National Park Service
World Heritage Sites
Brochure of World Heritage Sites in the United States. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
World Heritage Sites in the United States Governor’s House, La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historical Site Red-footed booby, Papahaˉnaumokuaˉ kea Morning Glory Pool, Yellowstone National Park © HARVEY BARRISON © KRIS KRUG JEFF SULLIVAN PHOTOGRAPHY 2 Kluane / Wrangell-St. Elias / Glacier Bay / Tatshenshini-Alsek 1 Statue of Liberty Grand Canyon National Park © MICHAEL BELL PIXABAY/SKEEZE © MICHAEL LOYD Olympic National Park 3 WA SH I N GTO N - 19 81 Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park vii • ix vii • viii • ix • x A L A SK A (US), C A N A DA - 1979 Features temperate rainforest, glaciers, peaks, alpine meadows, old-growth forest, and wilderness coastline. Critical habitat for endangered species including northern spotted owl and bull trout. www.nps.gov/olym Over 24 million acres of wild lands and waters are changed by glaciers and volcanic activity. www.nps.gov/glba, www.nps.gov/wrst www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/yt/kluane www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore vii • ix © MIKE CRISS Montana (US), Canada - 1995 World’s first international peace park. Rich biodiversity and outstanding scenery with prairie, forest, alpine, and glacial features. www.nps.gov/glac www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/waterton/ Grinnell Point © MIKE KOCH Old Faithful © MARK STEVENS 23 © STEVE BOND Yellowstone National Park vii • viii • ix • x Renowned for geothermal features, Yellowstone has the world’s largest concentration of geysers. Protects grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. www.nps.gov/yell iii • iv I L L I N O I S - 19 82 With over 1,100 properties, the World Heritage List This urban complex flourished 1000– 1350 CE (Common Era). Regional center for prehistoric Mississippian culture. www.cahokiamounds.org shows a shared global commitment to preserve the world’s most important natural and cultural sites. Monks Mound Learn more about the World Heritage sites in the 22 4 Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site Preserved for All Humanity W YO M I N G, M O N TA N A , I DA H O - 1978 © JIM WARK/AIRPHOTO United States, described here with selection criteria Redwood National and State Parks This gift from France to the United States is a symbol of international friendship, peace, progress, freedom, democracy, and human migration. Renowned for art and engineering. www.nps.gov/stli World Heritage Sites in the United States can be pur- Coastal mountain home to California brown pelicans, sea lions, bald eagles, and ancient redwood forest—the world’s tallest trees. www.nps.gov/redw i • vi N E W YO R K - 19 8 4 scription year, and websites. The Passport booklet C A L I F O R N I A - 19 8 0 Statue of Liberty 5 in Roman numerals (details other side), location, in- vii • ix Black bear, Great Smoky Mountains National Park chased at www.eparks.com. For more on the World Pixabay Heritage List: whc.unesco.org/en/statesparties/us. © AMY HUDECHEK Natural Papahaˉnaumokuaˉkea iii • vi • viii • ix • x Cultural Mixed 21 6 H AWA I I - 2010 Independence Hall This vast living “cultural seascape” embodies kinship of people to place in Native Hawaiian cosmology. Includes seamounts, endemic species, critical habitats, and coral reefs. www.papahanaumokuakea.gov vi P EN N S Y LVA N I A - 1979 An international symbol of freedom and democracy, this 18th-century building is where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were created and signed. www.nps.gov/inde Greg McFall / NOAA 20 Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park © TODD LANDRY viii H AWA I I - 19 87 Earth’s greatest mass of volcanoes, including Mauna Loa and Kilauea, tower over a “hotspot” in the mantle. Continuous geologic activity builds an ever changing landscape home to rare and endemic species. www.nps.gov/havo 21 7 PACIFIC OCEAN 0 Hawaii Everglades National Park viii • ix • x 20 F LO R I DA - 1979 800 Kilometers 0 800 Miles North America’s largest subtropical wilderness has several vital habitats for plants and animals including Florida panthers and manatees. Key area for bird migration and breeding. www.nps.gov/ever NPS Yosemite National Park 19 vii • viii © CARLTON WARD JR. C A L I F O R N I A - 19 8 4 Glacial erosion helped sculpt this scenic landscape. Soaring granite cliffs, polished domes, high waterfalls, sequoia groves, wilderness, deep-cut valleys, and alpine meadow habitats. www.nps.gov/yose 18 Chaco Culture iii Castillo San Felipe del Morro N E W M E X I CO - 19 87 © ANGEL LOPEZ Prehistoric, monumental masonry structures in Chaco Canyon, along with a network of roads and outlier sites like Aztec Ruins, exhibit the vast influence of the ancestral Puebloan culture on the Southwestern