National Park Service Centennial Act Section by Section Analysis

National Park Service Centennial Act


Title I— Centennial Declaration

  • Recognizes that the Service has responsibility not only for administering the units of the National Park System, but also for programs that provide financial and technical assistance to states, communities and individuals to protect our national heritage.  
  • Reaffirms and directs the Secretary of the Interior to utilize these financial and technical assistance programs to further the conservation and enjoyment of the natural and cultural heritage of the nation for the benefit and inspiration of the public.

 Title II – National Park Centennial Challenge Fund

  • Establishes in the Treasury a fund to be known as the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund, which will consist of an annual appropriated amount equal to the qualified donations received in the same fiscal year not to exceed $100 million for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2018.  The fund will be used for signature projects identified as ones that will help prepare the National Parks for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment.

Title III—Second Century Infrastructure Investment

  • Provides a mandatory appropriation of $300 million to the National Park Service Construction Account for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2018, to correct deficiencies in National Park Service infrastructure and facilities.

Title IV—Centennial Land Management Investment Program

  • Establishes in the Treasury a fund to be known as the Centennial Land Management Investment Fund, consisting of a mandatory appropriation equal to $100 million for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2018.   The Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture are required to establish jointly a competitive program available to the four federal land management agencies for projects that enhance visitor services and outdoor recreational opportunities, restore lands and waters, repair facilities or trails, or increase energy and water efficiency.

Title V—National Park Foundation Endowment

  • Establishes in the National Park Foundation a special account to be known as the Second Century Endowment for the National Park Service, consisting of gifts or bequests provided for this purpose.   The National Park Foundation may use the funds deposited in the Endowment for projects and activities approved by the Secretary that further the mission and purposes of the National Park Service.

Title VI—National Park Service Second Century Fund

  • Establishes in the Treasury an account to be known as the National Park Service Second Century Fund, with funds remaining available to the Secretary of the Interior until expended and available without further appropriation. Funds may only be used if matched, on a 1-to-1 basis, by nonfederal donations to the National Park Service for specified projects and programs
  • Funds the account with two sources of funding: (1) fees in addition to the daily cost of lodging or camping within a unit of the national park system; and (2) funds from amounts above $10.00 that are collected from purchases of the lifetime pass for citizens 62 years of age or older (passes would be available at the same cost as the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass).

Title VII—National Park Next Generation Stewards

NPS Interpretation and Education Authority

  • Provides clear authority for the interpretation and education work of the NPS by consolidating a number of disparate authorities currently used.
  • Directs the Secretary of the Interior to ensure that management of National Park System units and related areas is enhanced by the availability and utilization of a broad program of the highest quality interpretation and education.

Public Lands Corps Amendments

  • Raises the age limit for participation in the Public Lands Corp from 25 to 30.  This section also would provide non-competitive hiring status to a former Public Land Corps member from the current120 days after the member’s service is completed to a period of up to two years.

Volunteers in Parks

  • Removes the $3.5 million authorization ceiling for the Volunteers in the Parks to accommodate the funding needed to support this growing program.

Title VIII—National Park Service Visitor Service Management Program

  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to establish the National Park Service Visitor Services Management Authority (VMSA) to award and manage contracts for the operation of commercial visitor services programs and activities.
  • Authorizes the establishment of a VSMA operating board, a director of the VSMA, and the hiring of staff.
  • Authorizes the use of funds collected by the VSMA from the contracts awarded to be available for expenditure by the VSMA in furtherance of the purposes of the law.

Title IX—Intellectual Property

  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to enter into agreements for the creation of reproductions of a museum object in which the object and its intellectual property rights are under the control of the Secretary.  The agreements may include provisions for the collection of fees or royalties, which can be retained and used by the park or repository where the museum object is held.

Title X—National Park Foundation

  • Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the National Park Service ex officio members of the National Park Foundation board.
  • Authorizes appropriations of $25 million for each of fiscal years 2016 through 2026 to National Park Foundation, and prohibits the use of these funds for administrative expenses of the Foundation.