Wilderness and other protected natural areas such as national forests, parks, and refuges are managed to provide high-quality recreational opportunities while preserving natural resource conditions. In managing recreation visitation, land managers could allow visitors to create their own infrastructure of trails and campsites, or they could choose to apply an impact management strategy to provide an infrastructure that includes sustainably designed trails and campsites. Recreation ecology studies have repeatedly demonstrated that informal “visitor-created” trails and campsites are generally not sustainably designed or located (Cole 1981, 1982a, 2013; Marion 2016; Wimpey and Marion 2011). For example, informal trails frequently occur in flat terrain where trail widening and muddiness can be chronic problems, or are fall-aligned (perpendicular to contour lines) in sloping terrain, where they are considerably more vulnerable to soil loss and widening (Marion et al. 2016; Marion and Wimpey 2017). Similarly, visitors are highly attracted to flat terrain near water for camping, where they frequently create substantial numbers of large and unnecessary campsites at densities that threaten visitor solitude, experiential qualities, and natural resources.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Applying recreation ecology science to sustainably manage camping impacts: A classification of camping management strategies|
|Series title||International Journal of Wilderness|
|Contributing office(s)||Patuxent Wildlife Research Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|