Protecting National Park Soundscapes


The Protecting National Park Soundscapes report, published by the National Academies Press in 2013, is based on a workshop hosted by the National Park Service (NPS) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Copies are available for download without cost at this address:

After review of the Technology for a Quieter America report by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), published in October 2010, the NPS concluded that the NAE could assist the NPS in refining portions of its national noise program.

Workshop participants represented a broad array of expertise and included both park personnel and noise control specialists. The focus of the workshop was to define what park managers can do to control noise from facilities, operations, and maintenance.

This report discusses NPS mandates to protect the soundscapes in its 400-plus properties. Empowered by these mandates, NPS has a long history of actively managing noise in its properties and has taken actions, both administrative and legal, to protect soundscapes. Noise sources addressed in this report include those related to transportation, maintenance, and construction. NPS also has a long history of studying the effects of noise on park visitors and wildlife. This work is ongoing and is vital to best understand how to protect park soundscapes.

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