Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources ANNUAL REPORT – FY2009 (July 1, 2008 – June 30, 2009) General Information Agency Name: Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Director’s Name and Official Title: Milward Simpson, Director Agency Contact Person: Lisa Koenig Agency Contact phone: (307) 777-7496 Mailing address: 2301 Central Avenue, 4th Floor Cheyenne, WY 82002 Web Address (URL): http://wyospcr.state.wy.us Other Locations: Laramie, WY – SHPO Cultural Records Office, Office of the State Archeologist Lander, WY – State Trails Program Field Office Statutory References: Established 1895, reorganized July 1, 1999, as the Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources W.S. 9-2-401 through 9-2-419 – State Archives, Museums and Historic Department W.S. 9-2-901 through 9-2-911 – Wyoming Arts Council W.S. 9-2-1701 through 9-2-1708 – Reorganization of State Government W.S. 9-2-2017 – Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources Creation W.S. 9-2-2301 through 9-2-2308 – Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund Act W.S. 11-10-113 – Wyoming Pioneer Memorial Museum W.S. 16-6-801 through 16-6-805 – Works of Art in Public Buildings W.S. 24-14-101 through 24-14-102 – State Parks Road Program W.S. 31-2-401 through 31-2-409 – Snowmobiles W.S. 31-2-701 through 31-2-707 – Off-road Recreational Vehicles W.S. 36-4-101 through 36-4-123 – State Parks and Cultural Resources W.S. 36-8-1401 through 36-8-1403 – Wyoming Historic Mine Trail and Byway (W.S. 36-8-1401-Repealed by Laws 2009, ch.6, § 2; W.S. 36-8-1402-Amended with sections repealed by Laws 2009, ch. 6, § 2; W.S. 36-8-1403-Repealed by Laws 2009, ch. 6, § 2) W.S. 36-8-103 through 36-8-1403 – State Parks and Reserves W.S. 39-17-111 – Snowmobile Gas Tax Distribution Clients Served: Wyoming citizens, out-of-state visitors, local, county and state governments and agencies, public schools and institutions of higher education, Wyoming nonprofit organizations, Wyoming businesses Agency to Which Your Group Reports: Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission (Advisory) Number of Members: Nine Meeting Frequency: Quarterly Wyoming Quality of Life Result: Wyoming values the unique aspects of its western heritage, providing residents and visitors expanding access to cultural, historical and recreational experiences. Wyoming’s natural resources are managed to maximize the economic, environmental and social prosperity of current and future generations. Wyoming families and individuals live in a stable, safe, supportive, nurturing, healthy environment. Wyoming state government is a responsible steward of state assets and effectively responds to the needs of residents and guests. Contribution to Wyoming Quality of Life: This agency contributes to the Wyoming quality of life through a combination of preservation, education/outreach, planning/construction/maintenance, and public safety by providing opportunities to learn about and enjoy the state’s arts, parks and history. Basic Facts: The Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources (Arts, Parks & History) consists of approximately 182 full time, 12 permanent part-time, and 130-150 seasonal personnel. The department consists of two divisions: the Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails (SPHS&T), and the Division of Cultural Resources. In addition, the department includes an administrative services arm (Director’s Office, Human Resources, Accounting, Information Technology and Public Information/Education) serving both divisions. The department’s headquarters is located in Cheyenne, with State Historic Preservation and State/Archaeologist field offices in Laramie, Trails Program offices in Lander and State parks and historic sites located statewide. Our programs serve over 2.5 million people each year, instate and out-of-state. The total operating budget for the department for Fiscal Year 09-10 was $50,579,884, of which $35,480,412 were general funds. The Department’s budget accounts for less than 1% of the state’s overall General Fund budget. Budget Expenditures for FY09 $25,781,683, does not include Cap Con. Performance Measurement #1: Preservation – Protecting Wyoming’s important cultural resources Story behind the last year of performance: The cultural resources division programs showed increases in preservation in most areas, due to an expanded effort by staff and to minor increases in the program budgets. The areas where decreases in preservation were reported were in the museum where all decreases involve the numbers of items cataloged. This decrease is due to having spent a great deal of staff time moving the entire collection into a new storage facility. Another sharp increase in preservation occurred with grants given out by the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund (WCTF) board. The increase was caused by an additional $1.5 million dollars being added to the trust fund. Similarly, SPHS&T was able to preserve many of its historic structures. A working group was also developed