Each National Park Service unit in the United States produces a resource management plan (RMP) every four years or less. These plans constitute a strategic agenda for a park. Later, tactical plans commit budgets and personnel to specific projects over the planning horizon. Yet, neither planning stage incorporates much quantitative and analytical rigor and is devoid of formal decision-making tools. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) offers a structure for multi-objective decision making so that decision makers’ preferences can be formally accounted for. Preferences for each RMP project, resulting from an AHP exercise, can be used as priorities in an overall RMP. We conducted an exercise on the Olympic National Park (NP) in Washington, selecting eight projects as typical of those considered in RMPs. Five members of the park staff used the AHP to prioritise the eight projects with respect to implicit management objectives. By altering management priorities for the park, three different 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 RMP contains.
Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Peterson, David L. 2001. Strategic and tactical planning for managing national park resources. pages 67-79 In: Schmoldt, Daniel L.; Kangas, Jyrki; Mendoza, Guillermo A.; and Pesonen, Mauno. Managing Forest Ecosystems: The Analytic Hierarchy Process in Natural Resource and Environmental Decision Making. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht.