Fiscal Year 2000 Integrated Strategic Plan

STRATEGIC ISSUE 2

Preservation, use and enjoyment of Missouri’s natural and cultural resources

People of all walks of life continue to desire that Missouri’s finest natural and cultural resources and outdoor recreation opportunities are accessible to experience and enjoy. The Missouri state park system provides the finest examples of Missouri’s cultural landmarks and natural landscapes and a variety of outdoor recreation activities. The state’s six ecological divisions and its most significant historical themes define the collection of facilities included in the park system. These natural landscapes and cultural features and the land’s potential for providing amenities with statewide appeal inspire recreation activities that take place within individual sites. Any expansion of the system should consider these factors and be based on recognizable "gaps" in the system’s ability to tell Missouri’s natural and cultural story. Through this planning process, Missouri’s state park system is not merely a random collection of parks and historic sites, but a group of interrelated sites functioning together.

Preserving and using state park and historic site resources creates an inherent challenge that demands sound and balanced management practices to monitor and minimize resource degradation while providing quality experiences for visitors. A comprehensive and effective management program for Missouri’s state parks and historic sites must include provisions for short and long range system planning, care of resources, care of infrastructure and commitments to accessibility, quality services and recreational opportunities for all people.

In addition to state parks and historic sites, the department’s commitment to cultural resource protection and outdoor recreation is supported by two public outreach programs. These planning, funding and technical assistance programs provide assistance to other agencies, municipalities, groups and individuals in preserving significant cultural resources for community enhancement and providing new or improved opportunities for safe and enjoyable outdoor recreation. Through the state park system and these outreach programs, the department strives to protect the state’s natural and cultural history while providing quality outdoor recreation for Missourians and our guests.

Goal

To preserve and protect the integrity of Missouri’s natural and cultural resources while promoting their use and enjoyment and providing high quality outdoor recreation opportunities.

Outcomes

  1. Preservation, protection, maintenance and enhancement of state park and historic site natural and cultural resources and service infrastructure for current and future generations
  2. A variety of high quality and safe outdoor recreation and cultural activities in state parks and historic sites
  3. Preservation of Missouri’s cultural and historical resources for the use, education and enjoyment of current and future generations
  4. Accessible and appropriate opportunities for healthy and safe outdoor recreation in municipal and community settings

Outcome A

Preservation, protection, maintenance and enhancement of state park and historic site natural and cultural resources and service infrastructure for current and future generations

Outcome Measures
Percent of Missouri’s significant natural and cultural themes represented within the park system

Number of Missouri’s listed rare, endangered, or threatened species and ecosystems in state parks

Number and degree of integrity of significant native landscapes preserved in state parks and
historic sites

Number and degree of integrity of significant historic structures preserved in state parks and
historic sites

Results of user surveys in regard to infrastructure adequacy, maintenance

Objective 1
Increase comprehensive planning which will identify Missouri’s most significant natural and cultural resources and provide guidance in preserving these resources for use and enjoyment.

Objective Measures
Percent of conceptual plans completed or updated annually

Percent of facilities with completed General Management Plans

Percent increase of acres added to system as outlined by expansion plan criteria

Strategies
By January 2000, review and update the state park expansion plan to identify national and statewide natural and cultural resource themes, the relationship of existing facilities to these themes and system-wide resource gaps.

Restrain unnecessary growth by continuing to develop and implement a comprehensive acquisition plan based on specific and strict criteria and a statewide acquisition ranking system. Limit growth to only those areas of statewide significance or areas necessary to mitigate facility or resource threats.

Develop and use innovative and proactive programs that promote the donation of key properties to the state park system when acquisition of these properties is in accordance with strict expansion plan criteria and are significantly beneficial to the park system.

Annually revise or complete seven percent of the park system’s facility conceptual development plans.

By January 2003, complete General Management Plans for all facilities within the system. Once completed, target seven percent of the system’s facilities per year for plan review. Clarify the relationship of the threefold state park mission to each facility and address recreational conflicts as part of this planning process. (The General Management Plan for each facility includes five individual plans or "chapters." Plans included are the Conceptual Development Plan, the Operational Plan, the Natural Resource Management Plan, the Cultural Resource Management Plan and the Interpretive Plan.)

Develop a comprehensive and annual divisional strategic plan that can be used to identify issues and trends of short- and long-term significance.

Objective 2
Decrease the threat of damage to the natural environment and cultural resources; maintain and restore native ecosystems and significant historical structures and archaeological areas.

