National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Visitor Experience

Columnar Cactus Habitat at Organ Pipe Cactus NM
Columnar Cactus Habitat at Organ Pipe Cactus NM

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Visitor Numbers and Visitor Satisfaction Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Number of Visitors Number of visitors per year entering the Visitor Center Resource is in good condition; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. The number of visitors to the Kris Eggle Visitor Center in Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 was 21,582, which is lower than the 35,914 visitors in FY07 and 36,883 visitors in FY08.
Vehicle counts along roads Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Counts of vehicles along roads through the park do not accurately reflect the visitor traffic as the formulas used in the past do not account for the increases in federal enforcement agents using monument roads. The number of such agents has increased more than ten-fold over the past decade. Traffic counters are installed and maintained, new visitor-use estimation formulas are envisioned.
Visitor Satisfaction Percent of visitors who were satisfied with their visit Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; low confidence in the assessment. The five-year average for visitor satisfaction was 96.2% for 2007–2011. Surveys are only distributed during the month of March, when the interpretation and fee divisions are fully staffed. Survey methodology has varied depending on staff and in response the monument continues to work towards improving by implementing specific survey guidelines.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Educational and Outreach Programs -
Personal Services
Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Visitors enjoy interacting with monument staff. During these encounters information is exchanged to help the visitor understand the significances of the monument. Dialogue is in both direction to and from the monument staff and visitor. The status and trends in personal services in which the two-way dialogue takes place are summarized in the following table.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Education Programs Number of programs Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. The number of education programs with fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes at Ajo School increased from 3 in FY09 and 5 in FY10, to 25 in FY11. New programs are tied to National Wildlife Community Habitat establishing a certified wildlife habitat at the school for education.
Number of participants Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. The number of participants in education programs each year between FY07 and FY11 was 195, 187, 50, 119, and 508.
Formal Interpretive Programs Number of programs provided Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The number of formal interpretive programs presented each year was between 258 and 580 during FY07–FY11.
Number of visitors Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. The number of visitors who attended the formal interpretive programs each year during FY07 to FY11 was 8,311, 9,752, 8,773, 6,121, and 4,331.
Community Outreach Number of programs/events Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The number of community outreach programs and events each year during FY07 to FY11 was 11, 11, 6, 9, and 45.
Number of participants Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The number of participants in community outreach programs each year during FY07 to FY11 was 423, 732, 536, 280, and 1,871.
Informal Visitor Contacts Number of visitor contacts Resource is in good condition; condition is deteriorating; high confidence in the assessment. There were 3,011 informal visitor contacts recorded in FY11, compared to 6,121 in FY10 and 4,246 in FY09. Counts made prior to FY09 used a different methodology.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Exhibits, Signs, Websites -
Non-personal Services
Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Visitors may receive information about the monument without interacting with monument staff. There are a number of venues to get information without personal interactions. The following are the non-personal services that a visitor can use to receive information.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Wayside Signs Condition and currency of signs
Junior Ranger Programs Number of participants Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. In FY12, the Desert Ranger program for older visitors will be introduced. The number of Junior Rangers that participated between FY07 and FY11 was 252, 139, 104, 168, and 127.
Wayside Signs Condition and accuracy Significant cause for concern, declining trend, and medium confidence Funding requests have been submitted for a complete update of all wayside signs.
Kris Eggle Visitor Center Exhibits Condition and accuracy Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. All new exhibits were installed in the Visitor Center in August of 2011.
Printed Media Site bulletins Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; medium confidence in the assessment. In FY10, the Ajo Mountain Auto Tour book was revised to meet NPS Interpretive standards. All site bulletins were revised and reformatted in FY11 to meet NPS standards.
Park brochure Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. The park brochure was recently updated.
Newspaper Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. The park established a new format for its newspaper in FY10, and visitors received 7,500 newspapers last year.
Website (Virtual Visitors) Number of updates Resource is in good condition; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. The park's website has been updated, but there is no trained staff to keep current information on the website.
Number of visitors Resource is in good condition; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Information is only available for FY11 when there were 77,083 visits to the website.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Recreational Activities Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Campground Camping Percent of visitors satisfied with campground experience Good Condition, improving trend, and low confidence Surveys distributed each year during the month of March at the Twin Peaks campground found that 99% of respondents were satisfied with their campground experience in FY11, compared to 92%, 92%, 90%, and 96% satisfied during FY07–FY10. Survey methodology has varied depending on staff and in response the monument continues to work towards improving by implementing specific survey guidelines.
Public Access Percent of park open to the public Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. NPS Organic Act requires NPS to provide for public enjoyment. Two-thirds of park is not open to the public. This has not changed in more than four years.
Backcountry Camping Number of permits Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. No backcountry camping has been allowed in the park since 2003 because of security concerns.
Hiking Miles of accessible hiking trails Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The number and length of trails is appropriate for the size of the park; however, many trails are closed due to security concerns.
Trail condition Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Trail improvements are being made using skilled maintenance reclamation crews.
Variety of difficulty and lengths Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. The park maintains trails with a variety of difficulty levels to meet visitor interest and needs.
Scenic Drives Miles of accessible roads Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Many park roads are closed due to security issues.
Accessibility of roads to different types of vehicles Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Not all scenic drives within the monument are accessible to RVs over 21 feet in length. A large portion of our visitors are unable to use the scenic drives.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Visitor Amenities Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Restrooms Percent of visitors satisfied Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. In FY10, 50% of the campground restrooms were upgraded with solar showers, and visitor surveys during the past five years regarding restroom facilities have been positive.
Accessibility Number of restrooms that are accessible Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Twin Peaks Campground has four sites. Restrooms at the Visitor Center, Twin Peaks campground, and Estes Canyon are accessible. However, the doors are not equipped with push pad access.
Cell Phone Coverage Area Covered Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. Very limited coverage. Cell phone coverage is adequate only in the Twin Peaks Campground area.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Visitor Safety and Protection Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Law Enforcement Incidents Cross-border violator (CBV) data from Customs and Border Protection Condition of resource warrants significant concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Raw data on apprehensions and pounds of contraband seized as compared to this time last year are statistically consistent. This condition status does not include long term (> 1 year) data from any source.
Number of law enforcement incidents - non-CBV Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Motor vehicle accidents and petty vandalism cases comprise the majority of non-CBV law enforcement cases. During 2011, there were seven cases of damage to government property, five motor vehicle accidents and one resource theft case. This condition status is based off of comparing last year statistics.
Traffic Safety Number of accidents Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Park roads are in good repair and motor vehicle accidents are rare. During FY11, there were two motor vehicle accidents which required EMS response.
Number of high speed pursuits Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Construction of the vehicle barrier fence and the pedestrian fence has nearly eliminated high speed pursuits within the monument. Within the last five years statistics have been consistent.
Number of incidents Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Accidents and injuries involving visitors are at a low frequency. During FY 2011, rangers responded to 11 requests for emergency medical service. There were no visitor fatalities.
Safety Incidents & Injuries Number of staff trained in First Aid and CPR; AEDs on site Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. VRP staff is current in their EMS qualifications and continuing education training is held regularly. Rescue One, a dedicated all risk response vehicle, entered into service in 2012.
EMT access & response Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Response times for EMTs are consistent with other rural areas of Arizona.
Mutual response (fire, LE) Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. MOUs with Pima County Sheriff's Department and Ajo Ambulance Service are in effect and working to mutual benefit over the last several years.