to examine the Department’s collections policy, which will make the curation process more efficient. What has been accomplished? SPHS&T’s primary role in preservation is protecting, preserving and interpreting state historic sites. SPHS&T is responsible for approximately 125 historic structures within the state historic sites. For this reason, the percentage of historic structures that are protected, preserved and ready for interpretation/interpreted (see attached chart, “Historic Structures That Have Been Preserved”) is included in the graph. The chart shows that 42 historic structures were considered to be in a preserved state in 2005. During 2005-2006 10 structures were preserved, 12 structures were preserved during 2006-2007, 26 structures were preserved during 2007-2008 and 19 structures were preserved in 2008-2009. This leaves 16 structures that require preservation treatment. In order to be considered preserved the exterior of the structure has to be in good shape and not in need of additional work other than general maintenance. Structures cannot be considered preserved if they were simply stabilized, since they are not restored and ready for interpretation. Structures were also not removed from the preserved category if they required paint or white wash since that is considered general maintenance. The interior condition of the historic structures was not addressed in this chart. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist both show slight increases in preservation due to receiving a combination of state funding increases and grant dollars. The Archives showed a slight increase in items archived over the year, while the museum showed a sharp decline in artifacts cataloged, although they did have an increase in donations, due to much of the staff’s time being spent moving the entire collection into a new facility. The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund increased preservation efforts due to an increase in the corpus of the trust fund in 2008 by $1.5 million. Performance Measurement #2: Customer Service and Outreach – Providing high quality access to Wyoming’s cultural, natural & recreational resources and opportunities Story behind the last year of performance: The initial results of the 2009 customer survey are in (completion September 2009) and the customer service rating for staff is at 98%. This accounts for the first indicator of customer satisfaction. Future surveys will address specific questions to quantify overall customer satisfaction. The SHPO, Arts Council and WCTF all showed increased outreach and customer service efforts due to additional funding, training opportunities, and staff travel. Future surveys may be altered somewhat to address the quality of service more correctly. In all of the cultural resource programs except the museum, customer service and outreach was improved according to the data tracked over 2008. The increase is due to an intentional effort by the staff of these programs to prioritize outreach at a higher level in 2008. Additional funding to some of the programs helped accomplish outreach and better customer service. Customer Service and Outreach numbers diminished somewhat in the museum, due to unusually high numbers of visitors to lectures in 2007, which made 2008 numbers seem low. Due to inclement weather in the spring, two key events were cancelled. What has been accomplished? State parks and many historic sites were open for business 365 days this past year, and staff oversee 11 state parks, 21 historic sites, 2 archaeological and petroglyph sites, and 1 recreational area totaling 35 parks and sites. Throughout the years numerous changes have taken place with the legal boundaries of the properties SPHS&T manages. This summer and last summer SPHS&T hired an intern to begin researching the legal boundaries of the properties managed by the division. This research indicates the actual boundary of several state parks and historic sites differs from what is identified in statute. SPHS&T will need to conduct additional research to confirm all of the legal property boundaries within the system and has begun work with the proper authorities to resolve the situation in the hopes of completing this project for consideration during a future Legislative session. The division continues to update and develop information for web page contacts dealing with state parks and historic sites. Three Land and Water Conservation Foundation (LWCF) grants, totaling $203,057, were awarded to the communities of Sheridan and Lovell and for preparation of the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. No additional land was added to the park or historic site system. The department has developed a volunteer committee and hopes to have a comprehensive system wide volunteer program in place for 2009. In 2008, the number of camp hosts increased from 16 to 24, and volunteer hours increased to 10,134, equating to approximately 5 full-time employees. An example of using volunteers within state parks is the new trail system at