2016 National Park System Advisory Board Report

Cover: Second-Century Perspectives, 2016 NPSAB Report
"Second-Century Perspectives, A Journey of Understanding" details the work of the National Park System Advisory Board with updated summaries and links to video interviews with individual Board members. 

The National Park Service Centennial in 2016 has offered unprecedented opportunities to connect all Americans with the National Park System through special 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 180 outside subject matter experts to help address specific work.

This report details accomplishments associated with tasks originally summarized in "Engaging Independent Perspectives for a 21st-Century National Park System" and includes information on new tasks addressed since 2013. "Second-Century Perspectives, A Journey of Understanding" concludes with a "Focus on the Future" and the NPSAB's priority recommendations for national parks and programs to become more relevant to society and play a larger role in American life.


2016 National Park System Advisory Board Priority Recommendations

The National Park System Advisory Board supports the following priorities for national parks and programs to extend their benefits and values to citizens and communities throughout the nation.

  1. Further advance social media and new technologies experienced during the centennial to expand a robust 21st-century communications strategy with increased emphasis on NPS programs and parks that build relevancy to all Americans.
  2. Engage partners and the public in planning and actions to shape a future National Park System that addresses the impacts of a changing climate, gaps in historic preservation, and the preservation and connectivity of natural resources on a large landscape scale.
  3. Reform procedures and practices for the National Historic Landmark Program to engage underrepresented audiences and be more inclusive in preserving and interpreting the nation's many stories.
  4. Develop an agenda for collaboration among formal and informal educational institutions nationwide to provide expanded learning opportunities to all citizens, especially youth.
  5. Establish a more reliable, stable, and effective NPS funding model that allows long-term investments to build institutional capacities in history, scientific research, planning, and urban relationships.

View Second-Century Perspectives, A Journey of Understanding: 2016 National Park System Advisory Board Report (1.86MB PDF)


Since receiving NPS Director Jarvis' request to address priorities to Foster Resource Stewardship, Broaden Alliances for Education, Increase National Relevancy, and Advance Workforce innovations, the National Park System Advisory Board has focused on 13 separate tasks.

About the Reports

The 2013 National Park System Advisory Board Report, "Engaging Independent Perspectives," and the 2016 report, "Second-Century Perspectives, A Journey of Understanding," were 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:

  • Loran Fraser, Senior Advisor to the Director, National Park Service