Classification and Prioritization of Park Resources

In 2015, Montana State Parks finalized its policy for classifying and prioritizing park resources, as proposed in the strategic plan.

The Montana State Parks & Recreation Board approved the policy at their December 16, 2015 meeting. The policy identifies the approach that State Park Staff and the Parks Board will use for allocating staffing, funding, and capital development resources at sites across the system.

MontanaStateParks_ClassificationGroupings2016

The policy presents a systematic direction to guide future funding and staffing decisions. In addition, the policy contains a proposed classification grouping of current parks that reflects the level of investment based on the significance, relevance and accessibility of the site.

  • Significance - Characteristics that possess a high degree of resource integrity, or are unique in nature, reflecting statewide natural, scenic, historical, cultural, scientific, and recreational legacy of Montana’s heritage.
  • Relevance - How a site –through facilities, programs, range of recreational opportunities—delivers an exceptional quality experience to the visitor. Relevant parks serve to benefit local and State economies through visitation, local expenditures by visitors, attracting out-of-area visitation, and encouraging repeat visitation.
  • Accessibility - Overall access, including getting to a park, accessing resources within a park, proximity to large populations and good travel connectivity, and geographic distribution across the state.

Using the criteria, staff assessed all current state park properties, and grouped them to reflect their significance, relevance, and accessibility, and priority of investment.

View the final policy below: