How will the sites associated with Julius Rosenwald be evaluated?

The National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (Title 54 United States Code 100507) established the process for identifying and authorizing studies of new national park units. Under the law, a study area must meet all four of the following criteria to be recommended as an addition to the national park system:

1. Contain nationally significant natural and/or cultural resources.

2. Represent a natural or cultural resource that is not already adequately represented in the national park system or is not comparably represented and protected for public enjoyment by another land-managing entity.

3. Must be: (a) of sufficient size and appropriate configuration to ensure long-term protection of the resources and visitor enjoyment, and (b) capable of efficient administration by the National Park Service at a reasonable cost; important feasibility factors include landownership, acquisition costs, life-cycle maintenance costs, access, threats to the resource, and staff or development requirements.

4. Require direct NPS management that is clearly superior to other management approaches.

NPS personnel will evaluate each study site identified in the legislation according to the above criteria for national significance, suitability, feasibility, and need for NPS management.

What are some of the possible outcomes of the study?

Over the last 20 years, approximately one in three special resource studies have resulted in a positive finding whereby the study resources evaluated met all four criteria required for inclusion in the national park system. About one in four completed congressionally authorized studies has resulted in both a positive finding and designation as a new unit of the national park system. Many studies conclude that the study resources do not meet all required criteria or find that existing management; technical or financial assistance; or local, state, or private initiatives are preferable to the establishment of a new national park unit.

If the special resource study results in a positive finding and a recommendation from the Secretary of the Interior that any of the study sites listed above should be added to the national park system, Congress may or may not act on or follow the recommendation. There is no timeframe for legislative action.