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.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Boat Builder in Seattle, Washington

Publication date: November 1, 1982

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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