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What are Park Management Plans?
Management planning expands the concept of a master plan by putting greater emphasis on natural and cultural resources, educational opportunities and operating decisions at each location.
The re-introduction of long-range planning is driven by the need for greater efficiency and more effective stewardship of state parks and recreation areas. The approach is to establish a purpose and significance of the park that establishes its identity, allowing managers to make decisions guided by those principles. Demand for public open spaces continues to grow, demand that must be balanced against dwindling financial resources. Knowing each state park or recreation area's purpose and its significance in the system will guide future decisions about what demands should be considered the highest priority.
A variety of factors are used in determining the purpose and significance of each park since these two concepts help classify areas of the park into predefined management zones. Each zone provides recommended uses and levels of impact that match the resources within the zone.
Developing a management plan requires logic, public involvement, teamwork and integrity. The plan ultimately should reflect a logical sequence of events and guide decision-making in a way that makes sense. It should include the input of all affected interests - the people, the ecosystems and the resources that make the park unique. Integrity is essential in carrying out the plan. The management planning process is not helpful if decisions are made independent of the plan or without consideration.