landscape. www.nps.gov/azru, www.nps.gov/chcu © JOCELYN PANTALEON HIDALGO The 20th-century Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site vi © OJEFFREY PHOTOGRAPHY P U ERTO R I CO - 19 8 3 ii Strategic defensive structures represent early European military architecture, engineering, and history in the Americas. www.nps.gov/saju EI G H T US LO C AT I O N S - 2019 Mesa Verde National Park These buildings reflect the worldwide influence of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Using innovative materials and designs, his organic architecture blurs the boundary between nature and humanity. www.savewright.org 17 10 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point iii © ARND DEWALD LO U I SI A N A - 2014 Earthen construction complex of five mounds, six concentric ridges, and a central plaza dates to 3700– 3100 BCE (Before Common Era). www.povertypoint.us www.nps.gov/popo iii CO LO R A D O - 1978 Prehistoric village sites, including hundreds of ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings, provide glimpses into the past and present lifeways of the Southwest’s American Indian peoples. www.nps.gov/meve 16 Carlsbad Caverns National Park © LOUISIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM vii • viii N E W M E X I CO - 19 95 © MICHAEL KANEMOTO 15 Grand Canyon National Park vii • viii • ix • x A R I ZO N A - 1979 This grandest ongoing geological spectacle is a stunning display of Earth’s history. Volcanic features, eroded landforms, waterfalls, whitewater, and an array of plants and animals. www.nps.gov/grca © Tom Gotchy This extensive cave system is profusely decorated with spectacular and ornate cave formations. Huge chambers, unusual origin, bat flights, and desert ecosystem. www.nps.gov/cave NPS Great Smoky Mountains National Park 9 Mammoth Cave National Park vii • viii • ix • x K EN T U CK Y - 19 81 100 million years of geological history continues in the world’s longest network of natural caves and underground passageways. Some flora and fauna are known to exist only here. www.nps.gov/maca Among earth’s oldest mountains, the Smokies feature old-growth forest and thousands of species. www.nps.gov/grsm © KEN GABLES NPS 13 ii T E X A S - 2015 Taos Pueblo 14 iv N E W M E X I CO - 19 92 © Ellen Dunn 11 vii • viii • ix N O RT H C A RO L I N A , T EN N E SSEE - 19 8 3 San Antonio Missions The dwellings and ceremonial buildings of this pre-Hispanic adobe settlement illustrate the traditional architecture and culture of the Pueblo people of Arizona and New Mexico. www.taospueblo.com 8 Mission Concepción © ALEX ALDANA Five frontier mission complexes and a ranch date to the 1700s. Styles weaving Spanish and indigenous elements showing an interchange of cultures and values. www.nps.gov/saan www.thealamo.org Monticello and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville 12 i • iv • vi V I RG I N I A - 19 87 The sites of President Thomas Jefferson’s plantation home and “academical village.” Jefferson’s architectural designs link American and classical ideals. www.monticello.org, www.virginia.edu Monticello © JACK LOONEY PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY THOMAS JEFFERSON FOUNDATION The World Heritage Convention D N DIAL • MO natural properties. The square is a E IT Kudu, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa © EVI VERVUEREN The World Heritage emblem symbolizes the interdependence of cultural and AG I N and our care for them—represent our human legacies, ON I O MUN L the Grand Canyon, Everglades, or Statue of Liberty? IM IA through humanity’s common heritage. These sites— ER the Serengeti, or the Great Barrier Reef. What about TR WORLD H Conserving them helps the world connect continuously • Imagine a world without the pyramids of Egypt, PA Conserving Humanity’s Common Heritage World Heritage sites like these are as diverse and our present lives, and what we pass on to future unique as the lands and peoplesof our planet. Yet generations. Working together, the people and nations circle represents nature, the two being many of the world’s irreplaceable properties come of the world can protect the places that tell our shared intimately linked. The emblem is round under threat from deterioration, natural disasters, human story. like the world, and at the same time it is E • PA T R I MO civil strife, or insufficient resources for their care. form created by humankind and the a symbol of protection. Temple of Angkor Wat, Angkor, Cambodia Sea lion, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador Victoria Falls, Mosi-oa-Tunya, Zambia / Zimbabwe Moai, Rapa Nui National Park, Chile Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino, and Tinetto), Italy PIXABAY © THOMAS POROSTOCKY PIXABAY/ FIETZFOTOS © DR. ALBAN MIRABAUD © IAN WITHNALL Safeguarding World Heritage Sites After the United States established Yellowstone as the US national park idea throughout