Long-Range Interpretive Plan

scenic view of fossil bed strata from river
New permanent facilities proposed would permit sharing of this view of the Snake River and fossil beds from the park property opposite the fossil beds.

Plan Highlights

During the next five to seven years, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument’s interpretive services will provide visitors with opportunities to increase their understanding and appreciation for the park and its resources; to engage in local educational opportunities; and to participate in nationally significant events.

To provide an active, engaging interpretive program, park staff and partners will work together focused on the following goals:
  • Develop a Core Interpretive Program
  • Increase Professional Excellence/Professional Standards/Training
  • Collaborate with Formal and Informal Partners to Help Achieve Shared Goals
  • Ensure Interpretive Programs, Products, and Services Will Reach Out to New and Underserved Audiences
  • Develop a Comprehensive Youth Program
  • Connect Visitors with the Primary Park Resource – the Fossil Beds
  • Explore Opportunities to Make/Strengthen Connections to Tribes
  • Produce Interpretive Media Products That Reflect the Diversity of Delivery Methods Taking into Account Changing Demographics and Emerging Technology
confusing road sign for monument
This set of current directional signs illustrates the confusion presented to visitors attempting to access the park.

The Planning Process

This Long-Range Interpretive Plan outlines recommendations for future interpretive services, facilities, and media. Park staff, partners, and stakeholders worked together to develop a comprehensive tool that will outline educational and recreational opportunities for visitors to develop intellectual and emotional connections to the natural and cultural resources found within Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument. Our goal is to promote the park’s resource values through specially planned visitor experiences and excellence in interpretation.

This Long-Range Interpretive Plan (LRIP) recommends actions that should occur over the next five to seven years. It identifies park themes, describes visitor experience goals, and recommends a wide variety of personal and non-personal interpretive services and outreach activities that will best communicate the park purpose, significance and themes. Developed in concert with the park Annual Implementation Plan and Interpretive Database, it completes the Comprehensive Interpretive Plan for the park, as established in Director’s Orders 6. In addition, this planning process has been customized to meet the needs of Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, as well as the conditions and special circumstances that exist there. The ultimate product is a cost-effective, tightly focused, high quality park interpretive program that achieves management goals, provides appropriate visitor opportunities, and facilitates desired visitor experiences.

A series of workshops were held March 17-20, 2015 and April 5-7, 2016. Staff review and editing of the draft document spanned the period between September to December 2016.

Barring legislative changes or major new revelations, the foundational elements expressed in this LRIP – purpose, significance, themes, and visitor experience goals – will remain constant over the life of the plan. Specific recommendations about media and programs may need to be updated as staffing, funding, technology, or resource conditions change. Further design documents must be produced to implement some of the goals and recommendations in this plan.

Foundation for Planning

Site Background
Enabling Legislation
Interior Department Policy on Science
Purpose and Signifcance
Fundamental Resources and Values
Other Important Resources and Values
Interpretive Management Goals

Themes for Interpretation Products

Desired Experiences for Visitors

Audiences on-site, off-site. and virtual

Current Audiences
Potential Future Audiences

Challenges and Opportunities

Existing Conditions

Goals for Interpretive Programming

Implementation Plan (in the published document only)


Appendix A: The Planning Team
Appendix B: Accessibility Guidelines (in the published document only)
Appendix C: Interpretive Theme Matrix
Appendix D: Introduction to Director's Order 79 (in the published document only)

Last updated: December 20, 2017

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PO Box 570
Hagerman, ID 83332


(208) 933-4105

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