Protecting National Park Soundscapes: Summary of the 2012 NAE workshop



After reviewing the 2010 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) report “Technology for a Quieter America”, the National Park Service (NPS) asked the NAE to undertake a consensus study on the importance of quiet to both visitors and wildlife in its hundreds of properties. The aim of the workshop was to provide best practices to assist NPS park managers, contractors, and concessionaires in protecting park soundscapes. The workshop was hosted by the NPS in Fort Collins, Colorado in October 2012 and was attended by twenty-four participants including park personnel and noise control specialists from government, academia, industry and consulting firms.  The NAE report published in cooperation with the NPS and the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center identified seventeen cost-effective actions for reducing noise in our national parks.  This paper describes and summarizes the issues raised at the workshop and those recommendations.