Index of Policy Topics

Are you looking for policy guidance on a specific topic?

Scroll down the alphabetical list and select a topic to open a panel with links to relevant documents and other sources of policy-related information. The index is updated regularly.

A

Policies

Management Policies
The following sections establish the policy framework for accessibility of facilities, programs, and services provided by the NPS and its affiliated entities:

Director's Order #16A: Accommodation of Employees with Disabilities
Director's Order #42: Accessibility for Visitors with Disabilities
Policy Memorandum 18-02: Use of Service Animals by Visitors with Disabilities
DOI Personnel Bulletin 21-03: Reasonable Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities
375 DM 8 (DOI policy on Section 508 program and responsibiliies)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders 
Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 (42 USC 4151 - 4156)
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (42 USC 12101 - 12213)
ABA and ADA Accessibility Guidelines & Standards

Regulations
28 CFR 35.136 (Department of Justice regulation on use of service animals by people with disabilities.
28 CFR 35.137 (Department of Justice regulation on use of mobility devices, including wheelchairs, manually powered mobility aids)
28 CFR Part 36 (Department of Justice regulations implementing sections of the ADA) 
36 CFR 1.2(e) (NPS regulations that treat mobility-impaired people who use a manual or motorized wheelchair as pedestrians)
36 CFR 2.15 (a)(1) (NPS regulation restricting pets, with the exemption of guide dogs accompanying visually impaired or hearing-impaired people)
41 CFR Part 102-76, Subpart C (GSA regulations adopting ABA accessibility standards)
43 CFR Part 17, Subpart B and Subpart E (DOI regulations for implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973)

Related Information
NPS Accessibility website
Service animals in national parks
Accessibility Guidelines for NPS Interpretive Media
U.S Access Board - Federal agency that provides leadership on accessible design and develops accessibility guidelines and standards
Accessibility (NPS intranet site) - resources for NPS employees

Policies

Management Policies

DOI Management Accountability Guidance

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 13576 (Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government)
OMB Circular A-123, Management's Responsibility for Enterprise Risk Management Internal Control and Related Materials (scroll down to OMB Circular A-123)

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Office of Accountability (NPS intranet site)
NPS Internal Controls Coordination Site (NPS intranet site)

Policies 
522 DM 1 (DOI policy on adaptive management)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders 

Regulations 
 

Related Information
DOI Adaptive Management Applications Guide

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #21: Donations and Philanthropic Partnerships (sections 4.3, 8.1, and 8.9.1 govern advertising for philanthropic activiites)
Policy clarification on commercial advertising in parks
479 DM 1.6M (DOI policy on paid advertising)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
44 USC 3702 (law pertaining to Federal Government use of paid advertising) 

Regulations
36 CFR 5.1 (NPS regulation on advertising in parks)

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Regulations, and Standards
Affiliated Areas Criteria Study (Public Law 100-336, June 17, 1988)

 

Related Information
Report to Congress on Affliated Areas, February 1990
Briefing Paper on Affiliated Areas, 1997
National Park Service Affiliated Areas: An Overview (Congressional Research Service report)
National Park System: Establishing New Units (Congressional Research Service report)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #47: Soundscape Preservation and Noise Management

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
National Parks Air Tour Management Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-181; 49 USC 40128)

Regulations
14 CFR part 136 (Commercial Air Tours and National Parks Air Tour Management)

Related Information
Air Tours
FAA Air Tour Management Plans

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #47: Soundscape Preservation and Noise Management


Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
 

Regulations
36 CFR 2.17 (NPS regulation on aircraft and air delivery)

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Airports in or near System units (54 USC 101501)

Regulations

Related Information

Policies
Policy Memorandum 07-02: Alcoholic Use in NPS Facilities - Delegation of Authority
310 DM 13 (DOI policy on use of alcoholic beverages)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.35 (NPS regulation on alcoholic beverages and controlled substances in national parks)
36 CFR 5.2 (NPS regulation on sale of alcoholic beverages by commercial and private operations)
41 CFR 102.74.405 (Regulation on use of alcoholic beverages on Federal property)

