NLC Journal
Volume 1 Number 2

National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior February 2, 2001


Robert Stanton's tenure as Director of the National Park Service ended at noon on January 20, 2001. Deputy Director Denis P. Galvin is Acting Director. The National Leadership Council acknowledges Director Stanton's stewardship of the National Park Service. Under Director Stanton's leadership, the National Park Service was strengthened by broadening its commitment to represent and speak to the diversity of our nation. At his direction, the National Park Service has enhanced its abilities to manage and protect park resources, and has initiated important thinking about its responsibilities and place in American life in the new century.

The National Leadership Council's January 17-18 meeting in Washington, D. C. came at a particularly busy time, coinciding with the end of one Administration, the beginning of another, and the arrival of a new Congress. Not surprisingly, the presidential transition was a primary topic of discussion.


The NLC reviewed discussions that the NPS had with the Bush Administration's Interior transition team. A key item was President Bush's campaign pledge to eliminate the National Park Service's $ 4.9 billion maintenance backlog over five years. It is widely expected that NPS capital improvement will get priority attention in the new Administration's first days. Equally exciting is a promise that the President made during the campaign of $100 million over five years to improve natural resource management in parks. In discussions with the transition team, NPS leadership expressed enthusiasm for this commitment and represented strongly that pressing Service needs are not limited to infrastructure.

The National Leadership Council expects the confirmation process for new leadership in the Department to come in three waves: (1) the Secretary of the Interior; (2) the Assistant Secretaries for Policy, Management and Budget, and Fish and Wildlife and Parks; and the Solicitor, among others; and, finally (3) the Director of the National Park Service and other bureau chiefs. Briefing statements are being posted to the Department of the Interior's website.

The NLC is very pleased with the recently approved revision of Management Policies, the Service's primary policy guidance document. Signed by Director Stanton on December 22, Management Policies 2001 is the first comprehensive update of NPS policy since 1988. The document is the result of years of painstaking effort, and the National Leadership Council expresses its appreciation to the many individuals from within and outside the ranks of the National Park Service who contributed their time and effort to write, or thoughtfully comment on, the three drafts that were circulated for review. Management Policies 2001's clear and concise language will help the NPS effectively and consistently carry out its mandate well into the new century. The National Leadership Council commends Management Policies 2001 to all employees for constant reference, and urges them to read the document from cover to cover at least once a year. The document is currently available on the web at; printed hard copies and a CDROM version should be available on February 16. Copies will be sent to all of offices and parks.

The substantial work of Discovery 2000 again occupied the attention of the NLC. Discussions focused specifically on the vision of the 21st century NPS that emerged from the conference and was described in the December 22 NLC Journal. In light of the presidential transition, it was agreed that developing a list of follow-up action items must wait until a new Director is confirmed. However, members began to identify the kinds of activities and programs, partnerships, resources, new thinking and organizational behaviors required to manage the NPS that is envisioned -- an organization playing a significant and integral role in the nation's educational life, a world environmental leader modeling sustainability in all practices and participating in national and global efforts to conserve biodiversity.

The NLC believes that the NPS of the future can preserve park resources and accomplish its purposes only by working in the closest collaboration with others. Parks in the 21st century can not be considered by themselves, but as part of the larger land scape. The NLC also believes the NPS of the future will have an expanded presence outside of parks in localities across America, helping communities to preserve and manage their own local heritage resources. The Service should not hesitate to learn from its neighbors, including state and local resource management agencies, and it must do a far better job of educating, and thus re-invigorating, its own workforce.

The NLC is fully aware that the Service cannot accomplish the foregoing goals without effective leadership. In the December 22 NLC Journal, the NLC said it would explore opportunities to work with experts in the fields of management and organizational change to strengthen itself as a leadership body. Since then, and prior to the January 17-18 meeting, contact was made with Discovery 2000 Leadership Track keynote speaker Dr. Peter Senge, who has scheduled discussions with NLC representatives for next month.

The next step in Discovery 2000 will be to outline the kind of long-term strategies needed to prepare and direct the organization for the future its sees for itself.

The National Leadership Council reaffirmed its support for the Message Project, a two-year-old partnership effort with the National Park Foundation to improve the Service's abilities to communicate with the public, and approved Director's Order #52A to guide future Message Project efforts. To oversee implementation, the Director's Order calls for creation of a National Communications Coordinator position (to report directly to the Deputy Director for operations). Regional directors and superintendents will be expected to provide proactive communications leadership, including consultation and coordination with the Coordinator.

The NLC is very enthusiastic about the requirement in Director's Order #52A that the Arrowhead Symbol be displayed on all of offcial NPS media intended for the public. The Arrowhead is a proud symbol of our dedication to resource stewardship and public service. It conveys to the public an image of excellence. New Arrowhead Symbol specifications posted on will be applicable wherever the Arrowhead Symbol is used, including on: all of offcial NPS publications, business cards, correspondence, and other media; all park signs; and all official uniforms and other approved clothing and similar products.

The Service will transition to the new specifications immediately, with the following exceptions: (1) existing stock not meeting the new specifications may be used until exhausted; (2) the existing arrowhead patch may continue to be worn on uniforms until a new patch can be developed, wear tested, and phased into use; and (3) the continued use and display of entrance signs having historic significance to parks will not be affected.

The National Leadership Council noted with great approval that Director Stanton signed the Cultural Resource Challenge's five-year Action Plan and Budget Strategy on December 21.

The NLC agreed to meet more frequently, at least once every two months. It also agreed that each meeting would include presentations and dialogue on the broad issues of strategic importance to the National Park Service. The Conservation Study Institute an organization charged with creating new opportunities for dialogue, inquiry and lifelong learning to enhance the stewardship of our landscapes and communities as well as academia, partner organizations, and others will be invited to participate in these dialogues. The strategic issue of the March NLC meeting will be the mandate to protect park resources and values unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations, and how to integrate that mandate into the NPS's decision making processes.

The next three meeting dates and locales are:

  • March 20 - 22, in Denver, CO;
  • May 30 - June 1, in Washington, DC; and
  • July 31 - August 2, in Washington, DC.

The NLC that each meeting would include presentations and dialogue on the broad issues of strategic importance to the National Park Service





Denis (Deny) Galvin
Deputy Director

Sue Masica
Associate Director

Katherine (Kate) Stevenson
Associate Director
Cultural Resource Stewardship
and Partnerships

Michael (Mike) Soukup
Associate Director
Natural Resources
Stewardship and Science

Richard (Dick) Ring
Associate Director
Park Operations
and Education

Terrel Emmons
Associate Director
Professional Services

Robert L. (Rob) Arnberger
Regional Director

Karen P. Wade
Regional Director

William (Bill) Schenk
Regional Director

Terry R. Carlstrom
Regional Director
National Capital

Marie Rust
Regional Director

John J. Reynolds
Regional Director
Pacific West

Jerry Belson
Regional Director