the world. The United Cooperation is vital to conserving World Heritage sites. The National Park Service administers several World world’s first national park in 1872, a movement progressed States was the first country to ratify the Convention, which Nations identify and nominate their properties to be Heritage sites in the United States; others are managed by to conserve more natural and cultural heritage across the today has over 190 signatory states. Yellowstone and Mesa considered for the World Heritage List—a global collection states, tribes, local governments, or private owners. The United States. This movement, in a variety of forms, Verde national parks were in the first group of sites selected of properties whose preservation is enhanced through United States and Canada jointly nominated bordering eventually spread across the globe. One century later, in for the World Heritage List in 1978. Now, more than 1,000 international cooperation. The World Heritage Committee parks to be two World Heritage sites: Waterton-Glacier 1972, the United States played a key role in developing an World Heritage sites in over 160 countries are recognized. reviews the properties for their “outstanding universal and Wrangell-St.Elias/Glacier Bay/Tatshenshini-Alsek/ international treaty called the Convention Concerning the The Convention has become one of history’s largest value” to humanity, and selected sites are inscribed on the Kluane. These designations underscore the nations’ Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Aiming collective conservation efforts, fostering international World Heritage List. Nations pledge to protect their sites mutually beneficial interaction in long-term resource to enhance understanding and appreciation of heritage cooperation and making strides across the globe to protect while retaining sovereignty and control over them. management and day-to-day activities. conservation, many see the Convention as applying the humanity’s shared heritage. ten selection criteria. A site must also meet standards for integrity (must be complete) and authenticity (must be Affairs works to promote the NPS mission to extend the credible and truthful) and have good management and strong legal protection. benefits of natural and cultural resource conservation and CULTURAL CRITERIA i • Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius. ii • Exhibit an important interchange of human values on developments in architecture, technology, monumental arts, town planning, or landscape design. iii • Bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization that is living or has disappeared. iv • Be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural, or technological ensemble or landscape that illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history. v • Be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land use, or sea use representative of a culture. vi • Be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. viii • Be outstanding examples representing major stages of Earth’s history. ix • Be outstanding examples representing significant ongoing ecological and biological processes. x • Contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-place conservation of biological diversity. GE JUN IO outdoor recreation throughout the United States and the world. NPS works with World Heritage site managers to help them better protect their own natural and cultural heritage, providing technical assistance and promoting exchanges of NATURAL CRITERIA vii • Contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance. WORLD The National Park Service (NPS) Office of International I TA NGER To be included on the World Heritage List, a site must be of “outstanding universal value” and meet at least one of ER RA Global Partnerships R Selection Criteria H A Shared Promise to Protect the World’s Heritage best practices in site conservation and management. EXPLORE, LEARN, AND PROTECT! The National Park Service Junior Zebras, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania © PHILIPPE CLAIRO Ranger program provides learning opportunities for people of all ages. To earn your official World Heritage Junior Ranger badge and certificate, complete a series of fun activities, then share your answers with National Park Service staff. Learn more at www.nps.gov/subjects/ internationalcooperation/ world-heritage-junior-rangers.htm. More Information National Park Service Office of International Affairs 1849 C Street, NW Mail Stop 2415 Washington, DC 20240 202-354-1800 www.nps.gov/orgs/1955 Visit us on social media. www.facebook.com/ NPSInternationalAffairs National Park Service World Heritage in the United States www.nps.gov/subjects/ internationalcooperation/ worldheritage.htm United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List whc.unesco.org/en/list/ IGPO:2019—407-308/82436 New in 2019 Printed on recycled paper.