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4x4Voice News-Bytes features news and information about OHV recreation and environment issues within California. 4x4Voice News-Bytes - Site registration required to post.
  1. John Stewart
  2. California Department of Parks and Recreation
  3. Sunday, 10 July 2016
  4.  Subscribe via email

The public is invited to an open house to learn about the effort to review the department’s organization structure.  Through the Organizational Structure Opportunities project, the Department seeks to identify opportunities to elevate and strengthen all of its programs, including the OHMVR program and the services it provides.

The Department of Parks and Recreation serves the public by bringing families and friends together and providing a wide array of recreational opportunities for the benefit and enjoyment of all people while protecting and preserving California's most significant natural and cultural resources. The Department accomplishes this not only through delivering services to 280 parks across the state, but also through programs that support local, regional and national recreation activities.

The Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program is a vital program that is recognized across the country as the leader in off-highway vehicle recreation. While the department operates nine State Vehicular Recreation Areas, the vast majority of recreation occurs on other lands supported through this robust program.

On June 3, 2016, Department Director Lisa Mangat provided an update to the Off-Highway Vehicle Commission and members of the public on the department’s Organizational Structure Opportunities project. At that meeting Director Mangat stated that there would be additional opportunities for public engagement in this process.

The open house will provide a forum for the public to learn about this Organizational Structure Opportunities project from the Department, and for the Department to hear from the stakeholders. The Members of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission have been invited to attend; the Commission will not be taking any action on any matters at this Open House.

Open House

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Resources Building Auditorium
1416 9th Street,
Sacramento, CA 95814 

Meeting facilities are accessible to people with disabilities. If you need specific accommodations, please contact Vicki Perez at (916) 324-4442. 

Meeting agenda is attached....

Attachments (1)
Comment
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Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

Below are comments I have submitted in reference the Organizational Structure Opportunities document dated July 2016...

**********

Lisa Mangat
Director
California State Parks

I am writing these comments on behalf of California 4 Wheel Drive Association.  I would like to address some of the statements included in the Organizational Structure Opportunities document dated July 2016.

I commend California State Parks for implementing several initiatives that strengthen its fiscal tracking systems. Proper fiscal tracking and projection are the basic for informed decision. 

And, State Parks has undergone a much needed review of its internal organizational structure.  That is a point where I have concerns. Periodic reviews of functions al organizational structure is a prudent and proper management action.  However, entering into a review or organizational change just because it hasn’t been done for a while is problematic.

Organizational structures are based on three concepts. Knowing where you have been.  Knowing where you are. And, visualizing where you want to go.

A key component is a review of the current structure and defining the shortcomings.  If that was accomplished, I can find no evidence.  With respect to knowing where you have been, there have been several significant changes in the Department.  One major change occurred with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Act of 1982.  That act provided for separation of the OHMVR Division for specific reasons.

Another significant change occurred recently when the Department name was changed for Department of Parks and Recreation to State Parks.

And, there was the philosophical shift where historical significance and accuracy changed the fiscal picture of Old Town State Park in San Diego.  That shift cast aside a revenue stream for historically correct presence.

I have reviewed the bios of the Transition Team members as listed on the department’s website.  I am sure they are all qualified individual in their respective fields.  However, I did notice a glaring lack of expertise in that Boating and Waterways and OHMVR Division were not represented on the Transition Team as participating members.  This is troubling as any potential re-organization will have a drastic impact on those departments.  As such, they had no input into the discussion.

These factors are important to consider when moving forward.  They underscore a philosophical approach to park units that are different based on the theme or purpose of the park unit.

Your aspirational documents lists fourteen Organizational Structure Opportunities.  Within those fourteen goals, there is duplication.  I would like to address some of those goals.

A. Point #1

  • Align organization structure to best reflect the mission and service of the department.

As it stands, this particular goal leaves the reader searching for a purpose.  A companion goal is:

  • Operate as one unified state park system to provide an array of recreational services across the system and support all 280 parks including nine state vehicle recreational areas while preserving allocation of all special funds. 