Related Information

Policies
Special Directive 93-7: Use of the Arrowhead Symbol

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Lanham Act (15 USC 1051--1141n), in particular see section 1053
Official badges, identification cards, or other insignia (18 USC 701)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 11 (NPS regulations on the arrowhead and parkscape symbols) 

Related Information
Requesting Permission to Use the NPS Arrowhead
Arrowhead trademark

B

Policies
Management Policies

Guidance for managing BASE jumping

Regulations

36 CFR 2.17(a)(3) (NPS regulation prohibiting delivery of a person by airborne means, except under the terms and conditions of a permit)

Related Information
Letter explaining NPS regulations and policies on BASE jumping

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
Letter explaining NPS policy on battle reenactments

Policies
Director's Order #83A: Public Health Protection and Disease Prevention
Reference Manual  83A: Public Health Protection and Prevention. See chapter 4 (Recreational Water)

Regulations
36 CFR 3.17 (NPS regulation on swimming areas and beaches)

Related Information


 

Policies 
Management Policies

Regulations
36 CFR 2.50 (NPS regulation on special events)
36 CFR 4.30 (NPS regulation on bicycles)

Related Information
NPS Biking website

Policies
Management Policies

485 DM 22 (DOI policy on watercraft safety)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 3 (NPS regulations on boating and water use activities)

Related Information
NPS Boating and Watersports

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #25: Land Protection (see section 14)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
 

Policies
Management Policies
Regulations
36 CFR 2.62 (NPS regulation on memorialization)

C

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.10 (NPS regulation on camping and food storage)

Related Information
Camping in national parks

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #2: Park Planning—see sections 3.2.1 and 3.2.1.3

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
General management plans (54 USC 100502)—legislative requirement for carrying capacity indications

Regulations

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988 (16 USC 4301-4310)

Regulations
43 CFR Part 37 (DOI regulations on cave management)

Related Information
NPS Caves and Karst website

Policies
Special Directive 85-1: Day Care Facilities
DOI Personnel Bulletin 07-04: Child Care Subsidy Plan

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders 
40 USC 590 (Child care)

Regulations
5 CFR Part 792, Subpart B (OPM regulations on use of appropriated funds for child care costs for lower income employees)

Related Information
Parental Rights (NPS intranet site) - scroll down for information on the Child Care Subsidy Program
OPM overview of Federal child care and parenting resources
OPM description of Federal child care subsidy program
GSA child care centers

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #75A: Civic Engagement and Public Involvement

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Stewardship Institute

Policies 
Management Policies

Regulations
36 CFR 1.5 (NPS regulation on closures and public use limits)

Related Information
 

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.1 (NPS regulation on preservation of natural, cultural and archeological resources)
36 CFR 2.5 (NPS regulation on research specimens)

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Commemorative Works Act (40 USC 8901-8909)

Regulations
36 CFR 2.62 (NPS regulation on memorialization)

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

NPS Commercial Services Guide (2019)—see chapter 11
Guidance for managing Commercial Use Authorizations (NPS intranet site)

 

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Commercial use authorizations (54 USC 101925)
Commercial filming in parks (16 USC 4601-6d)

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Commercial Use Authorizations (public website)
Commercial Use Authorizations (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Management Policies

NPS Commercial Services Guide (2019)


Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 (54 USC 101912 et seq.)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 51 (NPS regulations on concessions contracts)

Related Information
NPS Concessions (public website)
NPS Concessions Program (NPS intranet site)
Policies and guidance documents for concessions

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Denver Service Center
NPS sustainable design and construction

 

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.35 (NPS regulation on alcoholic beverages and controlled substances)

Related Information
 

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #32: Cooperating Associations
Reference Manual 32 (amended)
RM-32: Appendix

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Cooperating Associations (NPS Intranet site)

No content. See Agreements topic.

