Interdisciplinary Resource Protection and Law is a blended online and in-person class designed to provide NPS employees with the competencies necessary to recognize resource injuries and take action to protect National Park System resources.
The links below provide supplemental information on the topics covered in the class including primary legal sources, job aides, policy documents, and in-depth articles on specific topics. Click a topic to open the list.
Unit B: Why Protect NPS Resources
This unit focuses on the laws passed by Congress to protect resources in the United States. It links the Constitution to statutory laws that established the National Park Service, and explores case law that further defines and clarifies the NPS mission. Learners gain an understanding of the constitutional authority for national parks, how regulations implement law, and how policy further guides management actions.
The Constitution and the NPS Organic Act
- The US Constitution
- The NPS Organic Act as originally written (16 USC 1)
The current codification of the Organic Act is in 54 USC § 100101, and incorporates language from the 1970 General Authorities Act and the 1978 Redwood Amendments (see below).
- The General Authorities Act of 1970 (84 Stat. 825)
- Redwood National Park Expansion Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 163)
- NRA v Potter – US District Court for the District of Columbia, February 24, 1986
- SUWA v Dabney – US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, August 15, 2000
- Webinar on Authority and Jurisdiction (1:49 total; Constitutional Authority is the first 33 minutes)
Legal and Regulatory Framework
- 36 CFR
- Director’s Order #9 – Law Enforcement
- RM 9 – Law Enforcement (public version)
- Webinar on Authority and Jurisdiction (1:49 total)
The first half of this webinar deals with Constitutional Authority. Types of Jurisdiction begins at 43 minutes.
- Superintendent’s Compendium Overview webinar (50 minutes)
- Compendiums are generally on a park’s website at www.nps.gov/park/learn/management or www.nps.gov/park/learn/management/lawsandpolicies.htm (replace “park” with your park’s alpha code)
Continue to Unit C: How to Protect Resources