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Backcountry campsites and shelters in Great Smoky Mountains National Park were surveyed in 1993 as part of a new impact monitoring program. A total of 395 campsites and shelters were located and assessed, including 309 legal campsites located at 84 designated campgrounds, 68 illegal campsites, and 18 shelters. Primary campsite management problems identified by the survey include: (1) campsite proliferation, (2) campsite expansion and excessive size, (3) excessive vegetation loss and soil exposure, (4) lack of visitor solitude at campsites, (5) excessive tree damage, and (6) illegal camping. A number of potential management options are recommended to address the identified campsite management problems. Many problems are linked to the ability of visitors to determine the location and number of individual campsites within each designated campground. A principal recommendation is that managers apply site-selection criteria to existing and potential new campsite locations to identify and designate campsites that will resist and constrain the areal extent of impacts and enhance visitor solitude. Educational solutions are also offered.
Additional Publication Details
Campsite survey implications for managing designated campsites at Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Center for Applied Studies in Forestry, Stephen F. Austin State University