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Wilderness Recreational Carrying Capacity: Are Numbers Necessary?

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In most wildernesses, where there is currently no need to reduce amounts of use, setting numerical carrying capacities is not helpful. Such capacities are intended to be indicators of overuse; when use reaches capacity, wilderness values are in imminent danger. However, amount of use is only one factor weakly related to wilderness conditions. In most situations, setting standards and monitoring specific conditions would be more effective than calculating use capacities. Such monitoring would seem to meet requirements of the National Forest Management Act pertaining to wilderness management.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Boat Builder in Seattle, Washington

Publication date: 01 November 1982

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