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Publication Information

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Title: Limiting recreational use in wilderness: Research issues and management challenges in appraising their effectiveness

Author: McCool, Stephen F.;

Date: 2001

Source: In: Freimund, Wayne A.; Cole, David N., comps. Visitor use density and wilderness experience: proceedings; 2000 June 13; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-20. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 49-55.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Limits on the overall number of recreationists permitted to enter or visit wilderness, national park backcountry or whitewater rivers have been formally established for about 30 years. Such limits have usually been established to protect biophysical or social conditions from unacceptable impacts in the face of rapidly rising amounts of visitation. Use limits are one of a number of tools available to managers, but represent a particularly intrusive and controversial one. Use limit policies may have significant negative displacement effects, are implemented within a regional context - even if not recognized in the decision - and must meet the criteria of effectiveness, efficacy, and efficiency in order to be useful in managing impacts. Unfortunately, evaluations of use limit policies using these criteria do not exist within the literature. The paper suggests that evaluations encompass four major domains, consider effects within a regional context, and research move from one-shot case study experimental designs to those that are more conducive to better understanding of the consequences of use limit policies.

Keywords: carrying capacity, recreation management, solitude, use limits, visitor density, wilderness experience, research methods

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McCool, Stephen F. 2001. Limiting recreational use in wilderness: Research issues and management challenges in appraising their effectiveness. In: Freimund, Wayne A.; Cole, David N., comps. Visitor use density and wilderness experience: proceedings; 2000 June 13; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-20. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 49-55.

 


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