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How us National Park Boundaries are Determined

The United States Department of the Interior National Park Service identifies and evaluates national park boundaries. The boundaries are determined and established by nominating the park through your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Find your state’s SHPO website and you can get a good idea about how national parks´ property lines are drawn. The filing process has to start with the Federal Preservation Office or the Tribal Preservation Office if the property is on federal or tribal land. Please keep in mind that the park must meet the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.

The National Parks Conservation Association oversees 397 US National Parks that have a total of 83 million acres of land. The National Park Service was created in 1916. The primary goal of the NPS is to protect animal life, to preserve park scenery, to preserve historic objects, and to promote enjoyment for the public. To meet the criteria of the National Register, the person or organization must fill out forms with detailed information about the parks property boundaries, location, age, and significance.

The property must be at least 50 years old and have a significant impact on its surroundings. The process that is used to determine a parks boundary is easy. For example, local governments collect taxes by evaluating homes and businesses. If you visit your local property tax office, there should be on file a map of your property boundaries. The parks are also evaluated and this information is submitted to the National Register when a park is nominated. Most parks are surveyed by a certified land surveyor or a land appraiser. In some cases, local governments have to know the size of a park in order to receive federal and state aid.

Finally, there is a form that is called the National Register of Historic Places (i.e. form NPS 10-900). This form has to be completed in order for a park to be listed as a US National park. The form is 26 pages long. If a property is nominated, the size, the setting, and the location, must be documented on the form. There is also a section where the summary of the property and a description of the property written. This information is then verified within your states SHPO, the Department of the Interior, the National Park Service, and the National Register. This is the process that is used to determine boundaries of the US National Parks.