Objective Measures
Percent of facility resource plans completed to prevent resource loss or degradation

Number of stewardship projects funded to address resource threats

Number of research projects funded or approved to develop baseline data for threats mitigation

Percent of state park and historic site historic structures actively managed for preservation

Percent of listed park and historic site archaeological sites surveyed for protection plans

Statewide visitor distribution figures, including off-peak visitation

Strategies
By June 2000, reevaluate and update the 1992 Challenge of the ’90s: Our Threatened State Parks to include collating the results of a survey questionnaire on the status and solutions to the system’s documented threats, remedial actions taken and newly identified threats.

Expand the number and effectiveness of monitoring programs (both qualitative and quantitative) that track status of threatened natural and cultural resources, particularly the signature native environments, plant or animal species of special conservation concern and unique or sensitive historic resources.

Target a 10 percent annual increase for a five-year period in capital improvements including restoration of native ecosystems, acquisition of unique and significant landscapes, protection and mitigation of wetland and riparian zone hydrology and function and repair or renovation of historic building elements.

Increase the inholding acquisition budget a minimum of five percent annually to keep pace with rising real estate costs.

Develop Natural Resource Management Plans and Cultural Resource Management Plans for each facility at a minimal rate of five facilities per year until complete. Each completed plan shall be annually reviewed to examine facility obligations and results in meeting resource stewardship goals.

By June 2000, integrate detailed natural and cultural resource management standards into facility operation plans including routine and regular inspections of natural resource management areas, historic buildings, grounds and artifacts.

Distribute annual allocations for natural and cultural resource management to field facilities. Include an annual inflationary adjustment to ensure adequate funding for this purpose.

By January 2000, develop a comprehensive artifact and collections curation program that includes the coordination of artifact donations and loan agreements, operation of an electronic cataloging system, and professional audit services.

Expand and enhance efforts by 10 percent per year to conduct archaeological surveys on park and historic site land to identify significant cultural resources.

Target six percent of facilities annually for visitor use studies to determine visitor impacts, carrying capacity relationships and attendance strategies.

Provide three statewide programs annually that offer incentives for use during off-peak times and visits to lesser-used facilities e.g., regional recreational and cultural activity packages developed through privatized park concessions and park and historic site operated activities, opportunities and services.

Objective 3
Decrease the number or severity of law enforcement incidents involving property damage and loss of resources in state parks and historic sites.

Objective Measure
Decreased number of crimes against property (Show-Me Result) as measured for state parks and historic sites

Strategies
By January 2000, develop a statewide logistical strategy to maximize deployment of existing commissioned personnel to include rangers and commissioned superintendents and other law enforcement resources.

Provide annual training for commissioned personnel in areas of natural and cultural resource awareness and management that promotes a thorough understanding of the threats that may be posed by malicious and non-caring acts and improved ways of combating these types of activities.

Provide a comprehensive annual training program to non-commissioned field personnel that promotes efficient and legal response to potential and occurring enforcement incidents.

Develop a cyclic program that annually targets 15 percent of parks and sites for security and protection analysis including recommendations for design and management improvements directed at security. Examine opportunities for gating and traffic control when feasible and within service expectation parameters.

Objective 4
Maintain and improve the park system’s infrastructure, equipment and guest service base and its compliance with federal, state, and local environmental codes.

Objective Measures
Percent of construction projects directed toward infrastructure maintenance and improvement

Percent of projects in backlog status

Percent of facility operation plans that include infrastructure improvement detail

Percent of state park and historic sites with cyclic maintenance procedures in place

Percent of wastewater systems in compliance with environmental requirements

Percent of water systems in compliance with environmental requirements

Percent of budget spent on repairs

Percent of equipment replaced annually

Strategies
Initiate a 10-year program to assess and remediate the park system’s infrastructure needs to bring all facilities to an acceptable level of maintenance and cyclic compliance including paving, structures, code compliance, trails and landscaping; program to include an inventory of buildings and structures and a prioritization of the system’s infrastructure maintenance needs based on mission, visitor service and life-cycle analysis.

Update and improve the long range capital improvement plan so that capital improvement efforts reflect long range infrastructure and system improvement goals. Allow higher scores for repair or renovation projects and seek public input and acceptance regarding the plan.

Continue to budget for infrastructure maintenance and repair through an ongoing commitment of capital improvement "core" funding earmarked for this purpose including an annual inflationary adjustment.

Balance the quantity and complexity of capital improvement projects approved by the General Assembly with the division’s capability to complete projects within a timely manner to ensure high quality work, project management efficiency and long range cost effectiveness.

