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Special Park Designations

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EXHIBIT 1: Summary Chart of Special Designation Areas


This section discusses the purpose, establishment, and management of Wilderness Areas, National Natural Landmarks, Research Natural Areas, Experimental Research Areas, World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Trails as these designations apply to NPS units. It also briefly mentions Marine/Estuarine Sanctuaries, RAMSAR sites, Critical Habitat, and Class I and Class II areas specified by the Clean Air Act. These areas, except for Marine/Estuarine Sanctuaries (which may adjoin NPS units), may occur within a park, coincide with a park, or occur both within and outside a park. Exhibit 1 summarizes this section in chart form. The following generic roles and responsibilities are applicable to all the special designations described in this section. In each section description, roles and responsibilities specific to designation management are described.The Director of the National Park Service establishes and approves servicewide natural resource policies and standards. The Director is ultimately responsible for establishing natural resource programs that conserve natural resources unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations and for ensuring that such programs are in compliance with directives, policies, and laws.

The Associate Director, Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (ADNRSS),has functional authority, often through a subordinate division or office, for developing policies and standards for the Director's approval; providing policy oversight of NPS natural resource programs, including evaluating the results of field performance in complying with directives, policies, and laws; providing direct assistance to parks in specific program areas; and administering natural resource programs for which the ADNRSS has direct authority.

Natural Resource Stewardship and Science (or other Washington Office) divisions/offices exercise the Associate Director's responsibility by administering specific natural resource programs, including those that provide direct assistance to parks in carrying out natural resource activities and in interpreting natural resource policies, regulations, and guidance; formulating servicewide natural resource standards, policies, and regulations; developing and promulgating methods, procedures, and guidelines to help parks conduct effective natural resource programs; and carrying out functional oversight within assigned program areas.

The regional director, through or with the assistance of an assistant or associate regional director is responsible for ensuring that natural resource programs within the region are uniformly implemented in compliance with directives, policies, and law; and identifying regional coordinators and contacts for specific program areas, where required, who can provide information and data about park natural resources and natural resource programs to the Washington Office.Support office natural resource staff and/or cluster or regional natural resource program coordinators have responsibility for assisting parks in needs identification; data collection and analysis; planning, program, and project development; and for providing advice on scientific and natural resource management issues. The superintendent is responsible for understanding the park's natural resources and their condition, and for establishing and achieving long-term natural resource management goals. The superintendent is responsible for establishing and managing park natural resource programs and ensuring that they comply with directives, policies, and laws.

The park natural resource manager, on behalf of the superintendent, carries out needs assessments and planning and conducts operational natural resource management activities in compliance with directives, policies, and laws.

Special Park Designations Table of Contents | RM#77 Table of Contents
update on 02/05/2004  I   http://www.nature.nps.gov/Rm77/specdes.cfm   I  Email: Contact Us
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