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Journal of Wilderness August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | ijw.org

In This Issue of Soundscapes Aircraft Overflights in Denali | Interpreting | Wilderness theTherapy Wilderness Impacts Act Variability Wild Rivers in Wilderness Global Assessment Areas | Mapping | The Untrammeled Wilderness in Wild China


International Journal of Wilderness August 2018 Volume 24, Number 2 FEATURES

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

EDITORIAL PERSPECTIVES

Preliminary Study on Mapping Wilderness A in Mainland China 104

WILD11: Why China … and Why Now

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CAO YUE, YANG RUI, LONG YING, & STEVE CARVER

BY VANCE G. MARTIN

WILDERNESS DIGEST

SOUL OF THE WILDERNESS Paradigms Lost

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A Rumination on the Pursuit of Wildness

120-123

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays by PAUL KINGSNORTH reviewed by BILL BORRIE

JAMES M. GLOVER

STEWARDSHIP Understanding and Mitigating Wilderness Therapy Impacts

Book Reviews

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The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Case Study AMELIA ROMO, B. DERRICK TAFF, JEREMY WIMPEY, JEFFREY L. MARION, & FORREST SCHWARTZ

The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Waters by GARY E. MACHLIS & JONATHON B. JARVIS reviewed by JOHN SHULTIS

Visitor Experiences of Wilderness Soundscapes in Denali National Park and Preserve 32 ZACH MILLER, B. DERRICK TAFF, & PETER NEWMAN

On the Cover

SCIENCE & RESEARCH

Red panda or Lesser panda (Ailurus fulgens) in the humid montane mixed forest of Laba He National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China. Learn more about the Wild Wonders of China initiative at: www.wildwondersofchina.com

Quantifying the Range of Variability in Wilderness Areas

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R. TRAVIS BELOTE

COMMUNICATION & EDUCATION Camping Setbacks Near Waterbodies in Wilderness

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Leave No Trace Messages and US Forest Service Regulations C. B. GRIFFIN

Conflicting Messages about Camping Near Waterbodies in Wilderness

© Staffan Widstrand / Wild Wonders of China

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A Review of the Scientific Basis and Need for Flexibility JEFFREY L. MARION, JEREMY WIMPEY, & BEN LAWHON

Applying Recreation Ecology Science to Sustainably Manage Camping Impacts

The Soul of the Wilderness column and all invited and featured articles in IJW, are a forum for controversial, inspiring, or especially informative articles to renew thinking and dialogue among our readers. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors. IJW neither endorses nor rejects them, but invites comments from our readers.—Chad P. Dawson

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A Classification of Camping Management Strategies JEFFREY L. MARION, JOHANNA ARREDONDO, JEREMY WIMPEY, & FLETCHER MEADEMA

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DISCLAIMER

International Journal of Wilderness | August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2

, IJW Editor-in-Chief Emeritus

Visit WWW.IJW.ORG to view additional content only available online.


International

Journal of Wilderness

The International Journal of Wilderness links wilderness professionals, scientists, educators, environmentalists, and interested citizens worldwide with a forum for reporting and discussing wilderness ideas and events; inspirational ideas; planning, management, and allocation strategies; education; and research and policy aspects of wilderness stewardship.

EDITORIAL BOARD H. Ken Cordell, Southern Research Station, U.S. Forest Service, Athens, Ga., USA Lisa Ronald, University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., USA Vance G. Martin, WILD Foundation, Boulder, Colo., USA John Shultis, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, B.C., Canada Alan Watson, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Missoula, Mont., USA Stephen Carver, Wildland Research Institute, School of Geography, University of Leeds, UK

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Robert Dvorak, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich., USA

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EMERITUS Chad P. Dawson, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, N.Y., USA

ASSOCIATE EDITORS Greg Aplet, The Wilderness Society, Denver, Colo.; James Barborak, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; David Cole, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, Missoula, Mont.; John Daigle, University of Maine, Orono, Maine; Joseph Flood, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minn.; Gary Green, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.; Kari Gunderson, University of Montana, Missoula, Mont.; Yu-Fai Leung, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.; Jeffrey Marion, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va.;Christopher Monz, Utah State University, Logan, Ut.;Andrew Muir, Wilderness Foundation Eastern Cape, South Africa; Rebecca Oreskes, U.S. Forest Service (retired), Gorham, N.H., USA; David Ostergren, Goshen College, Wolf Lake, In.; John Peden, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Ga.; Kevin Proescholdt, Wilderness Watch, Minneapolis, Minn.; Tina Tin, Consultant, Challes-les-Eaux, France;Keith Russell, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Wash.; Rudy Schuster, USGS, Fort Collins, Colo.Franco Zunino, Associazione Italiana per la Wilderness, Murialdo, Italy.

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EDITORIAL PERSPECTIVES

WILD11: Why China… and Why Now by VANCE G. MARTIN

The 11th World Wilderness Congress (WWC), or WILD11, will convene in China in late 2019. Our China partners have promised exact venue and date for 2019 in September of this year. Planning is underway in earnest for what is already regarded as a singular opportunity at an auspicious and critical time for wild nature in China and globally. Threats to wilderness, natural processes, and biodiversity are abundant, increasing, and systemic, and they now imperil all life on Earth. With 20% of the world’s population within its borders and an expanding global footprint, China needs to be a serious and significant partner in the global conservation and environment arena. The good news is that China is very committed to this (domestically and internationally) as evidenced through its adoption of “Eco-civilization” as a major national policy. To understand this, a good place to start is with the long history of the human/nature relationship in China.

Human follows land; Land follows sky; Sky follows Tao; Tao follows Nature. China has an ancient tradition of respect for wild nature, and an understanding of how it affects our lives. The great Lao Tzu (4th century BCE) said it well: Human follows land; Land follows sky; Sky follows Tao; Tao follows Nature. 4

International Journal of Wilderness | August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2

by Vance G. Martin


The early Taoists created sacred protected nature areas more than 2,000 years ago, some of which still exist as part of contemporary parks and nature reserves. One need only consider the “five sacred mountains,” exemplified by the sacred Taoist mountain of Hua Shan at the core of Huashan National Park. This makes China’s protected areas one of the oldest such systems in the world. China is correctly and importantly building on that legacy and bringing contemporary coherency and relevancy to its diverse welter of protected areas by creating its first, true National Park system. During the previous 40 years, China created a global economic transition unique in human history, with phenomenal economic development that lifted some 300 million people out of poverty. But it is clear to the Chinese and others that the Chinese people continue to pay dearly for this development in the costs of ecological damage and environmental pollution. President Xi Xinping sees that there is only one way forward into the future – Eco-civilization, the “4th great era of civilization.” In introducing this major national policy, President Xi famously said: Green mountains and clear water are as good as mountains of gold and silver.”

Green mountains and clear water are as good as mountains of gold and silver. After several years of focused work in and research about China, I believe the Communist Party of China and the government is serious about and committed to this vision and policy called Eco-civilization. Many Chinese and international conservation experts and organizations are involved in planning the objectives and proposed conservation outcomes of WILD11. The hosts, conveners, and key facilitators are People’s Daily (China’s largest media group); China Institute for Strategy and Management; Wilderness Foundation Global (Cape Town) represented by the WILD Foundation, the Paulson Institute (China and US), EcoForum Global (founder and Chairman Zhang Xinsheng is also president of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature – IUCN), and Wilderness Specialist Group of the IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA). “Political permission” is required in China for such a process and gathering that involves many foreign organizations, governments, and interests. The WWC is an independent entity and not a formal part of the United Nations, therefore obtaining such permission is unusual, complicated, and not assured. The diverse and well-placed hosts and conveners listed above have been essential in this process, with negotiations well underway with the appropriate Ministries.

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One of several important “pillars” of Eco-civilization is the concept of “red line areas,” where nature is protected from development for its own sake and for the values and benefits it brings to the people. Wilderness areas are certainly part of this, as are all areas (regardless of size or location) deemed important for ecological services and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, one aspect of WILD11 is to make a significant contribution to this policy. Working closely with colleagues in China and elsewhere, such as Professor Yang Rui and students at Tsinghua University in Beijing as well as Dr. Alan Watson (US Forest Service supervising scientist and WWC director of science) and his team, we committed to creating a wilderness concept “with China characteristics.” Such a coherent foundation is necessary because there was no agreed upon concept of wilderness. It was crucial that wilderness be regarded correctly as having Chinese roots and reality, and thereby be relevant to China’s future. One central goal of the WILD11 process is to create a “wilderness framework” aimed at enhancing scientific and cultural understanding of wilderness and establishing a foundation for national policy. Specific elements and actions are already produced, with many others underway, such as an accepted “word” or characters for wilderness (see IJW, August 2016), the first Global Exhibition of Wilderness and Wildlife Art to be produced in China (with our partners in China and at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming), a China Wild Rivers Project, and the first-ever inventory of China wilderness, wilderness translation and publication of the IUCN Management Guidelines for Wilderness (category 1b), wilderness and World Heritage, the Convention on Biodiversity, and more. In this issue of IJW, Cao Yue and others present a preliminary study mapping wilderness in mainland China. Carol Griffin, Jeff Marion, Jeremy Wimpey, and others examine campsite policies in wilderness related to Leave No Trace guidance, recreation ecology, and management practices across several articles. Amelia Blenderman and others also examine the impact of wilderness therapy programs in wilderness settings. For more on the World Wilderness Congress, visit www.wild.org and the IJW archive (www.ijw.org). Links to additional readings and recommendations for understanding the dynamic between China’s nature and people can be found in the online version of this editorial at www.ijw.org. VANCE G. MARTIN is an associate editor of IJW, president of the WILD Foundation, and director of Wilderness Foundation Global; email: vance@wild.org

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal Wilderness photo credit Šof Parks Canada/K9McNichol


SOUL OF THE WILDERNESS

Paradigms Lost: A Rumination on the Pursuit of Wildness Recently, two reissued books from the early 1900s caught my attention. Part of the Forgotten Northern Classics series from McGahern Stewart Publishing, the books are That Summer on the Nahanni 1928: The Journals of Fenley Hunter and Sleeping Island: A Journey to the Edge of the Barrens, by P. G. Downes. I believe such old adventure tales should be considered an important part of wilderness studies literature. The good ones, such as these two, offer an unvarnished look into a pivotal time for wilderness travel and protection. They give us rich descriptions of the very experiences we are trying to save when we protect wilderness. And they can inform us on certain issues that have since become more urgent. These include the persistent need for humans to have contact with wildness, the protection of indigenous cultures threatened with losing that connection, and the profound influence of air travel and communication technology on the pursuit of wildness.

Hunter and Downes The first of our two accounts, That Summer on the Nahanni 1928, actually chronicles two excursions Fenley Hunter made into, as he put it, “the Western Arctic,” in the 1920s. The first was in 1923, the second in 1928, by which time he was 42 years old. The 1928 journal documents 134 days of arduous travel by motorboat, canoe, and on foot that eventually take Fenley deep into Canada’s present-day Nahanni National Park,

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International Journal of Wilderness | August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2

by James M. Glover


down the historically important MacKenzie River, down the Porcupine River through the southeast corner of the present-day Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, into the present-day Yukon-Charlie National Preserve, and as far west as Fort Yukon, Alaska. At first glance, Hunter seems an unlikely candidate for such projects. He lived near New York City, on Long Island, where he manufactured and sold mechanical signs for buses and trolleys. But somewhere along the way, he

Figure 1 – Downes in 1940. “His clothes were in tatters. His pack was very small and light, so he had to be tough,” said a mounted policeman who ran into him. Photo courtesy of McGahern Stewart Publishing, Mrs. E. G. Downes, and R. H. Cockburn.

caught a terrible case of adventure fever, noting, “I seem to have a great hankering for the

The trips described in both books occurred

unknown in Nature, and in its untouched state it

during a particularly pivotal time both for

appeals to me greatly” (Hunter 2015, p. 12).

wilderness exploration and preservation. For

The second book, Sleeping Island, is one of

wilderness exploration, this was a period during

my all-time favorites. It’s a narrative account

which a lot of amateur explorers were figuring

by P. G. Downes of a long canoe trip into

out that they did not need large government

northern Manitoba and present-day Nunavik

grants or connections in the Royal Geographic

Territory. Downes was a Harvard graduate and

Society to conduct adventurous voyages of

acclaimed teacher at a private boys’ school

discovery. Also, commercial air travel was just

near Boston who “had long been susceptible to

beginning to come into its own but was not to

northern yearnings” (Downes 2011, introduction,

the point of profoundly altering access to wil-

para. 5). He began taking annual summer trips

derness that it would reach after World War II.

deep into northern Canada. Sleeping Island

As for wilderness protection, the period

is an account of the one he made in 1939. To

between the two World Wars (roughly the

quote his biographer, R. H. Cockburn: “As a

1920s and 1930s) will already be known to

narrative of an arduous canoe trip, “Sleeping

many as a remarkable time. Among other

Island” has few equals” (Downes 2011, Intro-

things, it’s the time during which Aldo Leopold

duction, para. 10). In it, Downes and his stern

proposed the first designated wilderness on US

paddler, a local trapper named John Albrecht,

federal lands; Ernest Oberholtzer would write

navigate a bewildering maze of lakes, rivers,

a rather radical land-use plan for protection of

rapids, and ancient portages on their way to

virtually the entire Rainy Lake watershed, better

their main goal, Sleeping Island Lake, now offi-

known as the Quetico-Superior Wilderness;

cially known as Nueltin. A good portion of their

and Bob Marshall would spearhead the found-

journey passes through present-day Nueltin

ing of an organization called The Wilderness

Lake Provincial Park.

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Why They Went Neither Hunter nor Downes were especially loquacious about their motivations. What they did say suggests that they were not much different from those reported by wilderness users today. Hunter puts a lot of emphasis on his enjoyment of the physical challenges. “There are many compensations for the hardships,” he says at one point, “such as being fit and like a steel trap, the joy of food (any kind and under any condition), and 6 or 7 hours of sleep; … and after a while a kind of resignation to fatigue and discomfort” (Hunter 2015, p. 159). Downes was more uncertain. To the frequently asked question, “Why?” he found it “very hard to answer.” It has always seemed to me that, whatever I might say, I was partially dishonest for I gave an incomplete answer and probably not the true one at all. The very apparent reason to myself is that I like it there in the land of the little trees, I like the people, I am happy there. But to any reasonable person this is very inadequate. (Downes 2011). Both Hunter and Downes collected data as they traveled. Both made hand-drawn maps of the more remote areas they passed through. Hunter made natural history notes and even took a few “specimens” of the indigenous fauna. One day he shot two Dall sheep, which he proudly noted were “the first two ever taken out of the South Nahanni country” (Hunter 2015, p. 147). His small crew ate the sheep meat and Hunter brought back the skin and heads for a scientist friend back in the United States. Downes took no animal specimens (though he did shoot one caribou for some badly needed protein). He did, however, make detailed observations of topography and geology. His keenest academic interest was anthropology, and he reported back rather extensively on the customs and stories of the indigenous people he came across (Cree and Chipeweyan “Indians,” and Caribou “Eskimo”). For both these two, however, the advancement of knowledge was more an excuse than a primary purpose. Downes hints at this when, after listing his various practical motives, he says, “I am quite sure that without any or all of [them], this particular June would have found me once more leaving my classroom behind, bound North” (Downes, 2011, ch. 1, para. 3).” Figure 2 – P. G. Downes with Cree Indian friend Solomon Merasty, en route to Reindeer Lake, 1936. Photo courtesy of McGahern Stewart Publishing, Mrs. E. G. Downes, and R. H. Cockburn.

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We might conclude, then, that the motivations for wilderness travel by these adventurers were much the same as those reported by more recent outdoor

International Journal of Wilderness | August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2


enthusiasts – fitness, heightened senses, including taste, aesthetics, and so forth. And that, much like many of us today, Hunter and Downes recognized something intangible and very difficult to explain that also drove them. Perhaps that intangible thing is quite simply, the pursuit of wildness.

Figure 3 – Small party of Barren Land Chipewyans Downes met in 1936. “The woman ... had a baby done up in a moss-bag.” Photo courtesy of McGahern Stewart Publishing, Mrs. E. G. Downes, and R. H. Cockburn.

Wilderness and Cultural Protection Of the two adventurers, Downes seems to have been the more sensitive to big changes occurring even in remote northern Canada. At some points he is eloquent about it, such as the time he comes upon a group of indigenous elders, women, and children whose young men have gone far off on a hunt: Here was something which in a few short years was destined never to be repeated again: a strange people, a brave people, with a heritage and way of life stretching back through the mist of time to the bleak steppes of Siberia, dying, unable to change, disappearing into the timeless obscurity from whence they had come. (Downes, 2011, ch. 8, para. 36) August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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Downes would have been pleased that finally, in 2010, the Province of Manitoba set aside 1.1 million acres of the country through which he traveled as Nueltin Lake Provincial Park, “within the traditional territory of Northlands Denesuline First Nations who continue to use it for hunting, trapping, and fishing.” The park also receives a small number of visitors who use the park for wilderness camping (Nueltin Lake Provincial Park Management Plan 2015, p. 5). Our other early adventurer, Fenley Hunter, was less in tune with issues of rapid change. He seems to have been too absorbed in traveling, mapping, collecting specimens, and enjoying the exercise to ponder anything else. Nevertheless, several wilderness protective sites have been established on the lands he explored. The one he explored most thoroughly, Nahanni, has evolved much differently from that of Downes’s Nueltin. Nahanni’s mountainous landscape, spectacular waterfalls, and deep-cut canyons attract a lot more tourists, thus creating a bit more commotion and the need for more intensive management. There are now seven official plane landing sites in the park, five of them lined up along the corridor of the South Nahanni River. These are mostly used by whitewater paddlers. Most of the remainder of park visitors are “flightseeing” customers there for less than a day.

