National Park Service

National Parks Update - March 2019

Last year, when we set out on our quest to visit all the National Park Units, there were 417 units. And then, just before we reach our first stop, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in October 2018, that grew to 418. Now it's 419.

Isn't that amazing?! Sure, it means we're chasing a moving goal post, but more importantly it means more and more places are being afforded the protection of the National Park Service. More places being preserved for future generations. We love it!

But it can be tricky to keep up with - new units being designated and existing units being updated or re-designated. But don't worry, we're here to help!

National Park Map

First things first - have you seen our National Park Map? No? Well once you've finished reading here, go there next. We have a map of ALL the National Park Units in one place. Plus, you can see all the ones we've been to so you can click through and see our blog posts and videos. Still not enough? Well, for the units we haven't visited you can see a map showing the unit boundaries and find a link to the NPS website for more information.

As a bonus, not sure what a National Park Unit means exactly? We've got you covered - read our full explanation.

New Units

Following a House bill (John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act) on March 12, the unit formerly known as WWII Valor in the Pacific National Memorial has been split into two brand new units - bringing the total from 418 to 419.

WWII Valor in the Pacific National Memorial was established in 2008 by President George W Bush, and covered 9 separate sites in 3 states. They weren't even adjacent locations either - they were spread between Hawaii, California and Alaska. Wow!

The House bill has now established the Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Hawaii, managed by the NPS and the Tule Lake National Monument in California managed jointly by the NPS and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. The US Fish & Wildlife Service will continue to manage the Alaskan sites as part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

Re-designated Units

The same House bill also re-designates the unit formerly known as Honouliuli National Monument to Honouliuli National Historic Site. This change doesn't impact its management or boundaries.

At the same time, several other units have also changed designation.

Fort Sumter National Monument has been renamed to Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park.Reconstruction Era National Monument has been renamed to Reconstruction Era National Historical Park. Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site has been renamed to Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, has been renamed from Ocmulgee National Monument but the boundaries have also been updated to include an additional 2,100 acres.

Lastly, since we first launched our map, Camp Nelson Heritage National Monument, Kentucky has been renamed from Camp Nelson National Monument.

Other Updates

A number of other units have also had their boundaries updates, including adding 55 acres in Fort Frederica National Monument, 300 acres in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and 1,441 acres in Acadia National Park.

And in case you were wondering, there are several new units that were authorized in the House bill too, namely:

  • Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument, Mississippi
  • Mill Springs Battlefield National Monument, Kentucky

As with several other authorized units, we don't have these included on our map yet as they're not operational yet, but rest assured, as soon as they open, we'll have them listed!

Conclusion

It's always great to see new units being added to the National Park Service's jurisdiction. Although it can be confusing to keep track of the changes, we'll try our best to keep our website, map (and target!) updated with all the changes!

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