Paper No. 99-4
Presentation Time: 2:35 PM
2021 UPDATE ON U.S. NATIONAL PARK SERVICE INITIATIVES TO PROMOTE GEOLOGIC HERITAGE SITES AMONG FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL SITES AND THE CONCEPT OF AN OFFICIAL REGISTER
The concept of “Geologic Heritage” (GeoHeritage or GH) has been a common term outside of the United States for many years. It is quickly gaining momentum as a term in the United States that has been “understood” to mean many different things to many different groups, and is now being understood to represent a standard definition of sites, places, concepts etc. related to important geologic heritage resources. For many years the US National Park Service (NPS) was the “de facto” primary source for GH information and sites due to the 423 NPS areas that were often showcases of America’s geologic marvels and wonders in parks, monuments, recreation areas, heritage areas, natural landmarks, etc. Recently more concentrated efforts at the grass roots, local- and state-levels have brought about the recognition of other sites for similar and equal splendor in the GH arena. New mechanisms for developing lists of America’s special geologic places were an aim of a recent endeavor of “America’s Geoheritage Workshop II: Identifying, Developing, and Preserving America’s Natural Legacy” in 2020-21. This talk will discuss outcomes of the workshop and ideas for future direction to involve many entities in the promotion of GH in US sites. The concept of a centralized online hub or directory of all US GH sites and an “official register” is quickly gaining traction for “one-stop shopping” and the NPS looks to work with all interested entities to accomplish this goal. Capturing GH site information in one central, standardized place will be an efficient way to present uniform terminology, fields and attributes regarding these places and to present and package them in national databases as layers for national / federal, state, local and other areas. In 2015, The NPS and AGI published “An Invitation to Leadership” at https://www.earthsciweek.org/sites/default/files/Geoheritage/GH_Publicaton_Final.pdf ; please join us in accepting this invitation to expand upon and promote spectacular U.S. geologic heritage sites.