, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 729-742

A case study of resources management planning with multiple objectives and projects

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Abstract

Each National Park Service unit in the United States produces a resources management plan (RMP) every four years or less. The plans commit budgets and personnel to specific projects for four years, but they are prepared with little quantitative and analytical rigor and without formal decision-making tools. We have previously described a multiple objective planning process for inventory and monitoring programs (Schmoldt and others 1994). To test the applicability of that process for the more general needs of resources management planning, we conducted an exercise on the Olympic National Park (NP) in Washington State, USA. Eight projects were selected as typical of those considered in RMPs and five members of the Olympic NP staff used the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to prioritize the eight projects with respect to their implicit management objectives. By altering management priorities for the park, three scenarios were generated. All three contained some similarities in rankings for the eight projects, as well as some differences. Mathematical allocations of money and people differed among these scenarios and differed substantially from what the actual 1990 Olympic NP RMP contains. Combining subjective priority measures with budget dollars and personnel time into an objective function creates a subjective economic metric for comparing different RMP’s. By applying this planning procedure, actual expenditures of budget and personnel in Olympic NP can agree more closely with the staff’s management objectives for the park.