Ensuring High Quality Visitor Services
Concessioners fill a vital role with helping the National Park Service (NPS) carry out its mission. Private companies work with the NPS to offer necessary and appropriate services to park visitors that parks do not provide directly. By welcoming the private sector as a partner in park operations, the NPS broadens the economic base of the region and the communities surrounding parks. The Commercial Services Program administers nearly 500 concession contracts that, in total, gross over $1 billion annually. NPS concessioners employ more than 25,000 people in a variety of jobs during peak seasons, providing services ranging from food and lodging, to whitewater rafting adventures, motor coach tours and others.
Leasing/concession management/CUA management are part of the NPS Commercial Services Program.
NPS Plastics Elimination and Reduction Plan
The NPS Plastics Elimination and Reduction Plan was published September 28, 2023, and is available at Buy Green & Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Sustainability.
National Park Service Adoption of International Fire Code over the former adherence to National Fire Protection Association Codes
The NPS has adopted the International Fire Code (IFC), the International Wildland-Urban Interface Code (IWUIC), the complete International Code Council (ICC) family of codes (I-Codes), and the National Electrical Code (NEC, NFPA 70, published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). As such, these codes replace the NFPA codes as the “applicable law” that concessioners must adhere to. Please see the attached Technical Bulletin Memorandum from the Commercial Services Program for more information. The memo can be found under the Risk Management & Insurance section under the Commercial Services Program’s website Laws, Regulation, and Policy section.
Concessioner Solid Waste Data Collection
In conjunction with the Green Parks Plan, the recent focus on solid waste minimization, and efforts to reduce single-use plastics, DOI now requires the NPS to include concession solid waste amounts in its annual solid waste reporting.
In 2024, concessioners with Category I or II concession contracts will be required to use the Concessioner Waste Data Collection tool to report solid waste. Concessioners are requested to use the new NPS tool and provide feedback in 2023.
Details are provided in the attached memo and the draft solid waste data collection form, which can be found under the Other Environmental Management Tools section of the Environmental Management webpage.
Guidance on Labor Practices under National Park Service Concession Contracts
The NPS recently issued guidance and more recently an addendum affirming the importance of NPS concessioner compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and laws enforced by the Department of Labor. NPS also provided a news item on recent updates to posters on employee rights under the NLRA that are available for download and printing.
Update on implementation of EO 14026
To ensure compliance with an applicable nationwide injunction pending appeal, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the NPS will take no action to implement or enforce the implementing regulations for Executive Order 14026 of April 27, 2021, (Increasing the Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors), codified at 29 C.F.R. part 23, in the context of seasonal recreational services or seasonal recreational equipment rental for the general public on federal lands provided under NPS concession contracts, commercial use authorizations, and commercial leases. This includes those contracts, CUAs and leases that we issued following issuance of the EO and before the injunction or otherwise contain a clause regarding EO 14026 compliance.
Structural Fire Program
The NPS Structural Fire Program released a Structural Fire Alert: Spontaneous Combustion of Grease and Oil-Soaked Rags on May 17, 2023.
The alert involves the improper laundering and storage of grease and oil-soaked rags/towels that have caused seven reported incidents of spontaneous combustion in NPS concession kitchens, and buildings under renovation, over the last two years.
UPDATE: Click here for the latest commercial services-specific COVID-19 policies and procedures. (July 2023)
Here is information to get you started if you want to be a NPS concessioner and tools to help the authorized concessioner: