The National Natural Landmarks (NNL) Program, administered and maintained through the National Park Service, was established in 1962 with the goal of highlighting sites that best demonstrate the outstanding geologic and biologic features of the United States. In a unique partnership between public and private landowners, the National Park Service accepts sites into the program that best illustrate the diversity of our country’s natural heritage regardless of ownership. The NNL program seeks solely to recognize these sites for their geologic and biologic significance and to strengthen the public’s appreciation for and conservation of America’s natural heritage. Potential NNLs are evaluated based on the following criteria: (1) outstanding condition, (2) illustrative value, (3) rarity, (4) diversity, and (5) value to science and education. Sites are designated by the secretary of the interior and, as of today, 586 landmarks have received the NNL designation.

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Copyright © 2013, George Wright Society. This article first appeared in George Wright Forum 30:3 (2013). 253-260.

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