How Well Is the National Park Service Managing Its Cultural Resources: The NPCA Point of View
The Public historian
TO DETERMINE how well the National Park Service is managing its cultural resources, we must first establish a context for understanding the nature of these resources as well as the constraints under which they are administered. Much of the mission of the NPS is embodied within several laws. To .understand how this Interior Department agency is implementing its mission, it is important to review these laws briefly. This will help us to determine whether the NPS is managing its resources
... resources according to the mandates of law. This approach, however, will only provide the reader with one side of the story. To get a true picture of how the NPS is managing its cultural resources, we must consider the constraints of administration policies, including budget requests, and the political realities of both national and local governmental bodies. Further, we must add the effects of citizen participation in achieving an accurate picture of how the NPS is managing our cultural heritage. A complete understanding of the constraints under which the NPS must operate is not to buy excuses for it. Instead, it must be the beginning of a strategy for overcoming a variety of obstacles and reinforcing those positive actions of private and public bodies that assist the NPS in implementing its mission.