Knot’s intelligent systems-level approach to assessment and management helped Oregon State Parks and Recreation find new ways to balance increasing visitor demand with natural preservation at the state’s beloved Smith Rock.
Central Oregon’s Smith Rock is a mecca for rock climbers, hikers and day walkers. The high desert outcropping, with its rust colored, striking rock formations draws hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This popularity created a challenge for the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, as it considered options for managing the natural wonder, maintaining its beauty while providing a safe area for onlookers and seasoned hikers and climbers.
The Adaptive Management Framework and Capacity Assessment was developed by Knot to guide long-term Oregon Parks and Recreation decision making. The challenge for Knot was to reflect the aspirations of the Department’s management goals and objectives. Knot’s solution was a system that empowers the Parks Department’s staff to manage park assets, natural resources and visitor experience more sustainably over time. Knot tackled challenges involving capital planning, while also giving the department guidance on investment priorities. Knot’s expertise helped the department with a program for outdoor recreation management — creating a more intelligent systems-level approach to assessment and management.
The Knot assessment means higher proficiency for the Parks Department as it faces the challenge of managing demand for the unique natural wonder — guaranteeing a quality visitor experience and sustainable management of native ecosystems. Knot’s customized approach resulted in a tool that is easily implemented by the client and exceeded the client’s goal of finding new ways to balance visitor demand with natural preservation. Such a program ensures that many generations to come will share in the wonder of this uniquely Oregon natural attraction.