Here is where confusion begins to set in.  The document notes 280 parks, including nine state vehicle recreational areas.  What is missing with these two goals is a qualifying annotation describing the other park units and “recreational services provided”.

For example, when the list of park units is reviewed, it quickly becomes apparent that there is a range of “recreational services” provided.  Not all of the services are “recreational” in nature.  The park system is composed of cultural preserves, historic sites and beaches.  That breakdown is displayed on the Department’s website.  Missing is a clarity of “recreational services” that reflects the purpose of the Department and the need to reorganize.

B. Point #2

The nine SVRAs were called out special.  What about the Boating and Waterways centric units?  What about the camping opportunities?

  • Establish a headquarters organization model that best supports the delivery of programs and services. 
  • Realign divisions, programs, and district boundaries to better support field operations and enhance services to community stakeholders. 
  • Minimize duplicative services and empower decision making at the appropriate levels for effective service delivery. 

These three goals are closely related.  And, addressing the first two goals noted above is critical to beginning to address these goals.  

In other words, there is missing an inventory of the “recreation opportunities” offered within the park units.  This is important as grouping the “recreation opportunities” offered will begin to bring into focus the differences necessary to establish a headquarters structure and define potential field organization structures.

Again, each park unit was created for a purpose.  Consolidating by “purpose” will begin to coalesce the park units into like groups.  A simplified example is using three groups: cultural/preserves, historic sites and active recreation.

This defines that there are at least three groups that have potential different statute issues related and different management and planning philosophies that will be employed to support required field operations and enhance services to community stakeholders.  

For example, management prescriptions will vary between a preserve and a historic site.  And, management prescriptions will also vary between a historic site and an SVRA.  Those differences are important is they do require a different level of effort and a different skill set for maintenance.

C. Point #3

Which brings into discussion:  

  • Centralize function-specific expertise to facilitate knowledge sharing and use of best practices to better serve the public (e.g. facilities management, grants, planning)

In looking at this goal, grants and planning are defined.  Those are a likely candidate for headquarters support function.  Facilities management is going to be a unit specific issue that will vary across the park units; depending on the purpose of the unit.  For example, the nine SVRAs have very similar facilities management requirements that differ from historic site or cultural preserves.  And, again, missing in the equation is the Boating and Waterways opportunities.

D. Point #4

In reviewing this goal, I do have serious concerns.

  • Place increased emphasis on revenue generation and grant distribution implementation consistent with State Park’s expanded focus on relevancy. 

Revenue generation is a valid point as operation of a park unit is neither free nor cheap,  This has been a political “hot-potato” numerous times over the years.  There is no easy answer.  The SVRAs do have a model that provides an income stream through entry fees and vehicle registration fees,  As with any fee, there is a point of diminishing return where the population subject to the fee will take their business elsewhere.  

With respect to entry fees, that is another option that has pros and cons.  Prairie City and Hollister Hills are example where there is perimeter control with singular entry points.  Ocotillo Wells SVRA has no central entry point as would be very difficult to establish an entry fee.

With respect to grant distribution, that brings into discussion the legislated purpose of the “grant funding”.  Funding models for the state provide controls through the appropriation process to allocate funds to legislated actions.  Diverting funds from legislated (and appropriated) actions is problematic.  For example, funds provided through bonds requires they be applied to specific issues identified within the proposition as approved by voters.  

Additionally, funds provided from federal sources are targeted for defined issues and cannot be re-programmed to other than intended issue.

Within this context, the OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements is a unique structure within the State Parks organization structure in that legislation provides for the ability to transfer (fund) projects under the scope of the federal partners.  Federal partners are limited in their ability to receive funding from outside sources.  Cooperative Agreements (described in OMB Circular A-102) provides the vehicle where the federal agencies can have projects funded by the state through agreements where they hold a significant responsibility to control the outcome.

A review of the grants provided by State Parks as funded under bonds does not reflect this ability.  And, the funding coming into the OHMVR through the fuel tax is a targeted source that is dedicated to projects with a transportation nexus.  Fuel tax, like bonds, are “special funds” dedicated to specified purposes.

