Masthead banner of Park Science: Integrating Research and Resource Management in the National Parks; ISSN 1090-9966; link to current issue
Volume 29
Number 2
Fall-Winter 2012-2013
Arrowhead symbol of the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Home + About + Author Guidelines + Archive + Subscribe +  
Photo of two volunteers at an outdoor beach cleanup event in Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Credit: NPS/George Su Research Report
Improving National Park Service partnerships: A gap analysis of external partners
By Melissa S. Weddell, Rich Fedorchak, and Brett A. Wright
Published: 4 Sep 2015 (online)  •  14 Sep 2015 (in print)
Earlier study and latest work
Results and discussion
About the authors
+ PDF +

Partnerships between public agencies and non­profit organizations, corporations, and private businesses are not a new phenomenon. The National Park Service has been involved in partnerships since its creation in 1916 when, for example, it involved the railroads and the hotel industry in providing transportation, meals, and accommodations for the first park visitors. Since then the size and scope of partnerships engaged in by public agencies have grown and the nature of these partnerships has become more complex. Today many park managers regard partnerships as a strategy for more effective park management because they can help expand the range of services a park can offer. They also increase public support by enhancing opportunities for park visitors to learn about and participate in park management and help build a sense of community pride (Vaske et al. 1995).

With this expansive role for partnerships comes the need for NPS managers to be knowledgeable of NPS policies and to possess a variety of management skills if they and stakeholders are to work together optimally. In an interview published on the NPS Web site, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis explained his view that “partnership skills are a core competency.” He continued, “Our employees must be able to find and welcome partners, to reach common ground, and leverage each other’s skills and resources.” Thus partnership management is a core competency that can help to carry out the NPS mission and deliver public service at a higher level. The challenge is to more effectively grow this competency by building on past partnership successes and developing new capacity for enhanced partnership management Service-wide. However, very little effort has been made to study, understand, and manage partnerships in a proactive manner.

Return to top

This page updated:  22 March 2013

Page 1 of 7 • Next +
From the Editor
Information Crossfile
Masthead Information
Using landscape patterns, climate projections, and species distribution models to map future potential habitats for desert tortoise, Shivwits milk-vetch, and American pika in Zion National Park, Utah
New recreational water testing alternatives
Resource-conflict analysis: A geospatial approach to assessing energy development threats to landscapes in the Southwest
Sidebar: Data sources
Exploring the fuel efficiency of oversnow vehicles in Yellowstone National Park
Sidebar: Need for special rule to authorize oversnow vehicle use
Enhancing native plant habitat in a restored salt marsh on Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  Improving National Park Service partnerships: A gap analysis of external partners
A system-wide assessment of night resources and night recreation in the U.S. national parks: A case for expanded definitions
Related Publications + Explore Nature + + Privacy + Disclaimer + Contact Editor
Web Site Last Updated: 16 September 2015