Air Taxis, Choppers, and Sat Phones, Oh My Since the days of Hunter and Downes, the wilderness experience has been increasingly affected by air travel and communication technology. It took Hunter and his small party 32 days of strenuous river travel “beyond the steel” merely to reach today’s boundary of Nahanni National Park and Preserve. It then took Hunter 24 more days, even with a small motor, which he would later have to carry over several long portages, to reach his dream destination, a cataract he named Virginia Falls in honor of his daughter back home on the East Coast. For at least a total of 134 days, he had no communication with his family or business back home. Downes was equally disconnected from the outside world during his trip to Nueltin Lake and back. In fact, he and his partner, Albrecht, were so isolated they made an agreement that in today’s world of satellite phones and helicopters would seem criminal: if one of them got lost or otherwise went missing, the other one would not go looking for him. As Downes explained: This may seem a curious and brutal agreement…. [But] we both knew that when something really serious happens in a country like this, so vast, so unknown and confusing, the time it takes to get out and get back even with aid is so great, and the possibility of this aid being any use is so small, that it is nothing but a gesture to convention. (2011, ch. 4, para. 43) The isolation thus experienced by Hunter and Downes meant a complete and uninterrupted immersion in their immediate environment. Today such complete immersion is rare indeed. The point is brought home skillfully in Out There: In the Wild in the Wild Age, a 21st-century adventure book by wilderness journalist Ted Kerasote. It describes a canoe trip Kerasote and a friend 14

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took in the early 2000s down the Horton River in the Northwest Territories. It’s a very remote spot, but the remoteness, and wildness, are diminished by the electronic gadgetry they bring along, most notably a satellite phone and GPS system. As Kerasote (2004) notes at one point, The air taxi’s telephone number is programmed into Len’s sat phone and is no more than the push of a memory button away. The entire rescue services of North America would then be at our disposal, down to a huge, twinrotor helicopter that can navigate through fog and find us by Global Positioning Coordinates (p. 38). For Kerasote (2004), this digital security blanket is not all that welcome: “The mixture of genuine fear at being alone in the vastness of the high latitudes, and the lovely tension of facing that fear with no resources other than what we’ve brought along, and the wit inspired by necessity is diminished” (p. 38). It’s already been over a decade since Kerasote’s expedition, and the wilderness-shrinking technology has not rested in the meantime. More recently, a wilderness professor named Dan Dustin took a long walk – some 750 miles – along the southern end of the Pacific Crest Trail, parts of which are nearly as wild and remote as any you can find in the continental United States. And yet, Dustin was struck by the fact that most his fellow trail walkers carried devices that not only distracted them from the immediate environment they presumably were there to enjoy and contemplate, but also wrapped them in a nice cozy blanket of electronic security (see Dustin, Beck, and Rose 2017). GPS apps on their phones provided detailed information about what lay ahead, where to camp, where to get water, and what to look at. To Dustin at least, the adventure of the unknown seemed to be replaced by a sort of smug sense of domination through information.

Conclusion Without books like Hunter’s and Downes’s, it would be awfully easy for us to forget two of the major reasons for wilderness protection. One is to save an ancient experience in which one is far removed from the modern-day world and deeply immersed in a much wilder one. The other is so that at least a few cultures, who until very recently were deeply connected to wildness, might maintain their traditions against enormous threats to them from powerful financial forces driven mainly by profit incentives. As pointed out by Kerasote and Dustin (and many others), we live today in a culture infatuated with electronic technology and obsessed with feats of fast transit. So maybe intrusions such as air taxis and satellite communications are a reasonable price to pay for a few places left roadless, unlogged, and unmined. And at least the air transportation, by enabling more people to see more wilderness areas, may help maintain political support for them. But we ought to do as much as possible to help wilderness users more fully disconnect from the many distractions of the modern world. I hope, for instance, that educational programs continue to emphasize the ancient skills of astronomical or compass navigation. I hope some are having their students

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make their own maps of the country they travel in, as Hunter and Downes did. I hope Boy and Girl Scouts, Outward Bound and NOLS programs, and the like, continue to highly discourage – or even better, ban completely -- electronic gadgets in their programs. And I hope at least some agencies can continue to allow, if not encourage, the adventure of off-trail travel across their lands. In closing, let’s give P. G. Downes, the school teacher turned avid Canadian wilderness explorer, the last word. Downes worked hard to find the kind of wildness he seems to have needed. Today, people are still out there conducting the same search. I like to think it’ still possible for today’s adventurers to have an insight like Downes did one day in the North. He was, as he recalled, “camping on the edge of tree line, one of those indescribable smoky, bright-hazy days one sometimes gets in the high latitudes.” It had been a very trying trip, even disappointing in some ways. But then this occurred to him: “I had seen a lot of it just as the old north was vanishing; the north of no time, of game, of Indians, Eskimos, of unlimited space and freedom.… And I said to myself: Well, I suppose I shall never be so happy again” (2011, para. 18; p. xv). JAMES M. GLOVER taught wilderness-related classes at Southern Illinois University (retired), is a frequent contributor to IJW, and is a biographer of wilderness visionaries. His biography Bob Marshall, A Wilderness Original has been reprinted and is available at The Mountaineers Books (https://www.mountaineers.org/ books); email: jimglover97@gmail.com

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References Downes, P. G. 2011. Sleeping Island: The Narrative of a Summer’s Travel in Northern Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. Ottawa, ON: McGahern Stewart Publishing. Dustin, D., L. Beck, and J. Rose. 2017. Landscape to techscape: Metamorphosis along the Pacific Crest Trail. International Journal of Wilderness 23(1): 25–30. Hunter, F. 2015. That Summer on the Nahanni 1928: The Journals of Fenley Hunter. Frances Lake and a Trip to the Western Arctic. Ottawa, ON: McGahern Stewart Publishing. Kerasote, T. 2004. Out There: In the Wild in a Wired Age. Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press. Nueltin Lake Provincial Park Management Plan, 2015. Retrieved from https://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/parks/pdf/nueltin_lake_mp.pdf.

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STEWARDSHIP

Understanding and Mitigating Wilderness Therapy Impacts: The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Case Study

ABSTRACT Studies demonstrate that wilderness therapy programs can be beneficial for participants; however, little research has explored the ecological impacts of these programs. A prominent wilderness therapy organization utilizes vast tracts of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) for programming. This study examines the specific ecological impacts stemming from the program in GSENM, concurrently with a content analysis of the training procedures administered by the organization. Results emphasize the need to improve education, training, and mitigation measures to minimize impacts stemming from this and other wilderness therapy programs in GSENM, as well as other wilderness areas in which these programs operate

by Amelia Romo

PEER REVIEWED

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (GSENM) contains more than 1,866,000 acres (755,143 ha), which are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

by Jeff Marion, Jeremy Wimpey, & Derrick Taff

GSENM is the first national monument to be managed by BLM and the last place in the continental United States to be mapped. The area contains stunning landscapes, unique topography, and ecosystems containing natural, cultural, and paleontological resources that facilitate varied recreational and commercial opportunities. GSENM is situated within an area surrounded by protected areas that are managed by other federal entities, such as the US Forest Service and National Park Service. 18

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by Forrest Schwartz


This area contains numerous designated wilderness areas, and within GSENM, the BLM manages 16 wilderness study areas, which require that management retain the wilderness character of the areas by maintaining naturalness while providing outstanding opportunities for recreation (GSENM Management Plan 2000). Recreational opportunities in GSENM include activities such as camping and backpacking, climbing and canyoneering, off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, hunting, fishing, stock use, and education and interpretation, which all have the potential for social and ecological impacts to the fragile ecosystem (Cole and Wright 2004). Numerous permits are issued for various uses including commercial entities such as livestock grazing and outfitter and guide operations as well as science-related permits. With regard to geographic scale and temporal use, one of the largest commercial operation entities provides wilderness therapy within GSENM and neighboring public lands/protected areas and operates year-round. Despite the documented positive influences programs such as this can have on human wellbeing (e.g., Behrens, Santa, and Gass 2010; Bowen, Neill, and Crisp 2016; Kilburn 1999), there is very little understanding of the ecological impacts associated with these frequent, extended, and year-round types of backcountry programs (Russell and Hendee 2000a). Thus, there is a lack of understanding regarding which programmatic activities can cause impacts, and what might be done in the future to mitigate impacts in GSENM and other protected, predominantly backcountry areas. The wilderness therapy program’s staff manual includes minimum-impact practices and standards that are to be followed by staff and participants to minimize environmental impact, but no previous study has examined how closely these practices are followed.

Study Purpose The purpose of this study is to document the ecological impacts specifically attributed to a wilderness therapy program in GSENM over the span of three years, while also conducting a content analysis of the current training and operational practices established by the program. Associated with this purpose is the degree to which the wilderness therapy program’s dispersed camping practices effectively prevent long-term ecological impacts, which is defined as any disturbance that cannot recover to near-natural and nondiscernable conditions within one year (Marion 2016). This is accomplished by dispersing camping activities to levels that prevent the creation of lasting vegetation and soil impact, or by shifting camping to highly resistant substrates (e.g., rock or gravel). Study results can be used to decrease the wilderness therapy program’s environmental impacts and help sustain the continuation of a positive relationship between the wilderness therapy program and GSENM. The results from this case study also have the potential to inform special use permitting and minimum-impact educational practices associated with wilderness therapy programs.

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Wilderness Therapy Wilderness therapy is an emergent field of health care for youth and young adults who struggle with high-risk behavioral, physical, and mental health risk factors, such as mental illness, substance abuse, and unhealthy body weight or self-image (Tucker, Norton, DeMille, and Hobson 2016). These programs utilize the mental health healing characteristics of nature, along with organized group therapy, to assist participants in making healthy changes (Davis-Berman and Berman 2008). Wilderness therapy has the potential to be a viable option for individuals who might be less responsive to traditional clinical, or indoor methods of treatment (Lariviere et al. 2012). During this type of therapy, participants learn the skills needed to travel and live in the wilderness through extended periods of time spent in the outdoors (Tucker et al. 2016), which have been linked to improved psychological well-being for youth and adults (Behrens, Santa, and Gass 2010; Gass, Gillis, and Russell 2012; Hoag, Massey, Roberts, and Logan 2013; Norton et al. 2014). Research suggests that these types of programs are increasing on public lands (Ewert, Attarian, Hollenhorst, Russell, and Voight 2006; Hoag, Combs, Roberts, and Logan 2016; Russell and Hendee 2000b), and according to the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs (NATSP), there are more than 20 of these accredited programs facilitating wildernessbased therapy in protected areas across the United States (NATSP 2015). Although 20 programs may seem minuscule, when you consider the geographic expanse, group sizes, duration of stays, and often year-round use of the protected areas where these programs operate, their potential footprint is immense.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Wilderness Therapy The wilderness therapy concessionaire in GSENM has a long, positive history with monument management, facilitated by frequent communication between the two parties. Wilderness therapy participants engage in nature-based, guided, and facilitated therapy in GSENM and some of the surrounding protected areas for several weeks, moving in small groups to different backcountry camping locations each day. Therefore, participants spend an extensive amount of time over a large expanse of GSENM. The therapy program provides training to staff and has specific outdoor practices they recommend via their staff manual, but there is little to no understanding of the impacts this commercial operation has on the ecological resources of the monument. Like many land managers who are attempting to provide recreation opportunities while also conserving the unique ecosystems sought by recreationists, the managers at GSEMN must strike a balance between use and allocation of the resources. Specifically, GSENM managers are charged with providing “sustainable recreation” opportunities, defined as those that “provide for environmental sustainability while fulfilling the social and economic needs of present and future generations” (National Landscape Conservation System 2011). Inevitably, recreational use can lead to resource impacts (Hammitt, Cole, and Monz 2015), particularly in areas such as GSENM’s 20

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backcountry, which is largely free of managed trails and campsites. Fragile and generally pristine landscapes are extremely vulnerable to even small amounts of recreational use (Cole and Wright 2004; Marion 2016; Marion, Leung, Eagleston, and Burroughs 2016). Specific to wilderness therapy programming, research is scant regarding the minimum impact practices they may promote, and the potential ecological impacts that may result from this type of programming (Ewert et al. 2006; Russell and Hendee 2000a). Furthermore, Russell and Hendee (2000a) suggest that “enhanced communication and cooperation is needed between agency managers and wilderness therapy leaders to coordinate use and address impacts” (p. 141).

Methods Methods Overview The researchers used GPS data points that were provided by the wilderness therapy organization to identify locations where their programming may have created backcountry campsite impacts. Researchers then went to these locations to record and quantify ecological indicators stemming from recreational impacts. Subsequently, the researchers used content analysis to examine the wilderness therapy program’s staff manual for instructions regarding resource impact mitigation practices. Finally, content analysis results were compared to the field-based ecological data findings to inform where minimum impact practices could be improved.

GPS Campsite Points Each day, the wilderness therapy leaders, who are strategically dispersed throughout the GSENM backcountry, send a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) device signal back to the program’s base, notifying the managers that everything is okay. The PLB provides temporally explicit GPS-enabled data points in each message. Given the vast and largely trail-less landscape, the researchers used these GPS data to determine locations where backcountry campsite impacts may have occurred. A sample of these locations that were sent within the boundary of GSENM between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. local time during 2014, 2015, and 2016 were used to establish n=210 sampling locations (i.e., backcountry campsites used by the therapy program). In addition, the number of nights spent at the same location, which was denoted by PLB messages at the same GPS coordinates over the span of one or more days, was also calculated. We note that the wilderness therapy program’s guidance specified that their groups should avoid preexisting campsites and camp only one night in each location. They also avoid travel and camping in areas that receive frequent visitation by regular GSENM visitors, thus there is high confidence that the resource impacts assessed were attributable to the wilderness therapy program.

Backcountry Campsite Ecological Impact Data At each site, the researchers recorded and quantified ecological indicators, which are attributes that can be inventoried and monitored to track changes in conditions, so that desired conditions can be adaptively managed and maintained. Ecological indicators were collected via a GPS-

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enabled tablet, which contained attributes of interest that were collaboratively developed by the researchers and GSENM managers. Given Blenderman Fig New 1 the area’s sparse vegetation, lack of organic litter, and widespread naturally occurring exposure of bare soil, traditional recreation ecology indicators, including campsite size, vegetation loss, and soil exposure, could not be applied (Marion Figure 1 – The bark from juniper trees is flammable and makes an excellent fire starter when a bow drill is used. However, only a very small amount of the bark is needed so excessive bark stripping is a highly visual “avoidable” impact.

et al. 2016). Further, the generally low levels of site use were insufficient to create visually obvious campsite boundaries. An important goal of dispersed camping is to “leave no trace” of your visit so that subsequent campers do not find and reuse the same camping spot, allowing time for natural recovery to occur (Marion 2014). Therefore, the researchers focused on visually obvious indicators of impact that would enable us or other potential campers to identify

Figure 2 – Wilderness therapy programs often incorporate various ceremonies to recognize youth achievements. Rock art should be removed and natural conditions restored following ceremonies. Furthermore, the right side of this structure was constructed on cryptobiotic soil crusts, which are sensitive to trampling disturbance.

a spot’s use as a campsite. Ultimately, the following ecological impact indicators were selected based on input from GSENM staff and existing recreation ecology literature: quantities

of litter, obvious use areas, dug-up holes (generally, sump holes that were not filled in or have been unearthed by wildlife), scattered charcoal and/or ashes, bark stripping, fire sites (generally visible charcoal and/or ashes, but also fire-created indention with obvious disturbance to the natural rock or soil composition), disturbed cryptobiotic soil and/or crust, tree and/or shrub damage (different from “bark stripping” as evidenced by cut limbs, broken branches, and/or stumps), collected firewood, human waste (different from dug-up holes, as these often include decomposed toilet paper, waste, and sometimes catholes that were not filled in), campsite furniture, and visible visitor-created trails.

Content Analysis of Wilderness Therapy Program Manual In consultation with the therapy program, the researchers were provided with the staff training manual. A content analysis was employed (see Weber 1990) to examine the manual, specifically seeking interpretive themes that mentioned or explicitly prescribed minimum impact mitigation behaviors for staff and participants. The researchers, who are trained Leave No Trace master educators (see https://lnt.org/learn/master-educator), applied their knowledge of minimum 22

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impact practices (also described in Marion

Table 1 – Summary of ecological impact indicator data for campsites used by the wilderness therapy program

2014), to evaluate the mitigation practices prescribed in the manual. These mitigation measures were subsequently compared to the field-based ecological data and established minimum impact practices developed through recreation ecology research (see Marion,2016) and prescribed through entities such as the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (see LNT.org).

