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Balancing protection and enjoyment of U.S. national parks

The National Park Service safeguards America’s most treasured natural wonders. The service manages 401 sites across more than 84 million acres, including national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, rivers and seashores.

Challenge
Park Service properties draw more than 275 million people yearly, a level of use that can strain resources and disturb the natural environment and wildlife. The Park Service must strike a careful balance between public access and its duty to protect nature.

Solution
The National Park Service engaged Louis Berger to help manage a diverse range of construction and conservation projects to benefit the public and the parks. Those efforts included:

  • Conducting an environmental assessment (EA) for a transportation plan to enhance visitor accessibility to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The EA addressed impacts on vegetation, endangered species, scenic views and overall visitor experience.
  • Designing a rehabilitation program for the 33-mile Newfound Gap Road that winds through Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The upgrades will make the road safer while retaining spectacular scenic views.
  • Conducting an EA for the rehabilitation of Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive as well as 49 historic overlooks.