Sources and Background Information
"Purpose statement" is a generic term used to encompass four types of statements: Statements of Purpose, Declarations of Purpose, Sense of Place statements and Vision Statements. Each of these brief statements identifies the most important features and values to be found at the park, and indicates the Department's primary objectives for its management. These statements come from a variety of sources, as indicated below.
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1. Specially Prepared Set of Purpose Statements
** A set of 155 very brief Statements of Purpose, dated July 27, 1959. Prepared by the Resource Protection Section. No higher level of organizational approval is known.
** A set of 73 Declarations of Purpose, prepared by staff for the Master Plan Review Committee and approved individually by the Director and the Commission over the 1963-1966 period
**A set of 151 detailed Statements of Purpose, prepared by the Resource Management and Protection Division, dated December 29, 1975. No higher level of organizational approval is known.
** A set of 71 Declarations of Purpose prepared by staff for the General Plan Policy Committee; they were approved by the Director in sending them to the Commission for their review in October, 2000.
2. Comprehensive Plans Prepared for Individual Units
**Master Plans: Very brief documents, often only an annotated map, prepared in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Only one is known to have a purpose statement.
** General Development Plans: Relatively brief documents, a type of plan prepared from the early 1960s until 1980. Those prepared in the earlier years were approved by the director, while those prepared in later years were approved by the Commission. Each plan has a Declaration of Purpose.
** General Plans: Fairly lengthy and detailed document first prepared in 1978. Starting in 1999, the format and content were substantially revised to make the plan considerably shorter and more conceptual. Each general plan has a Declaration of Purpose. On very rare occasions, the amendment to a general plan will have a Declaration of Purpose different from that of the original plan.
Starting in the early 1990s, general plans also contained, in addition to a Declaration of Purpose, a Spirit of Place statement. These often-lengthy semi-poetic statements are intended to evoke the inspirational nature of the park.
Starting in the late 1990s, most general plans also contain a very brief Vision Statement, indicating what the unit it to ultimately become.
3. Specialized Plans Prepared for Individual Units and Projects
** Resource Elements and Resource Management Plans: Intended either as a free-standing document or prepared in anticipation of a subsequently prepared general development plan or general plan, these plans contain a Declaration of Purpose. A small number of these plans were prepared between 1974 and 1990. As working documents, they have no indication of any specific level of organizational approval.
** Interpretive Prospectuses: Intended either as a free-standing document or prepared in anticipation of the development of a general development plan or general plan, these prospectuses contain a Declaration of Purpose. Prepared from 1970 to 1985 (primarily 1973-1976), many were approved by the Chief of the Operations Division, while others received a lesser level of approval. Some exist only as unapproved draft documents. This database distinguishes between interpretive prospectuses, which were approved at some level, while the others are deemed as "unapproved." A few of these documents lack a date of preparation or approval.
4. Other Sources of Purpose Statements
** Naming and Classification Documents: In 1999, two units were classified by the Commission, each action based in part on director-approved background materials that contained a proposed Declaration of Purpose. In this database, these two purpose statements have been placed (with appropriate editorial comment) as if they were part of the set of 71 Declarations of Purpose prepared for the General Plan Policy Committee.