The State of North Carolina has a group of protected areas known as the North Carolina State Park System, which is managed by the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation (NCDPR), an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR). Units of the system can only be established by an act of the General Assembly of North Carolina. The park system began in 1916 when the summit of Mount Mitchell became first state park in the Southeastern United States. According to the Division of Parks & Recreation, "the State Parks Act of 1987 lists six types of units included in the NC State Parks System." These are State Parks, State Recreation Areas, State Natural Areas, State Lakes, State Trails, and State Rivers. All units of the system are owned and/or managed by the division, and the division leases some of the units to other agencies for operation. Most units of the park system are also components of State Nature and Historic Preserve.
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