Results Backcountry Campsite Ecological Indicators Of the n=210 backcountry campsites, the researchers found evidence of impacts at approximately 64% (n=135) of the sites (Table 1). Litter (trash) was one of the most frequent visitor impacts, visible on approximately 86% (n=116) of the sites. Litter commonly included nylon cord, food wrappers, and feminine hygiene products. Litter items that were less frequent, but also discovered during the research, included burnt or damaged cooking sets, and apparel, such as socks or gloves. At approximately 83% (n=112) of the sites, it was obvious that the sites had been utilized, as evidenced by trenching, decorative construction with natural objects, and broken branches or stripped bark.

Figure 3 – After locating each wilderness therapy camping spot with a GPS unit, they were assessed with 16 inventory and 21 impact indicators. A phone app was used to record all data and photographs.

Dug-up holes were observed on approximately 50% (n=67) of the sites, likely dug to sump dishwater or for burying human waste or food. Scattered charcoal and/or ashes were observed on 43% (n=58) of the sites. Evidence of bark stripping was observed on approximately 33% (n=45) of the sites. Wilderness therapy participants from this program start their campfires with a bow drill, using bark stripped from cedar trees as a fire starter. Fire sites were marked by charcoal and/or ashes,

Figure 4 – Trash left behind was one of the most visually obvious clues that aided field staff in relocating the wilderness therapy campsites.

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which were observed on approximately 32% (n=43) of the sites. These did not include locations where charcoal and/or ashes had been scattered in off-site areas. Disturbed cryptobiotic soil and/or crust was observed on approximately 28% (n=38) of the sites. Tree and/or shrub damage, including cut branches and stumps, was observed in approximately 28% (n=38) of the sites, and collected firewood was observed on approximately 26% (n=35) of the sites. Human waste was observed on 20% (n=27) of the sites, often marked by toilet paper and/or unfilled or dug-up holes, and some was surface disposed. Campsite furniture was observed on approximately 15% (n=20) of the sites, often in the form of large sitting logs or as ritualistic/artistic structures. Finally, visible visitor-created trails were observed on approximately 13% (n=17) of the sites.

Table 2 – Frequency and percentage of nights campsites were used by therapy programs across 2014, 2015, and 2016

Table 3 – Frequency and percentage of years campsites were used by therapy programs

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Backcountry Campsite – Nights Occupied Forty-four percent (n=60) of the 135 impacted campsites were occupied only one night between 2014 and 2016 (Table 2). However, the wilderness therapy programs occupied many other campsites for multiple nights between 2014 and 2016. For example, 26% of the campsites (n=36) were occupied for two nights, 11% (n=15) were occupied for three nights, 9% (n=12) were occupied for four nights, and 6% (n=8) were occupied for five nights. Approximately 39% (n=53) of sampled campsites were used in 2014 (Table 3). Approximately 25% (n=34) of all campsites examined were occupied in 2016, and around 20% (n=27) were occupied in 2015. It was determined that the therapy program occasionally uses the same sites in back-to-back years. For example, several of the same sites were occupied in 2014 and 2015 (~10%; n=13), and four sites (3%) sampled were used during all three years. Ideally, staff would avoid using any camping spot showing prior signs of use and impact, even from prior years.

Content Analysis of Wilderness Therapy Program Manual The content analysis of the wilderness therapy program’s staff training manual revealed that the following ecological impacts were addressed with staff protocols: litter, obvious use areas, fire sites, disturbed cryptobiotic soil and/or crust, tree and/or shrub damage, collected firewood, human waste, campsite furniture, and visible visitor-created trails (Table 4). Practices concerning dug-up holes, charcoal and/or ashes, and bark stripping were not provided within the manual.

Table 4 – Wilderness therapy program’s guidance on practices relevant to 12 impact indicators.

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Discussion The purpose of this study was to document the ecological impacts attributed to a wilderness therapy program in GSENM from three years of use-history data, while also conducting a content analysis of the current practices established by the program. At approximately 64% of the campsites sampled, the ecological impact indicators that were documented suggest that the practices found in the therapy program staff manual are not always being followed consistently or to the full extent possible. Many of the measured impact indicators discovered at the sampled campsites represent “avoidable” forms of impact when staff and participants apply minimum impact practices (e.g., Leave No Trace) applicable to dispersed camping (Marion 2014). Nine of the twelve impact-related behaviors are included in the practices contained in the wilderness therapy program’s official staff manual. This suggests that improved oversight and evaluation of the field staff’s teaching and adoption of minimum impact practices is necessary. However, the manual does not include mitigation instructions for 3 of the 12 impact indicators (dug-up holes, charcoal and/or ashes, and bark stripping), which can be informed through existing literature (e.g., Cilimburg, Monz, and Kehoe 2000; Hammitt, Cole, and Monz 2015; Hendee and Dawson 2002; Marion 2014; Marion, Leung, Eagleston, and Burroughs 2016) and current backcountry-focused recommendations prescribed by GSENM. Inclusion of these additional practices into the staff manual and trainings could improve these results. Furthermore, programmatic changes that lessen or even eliminate some of the current practices, such as bark stripping for fire starting, may be warranted. Some of the existing mitigation practices are working, as at n=75 of the sites the researchers were not able to locate impacts. The landscape features and ecological resilience of the study areas are largely the same throughout. Therefore, we attribute this success to more conscientious staff and/or participants who: (1) camped a single night at each spot, (2) applied the low impact camping practices to avoid leaving visually obvious resource impacts, and (3) cleaned and restored their camping spots prior to moving on. Cleaning up litter, disassembling and dispersing the decorative materials, and filling in dug-up holes would have substantially increased the number of these “successful” dispersed camping spots. An additional goal of this study was to examine the degree to which the wilderness therapy program’s dispersed camping practices effectively prevented long-term camping disturbance. As noted earlier, successful application of the dispersal strategy requires that visitors do not repeatedly reuse the same campsites. For the years of available data (2014–2016), more than 55% of the sampled campsites were used more than once. Only approximately 44% of the campsites were occupied a single night, although it is possible that some were used in the years preceding 2014. Repeat use of individual sites and the clustering of campsites are problematic for achieving success under a dispersed pristine site camping strategy.

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Conclusion and Suggestions Findings indicate that some of the wilderness therapy field staff and participants are not following the program’s established procedures as fully as possible. This could be due to ineffective teaching methods, student’s ability to listen and learn, or their staff’s ability to ensure that participants follow low impact camping practices included in the manual. The program does have an extensive staff training protocol that is working to mitigate ecological impacts. Additional emphasis on minimum impact practices could be helpful, along with updated training and staff manual revisions to include the additional indicators discussed in this study (i.e., dug-up holes, charcoal and/or ashes, and bark stripping). The findings reveal considerable amounts of repeat use of dispersed camping locations, which creates lasting impacts that do not recover in a single year. To avoid long-term impacts, recreation ecology studies reveal that campsites can only be used once or twice in a given year, with visitors avoiding all spots that exhibit prior evidence of camping (Marion, Leung, Eagleston, and Burroughs 2016). It is understood that field staff may not always be able to comply with such practices when extreme and unsafe weather events, participant injury, slower than expected travel times, or other similar situations occur. Therefore, the wilderness therapy program could identify, within each commonly used area, a designated campsite for use whenever a group is unable to move each night and use those sites only when repeated camping at one location is necessary. Recreation ecology research suggests that concentrating repeat use on a single site within each area will result in far less cumulative impact than would camping many times per year on a larger number of dispersed campsites (Marion 2016), although the degree of impact can vary by activity, intensity, and location.

To avoid long-term impacts, recreation ecology studies reveal that campsites can only be used once or twice in a given year, with visitors avoiding all spots that exhibit prior evidence of camping Finally, unannounced field checks conducted by knowledgeable program managers could be introduced to promote improved implementation of the program’s low impact procedures. To continue fostering the positive relationship between GSENM managers and the therapy program, managers at both organizations could frequently meet to discuss any changes in protocols or resource conditions, so that adaptive management strategies can be implemented and evaluated in a timely manner.

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Wilderness therapy clearly has a place in our protected areas, and research has demonstrated the positive impact these programs can have on human health and well-being (Behrens, Santa, and Gass 2010; Bowen, Neill, and Crisp 2016). But, without sustainable practices, these programs have the potential to damage the environments that promote well-being. With more than 20 accredited programs scattered across the United States, it is important that wilderness therapy programs continue to understand the impacts associated with their behavior and follow protocols to mitigate both ecological and social impacts. This study helps to fill that gap; however, further research is warranted. Federal- and state-protected area managers, national organizations such as the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, the NATSP, and wilderness therapy programs should strive to continue collaborating with researchers to establish best practices. Once developed, these strategies can be disseminated widely and implemented into special use and concessionaire agreements to ensure the long-term well-being of participants as well as the protected areas they use. We also suggest additional research to evaluate the efficacy of staff training offered by wilderness therapy programs.

Acknowledgments We would like to thank GSENM staff for their guidance and support of this research. We would also like to thank the therapy program used in this case study.

AMELIA ROMO is a graduate student at Penn State University; email: ameliaib523@gmail.com B. DERRICK TAFF is an assistant professor in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Department at Penn State University; email: bdt3@psu.edu JEREMY WIMPEY is principal owner of Applied Trails Research, LLC, and research faculty at Penn State University’s Recreation Park and Tourism Management Program in Pennsylvania; email: jeremyw@ appliedtrailsresearch.com JEFFREY MARION is a recreation ecologist with the US Geological Survey at the Virginia Tech Field Station, Blacksburg, VA; e-mail: jmarion@vt.edu FORREST SCHWARTZ is a postdoctoral scholar in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Department at Penn State University; email: fgs117@psu.edu

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References Behrens, E., J. Santa, and M. Gass. 2010. The evidence base for private therapeutic schools, residential programs, and wilderness therapy programs. Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs 4(1): 106–117. Bowen, D., J. Neill, and S. Crisp. 2016. Wilderness adventure therapy effects on the mental health of youth participants. Evaluation and Program Planning 58: 49–59. Cilimburg, A., C. Monz, and S. Kehoe. 2000. Wildland recreation and human waste: A review of problems, practices, and concerns. Journal of Environmental Management 25(6): 587–598. Cole, D. N., and V. Wright. 2004. Information about wilderness visitors and recreation impacts. International Journal of Wilderness 10(1): 27–31. Davis-Berman, J., and D. Berman. 2008. The Promise of Wilderness Therapy. Boulder, CO: Association for Experiential Education. Ewert, A., A. Attarian, S. Hollenhorst, K. Russell, and A. Voight. 2006. Evolving adventure pursuits on public lands: Emerging challenges for management and public policy. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 24(2): 125–140. Gass, M., H. Gillis, and K. Russell. 2012. Adventure Therapy: Theory, Practice, and Research. New York: Routledge. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument Management Plan. 2000. BLM/UT/PT-099/020+1610. Hammitt, E., D. N. Cole, and C. A. Monz. 2015. Wildland Recreation: Ecology and Management, 3rd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. Hendee, J. C., and C. P. Dawson. 2002. Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing. Hoag, M., K. Massey, S. Roberts, and P. Logan. 2013. Efficacy of wilderness therapy for young adults: A first look. Residential Treatment for Children & Youth 30: 294–305. Hoag, M., K. Combs, S. Roberts, and P. Logan. 2016. Pushing beyond outcome: What else changes in wilderness therapy? Journal of Therapeutic Schools and Programs 8(1): 45–56. Kilburn, K. 1999. Wilderness for healing and growing people. International Journal of Wilderness 5(3): 19–21. Lariviere, M., R. Couture, S. Ritchie, D. Cote, B. Oddson, and J. Wright. 2012. Behavioral assessment of wilderness therapy participants: Exploring the consistency of observational data. Journal of Experiential Education 35: 290–302. Marion, J. 2014. Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ———. 2016. A review and synthesis of recreation ecology research supporting carrying capacity and visitor use management decision making. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 339–351. Marion, J., Y. Leung, H. Eagleston, and K. Burroughs. 2016. A review and synthesis of recreation ecology research findings on visitor impacts to wilderness and protected natural areas. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 352–362. National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs. 2015. Retrieved from https://natsap.org//PDF_ Files/2015_2016_Directory.pdf. National Landscape Conservation System. 2011. 15-Year Strategy (2010–2025). The Geography of Hope. Bureau of Land Management. BLM/WO/GI-11/013+6100. Norton, C., A. Tucker, K. Russell, J. Bettmann, M. Gass, H. Gillis, and E. Behrens. 2014. Adventure therapy with youth. Journal of Experiential Education 37: 46–59. Russell, K., and J. Hendee. 2000a. Wilderness therapy as an intervention and treatment for adolescents with behavioral problems. In Personal, Societal, and Ecological Values of Wilderness: Sixth World Wilderness Congress Proceedings on Research, Management, and Allocation, ed. A. E. Watson, G. H. Aplet, and J. C. Hendee. Proc. RMRS-P-14. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 136–141. Russell, K. C., and J. C. Hendee. 2000b. Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare: Definitions, Common Practice, Expected Outcomes and Nation-wide Survey of Programs. Technical Report 26. Moscow, ID: Idaho Forest Wildlife and Range Experiment Station. Tucker, A., C. Norton, S. DeMille, and J. Hobson. 2016. The impact of wilderness therapy. Journal of Experiential Education 39(1): 15–30. Weber, R. P. 1990. Basic Content Analysis (No. 49). Washington, DC: Sage.

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal Wilderness 31 photoofcredit Š Hari Nandakumar


STEWARDSHIP

Visitor Experiences of Wilderness Soundscapes in Denali National Park and Preserve ABSTRACT Denali National Park and Preserve (DNPP), home to 6 million acres (2,428,114 ha) of land protected as wilderness, has collected a variety of biophysical acoustic data related to a backcountry management plan. However, very little is known about visitor experience related to sounds in the DNPP wilderness. This research explores wilderness users’ sound-related motivations for visiting DNPP and conducts listening activities to help managers develop indicators related to quality soundscape experiences. Sound-related experiences were motivations for a majority of DNPP wilderness visitors. In addition, aircraft noise (e.g., propellers, helicopters, jets) emerged as a potential indictor for understanding the quality of visitor wilderness experiences. Future research should focus on further implementing Management By Objectives frameworks to develop thresholds, monitoring conditions, and implementing management actions as needed to protect the wilderness soundscapes of DNPP.

by Zach Miller

PEER REVIEWED by B. Derrick Taff

Natural sounds and ambient quiet are critical components to the quality of visitor experiences in wilderness areas (Pilcher, Newman, Manning 2009; Mace, Bell, and Loomis 1999). However, anthropogenic (human-caused) noise is increasingly present in wilderness. This anthropogenic noise pollution masks natural sounds and has the potential to detract from quality visitor experiences in wilderness settings (Francis et al. 2017; Pilcher et al. 2009). Managers need science-based infor32

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by Peter Newman


mation related to soundscapes to make decisions about the protection of this valued resource. Denali National Park and Preserve (DNPP) has 2 million acres (809,371 ha) of designated wilderness and 4 million acres (1,618,743 ha) of land managed as wilderness for a combined 6 million acres (2,428,114 ha) of land protected as wilderness (NPS 2018a). However, humancaused noise is increasingly impacting this vast wilderness (NPS 2018b). In response to this, managers at DNPP have collected an assortment of biophysical acoustic data related to a backcountry management (NPS 2006). Although some social science research exists related to acoustics and mountaineers in DNPP (Taff, Weinzimmer, and Newman 2015), very little is known about how anthropogenic sounds are impacting other wilderness experiences at DNPP. To help managers of DNPP better understand the visitor experience of wilderness soundscapes, we surveyed wilderness users in there. This included samples of wilderness day users at two locations as well as overnight users at two locations. From this research, managers will have a better understanding of the role of sounds in the wilderness experience in DNPP. Specifically, this research can be used to help inform a variety of indicators and thresholds of quality to help protect soundscape resources in the wilderness of DNPP (Pilcher et al. 2009).

