4The 2015 Coalition Membership Survey was conducted online by The Hastings Group (THG). All Coalition members with email addresses were invited to participate. The result of efforts to solicit the views of Coalition members was astounding, yielding a total of 533 responses, including 435 fully completed surveys.
Typically, an association/membership survey would be considered quite successful to achieve a 10-15 percent response rate. The greater than 50 percent response level to the survey is the highest THG has ever seen in the more than 250 surveys that they have conducted. This suggests that the survey was both welcomed by Coalition members and considered to be a worthwhile use of their time.
The key results are as follows:
- The “three biggest challenges” were identified by respondents as: inadequate funding (64%); diminished support in Congress (48%); and “relevance to young people/future generations (44%).”
- More than four in five respondents (83%) do not think “younger Americans know enough about American parks, monuments, historic places, trails, and similar sites.”
- Two out of three respondents do not “think the Centennial of the National Park Service is getting enough attention … to advance NPS into the next century.”
- Funding-related shortfalls are seen as “very serious” by 71% of respondents.
- Sixty eight percent see the maintenance backlog at US national parks as a “very serious” problem.
- About nine in 10 respondents are “very concerned” (47%) or “somewhat concerned” (42%) about the possibility of increased energy exploration in national parks.
- When asked to identify their three favorite U.S. national parks, historic sites, or monuments, the top vote getters were: Yellowstone; Grand Canyon; Glacier; Rocky Mountain; Olympic; and Everglades.
- Sixty five percent would recommend a younger family member consider a career in the NPS.
- About four out of five respondents (82%) were male.
- Over half (55%) of respondents worked for NPS for 30-40 years.
- More than three out of five respondents were either in the “Manager” (32%) or “Leader” (30%) job categories at the height of their careers.
We thank you for participating in the survey and hope you agree that the results are informative.We will use the results in future policy papers, news releases, and other materials to bolster our work.