Curt Gowdy State Park. To date over 350 volunteers have contributed over 3,000 hours to construct and maintain the trails, resulting in a savings of $36,000 to the state. SPHS&T is partnering with local businesses and organizations to sponsor future volunteer days and signed a contract with the Diamond Peaks Mountain Bike Patrol to help patrol and monitor the trails. The Division has made a concerted effort to stabilize, maintain and restore many facilities, and is now making an effort to interpret and educate the public about these sites. In 2007, SPHS&T put forward a $3 million legislative bill to improve interpretation and education throughout the system, and received $300,000. Thirty-five projects have been identified and work is underway or completed on over half of the projects. In FY08, agency staff applied for and received two grants from the Wyoming Tourism Department for additional interpretation work (new signage). The State Trails Program issued 28 Recreational Trail Program (RTP) grants totaling $1.3 million. Approximately 15 miles of new county roads were enrolled in to the ORV program. Approximately 17 Trail Crew projects were completed on federal lands across the state. On- going maintenance, grooming, rock removal, tree trimming, sign improvements, construction and placement of informational kiosks were added to the trail system statewide. The Safety and Education coordinator held classes for approximately 5,300 students, traveled with the All- Terrain Vehicle (ATV) simulator to participate and teach safety courses at various events and fairs. Our Safety and Education program has continued with a very aggressive helmet safety campaign - with print and video materials distributed throughout the state. Staff also recruited and retained 10 volunteers to serve as educational trail hosts. Currently our program is filming a 30-minute video production that will be distributed statewide. This video will promote responsible and safe recreation with a “Tread Lightly” theme. In conjunction with site staff, the Wyoming Conservation Corp (WCC) worked on a multitude of projects in parks from trail construction to curation. There are seven state parks where the reservation system has been implemented. Listed below are the statistics for the 2008 camping season: Number of Number of Location Reservable Sites Reservations Made Boysen 53 850 Buffalo Bill 21 256 Curt Gowdy 34 1,569 Glendo 124 3,110 Guernsey 81 3,831 Keyhole 47 1,071 Medicine Lodge 3 174 The total number of campsites available in 2008 was 1,609; of these sites 363 or 23% were in the reservation system. The Concession and Revenue Section (C&R Section) calculates the total number of permits sold for the snowmobile, off road vehicle (ORV), day use and camping and concession programs. As of June 22, 2009, 16,163 residents purchased snowmobile permits totaling $387,912.00; 888 were sold for commercial use totaling $66,600.00 and 13,542 non-residents purchased permits totaling $325,008.00. There were 52,234 ORV permits sold for calendar year 2008 totaling $543,233.60. The total revenues generated in 2008 for day use and camping fees, including annual permits, were $1,071,981.50. The number of resident annual and second day use permits sold was 9,853; resident annual and second camping permits sold were 5,390; and the number of nonresident annual and second day use permits sold was 1,389; nonresident annual and second camping permits sold were 1,104. Concession operations within the parks, both short term and long term, totaled $208,276.86 for the calendar year 2008. Possible impacts this year: With budget cut impacts some campgrounds have been converted to day-use only areas. Budget cuts also mean lawns are mowed less, restrooms are cleaned less often and issues with invasive weed mitigation are occurring. Due to the hiring freezes, there are fewer employees to work in the parks and sites. Both the hiring freeze and budget cuts will have an impact over the next year, decreasing the ability for the cultural resource programs to continue the level of customer service and outreach seen in 2008. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) provided higher customer service and outreach by decreasing the numbers of “requests for comment”, likely due to the development and use of the BLM/SHPO protocol agreement and showed an increase in the numbers of days it takes to review requests for comment. The Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist only slightly increased the number of programs offered to the public. The Arts Council increased its customer service and outreach dramatically due to receiving additional funding. The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund also increased its customer service due to an increase in funding to the corpus. The archives increased their efforts to provide customer service and outreach, by continuing to serve more customers and continuing efforts to provide digital access to collections. The archives also provided the option for customers to purchase high