors because those locations are already used by motor vehicles and traditional bicycles. Electric bicycles provide a recreational opportunity for visitors who want to ride a bicycle but might not otherwise because of physical fitness, age, or convenience. Class 3 electric bicycles, which allow the motor to assist pedaling up to 28 mph, would create unacceptable risks to visitor safety on roads and parking areas in the park due to potential conflicts with heavier and faster motor vehicles, and with other electric bicycles and traditional bicycles, which travel at slower speeds. Accidents that occur at higher speeds increase the risk of serious injury or death.


IV. Public Notice


In accordance with National Park Service (NPS) Law Enforcement Reference Manual 9 (RM-9), notice is hereby given that Fort Larned National Historic Site uses Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security camera monitoring.

The NPS’s use of CCTV for law enforcement and security purposes and will only be to visually monitor public park areas and public activities where no constitutionally protected reasonable expectation of privacy exists. Such CCTV use – which will have adequate privacy and First Amendment safeguards – will be to help ensure public safety and security; facilitate the detection, investigation, prevention, and deterrence of terrorist activity; help ensure the safety of citizens and officers; help assist in the proper allocation and deployment of law enforcement and public safety resources; and help facilitate the protection of the innocent and the apprehension and prosecution of criminals.

This policy does not restrict the official use of CCTV in government administrative areas, including administrative buildings, jail holding facilities, revenue collection sites, etc., where the government may record/monitor its facilities. For example, the government may perform unrestricted video/audio recording at revenue collection points (entrance stations, visitor center counters, etc.). This policy does not restrict the use of an Audio/Visual Recording Device (AVRD) in patrol vehicles or officer-worn recording devices used by commissioned rangers.

Operation of CCTV cameras will be in accordance with NPS and Department policy. No person will be targeted or monitored merely because of race, religion, gender, sex, disability, national origin, or political affiliation or views.

Nothing in this policy statement is intended to create any rights, privileges, or benefits not otherwise recognized by law.

Aerial view of Fort Larned with demonstration areas outlined in red.

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1767 KS Hwy 156
Larned, KS 67550


This phone is answered during regular business hours. After hours calls will be answered the next day. Please select a mailbox or leave a message on the main extension when the fort is closed.

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