Soundscapes Benefits and Management Soundscapes are defined as all the sounds in a designated area at a specified time (Miller, Hallo, Sharp, Powell, and Lanham 2014; Pijanowksi, Farina, Gage, Dumyahn, and Krause 2011). Recent research has affirmed the importance of natural sounds to both ecological and social well-being. Ecologically, unpolluted natural soundscapes contribute to animal abundance (Bayne, Habib, and Boutin 2008) as well as ecological functions such as vocalizations, foraging, and movement (Francis and Barber 2013). Socially, natural sounds provide a variety of psychological human benefits. For instance, natural sounds help humans improve their mood states and recover from stress (Benfield et al. 2014). In addition, people exposed to natural sounds perform better on mental tasks, which shows the ability of natural sounds to provide cognitive restoration (Abbott et al. 2016). Finally, natural sounds are important to a variety of visitor experiences in protected areas, including birding (Miller et al. 2014), frontcountry use (Pilcher et al. 2009), and wilderness use (Freimund, Peel, Bradybaugh, and Manning 2003; Freimund, Sacklin, Patterson, Bosak, and Saxen 2011; Manning and Hallo 2010). Management By Objectives (MBO) frameworks use indicators and thresholds to understand the quality of visitor experiences and have been effective in maintaining and/or improving quality visitor experiences related to sounds (Pilcher et al. 2009; Stack, Newman, Manning, and Fristrup 2011). Indicators are specific, measurable, quantifiable, and reliable variables related to an experience, and thresholds are the minimum level of acceptable conditions of an indicator. For instance, the number of people at one time may be an indicator of crowding. There are several existing MBO frameworks that can be used, including the Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) (Hof and Lime 1997), Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) (Stankey, Cole,

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Lucas, Peterson, and Frissell 1985), and the newest, Interagency Visitor Use Management (IVUM) (IVUMC 2016) framework. All MBO approaches contain five distinct steps: (1) establishing broad, narrative management objectives that specify conditions and experiences to be maintained; (2) identifying indicators and thresholds related to the objectives; (3) monitoring indicators to understand conditions; (4) implementing management actions; and (5) repeating steps three through five to evaluate conditions and adapt if needed. Our principal interests in this study were twofold: to collect information about sound-related motivations for visiting DNPP, and to conduct a listening activity to help develop indicators of quality for wilderness soundscape experiences. From this process, managers at DNPP can be more informed about selecting quality indicators related to soundscapes to wilderness experiences.

Methods Three different locations were selected for sampling within DNPP: (1) the Triple Lakes Trail (TL) area, the McKinley Bar Trail (MB) area, and the Backcountry Information Center (BIC). These areas were selected because they all provide access to wilderness, are popular, and would provide contact with both day and overnight users of wilderness. At both TL and MB, we used a systematic sampling approach, whereas at BIC we used a census approach due to lower use numbers. Systematic refers to sampling a portion of overall visitors by intercepting every nth visitor (e.g., every third visitor, or some other chosen number). Census refers to sampling every visitor. At all locations, a trained researcher intercepted visitors for sampling. If groups were contacted, the person with the most recent birthday was asked to participate to randomize the selection. Visitors completed the questionnaires while in DNPP. Response rates and sampling dates varied by location (Table 1).

Table 1 – Response rate by location for listening activity

We used a 5-point Likert-scale (1=not at all important, 5=extremely important) to evaluate the importance of two sound-related motivations for visiting DNPP. The statements visitors responded to on the scale were (1) experiencing the sounds of nature, and (2) enjoying peace and quiet. For developing indicators related to quality soundscape experiences, we conducted two different forms of a listening activity. For visitors intercepted at TL and MB, we asked respondents to listen to the sounds around them for three minutes. After this time, they indicated what sounds were heard, and how they felt about those sounds regarding their acceptability and their 34

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personal interpretation via a paper questionnaire (Figure 1). This was only done once per respondent. Acceptability and personal interpretation were considered different concepts. For instance, the sound of an insect may be considered acceptable in DNPP, but it can also be interpreted as annoying. Most acoustic indicators should generally be both unacceptable and annoying. Acceptability was measured on a 9-point scale where -4=very unacceptable and 4=very acceptable. Personal meaning was measured in a similar way, where -4=very annoying and 4=very pleasing. Although respondents reported hearing more than 25 sounds, for simplification, only the top 5 anthropogenic sounds and the top 5 natural sounds from the listening activities are included in the analysis. At BIC, we asked one departing backpacker per group (n=150) to conduct a self-directed listening activity while in the backcountry at two different locations: while in camp and during a hiking break. We received 57 completed surveys from this, resulting in a response rate of 38%. We assume this response rate to be lower because respondents at the BIC had to carry their survey with them during their travels, and then remember to deposit it upon

Figure 1 – Visitor completing the listening activity.

return (Figure 2). Respondents listened at each location for three minutes, and then recorded their responses on the same scales as the visitors at TL and MB did (e.g., both acceptability and personal meaning). Respondents were also asked to indicate the coordinates or backcountry zones and times of where/when they listened. For the listening activity, only the top five anthropogenic sounds and the top five natural sounds are included for analysis. We also asked all visitors at the BIC to complete a demographics questionnaire immediately upon intercept at the BIC (n=293; response rate=100%). Demographics in the results for BIC respondents are derived from this larger group of BIC visitors. We did not ask the 150 listening activity respondents to complete additional demographic questions to reduce redundancy

Figure 2 – Drop-box for surveys from visitors at BIC

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Results Sample Characteristics At TL, about 65% of respondents’ length of visit was two to three days. Seventy percent of respondents were with their families. Two primary activities were reported, with 82% of respondents saying their primary activity was day hiking, and 18% of respondents saying their primary activity was wildlife viewing. At MB, about 54% of respondents’ length of visit was two to three days. Fifty-two percent of respondents were with their families. Four primary activities were reported: 82% of respondents said their primary activity was day hiking, 21% said they were camping, 15% of respondents said their primary activity was wildlife viewing, and 6% said they were participating in “other” activities. For respondents at BIC, 57% of respondents were with friends, and 29% were with their families. Additional visitor characteristics are displayed below in Table 2.

Table 2 – Sample characteristics by site

Soundscape Motivations Across all three sites and both measures, respondents rated soundscape motivations from very important (M=4) to extremely important (M=5) (Table 3). At TL, 84% of respondents found experiencing the sounds of nature to be very or extremely important motivations for visiting DNPP, and 84% of respondents also found enjoying peace and quiet to be very important or extremely important motivations for visiting DNPP. MB respondents showed that 71% found experiencing the sounds of nature to be very or extremely important motivations for visiting DNPP, and 78% found enjoying peace and quiet to be very or extremely important motivations for visiting DNP. At BIC, 67% of respondents stated that experiencing the sounds of nature was a very or extremely important motivation for visiting DNPP, and 82% of respondents found enjoying peace and quiet to be very or extremely important motivations for visiting DNPP.

Table 3 – Sample characteristics by site

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Listening Activity to Develop Indicators of Wilderness Soundscape Quality Plots for both acceptability and personal meaning related to the sounds respondents heard during their listening activities display the data from all locations (Figures 3, 4, 5, and 6). As in previous research (Pilcher et al. 2009), potential indicators are identified by examining the plots for sounds that detract from the visitor experience (e.g., are annoying and unacceptable). As found in previous research exploring sounds and visitors (Miller et al. 2014; Pilcher et al. 2009), anthropogenic sounds were largely considered unacceptable and annoying. Conversely, natural sounds were largely considered acceptable and pleasing, with a few exceptions. For instance, insects, wind, and rain were often considered less acceptable and less pleasing than other natural sounds such as running water, birdsong, and mammals. Overall, natural sounds (e.g., running water, birdsong, mammals, etc.) were much more prevalent when compared to human-caused sounds (e.g., shuttles, vehicles, voices, etc.).

Figure 3 – Acceptability and personal interpretation plots for the Triple Lakes Trail area.

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Figure 4 – Acceptability and personal interpretation of sounds plots for the McKinley Bar Trail area.

Figure 5 – Acceptability and personal interpretation for in-camp.

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Figure 6 – Acceptability and personal interpretation during a hiking break.

Discussion and Management Implications The purpose of this research was to develop a better understanding of the social role that sounds play in the wilderness experience of DNPP, and to help inform managers of potential indicators for future use in developing thresholds related to wilderness soundscape quality. First, a large majority (at least 67%) of respondents among all sampling locations said sound-related motivations for visiting DNPP were very or extremely important, indicating that quiet, natural soundscapes are an important part of wilderness visitor experiences. Visitors come to DNPP to experience these wild soundscapes, particularly the peace, quiet, and natural sounds of the area. Second, this research helps inform managers regarding indicators related to quality wilderness soundscapes. Wilderness users evaluated human-caused sounds as largely less acceptable and less pleasing than natural sounds. This was particularly true for anthropogenic sounds that were the result of mechanized aircraft, such as helicopters, propellers, and unknown aircraft. Because mechanized aircraft sounds were consistently some of the most annoying and unacceptable sounds evaluated by visitors, DNPP managers should focus on them as indicators of quality wilderness soundscape experiences.

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Currently, research on soundscapes in DNPP is ongoing. Informed by the results from the listening activities, a necessary next step in any MBO framework (e.g., VERP, LAC, IVUM, etc.) is to set standards/thresholds for mechanized aircraft sounds. In this process, managers begin to understand how much noise from mechanized aircraft is acceptable before wilderness visitor experience is degraded. Further monitoring and, if necessary, the implementation of management actions will complete the establishment of an MBO framework for wilderness soundscape experiences in DNPP. An example of where an MBO framework was successfully applied to manage human-caused sound is in Muir Woods National Monument. This research found that human-caused sounds, mostly from loud voices, was above acceptable thresholds and that information was able to reduce visitor-caused sound (Manning et al. 2010; Marin et al. 2011; Pilcher et al. 2009)

Because mechanized aircraft sounds were consistently some of the most annoying and unacceptable sounds evaluated by visitors, DNPP managers should focus on them as indicators of quality wilderness soundscape experiences. This research adds to a body of literature on soundscapes that shows the importance of human-caused sounds as indicators of visitor experiences in protected areas such as wilderness (Freimund et al. 2003; Miller et al. 2014; Park, Lawson, Kaliski, Newman, and Gibson 2010; Pilcher et al. 2009; Rapoza, Sudderth, and Lewis 2015; Stack et al. 2011; Taff et al. 2014). However, a key takeaway from this collective research is that site-specific context matters for developing indicators. The management of human-caused noise will vary by site, and key indicators may include aircraft (Taff et al. 2014), personal vehicles (Park et al. 2010), or human voices (Pilcher et al. 2009; Stack et al. 2011). Revisiting this current research, aircraft noises were the most annoying and unacceptable to visitors at DNPP, and people talking was relatively more acceptable and pleasant. This is different than the study mentioned at Muir Woods National Monument, where people talking was the sound variable that was most annoying (Pilcher et al. 2009). Listening activities such as the one used in this current research provide a science-based way for managers to develop indicators that will be effective for managing visitor soundscape experiences in the context of their sites. However, some sounds that detract from the visitor experience may be difficult to eliminate from an area. For instance, in Sequoia National Park, military overflights detract from the visitor experience, but are not preventable by park managers (Taff et al. 2014). In this instance, information about the overflights increased visitor acceptability of overflight sounds (Taff et al. 2014). Similar educational methods could be used to improve visitor experiences when the detracting sounds cannot be reduced or eliminated.

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This research has several notable limitations. First, there may be some unknown differences between overnight and day users of wilderness due to the differences in the listening activity (e.g., self-directed versus in-person). Future research may want to simply provide self-directed listening activities for all participants. A broader limitation of soundscape research in wilderness and protected area settings is that it has been almost completely developed in the national parks of the United States of America. This ignores the reality that different cultures have different perceptions of wildness and nature (Miller, Freimund, and Blackford 2018). We currently have very little information on soundscape management outside of Europe and the United States. Future research should focus on understanding soundscape resources in a global context. This should include the exploration of concepts such as motivations, values, and benefits of natural sounds in wilderness and protected areas that have created such a focus on soundscape management in the United States (Francis et al. 2017; Miller 2008; Newman, Manning, and Trevino 2010). In addition, managers of international protected areas should apply similar MBO frameworks to explore the role of sounds to visitors in contexts that are different from those in the United States.

ZACH MILLER is a post-doctoral research associate at Penn State. His research focuses on park and conservation area management, visitor use management, human-wildlife relationships, and environmental communication; email: zdm9@psu.edu B. DERRICK TAFF is an assistant professor in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Department at Penn State University; email: bdt3@psu.edu PETER NEWMAN is professor and head of the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management at Penn State University and co-leads the Protected Areas Research Collaborative (PARC).

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References Abbott, L. A., B. D. Taff, P. Newman, J. A. Benfield, and A. J. Mowen. 2016. Influence of natural sounds on restoration. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 34: 5–15. Bayne, E. M., L. Habib, and S. Boutin. 2008. Impacts of chronic anthropogenic noise exposure for terrestrial organisms. Conservation Biology 22: 1186–1193. Benfield, J. A., B. D. Taff, P. Newman, and J. Smyth. 2014. Natural sound facilitates mood recovery from stress. Ecopsychology 6: 183–188. Francis, C. D., and J. R. Barber. 2013. A framework for understanding noise impacts on wildlife: An urgent conservation priority. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11: 301–313. Francis, C. D., P. Newman, B. D. Taff, C. White, C. Monz, M. Levenhagen, … J. R. Barber. 2017. Acoustic environments matter: Synergistic benefits to humans and ecological communities. Journal of Environmental Management (December): 245–254. Freimund, W., S. Peel, J. Bradybaugh, and R. E. Manning. 2003. The wilderness experience as purported by planning compared with that of visitors to Zion National Park. In Proceedings, George Wright Society Annual Conference (pp. 276–280). Hancock, MI: George Wright Society. Freimund, W., J. Sacklin, M. Patterson, K. Bosak, and S. Saxen. 2011. Soundscapes and the winter visitor experience. Yellowstone Science 19(2): 6–13. Hof, M., and D. W. Lime. 1997. Visitor experience and resource protection frame-work in the national park system: Rationale, current status, and future direction. In Proceedings – Limits of Acceptable Change and Related Planning Processes: Progress and Future Directions, comp. Stephen F. McCool and David N. Cole (pp. 26–29). Ogden, UT: US Department of Agriculture–Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. IVUMC (Interagency Visitor Use Management Council). 2016. The Interagency Visitor Use Management Council. Retrieved from http://visitorusemanagement.nps.gov. Mace, B. L., P. A. Bell, and R. J. Loomis. 1999. Aesthetic, affective, and cognitive effects of noise on natural scape assessment. Society & Natural Resources 12(3): 225–242.

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Manning, R. E., and J. C. Hallo. 2010. On the edge, peering in: Defining and managing the near-wilderness experience on the Denali Park Road. International Journal of Wilderness 16(3): 28–34. Manning, R., P. Newman, K. Fristrup, D. Stack, and E. Pilcher. 2010. A program of research to support management of visitor-caused noise at Muir Woods National Monument. PARKScience 26(3): 54-58. Marin, L. D., P. Newman, R. Manning, J. J. Vaske, and D. Stack. 2011. Motivation and acceptability norms of humancaused sound in Muir Woods National Monument. Leisure Sciences 33(2): 147–161. Miller, N. P. 2008. US national parks and management of park soundscapes: A review. Applied Acoustics 69(2): 77–92. Miller, Z. D., J. C. Hallo, J. L. Sharp, R. B. Powell, and J. D. Lanham. 2014. Birding by Ear: A Study of Recreational Specialization and Soundscape Preference. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 19(6): 498–511. Miller, Z. D., W. Freimund, and T. Blackford. 2018. Communication perspectives about bison safety in Yellowstone National Park: A comparison of international and North American visitors. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 36(1): 179-189. National Park Service. 2018a. Wilderness. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/nature/wilderness.htm. ———. 2018b. Soundscapes: What does wilderness sound like? Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/dena/learn/ nature/soundscape.htm. ———. 2006. Denali National Park and Preserve Final Backcountry Management Plan: General Management Plan Amendment and Environmental Impact Statement. Final EIS. Newman, P., R. E. Manning, and K. Trevino. 2010. From landscapes to soundscapes: Introduction to the special issue. Park Science 26(3): 2–5. Park, L., S. Lawson, K. Kaliski, P. Newman, and A. Gibson. 2010. Modeling and mapping hikers’ exposure to transportation noise in Rocky Mountain National Park. Park Science 26(3): 1–11. Pijanowski, B. C., A. Farina, S. H. Gage, S. L. Dumyahn, and B. L. Krause. 2011. What is soundscape ecology? An introduction and overview of an emerging new science. Landscape Ecology 26(9): 1213–1232.

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Pilcher, E. J., P. Newman, and R. E. Manning. 2009. Understanding and managing experiential aspects of soundscapes at Muir Woods National Monument. Environmental Management 43: 425–435. Rapoza, A., E. Sudderth, and K. Lewis. 2015. The relationship between aircraft noise exposure and day-use visitor survey responses in backcountry areas of national parks. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 138(4): 2090–2105. Stack, D. W., P. Newman, R. E. Manning, and K. M. Fristrup. 2011. Reducing visitor noise levels at Muir Woods National Monument using experimental management. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 129(3): 1375–1380. Stankey, G. H., D. N. Cole, R. C. Lucas, M. E. Peterson, and S. S. Frissell. 1985. The Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) System for Wilderness Planning. Ogden, UT: US Department of Agriculture–Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Taff, D., P. Newman, S. R. Lawson, A. Bright, L. Marin, A. Gibson, and T. Archie. 2014. The role of messaging on acceptability of military aircraft sounds in Sequoia National Park. Applied Acoustics 84: 122–128. Taff, B. D., D. Weinzimmer, and P. Newman. 2015. Mountaineers’ Wilderness Experience in Denali National Park and Preserve. International Journal of Wilderness 21(2): 7–15.

