This General Management Planning Dynamic Sourcebook is a companion to Chapter 2 of the NPS Management Policies 2006 and to the Park Planning Program Standards (NPS 2004b). Previously these two documents were combined in Director’s Order (DO) #2: Park Planning, which is now obsolete. Together, the current policies and standards provide the basic policy requirements for all levels of park planning and decision making, from general management planning to program management planning, strategic planning, and implementation planning.
This sourcebook addresses the development of a park general management plan (GMP) and an accompanying environmental impact statement (EIS) or environmental assessment (EA). The sourcebook contains suggestions about approaches, methods, and tools that planning teams might find useful in conducting general management planning and producing plans that meet the requirements stated in NPS policies and standards. None of the approaches outlined here is mandatory. Planning teams may tailor their approach to meet their specific needs so long as the resulting plan meets the policies and program standards and environmental compliance requirements. However, following these steps will result in a more consistent approach to presenting the information required in GMPs. Additional guidance for conducting other levels of planning will be released as it is produced by the various program managers (e.g., resource stewardship, wilderness management, interpretation, transportation, and facility development).
Different parks will have different needs based on the complexity of their issues, controversy, location, politics, and mission (park size does not always equal complexity). This sourcebook provides multiple examples and links to useful sample templates and references for most sections of a GMP, highlighting information that teams may want to consider. Planning teams will need to screen this material and determine for themselves which examples best meet their needs and which tools will be most helpful. The paths followed to complete different GMPs are generally similar, but the circumstances of each plan are distinct. Each team will have to exercise their best professional judgment about which details and techniques will work best.
This sourcebook is dynamic document and designed for periodic updating. Since the March 2008 version of the sourcebook additional experience has been gained on some of the newer aspects of the updated standards, such as foundation elements, user capacities, and cost estimating. As additional plans are produced, links to additional examples, methods, tools, and pointers will be added. The most current version of the sourcebook is posted on this website.
Like the March 2008 version, this version of the sourcebook already contains some information about how general management planning continues to evolve since the approval of the current Park Planning Program Standards in 2004 and the updated NPS Management Policies 2006.