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Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Parks A Study on.

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Presentation on theme: "Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Parks A Study on."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Parks A Study on the Impacts of Public Funding and Specialized Parks Departments Prepared by: Travis Blalock Daniel Van Deusen Christopher Whitehead

2 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Goals of the Presentation: 1. To provide a benchmark comparison of New Hampshire's state park system compared to those of other similar states. 2. To assess whether the type of funding affects the quality of state parks, based on empirical evidence from the states. 3. To assess whether the organizing body of the state park system affects the quality of state parks, based on empirical evidence from the states.

3 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Part I – Background of New Hampshire State Parks New Hampshire is the only state in the nation that has an exclusively self-funded state park system. -What are the problems faced by the New Hampshire state park system? -How does New Hampshires state park system compare to those of other states? -Is this funding scheme sufficient to maintain park quality? Our report examines how various funding schemes affect the quality of state park systems.

4 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

5 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Number of Parks73 Acres of Parks231,554 Total Operating Expenses$7,370,936 Total Operations Revenues$4,324,297 Attendance - Total1,625,683 Total Attendance in Fee Areas1,043,338 Total Attendance in Non-Fee Areas582,345 Total Day Attendance1,414,266 Total Overnight Attendance211,417 Total Personnel487 Permanent Personnel47 Seasonal Personnel440 New Hampshire State Park Inventory Information, 2008

6 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Park Systems Operating Budget Per Visitor

7 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Park Systems Operating Budget

8 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire State Park System Attendance

9 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Discussion of Quality Metrics No universal standards exist to determine the quality of state parks. Several proxies were determined that would best assess the quality of a state park system: - Attendance: Observing long-term trends, in addition to yearly variability of state park visitors -Weighted Operating and Capital Expenditures: Greater amounts of money spent per visitor or per acre might indicate a higher quality of a state park system

10 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Discussion of Comparison States Vermont –Similar geography, similar park characteristics and size, similar budget structure, statistics of similar magnitude Maine –Similar geography, similar park characteristics and size, contrasting budget structure, statistics of similar magnitude New York –Similar geography, similar park characteristics, contrasting park size, contrasting budget structure, statistics of contrasting magnitude Alaska –Similar geography, similar park characteristics, contrasting park size, contrasting budget structure, statistics of similar magnitude

11 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Part II – Relationship Between Funding Scheme and Quality State Park-Generated Revenue General Fund Dedicated Funds Federal FundsOther New Hampshire100%0% Alaska29%63%2%0%6% Maine0%80%18%2%0% New York28%66%4%2%0% Vermont88%12%0% Funding Composition of Operating Budget by State, 2008

12 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Key Park Statistics Weighted by Park Acreage, 2008 StateVisitors Per Acre Employees Per 1000 Acres Dollars Per Acre New Hampshire Alaska Maine New York Vermont Vermont and New York have over twice as many employees per acre as New Hampshire does Vermont spends more than three times as many dollars per acre as New Hampshire does However, Maine spends far fewer dollars per acre, and employees fewer employees per acre than New Hampshire does

13 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire and Comparison States - Operating Budget Per Visitor Conclusions?

14 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New Hampshire and Comparison States - Attendance Conclusions?

15 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Comparison of Attendance in Fee and Non-Fee Areas New Hampshire New York

16 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences New HampshireMaine

17 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Analysis of Capital Expenditures Information Capital Expenditures: Expenditures allocated for land acquisition or park construction We use capital expenditures as a metric for the quality of a state park system – the greater the amount of capital expenditures, the more money is being reinvested into the park system. –Greater amounts of capital expenditures per visitor or per acre might indicate a higher quality of a state park system.

18 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Average Capital Expenditures as a Percentage of Total Budget (2001 – 2008) New Hampshire has a greater average capital expenditure as a percentage of its total annual budget than both Vermont and Maine. However…

19 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Capital Expenditure as a Percentage of Total Budget (2001 – 2008) State New Hampshire46%21%19%10%33%0% 20% Alaska31%6%36%27%41% 57%30% Maine16%38%24%11%13%21%11%4% Vermont2%5%21%11%8%22% 7% …We must also consider the volatility of the New Hampshire state park systems capital expenditures.

20 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Average Capital Expenditures Per Acre (2001 – 2008)

21 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Capital Expenditures Spent Per Acre (2001 – 2008)

22 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Average Capital Expenditures Per Visitor (2001 – 2008)

23 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Part III – Organization of State Park Systems Different models for state park governance: –Often under a specific department focusing on environmental preservation issues –14 states, including New Hampshire, are under a more general department Examples of more specialized departments include: –Department of Tourism, Department of Cultural Preservation, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Resources and Economic Development Examples of more standard departments include: –Department of Natural Resources, Department of Conservation, Department of Parks and Recreation Analyzed differences between state park systems with and without specific parks departments

24 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Organization of State Park Systems - Analysis Revenues and Operating Expenditures –The change in revenue generation for in states with and without parks departments is approximately the same. Attendance –There is a strong relationship between the organization of state park systems and changes in attendance –State park systems with a specialized parks department have seen significantly less of a reduction in attendance from compared to those with a more general department State Park Systems With a Specialized Parks Department State Park Systems Without a Specialized Park Department Revenue Generated26%27% Operating Budget26% Attendance-13%-19% Percent Changes from

25 Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College Policy Research Shop The Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences Conclusions and Closing Thoughts 1.New Hampshire and Vermont, the states most reliant on self-funding have the most volatile operating budget per visitor. New Hampshire consistently has one of the lowest annual operating budgets per visitor of the states studied. 2.While Maine, Vermont, and Alaska had consistent attendance figures over the time period studied, New Hampshires has varied considerably, and has been sharply decreasing in recent years. 3.New Hampshire has a greater average capital expenditure as a percentage of the total budget than does Vermont or Maine. However, this figure is more variable for New Hampshire on a yearly basis than it is for the other two states. Also, New Hampshire has the lowest average capital expenditure per visitor of the states studied. 4.The existence of a specialized parks department does not impact revenue or operating expenditures. However, it does appear to have implications for changes in attendance.


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