Laws governing Mount Rainier National Park
MPG V2.8, January 2013


As a National Park, Mount Rainier National Park (NP) is under the operation and management of the National Park Service (NPS), Department of the Interior. That said, it is the jurisdiction of Congress to pass the laws, signed by the President, which defines the appropriations (funds) and legal matters for the NP and which are implemented or translated into policies and regulations by the NPS for Mt. Rainier NP.

Types of Laws

Overview   Reserve   Designation   Specific   US Code   General   Regulations   Other   Resources  

General Catgories

Since the law establishing the land of and around Mount Rainier as a Forest Reserve and later designated a National Park, a number of laws have been implemented which govern all aspects of the National Park, including land acquistions, commercial developments, roads and trails, administration, law enforcement, and so on. These laws either add to, amend or supercede existing laws.

There are different types of federal laws, regulations and policies governing Mt. Rainier NP. These are laws transcribed into code which specifically applied or apply to the NP along with many current laws govern the general operation and management of all NP's, the work of the NPS and to Mt. Rainier NP as appropriate.

The current laws defines the framework for regulations and policies developed by the NPS for the operation and management of the NP and the rights and responsibilities of the visitors to the NP. All of these will be presented by their type and application described here and more specifically with the other Web pages (above).

The first type of laws are those which apply speficially to Mt. Rainier NP, first for its inclusion in the Washington Forest Reserve in 1893 and 1897 and for the designation as a National Park in 1899. The other type of these are the historic and current laws transcribed into US Code which apply specifically to the NP concerning the land and boundaries and other aspects relating to the operation and management of the NP.

The second type of laws are those which apply to National Parks and the NPS' responsibilities with or for the operation and management of the NP, to the policies and planning of the NP, and to the federal regulations associated with the operation of the NP, the management of NPS personnel and the rights and responsibilities of visitors.

As with any federal government agency, there are volumes of administration regulations governing the work of the agency. With the NPS, there are regulations which describe and define the "proper management, protection, government and public use of those portions of Mt. Rainier NP under the jurisdiction by the NPS." (NPS letter, May 17, 2006). Some of these regulations have been revised or amended by later laws (post-2006).

Personal Notes

As described in the individual sections (above) there are extensive laws, regulations and policies which apply to Mt. Rainier NP. Readers should understand the laws are the responsibility of Congress and signed by the President. The regulations are developed and implemented by the NPS to comply with the laws as they apply to the NPS and Mt. Rainier NP. The policies are developed by the NPS as required by laws and presented for public review to manage the resources of the NP.

This means tne NPS has the complicated work of ensuring they operate and manage the NP in compliance with the applicable laws with regulations and policies for the best current and future use and protection of the resources of the NP for all of us. So please, if you're angry about anything with the NP or NPS, it's not necessarily the fault of the NPS but Congress and/or the President responsible for the laws.

Additional Resources

Below are sources with the full text and some with summary information of the historical or current laws governing the National Park Service's operation and management of Mount Rainier National Park.


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WSR V2.8, January 2013