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What is the difference between a national recreation area and a national park?
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History/Culture, Preservation
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National Park: These are generally large natural places having a wide variety of attributes, at times including significant historic assets. Hunting, mining and consumptive activities are not authorized.

National Recreation Area: Twelve NRAs in the system are centered on large reservoirs and emphasize water-based recreation. Five other NRAs are located near major population centers. Such urban parks combine scarce open spaces with the preservation of significant historic resources and important natural areas in locations that can provide outdoor recreation for large numbers of people.

Our 18 National Recreation Areas include:
 
1. Amistad, Texas
2. Bighorn Canyon, Montana-Wyoming
3. Boston Harbor Islands, Massachusetts
4. Chattahoochee River, Georgia
5. Chickasaw, Oklahoma
6. Curecanti, Colorado
7. Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania-New Jersey
8. Gateway, New York-New Jersey
9. Gauley River, West Virginia
10. Glen Canyon, Arizona-Utah
11. Golden Gate, California
12. Lake Chelan, Washington
13. Lake Mead, Nevada-Arizona
14. Lake Meredith, Texas
15. Lake Roosevelt (formerly Coulee Dam), Washington
16. Ross Lake, Washington
17. Santa Monica Mountains, California
18. *Whiskeytown Unit, Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity, California
 
*Administered under cooperative agreements with other Federal agencies; remaining units managed by Forest Service.
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