Contract Planner for Katahdin Woods

National Park Foundation – Request for Proposals


The National Park Foundation, in partnership with the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, is seeking a 3-year community planner to assist with the development of a management plan for this new unit of the National Park Service.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was designated through Presidential proclamation on August 24, 2016, that includes a description of the monument:

“In north central Maine lies an area of the North Woods known in recent years as the Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area (Katahdin Woods and Waters), approximately 87,500 acres within a larger landscape already conserved by public and private efforts starting a century ago. Katahdin Woods and Waters contains a significant piece of this extraordinary natural and cultural landscape: the mountains, woods, and waters east of Baxter State Park (home of Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail), where the East Branch of the Penobscot River and its tributaries, including the Wassataquoik Stream and the Seboeis River, run freely. Since the glaciers retreated 12,000 years ago, these waterways and associated resources — the scenery, geology, flora and fauna, night skies, and more — have attracted people to this area. Native Americans still cherish these resources. Lumberjacks, river drivers, and timber owners have earned their livings here. Artists, authors, scientists, conservationists, recreationists, and others have drawn knowledge and inspiration from this landscape.”

The National Park Service (NPS) has committed to completing a management plan for the monument in three years.  To date the NPS has completed a series of Listening Sessions attended by over 550 participants to begin to scope the diversity of opportunities and concerns that will require further public engagement and discussion, and inform the management plan development.  The full report can be found under Park Planning and Public Involvement on the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument website.

The management plan will be developed with extensive public engagement in the Katahdin Region that utilizes diverse techniques to provide for broad public participation including local communities, state and federal agencies, local land owners and businesses, the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet Nations, interested non-profits, and other stakeholders; fosters shared understanding and appreciation of monument’s diverse natural, cultural and recreational values; and cultivates partnerships that will extend beyond the planning framework to support implementation of the vision and priorities developed in the plan.

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW: National Park Foundation & Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument was designated through Presidential proclamation on August 24, 2016. The National Monument spans 87,563 acres, encompassing mountains and wilderness in the North Maine Woods area of north-central Maine, including a section of the East Branch Penobscot River. Monument lands border the eastern side of Baxter State Park, and are located in Penobscot County.

As a new park unit, the staff and services are limited and are expected to expand over the coming years with support from the National Park Service, individuals and partner organizations.

The National Park Foundation (NPF), the non-profit philanthropic partner of the National Park Service, works to enrich America’s national parks and programs through private support, safeguarding our heritage and inspiring generations of national park enthusiasts. NPF directly supports America’s 417 national park units by pursuing three areas of focus:

  • Protect: Preserve and restore our unique American places and stories
  • Connect: Bring Americans to parks and parks to Americans through memorable experiences
  • Engage: Foster deeper engagement with parks to create lifelong relationships

The NPF works to raise funds to support opportunities to protect our historic, cultural and natural parks; connect diverse audiences to the park resources; and engage the next generation of conservationists and preservationists. Supporting new park units is fundamental to our work.

BACKGROUND: Contract Planner

Planning in the National Park Service guides informed and insightful decisions that provide relevant and timely direction to park management, and informs future decision-making for each national park system unit in accord with its stated mission. Planning also provides methods and tools for resolving issues in ways that minimize conflicts and promotes mutually beneficial solutions – solutions that articulate how public enjoyment of the parks can be part of a strategy for ensuring that resources are protected unimpaired for future generations.


