Here you’ll find links to, or information about, current topics in the national parks and National Park Service. You can also explore more sources of news and learn how to subscribe to news releases.
Public Lands Bill
President Trump signed into law the the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act (formerly known as the Natural Resources Management Act), one of the largest public lands bills in recent history. The legislation includes provisions to authorize the establishment of three new NPS sites, permanently reauthorizes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and authorizes Every Kid Outdoors, designates thousands of acres of new wilderness and 11 new related areas, and supports additional management and conservation of natural resources on federal lands. The National Park Service seeks public input to increase access to national park lands. The public is encouraged to identify national park areas with little or no access; 30-day comment period ends January 4, 2020.
Infrastructure and the Maintenance Backlog
Maintaining the roads and bridges, visitor centers, historic buildings, trails, and campgrounds that make parks such incredible places to visit is an enormous task. Over the years, aging facilities, growing visitation, and limited resources have made that task even harder, resulting in a backlog of maintenance work.
The NPS estimates that during Fiscal Year 2018, more than $671 million in needed repair work was completed at national parks across the country, one of the largest amounts of deferred maintenance needs retired in a single year.
The proposed Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes a legislative proposal that would provide funding to help address the $11.9 billion maintenance backlog in the National Park System.
Learn more about the maintenance backlog across the National Park System, including the current status and how we identify and report deferred maintenance.
E-Bikes in National Parks
On August 30, the National Park Service announced a new electric bicycle (e-bike) policy for national parks, expanding recreational opportunities and accessibility. The policy supports Secretary’s Order 3376 that directs Department of the Interior bureaus to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy on all federal lands managed by the department. The policy also supports Secretary’s Order 3366 to increase recreational opportunities on public lands. Learn more about the e-bike policy.
More than 318 million people visited the national parks in 2018, the fourth consecutive year that visitation exceeded 300 million recreation visits. The official count was 318,211,833 recreation visits. Learn more about visitation in 2018, including park milestones and the top 10 most-visited parks.
Planning for a Safe Visit
We encourage visitors to plan ahead and keep safety in mind when traveling to national parks. The NPS Trip Planning Guide and Checklist provide key safety considerations to help visitors avoid some of the most common mistakes people make when visiting national parks. Visitors can prepare for different types of activities and learn how to avoid common wildlife and outdoor hazards in parks.
Federal Register Notices
The Federal Register is the official “newspaper” of the federal government. It contains presidential documents and rules and regulations, proposed rules, and notices for executive agencies, such as the Department of the Interior, and their bureaus. Visit the National Register to view documents on publication, significant documents, and recently published documents for the National Park Service.
Last updated: December 16, 2019