Strategic Plan for
It is the mission of the National Park Service to preserve in public ownership at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, historic structures and trails associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.
OCTOBER 1, 2005 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2008

Results Act and Planning Cycle:

This five-year Strategic Plan has been written for one or more units of the greater National Park System administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. The National Park System preserves outstanding representations of America's natural, cultural, and recreational resources of national significance. These resources constitute a significant part of America's heritage, character, and future. The National Park Service not only directly and indirectly preserves these national treasures; it also makes them available to millions of visitors from throughout the country and the world every year.

This Strategic Plan was written to fulfill the requirements of Section 104 of the National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998. This legislation requires all field units of the National Park System prepare Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans consistent with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 and make these documents available to the public. The law was a catalyst for our staff to examine its fundamental mission and to take a fresh, longer range view, in precise terms, of what results or outcomes we needed to achieve to more effectively and efficiently accomplish that mission.

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) is one of the most recent and comprehensive of a number of laws and executive orders directing federal agencies to join the "performance management revolution" already embraced by private industry and many local, state, and national governments. Performance management ensures that daily actions and expenditure of resources are guided by long- and short-term goal setting in pursuit of accomplishing an organization's primary mission, followed by performance measurement and evaluation. Importantly, GPRA mandates that long-term and annual goals be results or outcomes rather than outputs (activities, products, or services) and that they be "objective, quantifiable, and measurable" so that performance can be adequately measured and reported, and progress on mission accomplishment assessed.

GRPA requires federal agencies to develop and use three primary documents in conducting their business. These documents are also to be submitted to the Congress and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB):
1. Strategic Plan of no less than five years duration, reviewed and revised every three years, and containing:
* mission statement based in law, executive order, etc.;
* long-term goals, which are objective, quantified, and measurable, to accomplish mission;
* how goals will be accomplished, is the plan data and narrative showing "...operational processes, skills and technology, and the human, capital, information and other resources required to meet those goals...";
* relationship of annual goals to long term goals, a description of how long term goals are carried out in annual goal increments;
* key external factors which could positively or negatively affect goal accomplishment;
* GPRA also requires consultation with affected and interested parties in the development of the Strategic Plan, and it requires that the plan be
* developed by federal employees (versus contractors, etc.).

2. Annual Performance Plan tiered off the Strategic Plan each year, showing how long term goals will be accomplished in annual increments, and containing:
* annual goals to incrementally achieve long-term goals in Strategic Plan;
* annual work plan explaining how annual goals will be accomplished - "briefly describe the operational processes, skills and technology, and the human, capital, information and other resources required to meet the performance goals...." and
* basis for measuring results - "...provide a basis for comparing actual program results with the established performance goals...."

3. Annual Performance Report reviewing each year's successes and failures and identifying areas where activities or goals need to be revised in the future, addressing:
* what annual goals were met or exceeded;
* what annual goals were not met;
* why annual goals were not met; and
* what remedial action will be taken for goals not met.


In consultation with Congress, OMB and other interested parties, the National Park Service (NPS) developed its own GPRA implementation process. In 2004 the Department of the Interior (DOI) produced a Strategic Plan requiring all agencies in the Department to be aligned with. It is available on the Internet at

Individual park plans address the long-term goals in the NPS and DOI plans that are appropriate to the individual units as parts of the overall National Park System and its mission. Then they add goals specific to their own legislative mandates, missions, resources, visitor services, and issues. The park plans, then, are a blend of national and local priorities and goals.

This Strategic Plan follows that pattern. It contains a mission statement born out of the NPS organic act as well as the specific legislation or proclamation establishing the park. It contains mission goals, closely paralleling the "servicewide" mission goals that illustrate in broad brushstroke what we do far beyond five years - "in perpetuity" - to accomplish our stated mission. It then contains long-term goals, which target in quantifiable, measurable ways what we will accomplish in the next four years toward achieving our overall mission goals and mission. The long-term goals address both appropriate "servicewide" goals as well as park-specific outcomes. The goal numbering protocol follows that of the NPS plan with park-specific suffixes. Since not all
servicewide goals apply to every park, some numbers may be skipped. In addition, there are numbers containing 0's which are not in the servicewide plan and indicate park-specific goals.

Each long-term goal is repeated with one or more explanatory paragraphs that give background, detail, and other information useful to help the reader understand the goal as well as to sketch in how the goal will be accomplished. The figures in the tables and narrative for each goal contain any general information about "How Goals will be Accomplished", including staffing, fiscal, infrastructure, and other resources available to achieve the plan's long-term goals.