Policies
Guidance on the Public Display or Performance of a Copyrighted Work

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
U.S. Copyright Office Fair Use Index
 

Policies
Special Directive 91-8: Critical Incident Stress Policy and Guidelines
NPS Loss of Human Life Response Handbook (2013)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
 

D

No content. See Loss of Life topic.

Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.15 (NPS regulation on pets in parks)

Related Information
Visiting parks with pets

No content. See Water Supply topic.

No content. See Travel Policy topic.

No content. See Unmanned Aircraft topic.

No content. See Controlled Substances topic.

E

No content. See GPS-based Recreation topic.

Policies
Management Policies

Cultural Resource Management Guideline (see chapter 7, section D.6c)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information

No content. See Bicycles topic.

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 USC 1531-1544)

Related Information
At-Risk Species in national parks
Endangered Species Program (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website)

Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders


Regulations
5 CFR 2635.702(c) (Ethical prohibition on endorsements)

Related Information
Office of Government Ethics Opinion: Foreword to a Book

No content. See E-cigarettes.

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
NPS Ethnography website

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 13112 (Invasive Species)

Regulations

Related Information
Invasive and Non-Native Species

F

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #80: Real Property Asset Management

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Park Planning, Facilities and Lands Directorate (public website)
Park Facility Management Division (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #53: Special Park Uses
Reference Manual 53 (see Appendix 7, Agricultural Use)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.60 (NPS regulation on livestock use and agriculture)

Related Information
Agriculture and Ranching

Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders


Regulations

Related Information
Firearms in National Parks

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.38 (NPS regulation on explosives, including possesion and use of fireworks)

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #77-2: Floodplain Management
Procedural Manual 77-2 
Reference Manual 77: Natural Resource Management (see chapter 2-Freshwater Resources Management; chapter 3-Environmental Compliance)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 11988 (Floodplain Management)

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Hydrology Program
NPS Wetlands Program

G

No content. See GPS-based Recreational Activities topic.

Policies
GPS-based Recreational Activities in National Park Areas (Policy overview)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Orders 12906 and 13286

Regulations

Related Information
NPS GIS Program
GIS, Cartography & Mapping

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Geologic Resources Division 

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Anti-Deficiency Act (31 USC 1341)

Regulations

Related Information

Policies
Director's Order #44: Personal Property Management
Personal Property Management Handbook (RM-44)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Authority of Secretary to carry out certain activities (54 USC 101302)—legal authority to provide transportation to employees and their family members in isolated areas, under certain terms and conditions

Regulations

Related Information

Policies
Director's Order #52A: Communicating the National Park Service Mission
NPS Graphic Identity and Style Guides

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information

See information under the Firearms and Weapons topics.

H

No content. See Political Activity in Parks and by NPS Employees topic.

Policies
NPS-77, Natural Resource Management (chapter 2)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Related Information
Homeland Security Presidential Directives

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR 2.16 (NPS regulation on horses and pack animals)

Related Information
Horseback Riding & Stock Use

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #36: Housing Management
Reference Manual 36 (NPS intranet site)
Policy Memorandum 11-01: Minor employees in park housing

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
NPS housing improvement (54 USC 101331-101340)

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Employee Housing (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #33: Learning and Development
Director's Order #92: Servicewide Workforce Management
NPS Workforce Policies (NPS intranet site)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Employee Support/Employee Assistance Program (NPS intranet site)

I

See information under the American Indians, Native Americans, and Tribal Relationships topics.

