From the caribou in Bering Land Bridge National Preserve to herons along the Mississippi River, our parks are home to a wide variety of native wildlife. Over time, some habitats and ecosystems have been disrupted by environmental and human impacts. The National Park Foundation (NPF)’s work in habitat restoration and protection supports parks and projects that seek to restore park’s habitats and wildlife populations to their natural state. 

Using science-based conservation techniques and relying upon innovative monitoring and impact projection modeling, NPF is helping national parks across the country ensure the health and vibrancy of park environments supporting wildlife. From the removal of invasive species, the reopening of natural waterways, or even the reintroduction of native species to parks after decades of absence, NPF is protecting the wildlife that call our parks home.

Highlights & Projects

Elwha Dam in 2008 in Glacier National Park

Native Species in Olympic

NPF invested over $4 million to support the removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon dams in Olympic National Park – the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. The dam removal reopened more than 70 miles of pristine salmon spawning and rearing habitat for the first time in over 100 years.

Sandy Hook beach

Habitat Restoration in Sandy Hook 

Partnering with the Sandy Hook unit of Gateway National Recreation Area, NPF brought together students and seniors to remove over 8 acres of invasive plants from 40 acres of park land. NPF funds were also used to enhance ranger protection patrols on marine waters, as well as habitat restoration to convert an overflow parking lot into grassland. 

Bison at Badlands National Park

Bison in Badlands

NPF supported a project in Badlands National Park from 2017 through 2019 to expand the roaming range of bison within the park. This funding helped establish fencing to prevent cattle on nearby ranches from intermingling with the park’s bison. 

Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

As part of a multi-year project, NPF is supporting the removal of invasive lake trout from Yellowstone Lake, promoting the growth of the native cutthroat trout population. In 2019 alone, park staff and volunteers pulled in over 282,000 invasive lake trout!  

Coronado National Memorial

Bats in Coronado

Each year at Coronado National Memorial, thousands of endangered lesser long-nosed bats roost and feed on Palmer’s agave nectar. NPF supported a project at the park to engage local middle school students to restore 500 acres of agave habitat at the memorial, which had suffered from overgrazing, to help support this endangered species. 

A volunteer plants longleaf pine seedlings

Longleaf Pine 

Resistant to wildfire and home to nearly 3,000 bird and plant species, longleaf pine forests once covered 90 million acres – today only 3% of these forests remain. NPF and our partners like the Arbor Day Foundation, American Youth Works, and more are supporting longleaf pine restoration in parks such as Congaree National Park, Big Thicket National Preserve, and Flight 93 National Memorial. 

An otter floats on its back

Alaskan Marine Life 

NPF partnered with Alaska’s national parks and the Ocean Alaska Science and Learning Center to improve the protection of ocean resources and marine species. Thanks to NPF’s support, Alaskan parks have rescued and rehabilitated hundreds of marine mammals and seabirds and advanced their partnerships with local partners.