This book focuses on the American system of National Parks wherein the people of the United States own and protect mountains, deserts, forests, wetlands, tundra and tropical reefs. All American citizens are, in a sense, stewards of sites where the Founding Fathers envisioned a new nation and where ancient people built cities. Americans are protectors of the tallest living things on Earth and of hundreds of rare species that enliven a subtropical wilderness. The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) presides over a sprawling system of parks, seashores, trails, monuments, and battlefields that encompass 3.6 per cent of the nation's entire landmass.
The land and its life forms are set apart, preserved, and spared from the asphalt, sprawl, and neon that creep across the modern world. National parkland - over 34 million hectares - is to remain unimpaired for future generations, according to the law that established the Park Service in 1916. The NPS statutory mission is multifaceted: to conserve, preserve, protect and interpret the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the nation for the public, and to provide for their use and enjoyment by the public. This book consists of public domain documents which have been located, gathered, combined, reformatted, and enhanced with a subject index, selectively edited and bound to provide easy access.