“Purpose statement” is a generic term used to encompass the four types of statements which have been prepared by the Department over the past four decades. These types are:

  • Statement of Purpose
  • Declaration of Purpose
  • Sense of Place
  • Vision Statement

Each statement briefly identifies the most important values and features to be found in a park and indicates the Department’s primary objectives in its management. The average purpose statement is about 150 to 200 words in length. More than 900 purpose statements have been located in the Department’s archives and files, and for ease of access have been placed in the present collection. The material in this collection is current to August of 2005.

Many of the early purpose statements were created as individual, stand-alone items, issued in groups or batches that covered a number of parks. Such statements were unrelated to any larger planning context, although each statement was sometimes considered to serve the function of a plan for the unit in question. Later, when increasingly detailed plans were prepared for individual park units – Master Plans (in the 1950s and 1960s), General Development Plans (mid-1960s through the 1970s) and General Plans (late 1970 to date) – a purpose statement was prepared as a standard component of the plan document.

Purpose statements were also prepared as components of certain specialized, unit-level planning documents, particularly the Resource Management Plan and the Interpretive Prospectus.

See Sources and Background Information for additional information.

The Purpose Statements Collection (435 pages, 1.4 mb .pdf) contains more than 900 purpose statements that are arranged by the name of the unit or property to which they relate, with the units and properties listed alphabetically.

The overall collection of more than 900 purpose statements includes the purpose statements for the following sets of units and properties:

  • All of the classified units and unclassified properties currently in the state park system (including those prepared when a unit had a name different from its present one);
  • The “subunits” that are internal to some park; and
  • Units that have been divested from the system.

Each unit or property will have between one and seven purpose statements. These statements are arranged in the order in which they were prepared, with the most recent one listed first. Each statement is identified as to its original source and the date of approval or, if not officially approved, preparation.

A hard copy of this collection of purpose statements (current to August of 2005) can be requested from planning@parks.ca.gov.

For the sources and background information on purpose statements, see the following: Sources and Background Information 

For the actual collection of purpose statements, see the Purpose Statements Collection (435 pages, 1.4 mb .pdf).