Policies
Management Policies

 

NPS-77: Natural Resources Management Guideline (see Interated Pest Management provisions, pages 217-259)
517 DM 1 (DOI integrated pest management policy)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
NPS Integrated Pest Management Program
Pest and Invasive Species Management (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Director's Order #56: International Activities
International Travel Policies and Procedures (NPS intranet)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Office of International Affairs (public website)
Office of International Affairs (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 13112 (Invasive Species)

Regulations

Related Information
Invasive & Non-Native Species (Managing invasive species in national parks)

Policies
Staff Directive 81-2, Inventions by Employees

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
 

J

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #9: Law Enforcement Program


Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
 

K

Policies
Management Policies

NPS-77: Natural Resources Management Guideline (see Cave Management provisions, pages 136-154)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Caves and Karst

L

Policies

Management Policies

Director's Order #25: Land Protection
Reference Manual 25 (December 2021 draft)

Laws, Regulations, and Standards
54 USC 102901 (Conveyance of property and property interests in System units or related areas)

Related Information
NPS Land Resources Division
State Management of Federal Lands: Frequently Asked Questions (Congressional Research Service report)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #9: Law Enforcement Program
Reference Manual 9 (NPS intranet site-restricted access)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Applicability of state and local laws to NPS activities
Outdoor firing range management (NPS intranet site)

M

Regulations
36 CFR 2.1 (NPS regulation on preservation of natural, cultural and archeological resources)
Refer to section 2.1(1)(7), which prohibits possessing or using a mineral or metal detector, magnetometer, side scan sonar, other metal detecting device, or subbottom profiler.

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Energy and Minerals Management (in national parks)

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Mining in the Parks Act (54 USC 100731 - 100737)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 9 (regulations on minerals management)

Related Information
Mines & Mining

See information under the Bicycles topic. 

N

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
The National Parks: Index 2012-2016
Facts and figures about the National Park System
Park Anniversaries - lists the dates parks were created and when they became part of the National Park System

Policies
Management Policies
The following sections provide broad guidance on repatriation of cultural items or human remains

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (25 USC 3001 - 3013)

Regulations
43 CFR Part 10 (NAGPRA Regulations)

Related Information
National NAGPRA Program

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
U.S Code Title 54 (National Park Service and Related Programs)

Regulations

Related Information
Policy-Related Laws
National Park Service Laws

Policies
Management Policies

National Park Service Programs - a summary of authorities, mission, background, requirements, and other information about programs administered by the NPS. 

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Related Information
Community Assistance Programs

O

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Oceans, Coasts & Seashores
Coastal Adaptation Strategies Handbook

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations
36 CFR Part 9, Subpart B (NPS regulation on Non-Federal oil and gas rights in national parks)

Related Information
Oil & Gas (in the National Park System)

Policies
List related NPS policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
 

P

See information under the Donations and Fundraising topics

Policies
Management Policies 

Director's Order #1: National Park Service Directives System (see section 6.4, Policy Waivers)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders 

Regulations 

Related Information 
Information about policy waivers

Policies
Policy Memorandum 20-01: Use of Prison Work Details in Units of the National Park System
Attachment #1, Interagency Agreement Template (for use with other Federal agencies)
Attachment #2, Guidance to NPS Employees Monitoring Federal Inmates
Attachment #3, Cooperative Agreement Template (for use with State, Tribal, or Local governments)
Attachment #4, Task Agreement Template (associated with master cooperative agreement with State, Tribal, or Local government)

Q

No topics at this time

R

Policies
List related NPS (MP, DO, PM, Level 3) and DOI (Departmental Manual, handbooks) policies 

Management Policies
8.4.6 (Commercial Air Tour Management)
Format for Departmental Manual citations:512 DM 2 (DOI policy on consultation with recognized tribes)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
List public laws, presidential proclamations, Executive Orders, and related materials (such as OMB circulars)

Regulations
Format for citations: 36 CFR 1.5 (X.XX (NPS regulation on [topic])

Related Information
Link to websites and documents related to the topic

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
Letter explaining NPS policy on battle reenactments

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
NPS Green Parks Plan
Renewable Energy 

Policies
Management Policies

Regulations
36 CFR 2.5 (NPS regulation on research specimens)