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SCIENCE & RESEARCH

Quantifying the Range of Variability in Wilderness Areas: A Reference When Evaluating Wilderness Candidates

ABSTRACT The US Forest Service recently began revising forest management plans under the 2012 forest planning rule. The forest plan revision process includes a wilderness inventory and evaluation that can lead to some lands being recommended as wilderness. During this process, the Forest Service evaluates the wilderness character of candidate roadless lands. This evaluation can result in the disqualification of areas for wilderness recommendations based on degraded qualities of wilderness character. However, it is unknown how the wilderness character of candidate lands compares to conditions within the existing National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). Without such an evaluation and comparison, candidate areas for wilderness recommendation could be held to a higher standard of wilderness character than lands currently protected as wilderness. Here, four national mapped datasets representing qualities of wilderness character (human modification, distance to roads, light pollution, and noise pollution) of candidate roadless lands (also called wilderness candidates) were compared to the existing NWPS. The number of candidate areas that were more degraded than the most degraded wilderness area was counted. In addition, the distribution of values of wilderness candidates was compared with the distribution of values from areas of the NWPS. Data were analyzed at two scales: among all wilderness areas and within Forest Service regions. Among all wilderness areas, no wilderness candidate was more degraded than the range of conditions within the existing NWPS. Within regions, very few candidates were more degraded than current wilderness areas, irrespective of the metric evaluated. These results suggest that most candidates for wilderness recommendation fall within the range of conditions observed within the current NWPS. A similar approach to quantifying the range of conditions within existing wilderness could be used in local evaluations to ensure that candidates for wilderness are not held to a higher standard of wilderness character than that of the existing NWPS. PEER REVIEWED

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By R. Travis Belote


Wilderness areas of the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) serve as core units of a national system of conservation reserves in the United States (Aycrigg et al. 2013, 2016a; Belote et al. 2016). As important as the existing NWPS is, additional reserves are needed to better represent ecological diversity (Dietz et al. 2015) and establish an ecologically-connected network of protected areas (Aycrigg et al. 2016b, Belote et al. 2017). Fortunately, a process exists whereby lands can be recommended to the US Congress for inclusion as new legislated wilderness areas. For example, during land management planning under the 2012 Planning Rule of the National Forest Management Act (USDA 2012), the Forest Service evaluates wilderness character of lands under Chapter 70 of the planning rule directives. Through this local inventory and evaluation process, the agency determines which candidate roadless lands (generally greater than 2,023 ha/4,999 acres) on each national forest maintain outstanding wilderness character and which areas should be recommended as wilderness. Wilderness character is based on concepts outlined in the Wilderness Act including naturalness, undeveloped condition, untrammeledness, and outstanding opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation (Landres et al. 2015). Wilderness character is associated with the concept of wildness (Aplet 1999) and generally describes ecological conditions (e.g., integrity) and the degree of control humans assert on natural processes (e.g., through fire suppression and plant and animal management). Quantifying and mapping wilderness character of existing wilderness areas has occurred throughout the country using spatial data representing human impacts to qualities of land (Tricker et al. 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017; Burrows et al. 2016). Datasets used in these analyses have included features that represent built structures, distance to roads, and sights and sounds that impact wilderness character. These qualities are also closely related to conditions outlined for assessment in the directives of the wilderness inventory and evaluation process. In developing forest plan revisions, such wilderness inventory and evaluation are usually conducted at local scales across a single (or several adjacent) national forests. Such local evaluations in conservation planning are a critical step for determining high-priority lands to include in formal ecological reserves (Pressey and Bottrill 2009). Local evaluations provide data necessary for managers to identify lands suitable or unsuitable for wilderness recommendations. Data on local roads, trails, structures, historical timber management, the presence of nonnative species, and other qualities must be evaluated to identify and prioritize places with high wilderness character. The importance of local evaluations notwithstanding, mapped national and global datasets increasingly provide opportunities to evaluate the importance of land based on a national or global perspective (Pouzols et al. 2014; Belote and Irwin 2017). In some instances, local evaluations may result in the national or global significance of areas being overlooked (sensu Noss et al. 2015). For instance, features that degrade wilderness character at a local level (e.g., an old cabin or a patch of invasive species) could result in managers downgrading or disqualifying areas for consideration as new wilderness areas. However, the same candidate lands – when compared to all other lands in the nation – may be of extremely August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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high value and represent some of the wildest remaining lands in the country. Only through a national or regional evaluation of candidates can such determination of relative quality be made (e.g., Belote and Irwin 2017). Moreover, through the wilderness inventory and evaluation process some candidates for recommended wilderness may be downgraded because of features that reduce wilderness character (e.g., cabins, bridges), even though such features may occur in existing wilderness areas. The NWPS is widely regarded as a national and global treasure for maintaining America’s remaining wildlands (Cordell et al. 2005). Yet, candidates for future consideration may be held to a higher standard than the lands that currently make up the NWPS. During local evaluations of wilderness character, it is critical to evaluate candidates for future wilderness recommendations at a national scale and compare wilderness character of candidates with that of the existing NWPS.

Candidates for future consideration may be held to a higher standard than the lands that currently make up the NWPS With the above concepts in mind, two primary questions were asked: (1) What is the range of variability in various metrics of wilderness character within the NWPS? (2) How do candidates for recommended wilderness compare to this range of variability?

Methods Four metrics that serve as proxies for wilderness character were evaluated: human modification (Theobald 2013); distance to roads (National Park Service 2013); light pollution (Monahan et al. 2012); and noise pollution (Mennitt et al. 2014). These four metrics (Figure 1) are among several national datasets that represent qualities associated with wilderness character and wildness (sensu Aplet 1999; Aplet et al. 2000; Watson et al. 2016). These metrics have been used to map wilderness character in several wilderness areas in the United States, generally provide estimates of gradients in wilderness character (Tricker et al. 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017; Burrows et al. 2016), and represent nationally mapped data of relatively high resolution. Other national mapped datasets representing estimates of biological diversity priorities are also available (Dietz et al. 2015; Jenkins et al. 2015; Belote et al. 2017) and could be used to evaluate the importance of these candidate lands as means of better representing biodiversity (Aycrigg et al. 2015; Belote and Irwin 2017). The intent here was to focus on nationally available mapped data representing four qualities closely associated with measures of wilderness character (Landres et al. 2015). Human modification data is based on land cover, human population density, roads, and other mapped metrics of ecological condition (Theobald 2013). Data are scaled from 0 (no measured 46

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human modification) to 1 (high degree of human modification). Distance to roads was calculated as the geographic distance (in meters) from all roads using Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) data available from the US Census (US Census Bureau 2015). This analysis was conducted with the EUCLIDEAN DISTANCE tool in ArcGIS 10.5, which resulted in gridded data where distance is assigned to each 90-meter resolution pixel for the contiguous US. Wilderness character is assumed to increase with distance from roads, although the decay of impact likely varies among ecosystems. Different types of roads are not differentiated here, as these differences are accounted for within the human modification data. Smaller distances are related to likely degraded wilderness character, based on increased human access, pervasive sights and sounds from the roads, and other ecological impacts associated with roads (Tricker et al. 2012; Burrows et al. 2016; Ibisch et al. 2016).

Figure 1 – Four datasets used as measures of wilderness character: human modification, distance to roads, light pollution, and noise pollution.

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Light pollution represents satellite-measured light intensity during the night from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) nighttime lights data (Nelson et al. 2015). This mapped dataset serves as a measure of the intactness of the night sky. Higher values represent more intense light pollution and thus lower wilderness character (Tricker et al. 2012). Similarly, mapped data of humangenerated noise pollution is based on field observations and a spatial model using landscape features that influence sound propagation (Mennitt et al. 2014; Nelson et al. 2015). Greater intensity of human noises (higher predicted dBA) is associated with reduced wilderness character. The Forest Service 2012 Planning Rule directives on wilderness evaluations suggests that “sights and sounds from outside the area” should be considered when evaluating wilderness suitability of candidates. Data on light and sound pollution provide a national dataset to evaluate these qualities of wilderness character. For each of the four qualities, data were extracted for all 683 existing wilderness areas of the NWPS

Figure 2 – The existing National Wilderness Preservation System and wilderness inventory areas (wilderness candidates) currently being evaluated among different Forest Service regions.

within the contiguous United States, along with 300 wilderness inventory areas among 9 national forests. Summary statistics were then calculated for each unit (Figure 2). Hereafter, wilderness inventory areas are referred to as wilderness candidates, as they are among a pool of areas currently being considered for wilderness recommendations in national forest planning. The nine national forests included the Flathead and Helena-Lewis and Clark from the Northern Region (R1); the Cibola and Santa Fe from the Southwestern Region (R3); the Rio Grande from the Rocky Mountain Region (R2); the Sierra, Sequoia, and Inyo from the Pacific Southwest Region (R5); and the Nantahala-Pisgah from the Southern Region (R8). These areas were chosen because the Forest Service had completed identification of their candidate wilderness areas in these national forests at the time of our analysis. Candidate wilderness boundaries were obtained from local Forest Service staff. The mean distribution of each quality from all NWPS units in the lower 48 states was plotted using kernel density plots from the ggplot2 package in R. In addition, values from individual units were added as “rug plots” to evaluate the range for each quality. Data were also stratified based on Forest Service regions so that existing wilderness in different regions of the country were compared to candidates from the roadless area inventories in those same regions. 48

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Because these data represent a census of all areas, inferential statistics (e.g., using analysis of variance) were not conducted. Instead, visual comparisons were made of the distributions of data using the kernel density plots. The number of wilderness candidate units with characteristics more degraded than the range observed within the NWPS among and within regions were also evaluated. In other words, the number of wilderness candidates with greater human modification, were closer to roads, or were exposed to higher levels of light and noise pollution than existing wilderness areas were counted. Finally, as a post hoc analysis, mean elevation of wilderness areas and wilderness candidates was compared using a national 30-meter resolution digital elevation model to potentially explain observed patterns in wilderness character metrics.

Figure 3 – Human modification, distance from roads, light pollution, and noise pollution for all wilderness areas (black) and all wilderness candidate areas to date (green). The overlap registers as dark green.

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Results When compared across the lower 48 states, all candidates for recommended wilderness were within the range of values observed within existing wilderness areas of the NWPS (Figure 3; Table 1). The kernel density distribution of values for each quality varied little when comparing wilderness areas with wilderness candidate areas, although wilderness areas tended to be farther from roads than wilderness candidate areas (Figure 3).

Table 1 – Number of wilderness candidates among five US Forest Service Regions and the number of those units that are more degraded compared to the range of values within existing wilderness areas of the NWPS.

When comparing human modification values within region, 6 (2% of total) wilderness candidate areas among all regions were outside the range of values observed within wilderness areas (Figure 5; Table 1). The distribution of human modification in wilderness candidate areas overlapped wilderness areas for nearly all regions. The wilderness candidate areas were slightly more modified than the NWPS units in R1, R3, and R5 (Figure 4). When comparing distance from roads within region, 24 (8% of total) wilderness candidate areas among all regions were outside the range of values observed within wilderness areas (Figure 5; Table 1). Based on the distribution of values, wilderness candidate areas tended to occur closer to roads compared to wilderness areas in nearly all regions. When comparing light and noise pollution within region, 4 (1.3% of total) and 1 (<0.5%) of wilderness candidates among all regions, respectively, were outside the range of values observed within wilderness areas (Figure 5; Table 1). Based on the distribution of values of light pollution, wilderness candidate areas tended to be very similar to wilderness areas in nearly all regions (Figure 6). However, R2 wilderness candidate areas tended to experience less light pollution, whereas R8 wilderness candidate areas tended to experience more light pollution compared to wilderness in those regions (Figure 6). Based on the distribution of values of noise pollution, wilderness candidate areas tended to be very similar to wilderness areas in nearly all regions (Figure 7). Finally, average wilderness candidate areas were slightly higher in elevation (2,198 meters/7,211 ft. above sea level) than wilderness areas (1,413 meters/4,636 ft. asl) in the regions assessed here.

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Figure 4 – Distribution of human modification by region within wilderness areas of the National Wilderness Preservation System (black) and wilderness candidate areas (green). Individual units are shown as a “rug plot” and used to count units outside the range of conditions within the NWPS.

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Figure 5 –Distance from roads by region within wilderness areas of the National Wilderness Preservation System (black) and wilderness candidate areas (green). Individual units are shown as a “rug plot” and used to count units outside the range of conditions within the NWPS.

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Figure 6 – Light pollution by region within wilderne System (black) and wilderness candidate areas (gre used to count units outside the range of conditions


ess areas of the National Wilderness Preservation een). Individual units are shown as a “rug plot” and s within the NWPS.

Figure 7 – Noise pollution by region within wilderness areas of the National Wilderness Preservation System (black) and wilderness candidate areas (green). Individual units are shown as a “rug plot” and used to count units outside the range of conditions within the NWPS.

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Discussion The wilderness character of wilderness candidates was almost always within the range of the existing NWPS. As citizens, stakeholders, and agency personnel evaluate candidates for future wilderness recommendations, this kind of national assessment of wilderness character should be an important step to ensure that candidates for wilderness are not held to a higher standard than lands within the existing NWPS. In fact, when pooled nationally, all wilderness candidate areas were within the range of values observed in the NWPS for each of the four metrics.

As a sample of areas, wilderness candidates did tend to have higher degree of human

modification and lower distance to roads compared to wilderness areas in some regions (e.g., R1, R3, and R5) based on the distributions of values. It was hypothesized that this was because wilderness candidates were lower in elevation than wilderness areas. Wilderness and other protected areas typically occur higher in elevation (Aycrigg et al. 2013) with steeper slopes compared to unprotected lands, which has provided easier access for building roads and harvesting timber (Belote and Aplet 2014), or otherwise converting land to agricultural commercial, or residential land uses. Contrary to expectations, wilderness candidates were slightly higher in elevation compared to existing wilderness among and within the regions studied here. Despite this pattern, wilderness candidates do tend to be closer to human development and roads compared to existing wilderness. Human modification and distance to roads both serve as measures of ecological integrity, degree of trammeledness, and outstanding opportunities for solitude, all of which represent wilderness character (Aplet et al. 2000; Theobald 2013; Landres et al. 2015). Despite the general patterns between wilderness candidates and wilderness areas in these qualities, no individual wilderness candidate could be considered more degraded than the range of the existing NWPS, and only a few could be considered more degraded than the range of values within the region. Wilderness candidates in the Southwestern Region (R3), however, had the greatest number of areas (23% of units) outside of the range of existing wilderness in that region with respect to distance from roads. Light and noise pollution varied little between wilderness candidates and wilderness areas. In fact, in the Rocky Mountain Region (R2), wilderness candidates were characterized by darker night skies (less light pollution) than existing wilderness. Like distance to roads, the largest number of wilderness candidates that had more light pollution than the existing NWPS occurred in the Southwestern Region (R3), which may reflect proximity to urban or developed areas around Santa Fe and Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the surrounding national forests. Light and noise pollution impact ecological systems (Longcore and Rich 2004; Mennitt et al. 2014; Shannon et al. 2016) and can erode wilderness character (Tricker et al. 2012). Dark night skies with intact star-viewing opportunities and quiet outdoor experiences free from human-generated noises all represent important qualities of wilderness character and wildness (Aplet et al. 2000).

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Taken together, these results suggest that in most cases, candidates for recommended wilderness represent lands that are as wild as the existing NWPS. As human populations increase and land use expands (Sohl et al. 2014), protecting the remaining wildlands is increasingly recognized as a key global, national, and local conservation priority (Venter et al. 2016; Watson et al. 2016; Belote et al. 2017). Wilderness areas and the NWPS represent a critical tool used to protect the remaining wildlands. The process by which agencies evaluate lands for potential wilderness recommendations is central to adding lands to this system. Although local evaluations will continue to be essential to assessing wilderness character (sensu Landres et al. 2015), national and global datasets increasingly allow for broad-scale analyses to evaluate lands across larger areas (Belote and Irwin 2017). Ultimately, only the US Congress has the authority to legislatively designate new wilderness areas, which requires social and political processes. Agency recommendations to Congress, however, are an important aspect of designating new wilderness areas, as well as administratively maintaining the wilderness character of lands classified as recommended wilderness. Given the loss of wildlands globally (Watson et al. 2016) and nationally (Theobald et al. 2016), it is imperative that a national context is applied to decisions of how wilderness character is protected and managed on federal lands. In conclusion, four nationally available mapped datasets representing measures of wilderness character were used to compare wilderness candidates with existing wilderness areas. This analysis was used to identify whether and how many wilderness candidates fell outside the range of the existing NWPS. Local evaluations could use the same framework to compare wilderness character of candidates with the existing system. If local assessments measure features that erode wilderness character (e.g., old roads, cabins, historical timber harvests) within lands serving as candidate for wilderness recommendations, managers could compare these qualities to nearby wilderness areas. Although wilderness areas represent some of the wildest and most intact lands in the country, they are not without human impacts (Cole and Yung 2010). Candidates for future wilderness should not be held to a higher standard than the existing NWPS.

