Results from the development and application of a monitoring program to assess visitor impacts on back-country campsites at Isle Royale National Park are presented. Survey staff assessed conditions on 244 sites within 36 back-country campgrounds, including 113 individual campsites, 43 group campsites, and 88 shelters. Site conditions are generally quite good. Site size and other areal measures of disturbance are exceptionally small attributed to the placement of most sites on cut-and-fill constructed ?benches? within sloping terrain. Relational analyses revealed that campsites in Spruce and Fir forests and under more open forest canopies have significantly lower areal measures of disturbance. Areal disturbance is also reduced on sites where shelters and picnic tables are present, suggesting that these facilities act to concentrate visitor use. Site locational attributes, such as intersite visibility and proximity to trails, indicate a low potential for solitude within some campgrounds. Recommendations regarding site number, distribution, arrangement, facilities, maintenance, and monitoring are offered for management consideration.
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Federal Government Series
An evaluation of camping impacts and their management at Isle Royale National Park