Related Information
Social science survey approval procedures

S

See Burials and Cremations for information about this topic

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
Search and Rescue (NPS intranet site)
SAR Technical Manuals and References (NPS intranet site)

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Abandoned Shipwreck Act of 1987 (43 USC 2101 - 2106)

Regulations

Related Information
Abandoned Shipwreck Act Guidelines
Underwater Archeology
 

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 11644 (Use of Off-Road Vehicles on Public Lands)

Regulations
36 CFR 2.18 (NPS regulation on snowmobiles)

Related Information
Yellowstone Winter Use Final Rule (October 2013)
Winter Sports (see Snowmobiling)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 7 (Special regulations for areas of the National Park System)
36 CFR Part 13 (Special regulations for national park units in Alaska)
36 CFR Part 20 (Special regulations for commercial fishing in Isle Royale National Park)
36 CFR Part 21 (Special regulations for bathhouses at Hot Springs National Park)
36 CFR Part 25 (Special regulations for licensed guides at national military parks)
36 CFR Part 27 (Special regulations on zoning standards for Cape Cod National Seashore)
36 CFR Part 28 (Special regulations on zoning standards for Fire Island National Seashore)
36 CFR Part 30 (Special regulations zoning standards for the Whiskeytown Unit, Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #78: Social Science

Regulations
36 CFR 2.5 (NPS regulation on research specimens)

Regulations
36 CFR 1.5 (NPS regulation on closures and public use limits)
36 CFR 13.50 (NPS regulations for National Park System Units in Alaska)

Related Information
Superintendent's Compendium to the Code of Federal Regulations - A Brief History

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #83A: Public Health Protection and Disease Prevention
Reference Manual 83A, chapter 4 (Recreational Waters)

Regulations
36 CFR 3.16 (NPS regulation on swimming)
36 CFR 3.17 (NPS regulation on swimming areas and beaches)

T

V

Policies 
Director's Order #90: Value Analysis
369 DM 1 (DOI policy on value analysis) 

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
OMB Circular No. A-131 (Value Engineering)

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 13513 (Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging while Driving)

Regulations
36 CFR Part 4 (NPS regulations on vehicles and traffic safety)

Related Information
 

Policies
Management Policies

Regulations
36 CFR 1.5 (Closures and Public Use Limits)
36 CFR Part 2 (Resource Protection, Public Use and Recreation)

Related Information
Interagency Visitor Use Management Council

W

Policies
Management Policies

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information

 

Policies
Management Policies

Related Information
NPS Water Rights Program
High Country Citizens' Alliance, et al. v. Norton (Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP case)

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #83A: Public Health Protection and Disease Prevention
Reference Manual 83A, chapter 1 (Drinking Water)Reference Manual 83A, chapter 1 (Drinking Water)

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Section 512 of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 (54 USC 104906)

Regulations
36 CFR 2.4 (NPS regulation on weapons, traps, and nets)
Opinion of U.S. District Court Enjoining Implementation of 36 CFR 2.4(h)

Related Information
Firearms in National Parks

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #77-1: Wetland Protection
Procedural Manual 77-1: Wetland Protection

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders
Executive Order 11990 (Protection of Wetlands)

Related Information
NPS Wetlands Program

Policies
Director's Order #77-4: Use of Pharmaceuticals for Wildlife
Director's Order #83A: Public Health Protection and Disease Prevention
Reference Manual 83A, chapter 5 (Backcountry Operations) & chapter 6 (Disease Monitoring, Surveillance and Response)

Related Information
Wildlife Health website

Policies
Management Policies

Regulations
36 CFR 2.2 (NPS regulation on wildlife protection)

Related Information
NPS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee

Policies
Management Policies

Director's Order #92: Servicewide Workforce Management

Laws, Proclamations, and Orders

Regulations

Related Information
Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act information and guidance

Last updated: April 5, 2024