filed under: conservation
This article reviews the most recent and relevant recreation ecology studies that have been applied in wildland settings to avoid or minimize resource impacts.
by Jeffrey Marion, Ph.D., Federal Scientist, U.S. Geological Survey
Resource and experiential impacts associated with visitation to wilderness and other similar backcountry settings have long been addressed by land managers under the context of “carrying capacity” decisionmaking. Determining a maximum level of allowable use, below which high-quality resource and experiential conditions would be sustained, was an early focus in the 1960s and 1970s. However, decades of recreation ecology research have shown that the severity and areal extent of visitor impact problems are influenced by an interrelated array of use-related, environmental, and managerial factors. This complexity, with similar findings from social science research, prompted scientists and managers to develop more comprehensive carrying capacity frameworks, including a new Visitor Use Management framework. These frameworks rely on a diverse array of management strategies and actions, often termed a “management toolbox,” for resolving visitor impact problems. This article reviews the most recent and relevant recreation ecology studies that have been applied in wildland settings to avoid or minimize resource impacts. The key findings and their management implications are highlighted to support the professional management of common trail, recreation site, and wildlife impact problems. These studies illustrate the need to select from a more diverse array of impact management strategies and actions based on an evaluation of problems to identify the most influential factors that can be manipulated.
Published March 2016
TRAILS SAFE PASSING PLAN: STOP, SPEAK, and STAND BACK
Horses are prey animals and naturally can be afraid of unfamiliar people and objects. Horses have natural "flight“ survival instincts and prefer to move their feet towards an exit route. Therefore, people with horses should pass at a walk while other trail users remain STOPPED until passed.
Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona Crew Leader Manual
This manual has been written to aid crew leaders working with trail work volunteers. It assumes the following priorities, in order of importance, for every volunteer trail work event: 1) Safety, 2) Enjoyment, 3) Quality product, 4) Productivity.
Colorado Trail Foundation Crew Leader Handbook
As a crew leader you represent the CTF. One of your main jobs is to convey the CTF’s thanks to the volunteers for their commitment to making and preserving The Colorado Trail as a national treasure.
Appalachian Mountain Club 2022 Outdoor Leader Handbook
Outdoor leadership skills can be developed and improved over time through a combination of self-study, formal training and experience. Leadership trainings are offered frequently by volunteers and staff of the AMC. The trainings range from a single day to a weekend. If you are looking for additional training, the AMC offers several courses each season through the Guided Outdoors program.