By the Numbers: President Bush’s National Park Legacy


The number of new units added to the National Park System during George W. Bush’s two terms in office. These include Craters of the Moon National Preserve (8/21/2002), Flight 93 National Memorial (9/24/2002), Cedar Creek & Bell Grove National Historical Park (12/19/2002), National World War II Memorial (5/29/2004), African Burial Ground National Historic Site (2/27/2006), Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site (2/27/2006), and Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site (4/23/2007).


The number of NPS units "pending." The Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site (2/6/2002) in Illinois is still in the land acquisition phase of its creation. There are three units awaiting completion in Washington, DC, including the Adams Memorial (11/5/2001), the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial (1/10/2002), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.


Number of NPS units redesignated. Great Sand Dunes NM and Congaree Swamp NM became Great Sand Dunes National Park and Congaree National Park. Minidoka Internment National Monument was redesignated Minidoka National Historic Site, and Fort Clatsop National Monument was incorporated into Lewis & Clark National Historical Park. A redesignation in 2002 yielded the new name Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts for the NPS unit formerly called Wolf Trap Farm National Park for the Performing Arts.


The number of NPS units deauthorized. The former Oklahoma City National Memorial was abolished (1/23/2004) and returned to the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, which raised the money to build the Memorial.

The number of new NPS units created by proclaiming World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument on December 5, 2008. This one is a real head-scratcher. The new National Monument includes no new property, but instead incorporates the USS Arizona Memorial and other properties already managed or co-managed by the National Park Service and counted as NPS units.


Great Sand Dunes National Park is Clinton's legacy. It just didn't take affect until Bush was in office.