It should be noted that the goals in this plan are generally predicated on "flat budgets". Other than increases for inflation, we assumed no major increases in funding. Where increases in appropriations are known or are likely, they were taken into account. Where other funding sources (donations, fee revenues, etc.) are "reasonably assured", they too are taken into consideration when setting performance targets. Obviously, limits on funding constrain what can be accomplished toward our goals and mission. GPRA, however, is distinctly not about discussing budget shortfalls or requesting or justifying additional funding. Rather it is about planning, managing, and communicating what we can accomplish with the resources we already have while at the same,
providing accountability for those resources.

Each year that the Strategic Plan is in effect, there will be a companion Annual Performance Plan which shows in annual goals, that year's targeted incremental achievement of each long-term goal, and a work plan for accomplishing that increment. Each year there will also be an Annual Performance Report discussing actual achievement of the prior year's annual goals and progress on long-term goals.

Copies of this Strategic Plan can be requested from the superintendent. Questions and comments are welcome and encouraged and can be addressed to the superintendent. Copies of the most current Annual Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report are also available on request, with questions and comments equally welcome.

Park Background Information:

About the Park

Public Law 94-323, passed on June 30, 1976 created the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Located in northern Southeast Alaska's panhandle, just northeast of Juneau, Alaska, the park boundaries encompass 13,191 acres within three distinct units, and is located within two National Historic Landmark boundaries: The Skagway and White Pass NHL, formally designated on February 28, 1964, and the Chilkoot Trail and Dyea NHL, designated on June 16, 1978. In October 21 of 1999 the Chilkoot Trail was designated as one of the 50 Millennium Legacy Trails in the U.S.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park celebrates the famed Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, and was created "in order to preserve in public ownership for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, historic structures and trails associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898", and to make this valuable part of America's heritage available to approximately 850,000 visitors each year for their experience, enjoyment, understanding, and appreciation.

The three distinct units have different management strategies. The Skagway unit is located in the heart of downtown Skagway and sees the most visitor traffic from cruise ships. In 2004, Skagway received over 850,000 visitors. The park has restored or rehabilitated sixteen historic buildings in Skagway, nine of which are used in the historic leaseback program, four of which are dedicated to adminstrative functions, and two which are used primarily for interpretation. A historic building has recently been donated to the park in the Skagway unit. The park is actively pursuing the purchase of five more historic properties in cooperation with the City of Skagway. The interpretive program focuses most of its activity on the major concentration of visitors in the Skagway Unit. The visitor center, museum, Moore House and Mascot Saloon exhibit are located in this unit. Walking tours, other interpretive programs, visitor orientation and information are offered through both personal
and non-personal services.

In 1998, the Alaska And Seattle units of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and four units of Parks Canada in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory were designated as Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park. These parks collaborate on mutually beneficial activities in order to better interpret the Klondike Gold Rush to people across the world. This collaboration is most clearly seen in the Dyea and Chilkoot Trail units where approximate three thousand annual visitors come to hike the famous trail. KLGO and Parks Canada work cooperatively managing the permit system, and trail operations on both side of the border. The park operates a campground in Dyea, and provides daily ranger-led walks in the summer months. Ranger services are available in Dyea and on the Chilkoot Trail. Interpretation along the trail is provided through direct contact with trail rangers, and through a series of wayside exhibits.

The White Pass unit is the least developed of the park units, with no established trail system, and no developed visitor services. The unit is interpreted at wayside exhibits on the Klondike Highway which border the unit. The White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad, a Canadian company, operates a regularly scheduled sightseeing service through this unit.

A significant portion of the property within its boundaries is not owned by the park. The State of Alaska is the primary land owner in the Dyea and Chilkoot unit, and in the White Pass unit, with over 10,000 acres. A Memorandum of Understanding between KLGO the State of Alaska, allows KLGO management authority over State lands that contain the Dyea campground, the Chilkoot Trail corridor, and areas that include the recreational Canyon City and Sheep Campgrounds. Recently the City has received large sections of land within the Dyea and Chilkoot unit of the park, including the historically relevant Dyea flats from the State under the Municipal Entitlement Act. A small portion of land in the Dyea and Chilkoot unit is owned privately, while
nearly all of the property within the Skagway unit is in private hands.

Mission of the National Park Service at Klondike Gold Rush NHP
The mission of the National Park Service at Klondike Gold Rush NHP is rooted in and grows from the park's legislated mandate found in Public Law 94-323, An act to establish Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Our mission statement is a synthesis of this mandated purpose, plus the park's primary significance as itemized below.

Park Background Information:
It is the mission of the National Park Service to preserve in public ownership at Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, historic structures and trails associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898.

