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An Introduction to Park Management

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This fourth edition is intended for university students who may have an interest in becoming employed in the parks profession. The book explores the responsibilities of staff and the problems and challenges associated with managing parks in the 21st century. Particular attention is paid to the structure of park organisations, planning, decision making, and politics that ultimately influence the way parks are managed. Part I provides an overview of parks and park management. Historical aspects of the development of parks are reviewed and detailed. Part II specifically addresses the multitude of park administrative functions, such as organisational structures, park policies, laws and risk management, funding, personnel, and concludes with maintenance and safety concerns. Part III provides information on resource planning and management of the resources through citizen involvement, planning, facilities, and environmental management issues. Part IV is an overview of visitor use issues and protection of parks. Topics include visitor conflicts, vandalism, law enforcement, fire management, interpretation, and visitor management services. Finally, Part V provides a broad overview and examples of sustainable practices in park management, including tools such as ROS, LAC, and VERP and possible solutions to the numerous challenges that park managers must address. It is our belief that sustainable management practices and planning practices designed with environmental management and visitor management are the keys to successful park operations. Similar to the 3rd edition, the 4th edition utilises where applicable the practical and sage advice of Grant W Sharpe, Charles H Odegaard, and Wenonah Finch Sharpe in the earlier editions of this book. We have retained the essence of the material, and the broad topics that those authors provided as a framework for park management. Readers will note that some references are older. We retained references that have historical significance and have been overlooked in the current literature, which are included at the end of each chapter under General References. Some of these ideas are currently accepted as common knowledge; however, we all can benefit from understanding the origin of ideas that have influenced park management.
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About the Author

Daniel A. Wheeler holds a doctorate in leisure studies and services. He has worked in the field in many positions, teaching swimming, canoeing, backpacking, and survival skills in activities courses and as camp director and river guide in Idaho and Utah, with excursions to Korea. He has taught in theory and philosophy recreation courses and recreation marketing in several universities. His main emphasis has been management of recreation delivery systems and the recreation experience. Presently retired, he is beginning a recreation business on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

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