quality, scanned images from the archives collection. While the museum’s visitation increased slightly, it did see a decrease in attendance at special events and lectures. These decreases were due, largely, to having one event in 2007, which skewed the numbers for 2008, and having inclement weather in the spring and canceling two events. Discovery trunks and off-site visits did increase significantly (15% and 12.8%) in 2008. Performance Measurement #3: Construction, Maintenance and Planning – Providing high quality facilities for the public’s enjoyment Story behind the last year of performance: More projects falling under this category were funded in 2008 via the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund since the granting process began. This increase was due to an appropriation of $1.5 million to the trust fund in 2008. The SPHS&T division requested $4.3 million to finish addressing critical and deferred facility maintenance in the 2007 General Session of the legislature and received $858,253. The 2008 Legislature appropriated $2.4 million to complete the facility deficiencies and $3.7 million to begin addressing road deficiencies. Administration & Information Capital Construction gave the division $500,000 in major maintenance monies to assist in some facility deficiencies. With these funding mechanisms, site staff completing some of the tasks as well as economies of scale, the Division was able to fund the remaining listed deficiencies from the 2003 facility assessment. What has been accomplished? Currently, work is under contract or out for bid to address these deficiencies. The division will be requesting the balance of the funding to complete the critical and deferred deficiencies in a 2009 budget exception request. Through the State Building Commission (SBC), the Division submitted a request to be included in the state’s major maintenance formula. The Division studied the SPHS&T system and through a major maintenance formula estimated that our major maintenance needs on an annual basis is $1.8 million ($3.6 million per biennium). This funding is based on $1 million per year for roads and $800,000 per year for facilities and sites. The SBC and 2009 Legislature approved this formula and funded the $1.8 million major maintenance request; however, A&I pulled the funding when the recent budget cuts were implemented. The Division is going to re-submit a request for this funding, as well as request that it be placed on an ongoing funding basis. The Department submitted a performance measure graph in the previous strategic plan that indicated customer satisfaction based on construction, maintenance and planning. The Department found that this is a very difficult task to measure. There are too many variables to gauge customer satisfaction based on the funding of the items. The intent is to gauge the level of satisfaction based on visitor use. For example, if it is planned, built and maintained properly, visitors will come and hopefully return many times. This does not mean that there are not variables with this measurement; however, the variables are easier to pick up and describe. In calendar year 2007 there were 2.7 million visitors to SPHS&T, approximately a 13 percent increase in visitation from 2006. Based on a visitor use survey it is estimated that 45.8 percent of visitors to state parks are residents and 54.2 percent are non-residents. For historic sites it is estimated that 21.1 percent are residents and 78.9 percent are non-residents. Staff continually evaluates survey results to determine customer satisfaction with our state parks and historic sites. The Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund showed an increase in customer satisfaction as measured by the amount of funding available for such projects increasing in 2008. Performance Measurement #4: Public Safety – Providing a safe and healthy environment for our visitors and staff Story behind the last year of performance: An emphasis on enforcement to improve public safety at the state parks is being utilized. Increased enforcement coupled with a redesign of the Glendo Sandy Beach campground has significantly reduced the “party atmosphere” in the campground on the major holiday weekends and has resulted in a return of family campers to this area. What has been accomplished? One factor in the level of enforcement activity is the continued difficulty in hiring seasonal enforcement officers. The majority of certified officers in Wyoming want full time employment rather than seasonal jobs. Limited success in recruiting retired officers to fill these positions has been achieved. Low wages further limits the ability to hire the number of seasonal officers needed each year. 2005 citations – 302 2006 citations – 452 2007 citations – 739 2008 citations – 556 An attempt to capture quantifiable data from visitors to state parks and historic sites in the next visitor use survey will be made as well as an effort to capture similar data in the non-use survey.
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