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Measuring and Managing the Quality of Transportation at Acadia National Park - April 2012;  Peter R. Pettengill, Robert E. Manning, Laura E. Anderson, William Valliere, Nathan Reigner
While conventional transportation planning uses a levels of service (LOS) framework to measure and manage many modes of transportation, it lacks measures of visitor experience critical in park and outdoor recreation contexts. Indicators and standards of quality, a framework widely used in the field of park and outdoor recreation management, give explicit consideration to visitor perspectives and incorporate them into management. Using Acadia National Park as a study site, this paper illustrates that LOS and indicators and standards of quality can be integrated to provide a more holistic approach to transportation management in park and outdoor recreation contexts. Furthermore it develops a series of potential standards for density of use on roads, in shuttle buses, and along shared-use paths. These standards provide a rational basis for informed planning and management of alternative transportation in parks and outdoor recreation. Available at the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration (JPRA), Spring 2012, Vol. 20, No. 1, April 2012

Service Times and Capacity at National Park Entrance Stations - February 2006.  Jonathan Upchurch, P.E., P.T.O.E., Ph.D., National Park Transportation Scholar
The transaction at a Park entrance station has multiple components. The visitor pays a fee or shows a previously purchased pass, the Park staff hands printed information to the visitor, and the visitor may have many questions to ask about the Park, services, tour availability, campgrounds, etc. The average time per vehicle at a Park entrance station will vary from Park to Park depending upon: 1) the proportion of visitors who hold a previously purchased pass (short transaction time); 2) the amount of printed information and safety advisories given to the visitor; 3) the proximity of a visitor center at which the visitor could ask questions, and 4) other factors discussed in this report. This report presents information on the capacity of entrance stations as determined from data collected at Arches National Park in Utah, supplemented by data collected at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. (PDF | 421Kb)

Changes in National Park Visitation (2000-2008) and Interest in Outdoor Activities (1993-2008) - June 2009; Rodney B. Warnick, Tom Stevens, Michael A Schuett, Walt Kuentzel, Thomas A. More.
This paper addresses Pergams and Zaradic's (2006) assertions that recent national park visitation has declined sharply and that these declines are directly related to the increased use of electronic media and passive forms of entertainment. We analyzed two large, national datasets that have used consistently replicated methods of annual data collection over a lengthy period. Although we found evidence of some decline in national park visitation between 2000 and 2008, the declines were not dramatic. Analysis of data between 1993 and 2008 showed no evidence of declining interest in travel, outdoor recreation, and media-related activities among people who are interested in wildlife and the environment. (PDF | 116Kb)

Innovative Transportation Planning Partnerships to Enhance National Parks and Gateway Communities - October 2009; Texas Transportation Institute, Cambridge Systematics, Inc.
Gateway communities and federal lands are interdependent. The communities rely heavily on the visitors that are drawn to the area for its natural beauty or historic significance; the national parks and forests depend upon the gateway communities to provide visitors with basic services and amenities to make travel easy and enjoyable. The transportation linkages between the parks and the surrounding area are crucial to supporting this critical relationship. The transportation system is often an integral part of the experience of visiting a federal land site. This report examines the innovative partnerships among national parks, gateway communities, state departments of transportation, federal transportation agencies, foundations, and other groups to address transportation issues with creative solutions. Case studies are presented highlighting new and existing transit services and other approaches in and around national parks, wilderness areas, and wildlife refuges. The information presented in this report should benefit staff and policy makers with the national parks, transportation agencies, gateway communities, and other groups interested in developing and operating transit services and supporting programs in, and adjacent to, national parks and federal lands. 
(PDF | 722Kb)

NPS Climate Change Response StrategySeptember 2010. The NPS has also issued a Climate Change Response Strategy. In the forward, NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis writes, "First and foremost, the NPS should be a leader in all aspects of recycling, alternative fuels, energy efficiency, and sustainable design and construction. I see great examples around the Service, but we are inconsistent in our goals and efforts."

NPS Climate Change Response StrategySeptember 2010; National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) will begin its second century of preserving the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, a stewardship that now includes protection of more than 84 million acres within the National Park System. Global climate change threatens the integrity of our national parks. It challenges the NPS mission to leave park resources unimpaired for future generations unlike any threat in our history. The NPS Climate Change Response Strategy provides direction to our agency and employ­ees to address the impacts of climate change. It describes goals and objectives to guide our actions under four integrated components: science, adaptation, mitigation, and communication. This is an ambitious coordinated strategy to understand, communicate, and respond to the impacts of rapid climate change. (PDF | 2.83Mb)


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