Acknowledgments Thanks to Matthew S. Dietz (MD) for comments and edits that substantially improved the manuscript. R. TRAVIS BELOTE is a research ecologist with The Wilderness Society in Montana; email: travis_belote@ tws.org

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References Aplet, G. H. 1999. On the nature of wildness: Exploring what wilderness really protects. Denver Law Review 76: 347– 367. Aplet, G., J. Thomson, and M. Wilbert. 2000. Indicators of wildness: Using attributes of the land to assess the context of wilderness. In Proceedings: Wilderness Science in a Time of Change – Volume 2: Wilderness withing context of largers systems, ed. S. F. McCool, D. N. Cole, W. T. Borrie, and J. O’Laughlin (pp. 89–98). Proceedings RMRS-P-15VOL-2. Ogden, UT: US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Reseach Station. Aycrigg, J. L., A. Davidson, L. K. Svancara, K. J. Gergely, A. McKerrow, and J. M. Scott. 2013. Representation of ecological systems within the protected areas network of the continental United States. PLoS ONE 8: e54689. Aycrigg, J. L., C. Groves, J. A. Hilty, J. M. Scott, P. Beier, D. A. Boyce, D. Figg, H. Hamilton, G. Machlis, K. Muller, K. V. Rosenberg, R. M. Sauvajot, M. Shaffer, and R. Wentworth. 2016a. Completing the system: Opportunities and challenges for a national habitat conservation system. BioScience 66: 774–784. Aycrigg, J. L., J. Tricker, R. T. Belote, M. S. Dietz, L. Duarte, and G. H. Aplet. 2015. The next 50 years: Opportunities for diversifying the ecological representation of the National Wilderness Preservation System within the contiguous United States. Journal of Forestry 114: 1–9. Belote, R. T., and G. H. Aplet. 2014. Land protection and timber harvesting along productivity and diversity gradients in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Ecosphere 5(2): 1-19. Belote, R. T., M. S. Dietz, C. N. Jenkins, P. S. McKinley, G. H. Irwin, T. J. Fullman, J. C. Leppi, and G. H. Aplet. 2017. Wild, connected, and diverse: Building a more resilient system of protected areas. Ecological Applications 27: 1050– 1056. Belote, R. T., M. S. Dietz, B. H. McRae, D. M. Theobald, M. L. McClure, G. H. Irwin, P. S. McKinley, J. A. Gage, and G. H. Aplet. 2016. Identifying corridors among large protected areas in the United States. PLoS ONE 11: e0154223. Belote, R. T., and G. H. Irwin. 2017. Quantifying the national significance of local areas for regional conservation planning: North Carolina’s mountain treasures. Land 6: 35. Burrows, R., J. Tricker, D. Abbe, P. Landres, J. Paynter, D. Schirokauer, and P. Hooge. 2016. Mapping Wilderness Character in Denali National Park and Preserve Final Report. Natural Resource Report NPS/DENA/NRR – 2016/1223. Fort Collins, CO. Cole, D. N., and L. Yung. 2010. Beyond Naturalness: Rethinking Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Change. Washington, DC: Island Press. Cordell, H. K., J. C. Bergstrom, and J. M. Bowker. 2005. The Multiple Values of Wilderness. State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc. Dietz, M. S., R. T. Belote, G. H. Aplet, and J. L. Aycrigg. 2015. The world’s largest wilderness protection network after 50 years: An assessment of ecological system representation in the US National Wilderness Preservation System. Biological Conservation 184: 431–438. Ibisch, P. L., M. T. Hoffman, S. Kreft, G. Pe’er, V. Kati, L. Biber-Freudenberger, D. A. Dellasala, M. M. Vale, P. R. Hobson, and N. Selva. 2016. A global map of roadless areas and their conservation status. Science 354: 1423–1427. Jenkins, C. N., K. S. Van Houtan, S. L. Pimm, and J. O. Sexton. 2015. US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112: 5081–5086. Landres, P., C. Barns, S. Boutcher, T. Devine, P. Dratch, A. Lindholm, L. Merigliano, N. Roeper, E. Simpson, and R. Mountain. 2015. Keeping It Wild 2: Character Across the National Wilderness Preservation System. General Technical Report RMRS-GTR-340. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fort Collins, CO: Longcore, T. and C. Rich. 2004. Ecological light pollution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 21: 191-198. Mennitt, D., K. Sherrill, and K. Fristrup. 2014. A geospatial model of ambient sound pressure levels in the contiguous United States. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 135: 2746–2764. Monahan, W. B., J. E. Gross, L. K. Svancara, and T. Philippi. 2012. A Guide to Interpreting NPScape Data and Analyses. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/NRSS/NRTR – 2012/578. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado.

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National Park Service. 2013. NPScape Standard Operating Procedure: Roads Measure – Road Density, Distance from Roads, and Area without Roads. Version 2015-04-23. National Park Service. Natural Resource Stewardship and Science. Fort Collins, Colorado. Nelson, L., M. Kinseth, and T. Flowe. 2015. Explanatory Variable Generation for Geospatial Sound Modeling Standard Operating Procedure. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRSS/NRR – 2015/936. National Park Service. Fort Collins, Colorado. Noss, R. F., W. J. Platt, B. A. Sorrie, A. S. Weakley, D. B. Means, J. Costanza, and R. K. Peet. 2015. How global biodiversity hotspots may go unrecognized: Lessons from the North American Coastal Plain. Diversity and Distributions 21: 236–244. Pouzols, F. M., T. Toivonen, E. Di Minin, A. S. Kukkala, P. Kullberg, J. Kuusterä, J. Lehtomäki, H. Tenkanen, P. H. Verburg, and A. Moilanen. 2014. Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected land-use and parochialism. Nature 516: 383–386. Pressey, R. L., and M. C. Bottrill. 2009. Approaches to landscape- and seascape-scale conservation planning: Convergence, contrasts and challenges. Oryx 43: 464. Shannon, G., M. F. McKenna, L. M. Angeloni, K. R. Crooks, K. M. Fristrup, E. Brown, K. A. Warner, M. D. Nelson, C. White, J. Briggs, S. McFarland, and G. Wittemyer. 2016. A synthesis of two decades of research documenting the effects of noise on wildlife. Biological Reviews 91: 982–1005. Sohl, T. L., K. L. Sayler, M. A. Bouchard, R. R. Reker, A. M. Friesz, S. L. Bennett, B. M. Sleeter, R. R. Sleeter, T. Wilson, C. Soulard, M. Knuppe, and T. Van Hofwegen. 2014. Spatially explicit modeling of 1992–2100 land cover and forest stand age for the conterminous United States. Ecological Applications 24: 1015–1036. Theobald, D. M. 2013. A general model to quantify ecological integrity for landscape assessments and US application. Landscape Ecology 28: 1859–1874. Theobald, D. M., L. J. Zachmann, B. G. Dickson, M. E. Gray, C. M. Albano, V. Landau, and D. Harrison-Atlas. 2016. The Disappearing West: Description of the Approach, Data, and Analytical Methods Used to Estimate Natural Land Loss in the Western US. Truckee, CA: Conservation Science Partners. Tricker, J., P. Landres, J. Chenoweth, R. Hoffman, and R. Scott. 2013. Mapping Wilderness Character in Olympic National Park Final Report. Missoula, MT. Tricker, J., P. Landres, S. Dingman, C. Callagan, J. Stark, L. Bonstead, K. Fuhrmann, and S. Carver. 2012. Mapping Wilderness Character in Death Valley National Park. Natural Resource Report NPS/DEVA/NRR – 2012/503. Fort Collins, CO: Page National Resource Stewardship and Science. Tricker, J., B. Macewen, R. O. Neil, and P. Landres. 2016. Mapping Threats to Wilderness Character in the Saguaro National Park Wilderness. Missoula, MT. Tricker, J., A. Schwaller, T. Hanson, E. Mejicano, and P. Landres. 2017. Mapping Wilderness Character in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Gen. Tech. Rpt. RMRS-357. Fort Collins, CO. US Census Bureau. 2015. TIGER / Line Shapefiles Technical Documentation. USDA. 2012. National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule. Page 36 CFR Part 219 Federal Register. Venter, O., E. W. Sanderson, A. Magrach, J. R. Allan, J. Beher, K. R. Jones, H. P. Possingham, W. F. Laurance, P. Wood, B. M. Fekete, M. A. Levy, and J. E. M. Watson. 2016. Sixteen years of change in the global terrestrial human footprint and implications for biodiversity conservation. Nature Communications 7: 1–11. Watson, J. E. M., D. F. Shanahan, M. Di Marco, J. Allan, W. F. Laurance, E. W. Sanderson, B. Mackey, and O. Venter. 2016. Catastrophic declines in wilderness areas undermine global environment targets. Current Biology 26: 1–6.

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 |credit International Journal 59of Europe photo Š Diego Lópezof/Wilderness Wild Wonders


COMMUNICATION & EDUCATION

Camping Setbacks Near Waterbodies in Wilderness: Leave No Trace Messages and US Forest Service Regulations Recreational users of public lands can cause a myriad of biophysical impacts ranging from effects on soil, vegetation, water, and wildlife (Hammitt, Cole, and Monz 2015). Recreational users can also impact other users’ experiences. Agencies often use indirect techniques such as education to prevent or reduce impacts (Dawson and Hendee 2009; Marion and Reed 2011). If indirect techniques do not work, agencies may develop rules governing recreational use.

by C. B. Griffin

In tracing the history of public land management agency efforts to reduce recreation impacts, McGivney (2003, p. 21) asserts that historically, land managers’ educational messages varied from agency to agency and even within an agency from district to district. “The lack of a uniform message led to confusion among wilderness users and, in many cases, made the land manager’s dual job of recreation enabler and environmental steward that much more difficult.” Over time, agencies have made concerted efforts to develop consistent educational messages, most notably by partnering with organizations such as the Center for Outdoor Ethics that administers the Leave No Trace Program. Leave No Trace (LNT) is a set of seven principles that guide recreational users in the outdoors. The LNT principles are based on physical, biological, and social science research (LNT 2017a).

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Consistent messaging is key to public acceptance and use of the LNT principles. The more the public accepts and uses the LNT guidelines, the less likely it is that agencies will need to develop recreation-related rules in wilderness.


The principles are designed to be flexible; recreational visitors must still use site and situation specific judgment when it comes to applying the principles when recreating (Marion 2014). US federal agencies formalized their adoption of LNT principles through a memorandum of understanding in 2001. The most recent memorandum of understanding was signed in 2009 between the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and the US Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), National Park Service (NPS), and the Army Corp of Engineers (ACE). The 2009 agreement’s goal is to have the LNT Center and the agencies collaboratively implement “education, training, and other activities regarding responsible use of recreational use of federal lands and implementation of the Leave No Trace (LNT) program.” The MOU notes that LNT works “to ensure consistency of the outdoor ethics message.” Over time, the LNT principles have become ubiquitous throughout public land management websites, kiosks, permits, and pamphlets. Agencies instruct recreational visitors to follow regulations as well as LNT principles. For example, the San Juan National Forest directs users to “Please follow regulations associated with wilderness areas and always use Leave No Trace techniques to help keep these areas wild, clean, and pristine” (San Juan National Forest 2018). Likewise, LNT notes that their guidelines do not supersede agency regulations; for example, the LNT website advises users to “Check regulations, but camping 200 feet (70 adult steps) from water is a good rule of thumb” (LNT 2017c). When LNT is referred to on agency websites, it is often linked directly to the LNT website (LNT 2017b), which lists the seven principles and specific guidance under each principle. This research study is designed to look at the congruence between USFS rules in wilderness and LNT principles for one of the seven principles – “travel and camp on durable surfaces.” Specifically, the research looks at one component of the “camping on durable surfaces” guidelines – the camping distance from waterbodies. This principle was selected because campsite setbacks from water are among the most frequent rules governing recreation (Cole 1989). More recently, Griffin (2017) found that camping rules – typically setbacks from water or trails – were one of the most common rules managers had enacted throughout the National Wilderness Preservation System.

History of Camping Setbacks Recreational users prefer to camp near water bodies for both practical and aesthetic reasons (Cole 1989; Lucas 1990). When Lucas (1990) surveyed 785 wilderness users in Montana about their reasons for rejecting particular campsites, high on the campers list was that prospective campsites were perceived to be “too far from water.” Leave No Trace recommends campers maintain a 200-foot (61 m) setback from waterbodies to minimize biophysical or social effects (LNT 2017b). In a survey of visitors to eight wildernesses, Christensen and Cole (2000) found that most visitors preferred to camp within 200 feet of a waterbody, the distance recommended in the LNT guidelines. Wilderness managers have historically and frequently reported that there are camping-related

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impacts near lakeshores (Washburne and Cole 1983). This perception has led land management agencies to develop camping setbacks from waterbodies (Cole 1982). Cole (1989) reported that camping limits near waterbodies were among the most common rules agencies had enacted, with 200 feet being the more frequent setback. Since 1982, USFS publications for wilderness recreators have recommended campers maintain a 200-foot setback from waterbodies (USFS 1982). Lucas (1990) advocates explaining to visitors the reasons for maintaining a camping setback from waterbodies. The rationale in the 1982 publication for setback was for social reasons (e.g., feeling of solitude) rather than biophysical impacts. Cole’s (1989) research supports that water setbacks are mainly used for social rather than biophysical reasons (e.g., causing water pollution or impairing animals’ use of natural sources of water). Indeed, Cole’s 1982 research did not find much difference in biophysical impacts from campsites located closer to and farther than 200 feet from lakeshores. Regardless of the reason for the setback, Christensen and Cole (2000) found that asking campers to move farther back from lakeshores was more successful if the reason given was for ecological rather than social reasons. This study is not designed to provide social or biophysical research to support waterbody setbacks in wilderness. Instead it looks at the level of congruence between the LNT recommended 200-foot setback and current USFS setbacks from waterbodies. In addition, three other variables are examined to explore whether the presence of setbacks or the setback distance are related to the size, age, or region of the wilderness.

Methods The source of the USFS rules for this research project is Wilderness Connect (www.wilderness. net), the interagency database of wilderness policies and related regulations. The database has information about each US federally designated wilderness including rules and policies regulating recreational use. The “Area Management” tab for each USFS wilderness was analyzed to determine if it had a rule about camping proximity to waterbodies. USFS rules about camping setbacks from waterbodies are grouped into four categories: lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, springs, and the generic term “water.” Each of the rules were recorded using two criteria: (1) presence of a rule about camping next to waterbodies, and (2) the setback distance. Because rules sometimes varied between different types of waterbodies within the same wilderness, distances were recorded separately for rivers and streams, lakes, springs, and water. The database is not without its shortcomings. Some agencies provide more information about wilderness rules. The research was restricted to the USFS because the dataset is more complete than it is for the BLM-, NPS-, or USFWS-managed wilderness areas. Another shortcoming of the database is if rules are absent, it is difficult to know if rules do not exist or if the information was simply not entered Wilderness Connect.

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Results Of the 445 USFS-managed wildernesses, 112 had water-related camping setback rules. The Rocky Mountain Region had the highest percentage of wildernesses with water setbacks (Figure 1) as well as the most wildernesses that have water setbacks for camping (n=36).

Figure 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Percentage of USFS wildernesses with and without camping setbacks from a waterbody by USFS region.

Wildernesses larger than 100,000 acres (40,469 ha) are more likely to have water setback rules than smaller wildernesses (Figure 2). 2

Figure 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Percentage of USFS wildernesses with and without camping setbacks from a waterbody by wilderness size.

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Wildernesses designated in the last 18 years are less likely to have water-related camping setbacks than older wildernesses (Figure 3). This may be due to the fact that when a wilderness is designated there are few, if any rules but as problems develop over time, managers may add rules; thus, the older the wilderness, the more likely it is to have rules.

Figure 3 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Percentage of USFS wildernesses with and without camping setbacks from a waterbody by date of congressional designation.

The most common type of camping setbacks in USFS wildernesses are for rivers/streams followed by water (Figure 4). (The total number of wilderness rules is 172 because some of the 112 wildernesses have different rules for different types of waterbodies.)

Figure 4 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Number of USFS wildernesses with camping setbacks by type of waterbody.

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Figure 5 – Distance of the camping setbacks from waterbodies in USFS wildernesses.

USFS with water setback distances varied from 50 feet (15 m) to 1,320 feet (402 m). The most common rule about setback distances for waterbodies in USFS wildernesses is at least 100 feet (30.5m) from waterbodies (Figure 5). Most (73%) of the USFS camping setback rules from water were less than the LNT guideline of 200 feet. There are regional differences in terms of the setback distance from waterbodies (Figure 6). Compared to the LNT 200-foot setback guideline, none of the Southern Region’s wildernesses meet or exceed the guideline, 25% of the Western Region (all regions except the Northern, Eastern and Southern) meet or exceed the guidelines, and 46% of the Northern and Eastern Regions meet or exceed the LNT guideline.

Figure 6 – Regional differences in the camping setbacks from waterbodies in USFS wildernesses.

