Table of contents
A right-of-way (ROW) is a special park use permit issued by the NPS to a third party to allow passage of a utility over, under, or through NPS property. A ROW permit is a discretionary and revocable document and, unlike a deeded easement or fee simple ownership, does not convey or imply any interest in the land. In addition, a ROW permit may only be issued under certain stringent circumstances. The NPS is under Congressional mandate not to allow any use of NPS land that would impair or be a derogation of the values and purposes for which the park was authorized or be incompatible with the public interest, except when authorized by Congress.
Just as for any other special use in the parks, the primary filter the superintendent uses to determine whether or not to grant a request for a utility right-of-way is the presence or absence of even the threat of impairment or derogation to the resource. The park resource manager is the key person assisting the superintendent to insure protection of NPS values and purposes. The resource manager must carefully study and document findings, then use these to recommend terms, conditions, and/or possible mitigation measures to be incorporated into the permits. The resource manager is also responsible for monitoring all existing rights-of-way and reporting existing or potential resource impacts to the superintendent.
Detailed guidance on administration of rights-of-way within parks is provided in the DO/RM 53 Special Park Uses.Rights-of-Way Table of Contents | RM#77 Table of Contents