Laws & Policies

Superintendent's Compendium

The Superintendent’s Compendium is the summary of park specific rules implemented under 36 Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR). It serves as public notice, identifies areas closed for public use, provides a list of activities requiring either a special use permit or reservation, and elaborates on public use and resource protection regulations pertaining specifically to the administration of the park. The Superintendent’s Compendium does not repeat regulations found in 36 CFR and other United States Code and CFR Titles, which are enforced without further elaboration at the park level.

The regulations contained in 36 CFR, Parts 1-7, are the basic mechanism used by the National Park Service (NPS) to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park and to protect visitors and property within the park. Parts 1 through 6 are general regulations applicable to all areas of the National Park System, and Part 7 contains special regulations specific to individual parks. Each of these Parts has many sections and subsections articulating specific provisions. Within some of these Part 1-7 sections and subsections, the Superintendent is granted discretionary authority to develop local rules to be responsive to the needs of a specific park resource or activity, park plan, program, and/or special needs of the general public.

As an example, 36 CFR 1.5(a) Closures and Public Use Limits provides the Superintendent certain discretion in allowing or disallowing certain activities. The authority granted by the Section, however, requires the Superintendent to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act (6 USC Section 551), which requires public notice on actions with major impact on visitor use patterns, park resources or those that are highly controversial in nature. Another example is 36 CFR 1.6 Permits, which allows the Superintendent to require a permit for certain uses and activities in the park. This Section, however, requires that a list of activities needing a permit (and a fee schedule for the various types of permits) be maintained by the park.

A final example is 36 CFR 2.1(c) (1) Preservation of Natural, Cultural and Archeological Resources, which provides the Superintendent the authority to designate certain fruits, nuts, berries or unoccupied seashells which may be gathered by hand for personal use or consumption. This activity can occur, however, only if a written determination shows that the allowed activity does not adversely affect park wildlife, the reproductive potential of a plant species, or otherwise adversely affect park resources.

Firearms and other weapons

Legislation – As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws to legally possess firearms in this park. Refer to Section 512 of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, Public Law 111-24, 123 Stat. 1764-65.

Park User Responsibility – It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 571.

Weapons Prohibited in Federal Facilities – Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances. Refer to 18 U.S.C. Sec. 930.

Federal facilities at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield include the visitor center, library, historic Ray House, and park maintenance buildings.

Press Release Regarding Use of Unmanned Aircraft
at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield

August 20, 2014

For Immediate Release

Contact: Angela Pirotte, 417-732-2662, ext. 221



Superintendent T. John Hillmer, Jr. announced today that the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) is prohibited at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield. The prohibition is consistent with a policy memorandum signed on June 19, 2014, by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, directing superintendents nationwide to prohibit launching, landing, and operating unmanned aircraft on lands and waters administered by the National Park Service.

Director Jarvis has stated, "We embrace many activities in national parks because they enhance visitor experiences with the iconic natural, historical, and cultural landscapes in our care." He continued, "However, we have serious concerns about the negative impact that the flying unmanned aircraft is having in parks, so we are prohibiting their use until we can determine the most appropriate policy that will protect park resources and provide all visitors with a rich experience."

The NPS is taking this action in response to a proliferation of unmanned aircraft, including drones, and a number of incidents involving these devices that resulted in noise and nuisance complaints from park visitors, concerns for park visitor safety, and reported incidents in which park wildlife was harassed.

Last September, an unmanned aircraft flew above some evening visitors, seated in the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial Amphitheater. Park rangers, concerned for the visitors’ safety, confiscated the unmanned aircraft.

In April, visitors at the Grand Canyon National Park gathered for a quiet sunset, which was interrupted by a loud unmanned aircraft, flying back and forth and eventually crashing into the canyon. Later in the month, volunteers at Zion National Park witnessed an unmanned aircraft disturb a herd of bighorn sheep, reportedly separating adults from their young.

According to Supt Hillmer, there have been no reported incidents involving the use of unmanned aircraft at Wilson’s Creek NB.

Last updated: February 21, 2020

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Mailing Address:

6424 W. Farm Road 182
Republic, MO 65738


(417) 732-2662 x227

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