This study assessed campsite conditions and the effectiveness of campsite impact management strategies at Isle Royale National Park, USA. Protocols for assessing indicators of vegetation and soil conditions were developed and applied to 156 campsites and 88 shelters within 36 backcountry campgrounds. The average site was 68 m2 and 83% of sites lost vegetation over areas less than 47 m2. Results reveal that management actions to spatially concentrate camping activities and reduce camping disturbance have been highly successful. Comparisons of disturbed area/overnight stay among other protected areas reinforces this assertion. These reductions in area of camping disturbance are attributed to a designated site camping policy, limitation on site numbers, construction of sites in sloping terrain, use of facilities, and an ongoing program of campsite maintenance. Such actions are most appropriate in higher use backcountry and wilderness settings.
Additional publication details
Management practices that concentrate visitor activities: Camping impact management at Isle Royale National Park, USA