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Assessment and monitoring of recreation impacts and resource conditions on mountain summits: examples from the Northern Forest, USA

Mountain Research and Development

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Abstract

Mountain summits present a unique challenge to manage sustainably: they are ecologically important and, in many circumstances, under high demand for recreation and tourism activities. This article presents recent advances in the assessment of resource conditions and visitor disturbance in mountain summit environments, by drawing on examples from a multiyear, interdisciplinary study of summits in the northeastern United States. Primary impact issues as a consequence of visitor use, such as informal trail formation, vegetation disturbance, and soil loss, were addressed via the adaption of protocols from recreation ecology studies to summit environments. In addition, new methodologies were developed that provide measurement sensitivity to change previously unavailable through standard recreation monitoring protocols. Although currently limited in application to the northeastern US summit environments, the methods presented show promise for widespread application wherever summits are in demand for visitor activities.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Assessment and monitoring of recreation impacts and resource conditions on mountain summits: examples from the Northern Forest, USA
Series title:
Mountain Research and Development
Volume
30
Issue:
4
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
International Mountain Society
Publisher location:
Bern, Switzerland
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
12 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
First page:
332
Last page:
343
Number of Pages:
12
Country:
United States
State:
Maine;Vermont;New Hampshire;New York;Massachusetts;Connecticut;Rhode Island