Cooperatove Conservation Project

National Park Service and California State Parks

Effi cient Park Management through Joint Operations

Location: Far West Region: California

Project Summary: National Park Service and California State Parks collaborate on management of adjacent parks for cost savings and enhanced visitor services.
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State and National Park Superintendents at tree planting ceremony.
Resource Challenge

In the early 1990s, Redwood National Park proposed taking title to three crown jewel State Parks located within its Congressionally-authorized boundary. Despite the close proximity of the parks and their similar missions, the State Parks and the National Park had been operating independently. Citizens took sides in the debate, sparking more controversy. In mid-1993, an outside interagency team concluded that the potential advantages of partnering far outweighed those of consolidation. The three State parks became part of an initial partnership with the National Park Service to explore the possibilities for collaboration. When the 5-year partnership agreement ended, there were enough successes to not only renew that agreement, but to expand the number of participating park clusters to fourteen.

The ongoing challenge for these partnerships is to achieve consistent operations, share facilities, tackle common resource management challenges, reduce costs of operation, and provide seamless service to park users. The degree of collaboration varies with each park cluster.

Examples of Key Partners
 California State Parks and the USDI National Park Service at 14 locations; interested partners and the public.
Results and Accomplishments

The National Park Service and California State Parks have been collaborating under terms of a master cooperative management agreement since 1994. The collaboration has resulted in increased operational efficiency, reduced costs to both agencies, and improved services to the public. Improvements are exemplified by the Redwood National and State Parks, now an integrated National/State park under a single name, with coordinated management and shared park operations. For example, because of the partnership, central maintenance facilities that needed to be moved because of seismic instability were located on state park lands. Joint operations have also allowed shared interpretation, law enforcement and emergency response, and shared maintenance equipment, crews, and expertise.

Other park clusters throughout California have reaped similar advantages. A third five-year agreement has recently been signed. 


The collaborative effort from sharing resources reaped cost savings and better service on adjacent National and State Parks.

Project Contact
Marilyn Murphy
Redwood National and State Parks

707-464-6101 x 5100


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