E. Point #5

A core issue is the lack of a comprehensive review to determine what "recreation" activities are of interest to the citizen of the state.  Coupled with that, there is no evidence of a review to determine funding shortfalls for the desired recreation activities.

This requires review from the perspective of a review of current park units and the recreation opportunities provided.  And, it requires a review of trending recreation desires of the general public to address the desire for recreation.

For example, within the motorized recreation community is a growing interest in “overland expedition” trips.  Within that framework, small groups will take 2-14 day trips and use a variety of venues for overnight accommodation, from tent camping, to bed-and-breakfast, to hotel.  Their interest is sightseeing, photography and history.

Another trending activity is day-hikes.  And, mountain bike use is on the increase.

Within the framework of making effective use of park units is considering the potential use of parks and, considering the surrounding opportunities on adjacent or nearby public lands.  

A viable opportunity is there to review the California Motorized Trails concept and provide the “overland expedition” demand and link State Park camping and historical sites with opportunities on adjacent public lands and local communities.

F. Point #6

The documents and discussion does lead towards the assumption that an "open and transparent" process is in action.  The belies the evident reality which indicates a very closed discussion.

Yes, State Parks is faced with a chronic funding shortage.  Yes, State Parks does need to review its operations and make appropriate changes. Reorganizing just for the sake of reorganizing without a solid rational plan is a common practice in government organizations.

While efforts have been instituted to lead towards financial responsibility, the bureaucratic organization and ingrain institutional biases are resistant to change.  Management gurus like Drucker, Deming, Covey and others have been stating that for years.

One point to review is the past.  There are a number of audits dealing with State Parks and the OHMVR Division dating back to the early 1970.  A review of this documents indicates few steps forward to make the necessary institutional changes. Chronic management issues must be resolved before forward progress is possible.

The aspirational goal of “Establish a headquarters organization model that best supports the delivery of programs and services.” does recognize this as a critical point.  To this issue, there are no easy solutions.

In closing, thank-you for undertaking this massive effort. I do request that additional meeting be scheduled that will roll this effort out to the public. 

While I represent four-wheel drive recreation interests, the overall scope of this effort extends beyond the motorized recreation community and will have a lasting impression on the pubic for years to come.

My direct interests are to ensure the long-term viability of the SVRAs and to ensure the OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements remain and address motorized recreation issues on a state-wide basis.

 

John Stewart
Natural Resources Consultant
California 4 Wheel Drive Association

Comment
There are no comments made yet.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
Begin forwarded message:
 
From: "Parks, Transforming@Parks" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date: July 12, 2016 6:13:28 PM PDT
To: "Parks, Transforming@Parks" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Subject: Transformation Tuesday -- FAQ’s: Organizational Structure Opportunities -- July 12, 2016
 

Transformation Tuesday

FAQ’s: Organizational Structure Opportunities

July 12, 2016

 

 

Highlights

·         Kicked off the engagement process

·         New webpage – www.parks.ca.gov/ShapingOurFuture

·         Frequently Asked Questions

_______________________________

 

Last week was an important week for the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks). We kicked off the engagement process on our Organizational Structure Opportunities Project (Project). Executive staff met with a number of leaders in the department and sought their input on how we can better serve the public. We also received feedback from external entities. As State Parks moves forward in the organizational update process, continued engagement with key internal and external stakeholders will be a critical component in the development of the future State Parks organization. So please continue to engage with us. Collectively we will help strengthen the department.

 

Below you will find some information on the Project. We hope that you find this information helpful. Should you have any questions or ideas, please e-mail us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit a new webpage dedicated to the Project at www.parks.ca.gov/ShapingOurFuture.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Transformation Effort?

In 2015, the State of California developed a Transformation Team to help strengthen the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) through a series of initiatives-supporting strategic goals, such as improving visitors’ experiences and making the system more relevant to a broader and more diverse population.

 

The Transformation Team is comprised of experienced department staff, stakeholders and outside experts.

