May 26, 2022

Research Tools: Mapping Public Lands in the United States (Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US)

From the USGS:

The Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US) is the official inventory of public parks and other protected areas in all U.S. states and territories.

The growing database contains more than three billion public land and marine acres managed by nearly 15,100 agencies and nongovernmental organizations,  covering 200,000 separate parks and protected areas. PAD-US is a product of Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, and Library (CSAS&L) in the USGS Core Science Systems Mission Area.



What can you do with PAD-US?

Explore the different types of public lands in the United States.  National, state, regional, and local organizations all manage protected lands. From the PAD-US map you can identify protected areas managed by various federal agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service. Or you can view information for recreational areas such as State Parks.

Read the Complete Introduction to  the Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US)

Direct to Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US)

See Also: PAD-US—National Inventory of Protected Areas Fact Sheet
2 pages; PDF (Revised August 4, 2017)

See Also: Completing America’s Inventory of Public Parks and Protected Areas (via USGS)
60 pages; PDF. 

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.