A compendium is a written compilation of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). For example, 36 CFR Section 2.21 (a) states, "The superintendent may designate a portion of a park area, or all or a portion of a building, structure or facility as closed to smoking when necessary to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activities." This designation is placed into the park's compendium.
Compendiums have always been a tool to help manage national parks. The compendium, as part of the park-related regulations, helps provide for the enjoyment, use and protection of our national parks. A compendium is updated at least annually. Depending on events and issues, it may be updated more frequently. In some cases, a review may indicate that no changes are needed.
The Superintendent's Compendium is an official document that is enforceable. Among other topics, the compendium covers visiting hours of the park grounds and visitor center, temporary park closures to ensure public safety and protection of resources, and a list of activities that require a permit. Items of particular interest to general park visitors might include restrictions on unmanned aircraft (drones), restrictions on smoking (including vaping), a reminder that visitors must clean up pet excrement, and notes about skiing/snow shoeing/tobogganing (permitted in designated areas).