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Public Forests, Recreation, and Foresters

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Increasing pressure for recreational use of forest land, coupled with mounting demands for timber and other forest products, often from the same tract, is creating difficult management problems for the forester. This is particularly true on public land. Well-organized groups supporting a preservation view of conservation oppose intensive management of remote undeveloped forest areas (including wilderness). Other groups supporting development and expanded commodity uses with a "wise use" approach to conservation push for intensive management. The forester as land manager is often criticized by both extremes. The problem is complicated by the term "recreation," which covers a broad spectrum of activities, some of which are complementary to commodity uses while others are competitive with such uses. The recent ORRRC report (1962) indicates the types of land needed for various recreation opportunities and stresses the importance of forest land in serving future recreationists. While some feel that the forester's basic college training equips him for management of park or wilderness lands, as well as other forest lands, the author takes exception to this. He suggests the need for each future forester to take a basic course in forest recreation as preparation for his land management duties on private as well as public holdings. This course should include the theory and philosophy of recreational use of wild land, the activities of outdoor groups, case studies of recreational land use problems, and some recreation use planning.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Assistant Professor, School of Forestry, Montana State University, Missoula

Publication date: September 1, 1963

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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