What It Is
On December 19, 2014, Title 54 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) was enacted by Congress and signed into law to be solely devoted to all laws applicable to the National Park Service. This is a change from the prior codification of NPS laws under Title 16 U.S.C. The original organizational structure included the laws of many land management agencies under Title 16. The new Title 54 separates all National Park Service laws into one place. For now, only general NPS laws, such as the NPS Organic Act (now codified at 54 U.S.C. 100101), have moved to Title 54. Park-specific laws, such as enabling acts, remain in Title 16 but will be moved to Title 54 at some point in the future. When Congress enacted Title 54, it clarified that any references to sections of Title 16 that were moved to Title 54 are to be considered references to Title 54 for legal purposes.
Why It Matters
The transition to Title 54 provided an opportunity for Congress to use more consistent language throughout NPS laws and to remove obsolete provisions. The meaning and Congressional intent behind the laws remains the same despite their new codification. The most significant challenge for NPS employees will be learning and using the new citations.
A PowerPoint has been created to further illustrate the points made in the summary above.
Search through Title 54 for laws that specifically apply to your work with the NPS. Did you find anything that surprised you?