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Discussion Setback distances almost certainly predated wilderness designation in some forests. The camping setbacks were and are based on general or site-specific research, biophysical factors (e.g., a lake may be surrounded by mountains), social science research, and political acceptability. In his research in the 1980s, Cole (1989) reported the most frequent setback in USFS wildernesses was 200 feet. This matches the USFS recommendations from 1982 as well as the LNT guideline. Today, the typical setback in USFS wildernesses – if one exists – is 100 feet from waterbodies. One of the keys to LNT’s efforts – which if adopted by users can avoid regulation – is consistently using the same message (Marion and Reed 2001). The LNT messaging appears to be internally consistent (this author has never encountered any deviation from the LNT recommendation of 200 feet whenever LNT is cited), so that does not appear to be an issue. A study by Leung and Marion (2000) may suggest that the LNT messaging campaigns are working. They studied seven wilderness areas in the eastern United States that did not regulate camping distance from waterbodies. They found that 70% of the 118 campsites were more than 200 feet from water in accordance with the LNT guidelines.

Next Steps The purpose of the Leave No Trace Program is to minimize the impacts of recreational use on public lands, a goal that federal land management agencies support. The memorandum of understanding signed between the agencies and the LNT Center has resulted in the widespread agency dissemination of the LNT principles. Consistent messaging is key to public acceptance and use of the LNT principles. The more the public accepts and uses the LNT guidelines, the less likely it is that agencies will need to develop recreation-related rules in wilderness. If the seven principles were universally used, the need for regulation would arguably be less. Even with LNT principles, agencies may still need to adopt recreation-related rules in some wildernesses. There are times when the USFS may need to develop rules that deviate from the LNT principles. This research has identified a disconnect between LNT guidelines and USFS regulations when it comes to setback distances from waterbodies, with most of the USFS setbacks being closer than the LNT guidelines. The time is ripe to explore ways to achieve greater consistency between agency regulations and LNT principles.

C. “GRIFF” GRIFFIN is a professor of natural resources management at Grand Valley State University in Michigan; email: griffinc@gvsu.edu

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References Christensen, N.A., and D. N. Cole. 2000. Leave No Trace practices: Behaviors and preferences of wilderness visitors regarding use of cookstoves and camping away from lakes. In Wilderness Science in a Time of Change Conference – Volume 5: Wilderness Ecosystems, Threats, and Management, May 23–27, 1999, Missoula, MT, comp. D. N. Cole, S. F. McCool, W. T. Borrie, and J. O’Loughlin (pp. 77–85). Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-5. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Cole, D. N. 1982. Wilderness Campsite Impacts: Effect of Amount of Use. Res. Pap. INT-284. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. ———. 1989. Low-Impact Recreational Practices for Wilderness and Backcountry. Gen. Tech. Rpt. INT-265. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. Dawson, C. P., and J. C. Hendee. 2009. Wilderness Management: Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values, 4th ed. Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing. Griffin, C. B. 2017. Managing unconfined recreation in wilderness. International Journal of Wilderness 23(1): 13–17. Hammitt, W. E., D. N. Cole, and C. A. Monz. 2015. Wildland Recreation: Ecology and Management. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing. Leave No Trace. 2017a. Retrieved December 16, 2017, from https://lnt.org/learn/science-behind-principles. ———. 2017b. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles. ———. 2017c. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://lnt.org/learn/principle-2. Leung, Y., and J. L. Marion. 2000. Wilderness campsite conditions under an unregulated camping policy: An eastern example. In Wilderness Science in a Time of Change Conference – Volume 5: Wilderness Ecosystems, Threats, and Management, May 23–27, 1999, Missoula, MT, comp. D. N. Cole, S. F. McCool, W. T. Borrie, and J. O’Loughlin. (pp. 148-152). Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-5. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Lucas, R. C. 1990. How Wilderness Visitors Choose Entry Points and Campsites. Res. Pap. INT-428. Ogden, UT: USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. Marion, J. 2014. Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. Marion, J. L., and S. E. Reid. 2001. Development of the U.S. Leave No Trace Program: An Historical Perspective. January. Retrieved from https://lnt.org/sites/default/files/Leave_No_Trace_History_Paper.pdf. McGivney, A. 2003. Leave No Trace: A Guide to the New Wilderness Ethic, 2nd ed. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. San Juan National Forest. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/sanjuan/recreation. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Inter-mountain Region. 1982. Leave No Trace: A Program for Teaching Skills to Protect the Wilderness Environment. Ogden, UT. Washburne, R. F., and D. N. Cole. 1983. Problems and practices in wilderness management: A survey of managers. Res. Pap. INT-304. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Inter-mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.

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COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION

Conflicting Messages about Camping Near Waterbodies in Wilderness: A Review of the Scientific Basis and Need for Flexibility PEER REVIEWED

The preceding article by C. B. Griffin examines the differences in recommended camping distance from waterbodies from a perspective that there should be consistency between the guidance provided by land management agencies and low

by Jeffrey Marion

impact education and communication programs, such as Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly. We concur that regulatory and messaging consistency is a beneficial mutual goal and suggest that itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to reexamine the biophysical and social scientific basis for such guidance, historical precedents, alternative management options, and where there are needs for flexibility. We also identify possible additional research needs and suggest alternative actions based on the current body of research.

by Jeremy Wimpey

Background Land managers have commonly sought to discourage or prohibit camping near surface waters (e.g., lakes, rivers, streams, and springs), imposing regulations that prohibit camping within a specified distance from water. As Griffin presents, these camping setbacks from water within US Forest Service by Ben Lawhon 68

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wilderness areas currently range from 50 (15 m) to 1,320 feet (402 m), with 100 feet (30.5 m) as the most common prohibition, followed by 200 feet (61 m), which is the distance recommended by the national Leave No Trace and Tread Lightly programs (Leave No Trace 2018, Tread Lightly 2018). An earlier survey by Washburne and Cole (1983) reported the following percentages of agency management units that employed camping setback from water regulations: U.S. Forest Service (USFS) (37%), National Park Service (NPS) (22%), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) (7%), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (18%). Distances ranged from 20 to 2,640 feet (6 to 805 m), with 100 feet as the most common distance. In 1992, Marion, Roggenbuck, and Manning (1993) surveyed NPS units with substantial backcountry and wilderness with similar findings: 41 units (44%) employed camping setback from water regulations, with a range of 5 (1.5 m) to 2,640 feet and 100 feet as the most common value (22 units, 23%). Despite consistent recommendations from Leave No Trace for the past 20 years regarding camping a minimum of 200 feet from any water source, some local regulations differ from these recommendations for a variety of reasons. The NPS, for example, sometimes locates designated campsites within 200 feet of water sources due to unique contextual constraints imposed by local topography or other factors. As collaborative partners of the federal land management agencies, Leave No Trace and similar educational programs default to federal regulations for their individual units. However, such programs generally recommend extra precaution when camping in areas that are closer to surface waters than they would otherwise recommend. Land management agencies often have specific reasons for siting recreational facilities that encompass more than one criterion, such as proximity to water, hence the standard guidance asking visitors to discover and abide by agency regulations for the unit they are visiting.  The national Leave No Trace program is managed by the 501(c)3 Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (the Center). Five of the primary federal land management agencies have been under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Center since 1994 and include the NPS, BLM, USFS, FWS, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Through the MOU, these agencies have agreed that Leave No Trace is their minimum impact recreation program for nonmotorized recreation (Marion 2014; Vagias and Powell 2010). Functionally, this means that the federal land management agencies disseminate Leave No Trace recommendations to visitors to the lands they manage. Although the MOU aims for a consistent message to public lands visitors, local adaptations are sometimes necessary. The 200-foot camping setback from water was selected in the early 1990s by the Leave No Trace program’s Education Review Committee, composed of representatives of the federal land management agencies, scientists, Center staff, and organizations such as the National Outdoor Leadership School. As for many other educational practices, an appropriate “universal” number was selected that would be generally applicable to the diverse array of environmental settings that occur nationally within protected natural areas. In some locations a 200-foot setback may not be necessary to protect surface waters, whereas in others it may be inadequate. The Leave August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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No Trace program generally sought to err on the side of resource protection, while seeking to provide educational consistency by establishing a universal distance to guide campers in their decision-making regardless of the location or environment. There were three primary reasons prioritized by the Education Committee for the 200-foot Leave No Trace guideline: (1) to avoid or minimize pollution of surface waters, 2) to facilitate wildlife access to water sources, particularly in arid environments, and 3) to promote visitor solitude and reduce recreational conflict. In more mesic environments wildlife access to water is not a concern, and deeper soils with organic litter and dense ground vegetation cover, particularly grasses and sedges, are able to filter water draining from riparian campsites camping only 100 feet from water. Conversely, 200 feet could be inadequate in Colorado Plateau locations due to limited water sources for wildlife and the potential for human-introduced pollutants to enter water sources from rain events within extensive areas of slick rock or thin soils. A final consideration regarding potential inconsistencies between Leave No Trace recommendations and agency guidance for camping distances from surface waters in wilderness is that the Wilderness Act was enacted 30 years before creation of the formal Leave No Trace program. The establishment of camping setbacks from water for many wilderness areas predated the development of the Leave No Trace program guidance and their agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adoption of Leave No Trace messaging. Regulations are typically infrequently updated, particularly in the absence of clear scientific evidence to the contrary. The following sections examine visitorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; attraction to camping near water and the scientific literature for possible guidance based on ecological, cultural/historic, social/experiential, and wildlife and rare/sensitive species research and management concerns.

Social Science: Visitors Are Attracted to Water As reviewed by Griffin (this issue), visitor surveys have demonstrated that visitors prefer to camp near water. In a comprehensive early study, Lime (1971) interviewed northern Minnesota campground visitors and analyzed campground occupancy rates to investigate visitor preferences affecting campsite selection. Lime identified three groupings of 74 factors that could affect campground occupancy. Location factors included proximity to main travel routes, towns, and other recreational facilities. Natural environment factors included vegetation type, scenery, fishing, and geography (including proximity to water). Human-made environment factors included the facilities and services available, fees, campground age, campsite spacing, and number of waterfront campsites. Regression modeling of 25 possible factors explaining campground occupancy data yielded three significant factors (R2=.77), including (1) the percentage of waterfront campsites (explaining 84% of variation), (2) the reputation of the water body for fishing (8%), and (3) the length of time the campground had been open (7.6%). Analyses of 248 visitor interviews reinforced the regression results, revealing the most important determinant for

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campsite selection was obtaining a waterfront campsite (77% of respondents) (Lime 1971). More recent research specific to wilderness visitors’ campsite choices in Oregon’s Mt. Jefferson Wilderness reveals similar findings three decades later. White, Hall, and Farrell (2001) identified 5 groupings of 23 factors that might influence campsite choice. Based on open-ended semistructured interviews, their results revealed that locational features were the most frequently cited (62%), with proximity to water the most referenced feature of any type (38%). Social factors were also important, with 22% reporting that they chose their site because it was not too close to other groups. These and other surveys reveal that visitors are strongly attracted to water in both frontcountry (developed) and wildland settings. Their reasons are varied and include the need for water, scenic beauty, the unique nature of riparian settings, opportunities to see wildlife and explore shorelines, fishing, swimming, and the relaxing sound of water. This attraction, however, poses challenges for land managers seeking to provide high-quality recreation experiences while protecting natural and cultural resources. In wilderness, managers are particularly concerned about visitor freedom from regulations, preferring indirect actions when effective. For example, Lucas (1982) used camping setbacks from water as a regulatory example throughout an article titled “Recreation regulations: When are they needed?” Lucas suggested beginning the decision process by describing the problem, which for camping setbacks can be ecological (are riparian shorelines more vulnerable to resource impacts than more distant locations?), or social (are shoreline campsites too visible, is solitude diminished, or are there conflicts with other visitors?). The following problem description section examines some of the existing literature related to these ecological and social questions.

Problem Description: Shoreline Camping Ecological Concerns Campsites pose a potential threat to vegetation, soils, water quality, and wildlife. Camping activities frequently reduce or remove vegetation ground cover and organic litter, which play an important role in preventing soil erosion (Marion et al. 2016). In sunny settings, grass and sedge cover can survive low to moderate levels of trampling due to their substantially greater resistance and resilience (Cole 1995b; Cole and Monz 2002). Only the most intensively trafficked portions of grassy campsites lose their protective vegetation cover (Cole 1982b, 1995a, 1995b) (Figure 1). In contrast, most campsite vegetative cover is lost with low levels of camping activity in forests with closed canopies, along with the pulverization and loss of underlying organic litter, which exposes organic and mineral soils in core areas to rainfall and erosion (Cole 1995a, 1995b) (Figure 1). Given that most shorelines slope directly to water, a significant ecological concern is the threat of water runoff from barren campsites carrying organic materials, sediments, and pollutants from campfire ashes, soap use, urine, or human waste.

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Figure 1a-b â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Sun-loving grasses and sedges can sustain all but the most intensive trampling on this high-elevation lake campsite in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, CA (left). In contrast, shade-tolerant herbs are quickly lost on forested campsites such as this one in Minnesotaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) (right).

Runoff from shoreline campsites drained straight to water is particularly problematic. Campsite drainage that collects and flows along an incised water access trail or natural drainage swale directly to a water body poses a substantial threat to water quality (Figure 2). In contrast, campsites that drain with sheet flow through more than about 25 feet (7.6 m) of relatively undisturbed vegetation and organic litter are likely to pose little threat to water quality (Figure 1, grassy site). A review of US guidelines for forested riparian buffer widths to protect against the considerably greater disturbances associated with timber harvesting reported values ranging from 50 to 79 feet (15-24 m) for different waterbody types (Lee, Smyth, and Boutin 2004). A key challenge is to promote water drainage from campsites through sheet flow to reduce water flow rates to levels that will drop suspended materials, facilitate filtering by surface vegetation and organic litter, and allow water to percolate into shoreline soils. As demonstrated in Figure 2, it may be possible to reroute water access trails so they do not drain campsites to a water body, provided the original trail can be effectively closed and blocked to allow natural or assisted recovery. Alternately, a 200-foot campsite setback is likely sufficient so that natural obstacles such as rocks or roots remove water, or to allow the installation of effective tread drainage features. Shoreline riparian areas with substantial rock, thin soils, or that lack vegetation and litter cover likely pose a greater threat to polluting surface waters. An additional concern for shoreline campsites along streams and rivers is the increased potential for soil erosion during flooding events. Camping activities generally remove most ground vegetation cover on campsites as well as the reduction and removal over time of shrub and tree cover. Plant roots play an important role in inhibiting soil loss during flood events, so soil removal from campsites by flood waters is likely more prevalent than in adjacent undisturbed areas (Cole and Marion 1988; Marion 1995). Soil loss and many other ecological impacts can be minimized by

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Figure 2 – This partial view of a large BWCAW campsite reveals that water runoff is drained down a fall-line water-access trail (back center) about 150 feet to the lake. This trail could be closed and blocked with water-filtering rocks, logs, organic materials, and vegetation so that visitors use the alternate trail (back left) that initially ascends and can’t drain campsite water.

reducing the size of shoreline campsites and their shoreline disturbance to the minimum necessary. Campsites larger than around 1,000 feet2 (93 m2) might be considered excessively large, with actions taken to reduce the areal extent of vegetation loss and soil exposure (Marion 2016). In some protected areas managers require camping close to water on barren shorelines or sandbars that are naturally devoid of vegetation due to frequent flooding or wave-action. For example, land managers may ask river users to camp on nonvegetated substrates and avoid camping in adjacent higher and more distant vegetated riparian areas (Marion 2014), and in arid settings campers may be directed to use nonvegetated dry washes for camping. A significant concern with these practices is that visitors can predict flooding with sufficient notice to strike camp and relocate to a safe location. Studies of camping impacts to water quality report mixed results. Visitor use was not found to affect water quality in a study of high- and low-use lake basins in Kings Canyon National Park, California (Silverman and Erman 1979). A study of campsites in the BWCAW found slightly elevated levels of total coliform bacteria and available phosphate compared to controls (King and Mace 1974). Leachate from pit toilets were identified as the source of pollutants. Derlet and Carlson (2006) found high levels of coliform bacteria at 12 of 15 campsites that had heavy packstock use in the area in a study of 60 lakes and streams in the Sierra Nevada range of California. In contrast, areas that were exclusively used by backpackers were nearly free of coliform bacteria. To investigate if lakeshore campsites were more vulnerable to impact, Cole (1982a) compared conditions on five high-use campsites in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness within 200 feet of lakes to five “setback” sites more than 200 feet from lakes. A 200-foot camping prohibition had been in place for several years, but Cole cautions that compliance was low, and enforcement had

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been difficult. The lakeshore campsites were likely the oldest and most heavily used historically, and since establishment of the camping setback regulation the lakeshore (illegal) and setback (legal) sites had similar use levels. Results revealed that lakeshore campsites were somewhat larger but had less bare ground (areal extent and percent). They also had more vegetation cover, with a composition that was more like adjacent undisturbed areas than the setback sites. Of 20 indicators examined, only a reduction in tree seedlings was statistically significant, leading Cole to conclude that the lakeshore campsites were not more fragile than setback sites.

Cultural and Historic Concerns Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s visitors are not unlike their distant ancestors, many of whom lived or also camped near water. Thus, shorelines often have cultural or historic sites, particularly in more arid environments. While some of these sites have been found and documented, many more may exist but are undocumented or hidden below ground. Camping activities that remove protective vegetation and soils may expose cultural and historic resources to theft, damage, or to being eroded by stream or river flooding (Wildesen 1982). Full protection of these sites could require greater setback distances than those commonly employed (e.g., >200 ft.).