The planning process will include four core components:

Information Discovery and Synthesis: Extensive information regarding the natural, cultural and recreational resources of the monument and surrounding lands already exists from studies, surveys and planning work conducted by the NPS, Elliotsville Plantation Inc., non-profits, and state and local government agencies.  The NPS has held “Listening Sessions” and meetings to gather more information.  Many stakeholders have supporting reports, resources and experiences that can also provide valuable information to support the planning process.  Further gathering and synthesizing of this information, data and stories will be an essential part of the first phase of planning.  The work will evolve through a series of community engagement conversations and meetings with local, state and national organizations and individuals.  Activities under this phase of plan development could include:

  • Workshops and discussion groups on topics identified through the Listening Sessions
  • Tours and programs on different planning topics
  • Meetings with interested individuals, groups, town boards, and state offices
  • Oral histories (in partnership with University of Maine Folklife Center), already under development
  • Coordinating data collection and processing with NPS regional staff (GIS database development)

Foundation Document Development: The Foundation Document provides a synthesis of the monument’s resources, values and history.  Foundation Documents are completed for all of the NPS units and provide the core of each unit’s planning portfolio. Each foundation document addresses these critical questions:

  • What is the purpose of the park and why is it significant (as identified in founding documents)?
  • What are the Fundamental Resources and Values for which the unit was created?
  • What are the legal policy requirements, special mandates and administrative commitments of the unit?
  • What are the park’s planning needs going forward?

The process of developing the Foundation Document necessitates public engagement and will include planning public meetings and/or forums such as an Interpretive Themes Workshop. The Foundation Document will serve as the core of the Management Plan and is expected to be in final draft within 16 months of the planner’s start date.

Management Framework: The Management Framework will provide the vision and guiding direction for management of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, drawing from the purpose and mandates established in the Foundation Document.  Unlike a typical NPS General Management Plan, the Framework will provide broad direction for the types of activities and management approaches for the monument and priorities for action.  The core components of the Framework will be identified and refined through the Information Synthesis/Discovery phase and Foundation Document development.  The Framework will align with NPS Management Policies, include required National Environmental Policy Act and National Historic Preservation Act compliance, and address other relevant federal policies and required consultations. The NPS also desires to fully engage and consult with the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet and Micmac Nations throughout the planning process.  The work will also require the review of plans and land use regulations for the areas surrounding the monument (e.g. Baxter State Park, town plans, regional plans) to ensure that management decisions are informed by larger regional concerns and goals.

It is assumed that the Framework will incorporate best practices in natural, cultural, recreational and economic assessments and planning as modeled throughout other NPS planning efforts.

Supporting Plans and Studies: Specific Management Plans (e.g. wildfire, trails and sign design, design concepts for core areas like the Katahdin Loop Road, etc.) and Studies/Inventories will be developed based on the overall direction and priorities identified in the Management    During the development of the Foundation Document and Management Plans, the planner will work with NPS staff to identify and scope the plans and studies that will support the plan’s implementation. Some of the high priority plans may be started while the Management Framework is being finalized to ensure that supporting plans/studies for core management actions are developed in a timely fashion to support critical operations.  In these cases, the planner will be requested to share key information, advise and support connections with planned public engagement activities, and review draft documents.

For day-to-day operations, the planner will report directly to the Superintendent or his/her designee, and will work with a designated team of NPS regional colleagues to ensure that the plan aligns with NPS management requirements and goals, and benefits from other resources, funding and technical support that can be leveraged through NPS systems to support the plan’s development and implementation.

It is expected that the planner, in consultation with the NPS, will also identify and cultivate regional partnerships with universities, non-profits and other organizations to support the plan’s development throughout its various stages, and build interest in and relationships for on-going research and management activities after the plan’s completion.

The planner, in consultation with the NPS, will develop a 3-year project plan that addresses the four core components, goals and deliverables of the contract, and detailed annual work plans that provide specific tasks and timelines for key deliverables. The project plan will be reviewed annually and work plans will be reviewed periodically to assess progress and modified as needed in consultation with the NPS, based on new information uncovered in the planning process.  The planner will develop a system for frequent project updates to be shared with NPS and NPF; and regular updates to the public through web/e-news announcements, town select board meetings and other avenues.


