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For example, because of provisions within their enabling legislation, Congaree National Park is almost entirely wilderness area devoid of development, yet Yosemite allows unique developments such as the Badger Pass Ski Area and the O'Shaughnessy Dam within its boundaries.Death Valley National Park has an active mine legislated within its boundaries.
In 1951, Conrad Wirth became director of the National Park Service and went to work on bringing park facilities up to the standards that the public expected.Within each of these areas, there are numerous specific purposes to which Congress directs the services activities.Listed separately are the special initiatives of the service for the year specified in the legislation.The movement for an independent agency to oversee these federal lands was spearheaded by business magnate and conservationist Stephen Mather, as well as J. With the help of journalist Robert Sterling Yard, Mather ran a publicity campaign for the Department of the Interior.They wrote numerous articles that praised the scenic and historic qualities of the parks and their possibilities for educational, inspirational, and recreational benefits.Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service has managed each of the United States' national parks, which have grown in number over the years to 61.
Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States.
The smallest is Benjamin Franklin National Memorial at less than 0.01 acres (40 m).
Although all units of the National Park System in the United States are the responsibility of a single agency, they are all managed under individual pieces of authorizing legislation or, in the case of national monuments created under the Antiquities Act, presidential proclamation.
The exception, under the Antiquities Act, allows the president to designate and protect areas as national monuments by executive order.
Regardless of the method used, all parks are to be of national importance.
The NPS is charged with a dual role of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of the places entrusted to its management while also making them available and accessible for public use and enjoyment.