The Department of the Interior Inspector General (OIG) issued a report finding deficiencies in the National Park Service’s oversight and administration of Residential Environmental Learning Centers (RELCs) which are operated by non-profit entities and provide environmental education programs within national parks. These include entities such as the Teton Science School, Glacier Institute and North Cascades Institute. The OIG found that NPS did not ensure that all of the activities and services provided by RELCs complied with the terms of their agreements or applicable statutes and regulations. The report noted as an example some entities offering weddings and hostel services that did not align with their environmental education efforts. The OIG also found that NPS did not monitor RELCs to ensure they were complying with applicable financial assistance rules and regulations. The report notes that in a few cases RELCs had not reported their revenues and in some cases audits of entities which had received federal funds had not occurred. The OIG provided several recommendations for NPS to implement to address the issues raised in the report.
The National Park Service recently issued a prospectus for the sale of visitor convenience items at 58 NPS units located throughout the Southeast Region. Visitor