By Hubert Walker for CoinWeek ….
On December 19, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015. Folded into the bill this year (a version of which must be approved annually) was the National Park Service 100th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act. As a result, the United States Mint is authorized to produce a series of coins commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service (NPS).
Like most contemporary commemorative coin programs, the National Park Service Centennial series will feature a clad half dollar, a silver dollar and a five dollar gold coin.
According to the text of the law, the design of the coins “shall be emblematic of the 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service”, and will be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury after consulting the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation, and the Commission of Fine Arts. The Secretary’s selection will then be reviewed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.
Mintages will be limited to a maximum of 750,000 clad, 500,000 silver, and 100,000 gold.
Surcharges from the sale of the coin will go to the National Park Foundation, a charity founded by first lady “Lady Bird” Johnson in 1967. All proceeds from the foundation then go directly to support and maintain our national park system. The surcharges are $1, $5 and $35 for the clad, silver and gold coins, respectively.
The original House bill (H.R. 627) was authored by Representative Erik Paulsen (R-MN3) and introduced on February 13, 2013. The Senate version (S. 1158) was authored by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and introduced on June 13, 2013. The act was included as Section 3055 of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, introduced into Congress on January 31, 2014 by Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA11).
The National Park Service is a federal agency and branch of the U.S. Department of the Interior. It manages the country’s national parks, many of its national monuments and several other projects of historical or conservational value. The NPS was created by the National Park Service Organic Act, signed into law by president Woodrow Wilson on August 25, 1916.