2013 National Park System Advisory Board Report OLD

Shows the cover of the report titled "Engaging Independent Perspectives", with a photo of a group of men and women gathered under a very old and large tree

Engaging Independent Perspectives for a 21st-Century National Park System

2013 National Park System Advisory Board Report

Download the Full Report (PDF)

The approaching centennial of the National Park Service in 2016 presents a great opportunity to connect all Americans with the nation's most special natural and cultural resources through National Park System places and programs. To advance the priority objectives of the NPS as it thinks more creatively about its next century of service, the National Park System Advisory Board enlisted the involvement of a distinguished group of 100 outside subject matter experts to help address specific work.


Since receiving NPS Director Jarvis' request to address the priorities of stewardship, education, relevancy, and the NPS workforce, the National Park System Advisory Board has focused on 10 separate tasks designed to:

Foster Resource Stewardship


2. Recommend National Historic Landmarks (NHLs)

Expand work to recommend a broader, richer representation of America's story in the designation of NHLs.
Lead: Ronald M. James
Task 2 Summary (PDF)
National Historic Landmarks Committee Report, Dec 2012 (PDF)
National Historic Landmarks Program

3. Recommend National Natural Landmarks (NNLs)

Enhance the NNL program by exploring new opportunities to engage additional public and private support, increase awareness of America's diverse natural history, and support the conservation work of NNL owners.
Lead: Belinda Faustinos
Task 3 Summary (PDF)
National Natural Landmarks Program 

4. Support Economic Valuation

Support measurement of the total economic value of the NPS including cooperative programs outside the National Park System.
Lead: Professor Linda Bilmes
Task 4 Summary (PDF)
Blueprint report phase 1a (PDF)
Blueprint report phase 1b (PDF) (report added December 31, 2013)
Joshua Tree National Park Case Study (PDF)

5. Revisit the "Leopold Report"

Prepare a contemporary version of the 1963 Leopold Report to help the NPS confront modern challenges in resource management.
Lead: Dr. Rita R. Colwell
Task 5 Summary (PDF)
Revisiting Leopold: Resource Stewardship in the National Parks (PDF)

Broaden Alliances for Education

6. Expand Collaboration in Education

Help the NPS broaden contacts with educational institutions, expand collaboration with K-12 educational systems, and incorporate parks and programs into educational media.
Lead: Dr. Milton Chen
Task 6 Summary (PDF)
U.S. Department of Education and National Park Service educational message (YouTube)
NPSAB Education Committee FY12 Accomplishments Report, October, 2012 (PDF)
NPSAB Partnership Subcommittee White Paper, October, 2012 (PDF)
NPSAB Technology Subcommittee White Paper, October, 2012 (PDF)
Family Learning in Free-Choice Educational Settings: A Review of the Literature for the National Park Service, 2012 (PDF)

Increase National Relevancy

7. Explore American Latino Heritage

Develop a theme study to identify American Latino-related places for their significance and recognition in potential new national landmarks and national parks, as well as in existing NPS sites.
Lead: Belinda Faustinos
Task 7 Summary (PDF)
American Latino Heritage Projects
American Latino Theme Study 

8. Support the NPS Centennial Campaign

Provide advice for a centennial public awareness initiative to highlight the national park idea.
Lead: Leonore Blitz
Task 8 Summary (PDF)
NPS Centennial Campaign Summary (PDF)

9. Build Community Relationships

Explore new approaches for broader relevancy and public engagement. Help identify and recruit partners in diverse communities.
Lead: Dr. Carolyn Finney
Task 9 Summary (PDF)
A Toolkit for Engaging Communities and Fostering Relationships (PDF)
Toolkit Support Materials 

Advance Workforce Innovations

10. Support Leadership Development

Provide advice on NPS leadership, workforce, organizational development, and more effectively advancing innovation.
Lead: Dr. Margaret Wheatley
Task 10 Summary (PDF)
Developing a 21st-Century Leadership Culture (PDF)
Collaborative for Innovation and Change


About the Report

The 2013 National Park System Advisory Board Report, "Engaging Independent Perspectives," was produced in collaboration with Harpers Ferry Center. The NPSAB especially acknowledges the dedicated work of Shirley Sears Smith and Roegener Kirk in support of all NPSAB functions over many years.

Work to accomplish the tasks summarized in this report remains ongoing. For more information on the report or for updates on the progress of the NPSAB's work, please contact the National Park Service Office of Policy.


Last updated: March 1, 2019