Modeling Large-Scale Winter Recreation Terrain Selection with Implications for Recreation Management and Wildlife

Winter recreation is a rapidly growing activity, and advances in technology make it possible for increasing numbers of people to access remote backcountry terrain. Increased winter recreation may lead to more frequent conflict between recreationists, as well as greater potential disturbance to wildlife.

The sharp increase in the extent and popularity of winter recreation presents a challenge to land managers responsible for multiple-use lands with associated concern as to its impact on wildlife and the environment. Thus, managers face multiple challenges of reducing impacts to the environment and wildlife while also minimizing interpersonal conflict and still providing winter recreation opportunities.

One way in which the likelihood of interpersonal conflict may be minimized is to reduce the time that motorized and nonmotorized users are funneled into a single shared-use access area or travel corridor since our results show that the conditions that motorized and non-motorized users select are fairly distinct, and thus recreationists may self-select areas that reduce co-occurrence between the two types. Alternatively, if active zoning is required to separate users to reduce conflict or for safety, the conditions that each recreation type favors should be considered.

Our results underscore the importance of road and road-access management in affecting the spatial footprint of winter recreation. Decisions about the placement or density of roads need careful assessment as they can influence the movements of winter recreationists relative to wildlife or each other. Management practices that lower tree density and increase forest patchiness will also influence motorized and non-motorized recreation at fine spatial scales.

Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://
creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Attached document published June 2017

 

Webinars on YouTube that you might like

Wilderness Trails: Special Places, Special Considerations

Dec 1, 2022

This webinar will provide some basic information on trails in federally-designated Wilderness, examples of practical experiences, and resources to learn more.

More resources in this category

Environmental Impacts of Winter Recreation

posted Nov 25, 2023

Regardless of our intentions, many species perceive humans as a threat and respond accordingly. In general, animals respond to threats by first increasing vigilance (time spent looking around versus foraging), and running away if the threat is perceived to be imminent.

Guidelines for Managing and Restoring Natural Plant Communities along Trails and Waterways

posted Sep 18, 2023

These guidelines are designed to assist resource managers in conducting management activities that enhance the quality of natural plant communities, wildlife habitat, regional landscape integrity and visual quality, particularly as related to planning, development, and maintenance of trails, water trails, and water access sites.

Are horses responsible for introducing non-native plants along forest trails in the eastern United States?

posted Jul 1, 2021

Horses have been suggested to be an important source for the introduction of non-native plant species along trails, but the conclusions were based on anecdotal evidence.

Wildlife Crossings

posted Jun 30, 2021

Providing safe passage for urban wildlife


443 views • posted 11/24/2023