Recreation impacts and management in wilderness: A state-of-knowledge review

OCLC: 46344134. PDF on file: 5512_Leung.pdf


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This paper reviews the body of literature on recreation resource impacts and their management in the United States, with a primary focus on research within designated wildernesses during the past 15 years since the previous review (Cole 1987b). Recreation impacts have become a salient issue among wilderness scientists, managers and advocates alike. Studies of recreation impacts, referred to as recreation ecology, have expanded and diversified. Research has shifted its focus more towards questions driven by wilderness and park planning frameworks such the Limits of Acceptable Change and the Visitor Experience and Resource Protection. This paper begins by providing an overview of recreation impacts and their significance in wilderness, followed by a review of research approaches and methods. Major findings from recent studies are summarized. The contribution of this knowledge base to management decisionmaking and practices is examined. The paper concludes with a discussion of major knowledge gaps and suggested areas for future research.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Book chapter
Publication Subtype:
Book Chapter
Recreation impacts and management in wilderness: A state-of-knowledge review
Year Published:
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Publisher location:
Ogden, UT
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Other Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Proceedings: Wilderness Science in a Time of Change, May 23-27, 1999, Missoula, MT. Vol. 5, Wilderness ecosystems, threats, and management
First page:
Last page: