16 U.S. Code § 1a–1 - National Park System: administration; declaration of findings and purpose
prev | next
Congress declares that the national park system, which began with establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872, has since grown to include superlative natural, historic, and recreation areas in every major region of the United States, its territories and island possessions; that these areas, though distinct in character, are united through their inter-related purposes and resources into one national park system as cumulative expressions of a single national heritage; that, individually and collectively, these areas derive increased national dignity and recognition of their superb environmental quality through their inclusion jointly with each other in one national park system preserved and managed for the benefit and inspiration of all the people of the United States; and that it is the purpose of this Act to include all such areas in the System and to clarify the authorities applicable to the system. Congress further reaffirms, declares, and directs that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined in section 1c of this title, shall be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by section 1 of this title, to the common benefit of all the people of the United States. The authorization of activities shall be construed and the protection, management, and administration of these areas shall be conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the National Park System and shall not be exercised in derogation of the values and purposes for which these various areas have been established, except as may have been or shall be directly and specifically provided by Congress.
Source(Pub. L. 91–383, § 1,Aug. 18, 1970, 84 Stat. 825; Pub. L. 95–250, title I, § 101(b),Mar. 27, 1978, 92 Stat. 166.)
References in Text
This Act, referred to in text, means Pub. L. 91–383, Aug. 18, 1970, 84 Stat. 825, as amended, known as the “National Park System General Authorities Act”. As originally enacted, Pub. L. 91–383contained sections 1 to 4, the first 3 of which enacted sections 1a–1 and 1a–2 and amended sections 1b and 1c of this title. Pub. L. 94–458amended Pub. L. 91–383by adding sections 5 to 12, which enacted sections 1a–3 to 1a–7, amended sections 17j, 460n–5, 463, 470a, and 559, and repealed sections 10, 10a, 17b–1, and 415 of this title. Pub. L. 103–322amended Pub. L. 91–383by adding section 13, which enacted section 1a–7a of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1970 Amendment note set out under section 1 of this title and Tables.
1978—Pub. L. 95–250provided that the promotion and regulation of the various areas of the National Park System, as defined in section 1c of this title, be consistent with and founded in the purpose established by section 1 of this title, to the common benefit of all the people of the United States, and that the authorization of activities be construed and the protection, management, and administration of these areas be conducted in light of the high public value and integrity of the National Park System and not be exercised in derogation of the values and purposes for which these various areas have been established, except as may have been or shall be directly and specifically provided by Congress.
Special Events at National Mall
Pub. L. 108–108, title I, § 145,Nov. 10, 2003, 117 Stat. 1280, provided that: “None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this or any other Act, hereafter enacted, may be used to permit the use of the National Mall for a special event, unless the permit expressly prohibits the erection, placement, or use of structures and signs bearing commercial advertising. The Secretary may allow for recognition of sponsors of special events: Provided, That the size and form of the recognition shall be consistent with the special nature and sanctity of the Mall and any lettering or design identifying the sponsor shall be no larger than one-third the size of the lettering or design identifying the special event. In approving special events, the Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that public use of, and access to the Mall is not restricted. For purposes of this section, the term ‘special event’ shall have the meaning given to it by section 7.96(g)(1)(ii) of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations.”
Study of Air Traffic Over Grand Canyon
“(a) Study.—The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, in consultation with the Director of the National Park Service, the State of Arizona, the State of Nevada, the Clark County Department of Aviation, affected Indian tribes, and the general public, shall conduct a study on increased air traffic over Grand Canyon National Park.
“(b) Report.—The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall submit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under subsection (a). The report shall include the following:
“(1) A report on the increase in air traffic over Grand Canyon National Park since 1987.
“(2) A forecast of the increase in air traffic over Grand Canyon National Park through 2010.
“(3) A report on the carrying capacity of the airspace over Grand Canyon National Park to ensure aviation safety and to meet the requirements established by section 3 of the Act of August 18, 1987 (Public Law 100–91; 101 Stat. 676) [set out below], including the substantial restoration of natural quiet at the Park.
“(4) A plan of action to manage increased air traffic over Grand Canyon National Park to ensure aviation safety and to meet the requirements established by such section 3 of the Act of August 18, 1987, including any measures to encourage or require the use of quiet aircraft technology by commercial air tour operators.”
Removal of Feral Burros and Horses From Death Valley National Monument
Pub. L. 102–381, title I, Oct. 5, 1992, 106 Stat. 1384, provided in part: “That in fiscal year 1993 and thereafter, the National Park Service may use helicopters and motorized equipment at Death Valley National Monument for removal of feral burros and horses”.
Study To Determine Appropriate Minimum Altitude for Aircraft Flying Over National Park System Units
Pub. L. 100–91, Aug. 18, 1987, 101 Stat. 674, as amended by Pub. L. 106–510, § 3(a)(2), (b)(2),Nov. 13, 2000, 114 Stat. 2363, provided that:“SECTION 1. STUDY OF PARK OVERFLIGHTS.
“(a) Study by Park Service.—The Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Secretary’), acting through the Director of the National Park Service, shall conduct a study to determine the proper minimum altitude which should be maintained by aircraft when flying over units of the National Park System. The Secretary of Transportation, acting through the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Administrator’), shall provide technical assistance to the Secretary in carrying out the study.
“(b) General Requirements of Study.—The study shall identify any problems associated with overflight by aircraft of units of the National Park System and shall provide information regarding the types of overflight which may be impacting on park unit resources. The study shall distinguish between the impacts caused by sightseeing aircraft, military aircraft, commercial aviation, general aviation, and other forms of aircraft which affect such units. The study shall identify those park system units, and portions thereof, in which the most serious adverse impacts from aircraft overflights exist.
“(c) Specific Requirements.—The study under this section shall include research at the following units of the National Park System: Cumberland Island National Seashore, Yosemite National Park, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, Glacier National Park, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and at no less than four additional units of the National Park System, excluding all National Park System units in the State of Alaska. The research at each such unit shall provide information and an evaluation regarding each of the following:
“(1) the impacts of aircraft noise on the safety of the park system users, including hikers, rock-climbers, and boaters;
“(2) the impairment of visitor enjoyment associated with flights over such units of the National Park System;
“(3) other injurious effects of overflights on the natural, historical, and cultural resources for which such units were established; and
“(4) the values associated with aircraft flights over such units of the National Park System in terms of visitor enjoyment, the protection of persons or property, search and rescue operations and firefighting.Such research shall evaluate the impact of overflights by both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. The research shall include an evaluation of the differences in noise levels within such units of the National Park System which are associated with flight by commonly used aircraft at different altitudes. The research shall apply only to overflights and shall not apply to landing fields within, or adjacent to, such units.
“(d) Report to Congress.—The Secretary shall submit a report to the Congress within 3 years after the enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987] containing the results of the study carried out under this section. Such report shall also contain recommendations for legislative and regulatory action which could be taken regarding the information gathered pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (c). Before submission to the Congress, the Secretary shall provide a draft of the report and recommendations to the Administrator for review. The Administrator shall review such report and recommendations and notify the Secretary of any adverse effects which the implementation of such recommendations would have on the safety of aircraft operations. The Administrator shall consult with the Secretary to resolve issues relating to such adverse effects. The final report shall include a finding by the Administrator that implementation of the recommendations of the Secretary will not have adverse effects on the safety of aircraft operations, or if the Administrator is unable to make such finding, a statement by the Administrator of the reasons he believes the Secretary’s recommendations will have an adverse effect on the safety of aircraft operations.
“(e) FAA Review of Rules.—The Administrator shall review current rules and regulations pertaining to flights of aircraft over units of the National Park System at which research is conducted under subsection (c) and over any other such units at which such a review is determined necessary by the Administrator or is requested by the Secretary. In the review under this subsection, the Administrator shall determine whether changes are needed in such rules and regulations on the basis of aviation safety. Not later than 180 days after the identification of the units of the National Park System for which research is to be conducted under subsection (c), the Administrator shall submit a report to Congress containing the results of the review along with recommendations for legislative and regulatory action which are needed to implement any such changes.
“(f) Authorization.—There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the studies and review under this section.“SEC. 2. FLIGHTS OVER YOSEMITE AND HALEAKALA DURING STUDY AND REVIEW.
“(a) Yosemite National Park.—During the study and review periods provided in subsection (c), it shall be unlawful for any fixed wing aircraft or helicopter flying under visual flight rules to fly at an altitude of less than 2,000 feet over the surface of Yosemite National Park. For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘surface’ refers to the highest terrain within the park which is within 2,000 feet laterally of the route of flight and with respect to Yosemite Valley such term refers to the upper-most rim of the valley.
“(b) Haleakala National Park.—During the study and review periods provided in subsection (c), it shall be unlawful for any fixed wing aircraft or helicopter flying under visual flight rules to fly at an altitude below 9,500 feet above mean sea level over the surface of any of the following areas in Haleakala National Park: Haleakala Crater, Crater Cabins, the Scientific Research Reserve, Halemauu Trail, Kaupo Gap Trail, or any designated tourist viewpoint.
“(c) Study and Review Periods.—For purposes of subsections (a) and (b), the study period shall be the period of the time after the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987] and prior to the submission of the report under section 1. The review period shall comprise a 2-year period for Congressional review after the submission of the report to Congress.
“(d) Exceptions.—The prohibitions contained in subsections (a) and (b) shall not apply to any of the following:
“(1) emergency situations involving the protection of persons or property, including aircraft;
“(2) search and rescue operations;
“(3) flights for purposes of firefighting or for required administrative purposes; and
“(4) compliance with instructions of an air traffic controller.
