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Organizational Structure Opportunities

October 3, 2017

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) today announced a new organizational structure aimed at better serving Californians who enjoy the Golden State’s public outdoor spaces. The structure and related transition activities and benefits are outlined in an Operational Transition Plan that reflects extensive research and input from internal and external stakeholders.

The new organizational structure is part of a two-year transformation effort that renewed the department’s commitment to improving the state parks system and the many recreational programs supported by DPR. It marks the first department-wide organizational structure change since the early 1990s.

The new structure will allow the department to carry out key priorities identified in the transformation effort. The structure is designed to enhance service delivery, better support staff and key partners, provide career paths for diverse professional groups to develop as park leaders, and put program expertise closer to the public.

Implementation of the Operational Transition Plan will be accomplished through the execution of specific division transition plans. These transition plans will be developed over the next 12 months and implemented on a rolling basis. A rigorous process of external and internal communications, engagement and project management will guide the implementation.

We invite you to view the Operation Transition Plan and review one of the department’s signature projects.

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Public Meetings
We would like to thank everyone who participated and continues to participate in this important process. The feedback will assist the department in the development of a new organizational structure. Questions or concerns can be sent to the email address listed above.

   Organizational Structure FAQs (pdf)

Organizational Structure Opportunities

July 2016

What is the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Transformation Effort?
In 2015, the State of California developed a Transformation Team to help strengthen the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) through a series of initiatives-supporting strategic goals, such as improving visitors’ experiences and making the system more relevant to a broader and more diverse population. The Transformation Team is comprised of experienced department staff, stakeholders and outside experts.

What is the Transformation Team initiative related to the organizational structure at State Parks?
The Transformation Team was tasked with reviewing State Park’s organizational structure in order to identify opportunities to elevate and strengthen the department’s programs and the services they provide to the public.
The Transformation Team has completed this task. State Parks will now take this initiative out of the Transformation effort and engage with staff and stakeholders as it develops a new organizational model – the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project. 

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division or the Division of Boating and Waterways?
No. The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) and Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) are both leaders in recreation. The goal of the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project is to enhance and strengthen the services State Parks provides to the public.

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate any of the services from OHMVR and/or DBW?
No. The goal of the project is to better support all of the programs and services provided by State Parks.

Would the special funds from OHV and DBW be intermixed with non-special funds?
No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Is State Parks proposing a new organization model in order to gain access to the special funds from OHV and DBW?
No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

Will staff from be laid off when this organizational structure happens?
The new structure may result in shifts in how personnel will be organized, however no staff will be laid off through this process.

What are the next steps in the project?
In the upcoming months, State Parks will engage staff and stakeholders to discuss the project and gather important input. This process is also expected to yield additional ideas on how a new organizational structure would improve the delivery of services. The feedback during this process will inform the development of a new organizational structure.
The resulting organizational structure will be detailed in an operational transition plan report, which is a standard report developed by state departments to outline how it will move from the current organization structure to a new model. The transition plan will serve as the guiding document for State Parks to implement any proposed changes in accordance with all laws, rules, policies and established best practices.

Will there be an opportunity for the public to engage in the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project?
Yes, communication and the management of the changes as the department transitions to a new model will be of key focus. State Parks has established an online resource for the public to comment on the process by emailing
On this website you can also find information on open house meetings that State Parks will be hosting in order to provide the opportunity for public engagement in this process. The first open house will take place July 19, 2016 in Sacramento. Please visit the website for more information.