National Natural Landmarks Program


To identify and recognize nationally significant natural areas throughout the United States of America and to encourage their continued preservation.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Deleted 08/20/2009 (Archived.)
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Provision of Specialized Services; Dissemination of Technical Information.
Program Accomplishments
With the exception of geological studies for the Brooks Range and Southern Blue Ridge Natural Regions, the National Park Service has conducted inventories in all natural regions. As of January 2000, the Secretary of the Interior has designated 587 national natural landmarks.
Historic Sites Act of 1935, Public Law 74-292, 16 U.S.C. 461; General Authorities Act of 1970, Public Law 94-458, 16 U.S.C. 1a-5; Mining in National Parks Act of 1976, Public Law 94-429, 16 U.S.C. 1908.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Anyone may suggest a natural area for possible inclusion on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Anyone may suggest a natural area for possible inclusion on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks. Land ownership is not a criterion. However, landowners or administrators are notified and involved in considering sites for possible designation. Landowners must agree to site designation.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
Contact a regional office or the Washington office of the National Park Service to suggest a site which should be considered for possible natural landmark designation.
Award Procedure
The National Park Service has conducted natural region studies to identify potential natural landmarks. In addition, sites may be suggested by any individual or organization as described above. If a decision is made to make an evaluation of a potential National Natural Landmark site owners are contacted prior to beginning an evaluation. No site visits are made without the permission of owners except when the land is publicly owned. Evaluations are made by qualified scientists. If the Director of the National Park Service determines an area meets the criteria for national significance, owners are notified for a second time, provided with a copy of the evaluation, and the opportunity to comment. National Park Service will review all documentation including, but not limited to, evaluation reports, peer reviews, and received comments. If some but not all of the property owners within a potential National Natural Landmark object to designation, the National Park Service will exclude the objecting properties and proceed with the process only if enough area remains of non-objecting properties to allow sufficient representation of the significant natural features. The Secretary of the Interior reviews the materials that the Director of the National Park Service submits and makes a decision on national natural landmark designation. If the Secretary designates an area, a third notification is made to landowners. Owners of designated sites are eligible to receive a plaque or certificate recognizing their voluntary commitment to preserve the landmark's nationally significant features.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Depends on status of information on area, and availability of staff and funds.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Information on national natural landmarks is made available to Federal agencies, State and local governments, private organizations, and individuals on request to assist in planning and decision making. No financial assistance accompanies designation of an area as a natural landmark. NPS may withhold certain information on specific landmarks because of the fragility of the resources or to protect private landowner's privacy.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
The National Park Service maintains periodic contacts with the owners of designated natural landmarks to determine whether the landmarks retain the values that qualified them for landmark designation. The Service prepared an annual report for the Secretary of the Interior to submit to the Congress but this mandate ended in 1999. This report is now titled Damaged and Threatened National Landmarks. It identifies those designated natural landmarks that exhibit known or anticipated damage or threats to the integrity of their nationally significant resources.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Not applicable.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Catalog Address Appendix IV.
Headquarters Office
Natural Landmarks Program, Natural Systems Management Office (2320), National Park Service, Washington, DC 20013- 7127. Telephone: (202) 219-8934. Use same number for FTS.
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Salaries and expenses) FY 02 $992,000; FY 03 est $993,000; and FY 04 est not available.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Final Rule for administering the National Natural Landmarks Program was published on May 12, 1999 (36 CFR Part 62). The procedures include the criteria for listing areas on the National Registry of Natural Landmarks and call for extensive public notice and review in the landmark evaluation process. A listing of designated natural landmarks is available from the National Park Service.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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