Aug 25

Happy Birthday National Park Service!

NPSBirthday“…Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby created in the Department of the Interior a service to be called the National Park Service, which shall be under the charge of a director, who shall be appointed by the Secretary and who shall receive a salary of $4,500 per annum. There shall also be appointed by the Secretary the following assistants and other employees at the salaries designated: One assistant director, at $2,500 per annum; one chief clerk, at $2,000 per annum; one draftsman, at $1,800 per annum; one messenger, at $600 per annum; and, in addition thereto, such other employees as the Secretary of the Interior shall deem necessary: Provided, That not more than $8,100 annually shall be expended for salaries of experts, assistants, and employees within the District of Columbia not herein specifically enumerated unless previously authorized by law. The service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations hereinafter specified by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations…”

With these words, the National Park Service Organic Act established the National Park Service as an agency of the United States Department of the Interior.

The Organic Act was signed into law on August 25, 1916, by President Woodrow Wilson as part of Title 16 of the United States Code.  The act was sponsored by California Representative William Kent and Senator Reed Smoot of Utah. The First NPS Director was industrialist Stephen Mather was charged with creating the National Park Service that would ultimately supervise and maintain all national parks, battlefields, historic places, and monuments in the United States.