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The protected areas of the United States
United States
are managed by an array of different federal, state, tribal and local level authorities and receive widely varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation. As of 2015[update], the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2 (499,800 sq mi), or 14 percent of the land area of the United States.[2] This is also one-tenth of the protected land area of the world. The U.S. also had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2 (490,893 sq mi), or 12 percent of the total marine area of the United States.[2] Some areas are managed in concert between levels of government. The Father Marquette National Memorial
Father Marquette National Memorial
is an example of a federal park operated by a state park system, while Kal-Haven Trail
Kal-Haven Trail
is an example of a state park operated by county-level government.

Contents

1 Federal level protected areas 2 State level protected areas 3 Local level protected areas 4 List of protected areas by region 5 References 6 External links

Federal level protected areas[edit] As of 2007[update], according to the United Nations Environment Programme, the U.S. had a total of 6,770 terrestrial nationally designated (federal) protected areas. Federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States
United States
Department of the Interior. They are often considered the crown jewels of the protected areas. Other areas are managed by the United States
United States
Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management
Bureau of Land Management
and the United States
United States
Fish and Wildlife Service. The United States
United States
Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands, mainly through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are Level I (Strict Nature Reserves & Wilderness
Wilderness
Areas) and Level II (National Parks). The United States
United States
maintains 12 percent of the Level I and II lands in the world. These lands had a total area of 210,000 sq mi (540,000 km2).[citation needed] A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency. For instance, both the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service operate areas designated National Preserves and National Recreation Areas. The National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management operate areas called National Monuments. National Wilderness
Wilderness
Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies. There are existing federal designations of historic or landmark status that may support preservation via tax incentives, but that do not necessarily convey any protection, including a listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a designation as a National Historic Landmark. States and local zoning bodies may or may not choose to protect these. The state of Colorado, for example, is very clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties.[3] Federal protected area designations[1]

National Park System
National Park System
(list of areas here)

National Parks (list here) National Preserves National Seashores National Lakeshores

National Forest

National Forests (list here, list of largests National Forests here) National Grasslands

National Landscape Conservation System

National Monuments National Conservation Areas Wilderness
Wilderness
Areas Wilderness
Wilderness
Study Areas National Wild and Scenic Rivers National Scenic Trails National Historic Trails Cooperative Management and Protection Areas Forest Reserves Outstanding Natural Areas

National Marine Sanctuaries National Recreation Areas National Estuarine Research Reserves National Trails System National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
National Wild and Scenic Rivers System
(list here) National Wilderness
Wilderness
Preservation System (list here) National Wildlife Refuge System
National Wildlife Refuge System
(list here)

International protected area designations

UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in the USA

State level protected areas[edit] Every state has a system of state parks. State parks vary widely from urban parks to very large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the National parks of England and Wales, with numerous towns inside the borders of the park. About half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres (1,200,000 ha), is state-owned and preserved as "forever wild" by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska claims to be the largest state park by the amount of contiguous protected land; it is larger than many U.S. National Parks, with some 1,600,000 acres (650,000 ha). Many states also operate game and recreation areas.

Lists of State Parks in the United States
United States
include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming List of U.S. state
U.S. state
and tribal wilderness areas

Local level protected areas[edit] Various counties, cities, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, townships, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are little more than picnic areas or playgrounds; however, others are extensive nature reserves. South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park
in Phoenix, Arizona, for example, is called the largest city park in the United States; it spans 25 sq mi (65 km2) and contains 58 mi (93 km) of trails. List of protected areas by region[edit]

Protected areas of American Samoa Protected areas of California Protected areas of Colorado Protected areas of Georgia Protected areas of Illinois Protected areas of Kentucky Protected areas of Michigan Protected areas of Ohio

References[edit]

^ a b Carley, Rachel (2001). Wilderness
Wilderness
A To Z. An Essential Guide to the Great Outdoors. New York - London - Toronto - Sydney - Singapore: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0057-8.  ^ a b " United States
United States
of America, North America". UNEP. World Database on Protected Areas. 2015-05-02. Retrieved 2015-05-02.  ^ "National & State Register Program". OAHP. Colorado
Colorado
Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Protected areas of the United States.

National Landscape Conservation System
National Landscape Conservation System
(BLM Special
Special
Areas) National Park Service National Wild and Scenic Rivers System National Wildlife Refuge System Protected Areas Database of the United States
United States
(PAD-US) National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lakes Gateway U.S. Forest Service U.S. Marine Protected Areas

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Lists of state forests by U.S. state

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Insular areas

American Samoa Guam Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands

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Lists of state parks by U.S. state

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

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National parks of the United States

Acadia American Samoa Arches Badlands Big Bend Biscayne Black Canyon of the Gunnison Bryce Canyon Canyonlands Capitol Reef Carlsbad Caverns Channel Islands Congaree Crater Lake Cuyahoga Valley Death Valley Denali Dry Tortugas Everglades Gates of the Arctic Gateway Arch Glacier Glacier Bay Grand Canyon Grand Teton Great Basin Great Sand Dunes Great Smoky Mountains Guadalupe Mountains Haleakalā Hawaiʻi Volcanoes Hot Springs Isle Royale Joshua Tree Katmai Kenai Fjords Kings Canyon Kobuk Valley Lake Clark Lassen Volcanic Mammoth Cave Mesa Verde Mount Rainier North Cascades Olympic Petrified Forest Pinnacles Redwood Rocky Mountain Saguaro Sequoia Shenandoah Theodore Roosevelt Virgin Islands Voyageurs Wind Cave Wrangell–St. Elias Yellowstone Yosemite Zion

List of national parks of the United States
United States
(by elevation)

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National Preserves of the United States

Aniakchak Bering Land Bridge Big Cypress Big Thicket Craters of the Moon Denali Gates of the Arctic Glacier Bay Great Sand Dunes Katmai Lake Clark Little River Canyon Mojave Noatak Tallgrass Prairie Timucuan Yukon–Charley Rivers Wrangell–St. Elias

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Protected areas of the United States
United States
by political division

States

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Federal district

Washington, D.C.

Insular areas

American Samoa Guam Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico U.S. Minor Outlying Islands U.S. Virgin Islands

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Protected areas of the United States
United States
by political division (articles)

States

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming

Federal district

Washington, D.C.

Insular areas

American Samoa Guam Northern Mariana Islands Puerto Rico U.S. Virgin Islands

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Protected areas in North America

Sovereign states

Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Barbados Belize Canada Costa Rica Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic El Salvador Grenada Guatemala Haiti Honduras Jamaica Mexico Nicaragua Panama Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago United States

Dependencies and other territories

Anguilla Aruba Bermuda Bonaire British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Curaçao Greenland Guadeloupe Martinique Montserrat Puerto Rico Saint Barthélemy Saint Martin Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saba Sint Eustatius Sint Maarten Turks and Caicos Islands United States
United States
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