Energy and Minerals Development in Parks

Congress has mandated that the mission of the NPS is "to conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in the System units and to provide for the enjoyment of the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wild life in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations" (NPS Organic Act, 54 U.S.C.ยง 100101(a)).

In some instances, there are preexisting energy and mineral rights in park units. To carry out the Organic Act mandate, the NPS applies laws, regulations and policies to reduce the impacts of the energy and mineral activities on park resources and values. The NPS does this by carefully evaluating the potential impacts of the proposed activity or operations and adding science-informed, resource-protective terms and conditions to any NPS permits. For more information click on the links below.
oil well
Oil & Gas Development

Oil and Gas operations occur in several parks and are managed under special regulations and permits to protect park resources and values.

camp near stream
Mining Claims

In 1976, the Mining in the Parks Act closed all units of the National Park System to new mining, but many earlier mines still exist.

dangerous mine opening
Abandoned Mineral Lands

Stay out. Stay alive.

cinder cones
Other Energy and Mineral Development

As many as half of our National Parks do not own all their mineral rights.

Last updated: January 9, 2017


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