The following is a schedule of key milestones:

  • May 26, 2017:        Deadline for proposals due to NPF by 5:00 PM EST, in electronic format
  • June 2017:              Proposal review by NPS/NPF leadership
  • June 2017:              Interviews with finalists Selection of agency/consultant
  • July 2017:               Initial Meetings & Establish Initial Work Plan
  • July 2018:               Review Work Plan
  • November 2018:   Completion of draft Foundation Document
  • July 2019:               Review Work Plan
  • August 2020:         Final report due to National Park Foundation/Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument


We have an overriding responsibility to the American public and to donors to be judicious and efficient in the use of their resources. We look forward to working with an individual or agency that understands this priority, and is creative, resourceful, and flexible as we create, implement, and execute this plan and build a well‐ integrated program for the future.

The following expenses are NOT covered by the National Park Service:

  • Salary/Labor and benefits
  • Travel to and within the Katahdin region
  • Housing
  • Equipment such as laptop, cell phone

The National Park Service will provide:

  • Use of an office with land line available in Patten, Maine.
  • Supplies such as copy paper, etc.
  • Use of printer


Any participating agency and/or consultant must exhibit the following core competencies and demonstrated experience in the following:

Basic Qualifications:

  • A degree in planning, landscape architecture, engineering or another closely related field.
  • Experience in developing complex management plans that integrate natural, cultural, and recreational priorities for public lands management, and that complement broader regional goals and resources.
  • Proven skill in managing projects multiple partners and pieces that continually evolve and change.
  • Strong communications skills (written, verbal and graphic) to present complex issues to diverse groups.
  • Commitment and proven ability to build partnerships and creatively engage communities to build common understanding and goals, and advance a shared vision.
  • Knowledge and experience in integrating federal policies (NEPA, NHPA, etc) and associated processes into planning documents
  • Ability to work in a team and adapt planning approaches to address the discovery of new information and insights as the work evolves, yet keep projects on deadline and maximize the contributions of diverse team members.
  • Exceptional interpersonal and listening skills to ensure that diverse perspectives are heard, acknowledged and included in an inclusive planning approach.

Additionally, in order to accomplish the requirements of the planning efforts and desired level of public engagement, it is expected that the planner will reside in the area surrounding the monument for the majority of their time working on the project over the next 3 years.

Access to NPS systems as a “partner” will be essential to coordinate with the regional team and other colleagues, and access NPS planning databases.  A required background check and security training will be needed.

The planner will be working under contract for the National Park Foundation (NPF). The work is expected to last 3 years with annual reviews and renewal.

Payments will be made monthly based upon invoice approved by the National Park Service.


Selection of the successful candidate will be based on qualifications and experience, quality of proposal in advancing core goals, competitive cost, and favorable references.

The NPS/NPF Selection Committee will review proposals based on the following criteria:

  1. Technical Merit: 50 percent
  • Innovative, creative and sound strategy and approach
  • Clear understanding of the NPS/NPF goals and objectives
  • Demonstrated passion and enthusiasm for the national parks cause
  • Creative and efficient use of resources
  • Experience, qualifications and competency
  • Ability to meet schedule
  1. Budget: 40 percent
  • Applicants are asked to present a comprehensive budget for the entire 3-year campaign based on their suggested plan/proposal
  1. References: 10 percent
  • Demonstrated tangible success with other clients
  • Applicants are   asked   to   provide   three   references   that   will   demonstrate   their   expertise   and qualifications of similar work done for previous or existing clients

Contracting Party

The selected agency and/or consultant will enter into an agreement with the National Park Foundation, which will serve as the contracting party and funder of this initiative.


Each applicant must submit their application packet on or before 5:00 pm EST, Friday, May 26, 2017.

Proposal Packet Must Include:

  • Letter of interest
  • Proposal including cost estimate
  • Resume
  • Examples of past projects
  • Three References

Packets must be submitted to:

Dan Sakura, Sr. Advisor Priority Projects
National Park Foundation
1110 Vermont Avenue, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 796-2500

Questions Directed To:

For questions about the scope of work and planning goals, please contact:

Tim Hudson,

Superintendent, Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument,

Finalists will be interviewed mid-to-late June.

The successful candidate will be asked to submit a full final proposal for review and approval by the NPS and NPF

Please contact us with any questions.


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