Two scathing reviews of the National Park Service’s approach to its historical resources were published recently:
Imperiled Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service, The Organization of American Historians
The State of America’s National Parks, The National Parks Conservation Association
In local news:
In case you didn’t know, 70 California state parks are slated for impending closure. One Huffington Post article posits that this closure plan somehow forgot to include the treatment, packing, transportation and storage, of the thousands of artifacts these parks curate, including the two artifacts depicted here.
Update: In response to the park closures, reduction in funding to the NPS and the state of cultural resources within parks in general, a select number of universities are offering a new certificate program entitled Leadership for Public Lands and Cultural Heritage!
The Leadership for Public Lands and Cultural Heritage Program began in January, 2011 with a class of 14 students. These students will be graduating from the program in May, 2012. Next year’s program is currently on hold, but hopefully it will start up again in the future.
The program’s curriculum was created by the universities involved in conjunction with the National Park Service, the Center for Park Management and the National Park Conservation Association. At least one of the professors was previously (or is currently) employed by the National Park Service. The majority of the students are also currently National Park Service employees. The program is taught mostly online, with only 1 week required in residence, allowing students to work and pursue the degree/certificate at the same time.
Thanks to Matt Wolf from the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands Support for answering all my questions!
Another Update (4/26/2012): George McKale and The Olompali People are trying to save Olompali State Historic Park, which is just north of San Francisco. The park hosts 6 Coast Miwok archaeological sites, some of which date back 8000 years! The park is also home to some great hiking and a recreated Coast Miwok village.