“(e) Enforcement.—For purposes of enforcement, the prohibitions contained in subsections (a) and (b) shall be treated as requirements established pursuant to section 307 of the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 [see 49 U.S.C. 40103 (b)]. To provide information to pilots regarding the restrictions established under this Act, the Administrator shall provide public notice of such restrictions in appropriate Federal Aviation Administration publications as soon as practicable after the enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987].“SEC. 3. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK.
“(a) Noise associated with aircraft overflights at the Grand Canyon National Park is causing a significant adverse effect on the natural quiet and experience of the park and current aircraft operations at the Grand Canyon National Park have raised serious concerns regarding public safety, including concerns regarding the safety of park users.
“(1) Submission.—Within 30 days after the enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987], the Secretary shall submit to the Administrator recommendations regarding actions necessary for the protection of resources in the Grand Canyon from adverse impacts associated with aircraft overflights. The recommendations shall provide for substantial restoration of the natural quiet and experience of the park and protection of public health and safety from adverse effects associated with aircraft overflight. Except as provided in subsection (c), the recommendations shall contain provisions prohibiting the flight of aircraft below the rim of the Canyon, and shall designate flight free zones. Such zones shall be flight free except for purposes of administration and for emergency operations, including those required for the transportation of persons and supplies to and from Supai Village and the lands of the Havasupai Indian Tribe of Arizona. The Administrator, after consultation with the Secretary, shall define the rim of the Canyon in a manner consistent with the purposes of this paragraph.
“(2) Implementation.—Not later than 90 days after receipt of the recommendations under paragraph (1) and after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Administrator shall prepare and issue a final plan for the management of air traffic in the air space above the Grand Canyon. The plan shall, by appropriate regulation, implement the recommendations of the Secretary without change unless the Administrator determines that implementing the recommendations would adversely affect aviation safety. If the Administrator determines that implementing the recommendations would adversely affect aviation safety, he shall, not later than 60 days after making such determination, in consultation with the Secretary and after notice and opportunity for hearing, review the recommendations consistent with the requirements of paragraph (1) to eliminate the adverse effects on aviation safety and issue regulations implementing the revised recommendations in the plan. In addition to the Administrator’s authority to implement such regulations under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 [see 49 U.S.C. 40101 et seq.], the Secretary may enforce the appropriate requirements of the plan under such rules and regulations applicable to the units of the National Park System as he deems appropriate.
“(3) Report.—Within 2 years after the effective date of the plan required by subsection (b)(2), the Secretary shall submit to the Congress a report discussing—
“(A) whether the plan has succeeded in substantially restoring the natural quiet in the park; and
“(B) such other matters, including possible revisions in the plan, as may be of interest.The report shall include comments by the Administrator regarding the effect of the plan’s implementation on aircraft safety.
“(c) Helicopter Flights of River Runners.—Subsection (b) shall not prohibit the flight of helicopters—
“(1) which fly a direct route between a point on the north rim outside of the Grand Canyon National Park and locations on the Hualapai Indian Reservation (as designated by the Tribe); and
“(2) whose sole purpose is transporting individuals to or from boat trips on the Colorado River and any guide of such a trip.“SEC. 4. BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA WILDERNESS.
“The Administrator shall conduct surveillance of aircraft flights over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as authorized by the Act of October 21, 1978 (92 Stat. 1649–1659) for a period of not less than 180 days beginning within 60 days of enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987]. In addition to any actions the Administrator may take as a result of such surveillance, he shall provide a report to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and the Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the United States House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the United States Senate. Such report is to be submitted within 30 days of completion of the surveillance activities. Such report shall include but not necessarily be limited to information on the type and frequency of aircraft using the airspace over the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.“SEC. 5. ASSESSMENT OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM WILDERNESS OVERFLIGHTS.
“(a) Assessment by Forest Service.—The Chief of the Forest Service (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Chief’) shall conduct an assessment to determine what, if any, adverse impacts to wilderness resources are associated with overflights of National Forest System wilderness areas. The Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration shall provide technical assistance to the Chief in carrying out the assessment. Such assessment shall apply only to overflight of wilderness areas and shall not apply to aircraft flights or landings adjacent to National Forest System wilderness units. The assessment shall not apply to any National Forest System wilderness units in the State of Alaska.
“(b) Report to Congress.—The Chief shall submit a report to Congress within 2 years after enactment of this Act [Aug. 18, 1987] containing the results of the assessments carried out under this section.
“(c) Authorization.—Effective October 1, 1987, there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out the assessment under this section.“SEC. 6. CONSULTATION WITH FEDERAL AGENCIES.
“In conducting the study and the assessment required by this Act, the Secretary of the Interior and the Chief of the Forest Service shall consult with other Federal agencies that are engaged in an analysis of the impacts of aircraft overflights over federally-owned land.”