Maintain annual core funding for the replacement of worn or unsafe equipment while continuing to develop an equipment life-cycle replacement system. Request annual expansion equipment when necessary for infrastructure support or service enhancements.

By January 2000, implement ongoing infrastructure maintenance and improvement components identified through the state park and historic operation plans.

By June 2000, develop proactive programs for state parks and historic sites to comply with environmental regulations and codes for public providers including preventative maintenance for water and wastewater systems, removal of underground storage tanks, stabilization and repair of dams, voluntary development reviews involving other government agencies and floodplain standards for state-owned facilities.

Outcome B

A variety of high quality and safe outdoor recreation and cultural activities in state parks and historic sites available to all Missourians and guests

Outcome Measures
Number and percent of Missouri residents and non-residents attending state parks and historic sites

Demographics of people visiting state park and historic sites

Percent of repeat visitors to state parks and historic sites

Number of participants in state park and historic site special events

Overall customer satisfaction rating as measured through surveys

Number of accidents or injuries at state parks and historic sites

Objective 1
Increase the accessibility of parks and historic sites to all potential guests and maintain a variety of high quality and safe outdoor recreation and cultural opportunities.

Objective Measures
Percent of visitors traveling less than 50 miles to state park facilities

Percent increase in miles of trails offered by type (backpacking, walking, biking, equestrian)

Number of new recreational facilities and developments constructed

Percent of state parks and historic sites with concession activities and services

Percent of identified accessibility barrier projects completed annually (Americans with Disabilities Act efforts)

Strategies
Continue efforts to connect Katy Trail State Park to the Kansas City area by the year 2002.

Continue to work with the Missouri Department of Transportation concerning the need for adequate road improvements, such as shoulders and bridges, to safely accommodate bicycle and pedestrian use adjacent to state parks and historic sites and along major trail corridors.

By January 2002, complete all Ozark Trail segments in state parks. Actively participate with the Ozark Trail Council.

Seek opportunities to increase the availability of equestrian trails within state parks and historic sites by 10 percent annually when consistent with facility conceptual development plan goals and when activity conflicts can be minimized.

Monitor changes in camping trends and where practical, adjust camping facilities to accommodate developing uses.

By April 2002, increase by 15 percent the number of camper cabins in remote areas and near urban centers and develop a minimum of two diversity targeted regional opportunity packages annually.

Establish urban outreach programs in Kansas City and St. Louis to increase the minority participation in state park activities by five percent annually by developing creative programs that include natural and cultural history themes.

By June 2000, work to complete 75 percent of the currently listed barrier removal projects. Continue the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance program through activity with the ADA Advisory Committee, use of focus groups, completion of the barrier removal process, and institutionalization of ADA standards into amenity design and day-to-day activities.

Objective 2
Maintain the delivery of quality services in state parks and historic sites ensuring that the satisfaction level of all customers is sustained or improved. (For additional information see Strategic Issue 4 – Excellent Public Service Outcome)

Objective Measure
Visitor satisfaction with cost and value of services as measured on surveys

Strategies
Conduct user surveys that allow a statistically valid survey of park and site users for every facility on an ongoing five-year cycle. Assure that facilities chosen for assessment during each cycle represent a total picture of the park system users and use trends. Conduct this ongoing research and other special projects in cooperation with the University of Missouri-Columbia and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Annually initiate a minimum of two studies to evaluate impacts created by changes in statewide and localized use patterns and privately sponsored activities in and around state park facilities such as bass tournaments, bike tours, and large-scale commercial river cruises.

Continue to evaluate and monitor the economics of visitor use in state parks and historic sites to better understand visitor expenditures and service expectations and the economic impacts of state parks and historic to local and state economies. Include these evaluations as part of the division’s annual strategic plan.

Monitor changes in statewide and local use patterns that impact visitation such as changes in school schedules (i.e., traditional nine-month session changing to three, three-month sessions) and tourism trends toward expanded shoulder seasons. Through operational planning considerations, adjust facility services to balance visitor expectations with system-wide efficiency.

Objective 3
Increase visitor safety and protection activities in state parks and historic sites so that visitors may feel confident that every effort is being made to provide a safe, secure and crime free experience.

Objective Measures
Number of facility safety inspections and risk management assessments

Percent of facilities with public safety plans. (Facility Emergency Plans)

Decreased number of crimes against persons (Show-Me Result) as measured for state park and historic site visitors

Strategies
Maintain a comprehensive risk management program with special emphasis on the health and safety of our park guests by identifying and managing risks within the park system. By January 2000, implement comprehensive public safety plans at all facilities.