 

What is the Transformation Team initiative related to the organizational structure at State Parks?

The Transformation Team was tasked with reviewing State Park’s organizational structure in order to identify opportunities to elevate and strengthen the department’s programs and the services they provide to the public. The Team has completed this task. Informed by the work of the Transformation Team, the department will now work with staff and stakeholders as it develops a new organizational model – the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project.  

 

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division or the Division of Boating and Waterways?

No. The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVR) and Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) are both leaders in recreation. The goal of the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project is to enhance and strengthen the services State Parks provides to the public.

 

Is the Transformation Team proposing to eliminate any of the services from OHMVR and/or DBW?

No. The goal of the project is to better support all of the programs and services provided by State Parks.

 

Would the special funds from OHV and DBW be intermixed with non-special funds?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

 

Is State Parks proposing a new organization model in order to gain access to the special funds from OHV and DBW?

No. State Parks has and will continue to separate special funds from other funds utilized by the department.

 

Will staff from be laid off when this organizational structure happens?

The new structure may result in shifts in how personnel will be organized, however no staff will be laid off through this process.

 

What are the next steps in the project?

In the upcoming months, State Parks will engage staff and stakeholders to discuss the project and gather important input. This process is also expected to yield additional ideas on how a new organizational structure would improve the delivery of services. The feedback during this process will inform the development of a new organizational structure. The resulting organizational structure will be detailed in an operational transition plan report, which is a standard report developed by state departments to outline how it will move from the current organization structure to a new model. The transition plan will serve as the guiding document for State Parks to implement any proposed changes in accordance with all laws, rules, policies and established best practices. 

 

Will there be an opportunity for the public to engage in the Organizational Structure Opportunities Project?

Yes, communication and the management of the changes as the department transitions to a new model will be of key focus. State Parks has established an online resource for the public to comment on the process online at www.parks.ca.gov/ShapingOurFuture. On this website you can also find information on open house meetings that State Parks will be hosting in order to provide the opportunity for public engagement in this process. The first open house will take place July 19, 2016 in Sacramento. Please visit the website for more information.

 

 

Reminders

·         Stay abreast of the Transformation Team’s progress on their website.

·         The Transformation Team is interested to know your ideas, thoughts and comments.Let us know what you think.

·         Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook and stay updated on #TransformationTuesdays!

Comment
There are no comments made yet.
Accepted Answer Pending Moderation

The public open house is to learn about the effort to review the department’s organization structure.  Through the Organizational Structure Opportunities project, the Department seeks to identify opportunities to elevate and strengthen all of its programs, including the OHMVR program and the services it provides.

The Organizational Structure Opportunities document is attached.  An introduction from the preface is included below....

About California State Parks

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) protects and preserves California's most significant natural and cultural resources while delivering public spaces to bring families and friends together and providing a wide array of recreational opportunities for the benefit and enjoyment of all people. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, on and off-road cycling, hiking, camping, and rock climbing are some of the recreational activities enjoyed in 280 state parks organized into 22 field districts throughout the state.

In 2015, the Administration established a Transformation Team to help strengthen state parks through a series of initiatives supporting strategic goals, such as improving visitors’ experiences and making the system more relevant to a broader and more diverse population. One initiative is to update the department’s organizational structure to better serve the public.

The Transformation Team has been reviewing the department’s organizational structure and has identified opportunities to eliminate duplicative services, realign divisions and programs to better support field operations, consolidate some field districts, flatten field management structures, and establish career paths to leadership for a broad range of professional backgrounds. The department will now work with staff and stakeholders as it develops a new organizational model for the department, which will also include how field districts are organized. 

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Additional information can be found at:

http://savecaliforniaohv.org/

If you cannot attend the special open house, you can submit comments through that website....

Additional information concerning the OHMVR Program may be viewed at:

http://www.4x4voice.com/218-cal4wheel-to-meet-with-state-parks-director

There are two documents at that link.  The one titled "We Are OHV" provides background about the OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements and how the funding has been distributed over the years.

 

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