According to the Ice Age National Geologic Founding Statement, management is thus described:
"The National Park Service will not manage Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail as an independent unit of the National Park System. Operational responsibilities will stay with the various land mangers (public and private). The role of the National Park Service will be to coordinate planning and development of the trail and interpretation of the floods among the many public and private partners associated with the trail. In this way, the trail may be likened to a necklace, with the many public landowners continuing to manage the "gems" or geologic resources, and the National Park Service coordinating the string that holds the necklace together. In addition to public landowners, there are many other public and private organizations working to bring the story of the floods to visitors."