By January 2000, decrease physical hazards inherent in the outdoor setting by developing comprehensive standards and inspection procedures for park and historic site facilities.

Maintain signing and safety message programs informing park guests of potential hazards and safe practices in the outdoor recreation setting. Update a minimum 10 percent of facility sign plans annually to include these considerations.

Annually conduct a manpower allocation study to determine which parks need additional law enforcement presence and where officers need to be reassigned for better service.

Annually familiarize local law enforcement and emergency personnel with unique areas of parks and historic sites for response efficiency.

By June 2000, increase by 15 percent the use of park facilities for part-time office space for other state law enforcement personnel to produce a greater law enforcement presence at park facilities.

Outcome C

Preservation of Missouri’s cultural and historical resources for the use, education and enjoyment of current and future generations 1

Outcome Measures
Missouri properties identified as possessing historic or cultural significance

Missouri properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Communities aided through local government assistance programs

Properties aided through the use of preservation incentive programs

Objective 1
Increase identification, evaluation, registration and protection of historic or culturally significant resources and promote their adaptive reuse for current or future needs.

Objective Measures
Number of properties considered for the National Register of Historic Places

Response time for cultural resource impact assessment reviews

Number of historic properties processed through ongoing surveys or compliance activities

Assistance provided in support of the Certified Local Government or Main Street programs

Number of the state and federal tax credit rehabilitation projects

Strategies
Carry out all responsibilities mandated by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended and other federally mandated programs.

By June 2000, increase by 10 percent the number of Missouri properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Encourage and support local efforts to identify and evaluate historic, architectural and archaeological resources and an ongoing basis.

By June 2000, decrease by 30 percent the response time for cultural resource impact assessments (compliance review according to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966).

Operate in the most expeditious manner a local grants program to efficiently "pass through" federal or state grant funds for cultural resource preservation and enhancements.

By June 2000, increase by 60 percent the assistance provided to Missouri communities through the Certified Local Government and Missouri Main Street programs by strengthening relationships and communications and promoting preservation activities.

By June 2000, increase by 30 percent the number of state and federal tax credit rehabilitation projects.

Integrate historic preservation strategies into policy, planning and routine procedures at all levels of government by demonstrating benefits and efficiencies.

Promote communication and interaction within and among state and federal agencies involved in cultural resource management and compliance by identifying agencies with cultural resource concerns and developing interagency memoranda of agreement on cultural resource management, training and responsibilities.

Support efforts that demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of historic preservation including heritage tourism and new partnerships with economic development agencies.

Provide technical assistance in reviewing and offering solutions for concerns involving the restoration, maintenance and adaptive reuse of cultural resources.

Outcome D

Accessible and appropriate opportunities for healthy and safe outdoor recreation in municipal and community settings 2

Outcome Measure
Quality of projects completed and maintained through quality control standards

Objective 1
Improve outdoor recreation opportunities in municipal and community settings through grants, incentive-based programs and technical assistance.

Objective Measures
Percent of projects initiated compared with grant applications received

Percent of communities initiating projects based on technical assistance efforts

Percent of new and existing projects meeting quality standards

Strategies
Provide Missouri’s Landmark Local Parks Program to efficiently "pass through" state grant funds for outdoor recreation opportunities and enhancements in the areas of acquisition, development and renovation.

Identify areas for cooperative ventures and new funding mechanisms.

Seek federal funds for trail projects made available through programs such as the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and administer portions of the program to ensure distribution of funds to agencies, organizations and the private sector.

Inspect completed outdoor recreation grant projects to identify maintenance deficiencies and to ensure that projects subject to Outdoor Recreation Perpetuity clauses remain in outdoor recreation use. Facilitate the replacement of outdoor recreation lands and facilities that are converted from outdoor recreation use.

Assist in the coordination of survey initiatives to determine outdoor recreation supply and demand and demographic and economic trends, statistics regarding cultural diversity and age distribution for outdoor recreation planning use.

Encourage and seek support for the reauthorization of the enhancement portion and the recreation trails portion of the new federal highway legislation and the rejuvenation of the state side of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Footnotes:

  1. Departmental preservation activities that can be applied to any significant cultural resource in the state not restricted to state park system facilities.
  2. Departmental activities designed to assist communities throughout the state, not restricted to state park facilities.

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