The purpose of Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is to “Preserve outstanding Pliocene paleontological resources, to serve as a center for furthering scientific research, and to broaden public understanding of the science of paleontology and the significance of the Hagerman fossil record.”
These are detailed in the park's Foundation Document.
- The park contains globally significant paleontological resources
- The park’s paleontological resources are contained in an extensive stratigraphic record
- The fossil record at Hagerman Fossil Beds provides a detailed glimpse into life that occurred during the Pliocene period
- The species found within the Hagerman fossil record include the ancestors of species living today.
- The park features a fossil horse quarry
- The fossil-rich landscape at the park is the result of 4.2 million years of geologic history of sedimentary deposition, fossilization, and erosion.
- Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument is one of the few federally administered fossil sites specifically set aside for paleontological research.
Fundamental Resources and Values
Fundamental resources and values (FRVs) are those features, systems, processes, experiences, stories, scenes, sounds, smells, or other attributes determined to warrant primary consideration during planning and management processes because they are essential to achieving the purpose of the park and maintaining its significance. Fundamental resources and values are closely related to a park’s legislative purpose and are more specific than significance statements. These are detailed in the park's Foundation Document.
- Pliocene Fossils
- Public Understanding of Paleontology at Hagerman Fossil Beds
- Lead and Facilitate Research
- Geologic Processes
- A Record of Paleoecosystems
Other Important Resources and Value
Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument contains other resources and values that are not fundamental to the purpose of the park and may be unrelated to its significance, but are important to consider in planning processes. These are referred to as “other important resources and values” (OIRV). These resources and values have been selected because they are important in the operation and management of the park and warrant special consideration in park planning.
- Oregon Trail
- Scenic Geologic Landscape
- Modern Flora and Fauna Communities
- Natural Quiet, Night Sky
- Native People
Interpretive Management Goals
The following goals reflect how interpretation and education will support broader management goals with an emphasis on helping people understand the value of the resource and fostering a sense of stewardship:
Goal A: Core Interpretive Program
Park staff will identify, develop, and sustain a contemporary and relevant “basic interpretive program” of orientation, information and interpretation and education programs, products and services that are readily available and free to the public; offered on a consistent and seasonally appropriate basis; and incorporates both personal and non-personal service formats.
Goal B: Professional Excellence-Professional Standards-Training
This comprehensive interpretive program, regardless of provider, will be grounded in current scholarship; the best available social science regarding audiences and learning styles; incorporate contemporary interpretive techniques and methods; consider park and audience relevance; and will be regularly reviewed for interpretive effectiveness.
Goal C: Collaborate with Formal and Informal Partners
Partnerships, both formal and informal, will be identified and developed to expand the park’s reach, fostering a sense of pride and ownership; stewardship of park resources; resource protection and an awareness of the park’s contribution to local and regional economies and the quality of life.
Goal D: Interpretive Programs, Products, and Services Will Reach Out to New and Underserved Audiences
Park staff will develop a variety of interpretive programs, products, and services supporting targeted community outreach efforts with a focus on forming connections with new and underserved audiences in the surrounding community, local area, and through international connections.
Goal E: Interpretive Products Will Reflect the Diversity of Delivery Methods, Changing Demographics and Emerging Technology
The overall interpretive program will purposefully match park messages, delivery techniques and methods and audiences with particular emphasis on changing demographics, emerging technologies, and contemporary relevance of park resources to diverse audiences.
Goal F: Comprehensive Youth Program
The park will develop and provide a comprehensive park-wide Youth Program designed to engage youth in educational, recreational, and workforce developmental opportunities which support stewardship, skill development, and potential career opportunities resulting in meaningful connections with the park and National Park Service.
Goal G: Connect Visitors with the Primary Park Resource– the Fossil Beds
At Hagerman Fossil Beds visitors cannot physically go to and experience the fossil beds first hand, nor can they safely handle the actual fossils. Interpretation has the responsibility to bridge the gap between the visitor and the resource. The park will focus on developing programs and facilities for place-based interpretation.
Goal H: Make Tribal Connections
Changes in the understanding of the park’s resources, from a cultural perspective, should be explored and shared with park visitors. If associated tribes are willing to share histories related to the park including past use of lands, cultural importance of flora and fauna, and any histories related to fossils, we should make an effort to share them when appropriate.