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The Status and Trend symbols used in the summary table below and throughout this report are summarized in the following key. The background color represents the current condition status, the direction of the arrow summarizes the trend in condition, and the thickness of the outside line represents the degree of confidence in the assessment. In some cases, the arrow is omitted because data are not sufficient for calculating a trend (e.g., data from a one-time inventory or insufficient sample size).

Condition Status Trend in Condition Confidence in
Assessment
Condition of resource warrants significant concern Warrants Significant Concern Condition is improving Condition is Improving High confidence in the assessment High
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern Warrants Moderate Concern Condition is unchanging Condition is Unchanging Medium confidence in the assessment Medium
Resource is in good condition Resource is in Good Condition Condition is deteriorating Condition is Deteriorating Low confidence in the assessment Low

Examples of how the symbols should be interpreted:

Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants moderate concern; condition is unchanging; medium confidence in the assessment.
Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment. Condition of resource warrants significant concern; trend in condition is unknown or not applicable; low confidence in the assessment.
Park Community: Volunteers and Partnerships Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment.
Indicators of Condition Specific Measures Condition Status/Trend Rationale
Volunteers
  • Number of volunteers
  • Volunteer hours
Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. FY11 98 volunteers for 10,757 hours
FY10 52 volunteers for 16,660 hours
FY09 41 volunteers for 14,216 hours
FY08 148 volunteers for 12,280 hours
FY07 103 volunteers for 16,712 hours
Partnerships Number of official & unofficial partnerships Resource is in good condition; condition is unchanging; high confidence in the assessment. OPCNM has dozens of partners who collectively assist the monument with nearly every aspect of management. The monument's current partners include: tribes, diverse international counterparts from Mexico, academia, numerous federal partners from other agencies within the Departments of Defense (DOD), Homeland Security (DHS), Agriculture, (USDA) and Interior (DOI), local, regional and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), etc.
Value of partnerships Resource is in good condition; condition is improving; high confidence in the assessment. The value of partnerships to ORPI is inestimable. Our partners help us with law enforcement, resource management, interpretation and park maintenance. The supportive law enforcement operations conducted by our partner's on a daily basis alone are of immense value to the monument. In addition, our partners help us conduct research or implement monitoring and management programs. Examples include a multi-year, robust and collaborative border impacts research project or the implementation of diverse monitoring and management actions related to the recovery of the endangered Sonoran pronghorn. Our partners also help us develop content and opportunities for public outreach. For example, the monument recently worked with numerous partners to successfully develop a second tri-national symposium in 2012 that was dedicated to addressing cultural and natural resource conservation issues in the Sonoran Desert. In short, the monument's numerous successes, especially over the past several years, have all resulted, in one way or another, from a high level of collaboration and involvement by a diverse network of partners who share similar issues and concerns. OPCNM remain very grateful for their collective time, energies and support.

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Last Updated: June 25, 2014 Contact Webmaster