Laws & Policies


The National Park Service carries out its responsibilities in parks and programs under the authority of Federal laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, and in accord with policies established by the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior.

A close up photo of a park ranger vehicle.

NPS Photo/ Nathaniel Leies

Law Enforcement

Mammoth Cave National Park is an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction. All law enforcement functions within the park are carried out by commissioned park rangers within the Division of Visitor & Resource Protection who are duly appointed federal law enforcement officers who are authorized to carry firearms, conduct investigations, make arrests and serve warrants pursuant to law and policy. Their duties include law enforcement, emergency medical services, search and rescue, wildland and structural firefighting, as well as visitor safety, assistance, and information.

Along with the federal laws, regulations, and policies listed, commissioned park rangers also have the authority to enforce applicable Kentucky Revised Statutes.


Code of Federal Regulations and Other Federal Laws

Federal regulations that apply to all National Park Service sites can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations under Title 36. Among the federal laws that are enforced by commissioned park rangers are those within Title 16 of the United States Code (USC) that apply to the National Park System or all federal lands, federal criminal laws within Title 18 USC and various federal drug laws within Title 21 USC.


Superintendent's Compendium

In the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), superintendents of each unit in the National Park System have the option to develop specific designations, closures, permit requirements, and other restrictions to address unique management needs in their park unit. Within the CFR, superintendents are given the authority to amend, modify, relax, or make more stringent certain regulations. These park-specific regulations are incorporated into a document called the Superintendent's Compendium and are an extension of the CFR. These publications help direct the park's management efforts to best serve the mission of the National Park Service and the needs of visitors.



Federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in Mammoth Cave National Park. Hunting and the discharge of firearms are prohibited in Mammoth Cave.

It is your responsibility to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering the park.

Federal law prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park (such as visitor centers and government offices): those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.
Read more about firearms in national parks.


Unmanned Aircraft

Launching, landing, or operating an unmanned aircraft from or on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park is prohibited except as approved in writing by the superintendent.
Read more about unmanned aircrafts in national parks.


Report a Crime or Suspicious Activity

Emergencies - If you have an emergency while visiting the national park please call 911.

Non-Emergency: If you need assistance during a non-emergency situation while visiting the national park please call the Edmonson County Dispatch at (270) 597-2729.

The continued protection of our national parks is a job that involves all of us. If you see something suspicious in any National Park Service (NPS) location, or if you have information that could aid an investigation, stay safe and tell us about it. Talk to any NPS employee for help in reporting suspicious activity, or give the Special Agents of the NPS Investigative Services Branch a call or submit a tip online.

Mammoth Cave Reporting Line: (888) 219-1599 (To report hazards or suspicious activity)

NPS Investigative Service Branch Tip Line: (888) 653-0009 (Voice or Text)

Last updated: March 30, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 7
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259-0007


270 758-2180

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