Legislative Intent
* Enabling legislation passed on June 30, 1976 created the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park "in order to preserve in public ownership for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States, historic structures and trails associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898".
* The park, through the Secretary of the Interior, "is authorized to cooperate and enter into agreements with other federal agencies, state and local public bodies, and private interests for the purposes of planning, development, use, acquisition or disposal of land, [and] structures for the preservation of historical sites and scenic areas, recreation, and visitor enjoyment to the fullest extent practicable".
* The park is dedicated to preserving gold rush era structures and artifacts, and the historic setting of Skagway and the surrounding area representing the period 1896-1903.

Therefore, the purpose of Klondike Gold Rush NHP is to preserve, protect, and interpret historic sites and trails associated with the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-98 and to allow public use that does not impair resource values, and to work in partnership with other interested parties in order to preserve gold rush period sites and scenic areas for the visitor enjoyment to the fullest extent practicable without compromising the assets.

The primary significance of Klondike Gold Rush NHP can be summarized as:
* The park is dedicated to preserving the historic setting of Skagway as it was during the immediate period surrounding 1898 Klondike Gold Rush.
* The park owns seventeen historic buildings in the Skagway Historic District. Sixteen have been restored to preserve the appearance of the historic community. Several of these are used in a historic building leaseback program.
* The park is dedicated to preserving the famed Chilkoot Trail and the remnants of the gold rush characterized by ruined structures, and numerous artifacts scattered along the 16 mile corridor (on the U.S.) side. The Chilkoot Trail has been described as the world's longest museum.
* KLGO is the only NPS area authorized and established solely to commemorate an American Gold Rush.
* On August 15, 1998, the park joined with parks in the state of Washington and with parks in British Columbia and Yukon Territory, Canada to become Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park. A provision for this designation was outlined in special legislation in the US and Canada and was formalized by proclamations issued by President Clinton and by Prime Minister Chretien.
* Biological communities in the park at the head of the Lynn Canal are among the most diverse in Alaska.

Key External Factors Affecting Plan's Accomplishment
In developing KLGO's Strategic Plan and its long-term goals, it was important to take into consideration key external factors that could negatively or positively affect goal outcomes. A few of the most important or most likely are identified briefly below. This is by no means an exhaustive list but simply those that are most likely to influence outcomes as viewed at the time of writing the plan
* Dependence on Congressional appropriations which vary from year to year
* Small percentage of land actually owned by the National Park Service within the boundaries of Klondike Gold Rush NHP, and the need for negotiated land management decisions with other land owners who do not always share our goals
* Rapid escalation of growth in the local tourism industry including ever increasing number of cruise ship passengers arriving on progressively larger ships with additional passenger capacity. Ships also are arriving earlier each year, and visiting the port of Skagway on more days per week, now seven days a week for most of the summer. The 2004 visitor season brought over 850,000 visitors to Skagway, up from about 750,000 in 2003.
* Cost of living in Skagway, Alaska is high. Housing is in short supply and expensive. These factors affect recruitment and retention of employees.
* National and/or Regional goals which may take priority over local park goals (e.g. security details of rangers to other units).
* The park is attempting to acquire a significant Gold Rush period artifact collection which could affect museum cataloging goals.
* The access to Skagway may change. A road between Juneau to Skagway is being evaluated. Changes in visitation statistics may affect several goals.

Consultation in Plan Preparation
GPRA requires that Congress, OMB, and other interested and affected parties be consulted in the
development of Strategic Plans. Congress and OMB, as well as the Department of the Interior, were extensively consulted in the development of the DOI and NPS servicewide plan. In the development of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park's local Strategic Plan, the following individuals and/or organizations were consulted at various stages of development as indicated.
This plan revises and updates the park's 2001 strategic plan for which there was substantial consultation with park, regional and support office staff. The updated plan is consistent with the direction set by this park's General Management Plan (approved in September 1996) and directly reflects the Servicewide Strategic Plan for which there was public and Congressional consultation on a national level. The updated plan will be distributed to key stakeholders. Others will be notified of the plans availability on the park's website so that it can be reviewed if and when they so desire.

Strategic Plan Preparers
The following park staff members were involved in preparing this strategic plan:
James Corless, Superintendent
Rose Perotto, Acting Chief of Administration
Reed McCluskey, Chief of Visitor Protection
Sandy Snell-Dobert, Chief of Interpretation
Mike Amiotte, Chief of Maintenance
Theresa Thibault, Chief of Resources
Tim Steidel, LE Ranger
Debbie Sanders, Curator
Karl Gurcke, Historian
Meg Hahr, Natural Resource Program Manager
Final Plan (narrative) prepared by Theresa Thibault
GPRA Coordinator: Reed McCluskey

Revised 01/30/05
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