Social and Experiential Concerns Campsites on or near shorelines tend to be more visible than those set back from water, both from across the water and from vista points along adjacent ridges and summits. The presence of barren campsites within a view shed can diminish the feeling of being in a pristine wilderness, can mar the natural appearance of a photo, and can diminish the aesthetics of natural landscapes. Occupied campsites may diminish solitude, particularly given that they become more visible with colored tents and with sounds traveling farther across water (Cole 1982a). Anglers and other visitors traveling along lakeshores may feel that the shoreline has been turned into â&#x20AC;&#x153;private territoryâ&#x20AC;? when they encounter an occupied campsite, creating conflict between day-use and overnight visitors (Lucas 1982). Large numbers of highly visible and occupied shoreline campsites can exacerbate visitor crowding for both campers and day users. Campsites set back from the water are generally less visible and pose fewer problems related to both crowding and conflicts (Cole et al. 1987).

Wildlife and Rare/Sensitive Species Concerns Water is as essential to wildlife as it is to humans, and riparian zones are particularly important due to the significantly higher diversity and productivity of both flora and fauna (Taylor and Knight 2003). Riparian zones represent important habitats for many wildlife species, especially in arid environments where dependable water sources are rare. Some wildlife, such as bighorn sheep, are considerably more vulnerable when separated from steep terrain and are easily displaced from water by the presence of humans (Papouchis, Signer, and Sloan 2001). When

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camping occurs in riparian areas wildlife may be deterred from visiting water sources even at night. Similarly, riparian areas may be a critical component of the habitats for rare flora and fauna or can be particularly sensitive to the negative effects of intensive visitor use and trampling. When camping is unregulated, visitors may create unnecessarily large numbers of campsites in popular destinations areas. For example, Cole (1982a) assessed camping impacts around two popular subalpine lakes in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness several years after implementation of a camping prohibition within 200 feet of lakeshores. Most of the 221 campsites assessed were “within a few hundred feet of water.” Cole suggests that many of these campsites and their resource impacts are “avoidable” given that only about 10 groups camped within the area on typical nights, and even peak use would “never exceed several times this figure.” Campsite proliferation to numbers that substantially exceed actual need can be a common problem associated with unregulated and general dispersed camping polices, including in eastern wilderness areas (Reid and Marion 2004).

Complexity and Challenges of Camping Management in Riparian Zones Camping setbacks seek to shift camping away from water, which as previously discussed is an exceptionally strong attractant to visitors. Our review of ecological, cultural, social, and wildlife concerns provides ample support for shifting camping away from the shorelines of water bodies. However, we note that it is possible for riparian campsites to be carefully located and managed to avoid or substantially minimize the impact management concerns presented. Two significant problems identified for areas where visitors retain the freedom to select campsites are (1) the proliferation of campsites (often within popular shoreline riparian areas) to excessive and unnecessary numbers, and (2) universally poor visitor compliance with regulations that establish camping setbacks from water. An additional concern is when camping in popular flat shoreline locations creates excessively and unnecessarily large campsites and/or dense clusters of campsites that threaten experiential qualities. There is evidence that managers may not achieve the closure and recovery of shoreline campsites made illegal by a camping setback regulation due to their popularity and continued use by visitors, and that such regulations promote campsite creation in new areas that meet the setback regulation (Cole 1982a; Cole et al. 1987; Lucas 1982). To the extent that this occurs, camping setbacks will increase campsite numbers and aggregate areal measures of camping disturbance (Cole 1981). Other objectives, such as protecting water quality, promoting solitude, and reducing conflicts, are also not achieved when compliance rates with setback regulations are low and shoreline campsites persist. Research indicates that all use must be eliminated for these campsites to achieve substantial or full recovery, and management experience in most areas suggests this is exceptionally difficult to achieve (Cole 2013; Cole and Monz 2003; Cole and Spildie 2007). Even continued legal day-use activities of shoreline campsites by visitors to swim, eat lunch, or relax can prevent their recovery.

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Unfortunately, after three to four decades of management experience with camping setback regulations, we still concur with the 1982 assessment by wilderness scientist Bob Lucas that camping setback regulations have been largely ineffective in achieving management objectives: “I would conclude that the costs of a camping setback regulation to management and to visitors in terms of less desirable campsites and enforcement hassles exceed the benefits of greater campsite solitude” (Lucas 1982). We also note that visitors and enforcement staff can be challenged to accurately judge varying camping setback distances – visitors need a clear and unambiguous policy that also includes a compelling rationale. We suggest that shifting to a camping “containment” strategy with designated sites can be a preferred and more effective policy. Under this strategy managers would carefully select only the most sustainable campsites and then close and restore all others. Cole (1981) recommends this strategy, noting that providing some riparian campsites avoids eliminating preferred existing sites and limits increasing campsite numbers further from the shore. This camping management strategy is fully described by Marion, Arredondo, Wimpey, and Meadema in this issue of IJW, along with supporting recreation ecology research findings (Marion 2016). This strategy is characterized by a broader view of decision-making that incorporates ecological, social, and managerial contexts. An integrative policy can address all the concerns in the prior problem description section while permitting a limited number of highly sustainable campsites in riparian settings that promote the high-quality camping experiences that many visitors so strongly desire.

An integrative policy should address all the concerns … while permitting a limited number of highly sustainable campsites in riparian settings that promote the high-quality camping experiences that many visitors so strongly desire

There is evidence that the public will be supportive of a designated site camping strategy. For example, Cole et al. (1997) report that visitors to six high-use areas within three Pacific Northwest Wilderness areas neither favor nor strongly favor camping prohibitions around lakes (8–22%) but were considerably more enthusiastic for allowing camping only on designated sites (44–85%). We believe that the “costs” to visitor freedom and related wilderness character concerns associated with replacing an ineffective camping setback regulation with a designated site camping regulation are more than offset by the “benefits” of eliminating the aggregate impacts associated with large numbers of unnecessary riparian campsites (Landres et al. 2008).

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Designated site camping has been effectively implemented by numerous land management agencies in riparian settings. US Forest Service managers of the BWCAW have successfully operated more than 2,000 designated campsites for more than four decades in northern Minnesota. Long-term research reveals an extremely high level of compliance with this designated site camping, and equivalent success in their ability to manage resource and social impacts within acceptable levels of change in this heavily visited wilderness (Eagleston and Marion 2017). Similarly, Forest Service managers of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington have long restricted camping to designated campsites around most lakeshores. Visitors with pack and saddle stock are prohibited from camping around lakes and are allowed only at designated sites within .5 mile (800 m) of lakes. Forest Service managers of the Desolation Wilderness in California restrict camping to designated campsites within 500 feet of four particularly popular lakes (Lake of the Woods, Grouse, Hemlock, and Eagle). Designated campsites are first-come, first-served, one permitted group per site, and visitors are asked to camp within 30 feet (9 m) of camping posts. When these sites fill visitors must camp more than 500 feet from the lakeshore. Observations by the authors reveal high visitor compliance and the near recovery of older adjacent closed campsites. These policies can help to establish a clear and easily adopted practice that allows many visitors to camp in their preferred destination, which can promote greater compliance among those who are unable to obtain a desired site. We suggest that a containment strategy (1) can help eliminate unnecessary campsites, (2) can effectively shift use to the most sustainable â&#x20AC;&#x153;small-footprintâ&#x20AC;? campsites that will resist expansion, and (3) allows flexibility to incorporate alternative setback distances dependent on the specific setting and type of resource in need of protection (water quality, riparian vegetation, wildlife, rare species, cultural resources, and recreational quality). Designated site camping offers a substantially more flexible and effective option for land managers in popular areas to limit campsite numbers and the areal extent of impact. We are less certain regarding the potential efficacy of a second containment strategy option, established site camping, which can either request or require visitors to use a selected subset of well-established campsites that have been rated as preferred and sustainable (see Marion, Arredondo, Wimpey, and Meadema in this issue for further information). This policy has been effectively implemented in the Shenandoah Wilderness (Reid and Marion 2004) and in many other areas where managers actively seek to close and restore unnecessary, and less resistant, desirable, and appropriate campsites. In conclusion, we concur with C. B. Griffin that greater consistency between educational programs and land management agencies are a desired goal for low impact messaging, including guidance for camping setbacks from water. Visitors can benefit from consistent messaging provided by a diverse array of agencies and organizations as an important mutual goal. However such messaging may require deference provided to land managers allowing flexibility for historic precedents, differing agency objectives, and unit contextual needs.

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Our review provides support for camping setback regulations based on ecological, cultural, social, and wildlife concerns. However, we also note that managers can and have carefully selected a subset of sustainable designated campsites near waterbodies that adequately protect those resources while retaining high-quality opportunities for visitors to camp near water. Cole (1981) offered a similar conclusion: “Concentrating use on as few campsites as possible and closure on a site-by-site basis would confine inevitable damage.” Unfortunately, our review suggests that several decades of management experience has not led to the widespread and successful application of camping setback regulations. We observe that visitors are very clearly “voting” through their risky campsite selection preferences; long-term persistence in camping illegally plainly demonstrates the strong desire to camp near water. Land managers can listen to their clients and consider designated site camping as an alternative to camping setbacks. Recreation ecology research and management experience has consistently demonstrated the efficacy and high success rate of designated site camping policies (Marion 2016).

Further Research Needs Additional research can inform decision makers seeking to accommodate existing and increasing wilderness visitation while minimizing associated camping impacts and improving the quality of recreation experiences. While we are unaware of any “definitive” longitudinal studies designed to evaluate the efficacy of camping setbacks, research and extensive management experience has provided ample ancillary evidence describing numerous limitations and failures. Given our review of existing research, we suggest that additional studies focus on evaluating and improving the implementation of a containment strategy with designated site camping in popular high-use areas, including those proximate to water bodies, and established site camping in moderate use areas. Additional research can also examine effective methods for communicating camping management strategies, location and navigational information for finding preferred sustainable campsites, and spatial-based regulations and low impact camping practices for visitors.

Acknowledgments The authors express their appreciation to a peer review conducted by David Cole and helpful comments from Ken Straley and Ralph Swain. JEFFREY L. MARION is a recreation ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey stationed at Virginia Tech; email: jmarion@vt.edu JEREMY WIMPEY is the owner of Applied Trails Research, an outdoor recreation firm that develops sciencebased solutions to challenging visitor use management issues; email: jeremyw@appliedtrailsresearch.com BEN LAWHON is education director for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics; email: ben@lnt.org

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References Cole, D. N. 1981. Managing ecological impacts at wilderness campsites: An evaluation of techniques. Journal of Forestry 79: 86–89. ———. 1982a. Controlling the spread of campsites at popular wilderness destinations. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 37: 291–295. ———. 1982b. Wilderness Campsite Impacts: Effect of Amount of Use. USDA Forest Service, Res. Pap. INT-284. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Forest and Range Exp. Station. ———. 1995a. Disturbance of natural vegetation by camping: Experimental applications of low-level stress. Environmental Management 19(3): 405–416. ———. 1995b. Experimental trampling of vegetation. II. Predictors of resistance and resilience. Journal of Applied Ecology 32: 215–224. ———. 2013. Long-term effectiveness of restoration treatments on closed wilderness campsites. Environmental Management 51: 642–650. Cole, D. N., and J. L. Marion. 1988. Recreational impacts in some riparian forests of the eastern United States. Environmental Management 12(1): 99–107. Cole, D. N., and C. A. Monz. 2003. Impacts of camping on vegetation: Response and recovery following acute and chronic disturbance. Environmental Management 32(6): 693–705. ———. 2002. Trampling disturbance of high-elevation vegetation, Wind River Mountains, Wyoming, U.S.A. Arctic, Antarctic, & Alpine Research 34(4): 365–376. Cole D. N., and D. R. Spildie. 2007. Vegetation and Soil Restoration on Highly Impacted Campsites in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Oregon. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rpt. RMRS-GTR-185. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. Cole, D. N., M. E. Petersen, and R. C. Lucas. 1987. Managing Wilderness Recreation Use: Common Problems and Potential Solutions. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rpt. INT-GTR-230. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Research Station. Cole, D. N., A. E. Watson, T. E. Hall, and D. R. Spildie. 1997. High-use destinations in wilderness: Social and biophysical impacts, visitor responses, and management options. Res. Pap. INT-RP-496. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. Derlet, R. W., and J. R. Carlson. 2006. Coliform bacteria in Sierra Nevada wilderness lakes and streams: What is the impact of backpackers, pack animals, and cattle? Wilderness and Environmental Medicine 17(1): 15–20. Eagleston, H., and J. L. Marion. 2017. Sustainable campsite management in protected areas: A study of long-term ecological changes on campsites in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, USA. Journal for Nature Conservation 37: 73–82. King, J. G., and A. C. Mace. 1974. Effects of recreation on water quality. Water Pollution Control Federation 46: 2453– 2459. Landres, P., M. B. Hennessy, K. Schlenker, D. N. Cole, and S. Boutcher. 2008. Applying the Concept of Wilderness Character to National Forest Planning, Monitoring, and Management. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rpt. RMRS-GTR-217WWW. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. Leave No Trace. 2018. Leave No Trace website, www.LNT.org. Accessed 2 July 2018. Lee, P., C. Smyth, and S. Boutin. 2004. Quantitative review of riparian buffer width guidelines from Canada and the United States. Journal of Environmental Management 70(2): 165–180. Lime, D. W. 1971. Factors Influencing Campground Use in the Superior National Forest of Minnesota. USDA Forest Service, Res. Pap. NC-60. St. Paul, MN: North Central Forest Experiment Station. Lucas, R. C. 1982. Recreation regulations: When are they needed? Journal of Forestry 80: 148–151. Marion, J. L. 1995. Capabilities and management utility of recreation impact monitoring programs. Environmental Management 19(5): 763–771. ———. 2014. Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ———. 2016. A Review and synthesis of recreation ecology research supporting carrying capacity and visitor use management decision-making. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 339–351.

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Marion, J. L., Y. F. Leung, H. Eagleston, and K. Burroughs. 2016. A review and synthesis of recreation ecology research findings on visitor impacts to wilderness and protected natural areas. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 352–362. Marion, J., J. Roggenbuck, and R. Manning. 1993. Problems and practices in backcountry recreation management: A survey of National Park Service managers. Denver, CO: USDI National Park Service, Nat. Res. Rpt. NPS/NRVT/NRR-93112. Papouchis, C. M., F. J. Singer, and W. B. Sloan. 2001. Responses of desert bighorn sheep to increased human recreation. Journal of Wildlife Management 65(3): 573–582. Reid, S. E., and J. L. Marion. 2004. Effectiveness of a confinement strategy for reducing campsite impacts in Shenandoah National Park. Environmental Conservation 31(4): 274–282. Silverman, G., and D. C. Erman. 1979. Alpine lakes in Kings Canyon National Park California, USA baseline conditions and possible effects of visitor use. Journal of Environmental Management 8(1): 73–87. Taylor, A. R., and R. L. Knight. 2003. Wildlife responses to recreation and associated visitor perceptions. Ecological Applications 13(4): 951–963. Tread Lightly. 2018. Tread Lightly website, www.treadlightly.org. Accessed 2 July 2018. Vagias, W. M., and R. B. Powell. 2010. Backcountry visitors Leave No Trace attitudes. International Journal of Wilderness 16(3): 21–27. Washburne, R. F., and D. N. Cole. 1983. Problems and practices in wilderness management: A survey of managers. Res. Pap. INT-304. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Inter-mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Wildesen, L. E. 1982. The study of impacts on archaeological rites. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory (pp. 51–96). New York: Academic Press. White, D. D., T. E. Hall, and T. A. Farrell. 2001. Influence of ecological impacts and other campsite characteristics on wilderness visitors’ campsite choices. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 19(2): 83–97.

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal ofcredit Wilderness 83Dittmar photo Š Jayme


COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION

Applying Recreation Ecology Science to Sustainably Manage Camping Impacts: A Classification of Camping Management Strategies PEER REVIEWED

by Jeffrey Marion

Wilderness and other protected natural areas such as national forests, parks, and refuges are managed to provide high-quality recreational opportunities while preserving natural resource conditions. In managing recreation visitation, land managers could allow visitors to create their own infrastructure of trails and campsites, or they could choose to apply an impact management strategy to provide an infrastructure that includes sustainably designed trails and campsites.

by Johanna Arredondo

Recreation ecology studies have repeatedly demonstrated that informal â&#x20AC;&#x153;visitor-createdâ&#x20AC;? trails and campsites are generally not sustainably designed or located (Cole 1981, 1982a, 2013; Marion 2016; Wimpey and Marion 2011). For example, informal trails frequently occur in flat terrain where trail widening and muddiness can be chronic problems, or are fall-aligned (perpendicular to contour lines) in sloping terrain, where they

by Jeremy Wimpey

are considerably more vulnerable to soil loss and widening (Marion et al. 2016; Marion and Wimpey 2017). Similarly, visitors are highly attracted to flat terrain near water for camping, where they frequently create substantial numbers of large and unnecessary campsites at densities that threaten visitor solitude, experiential qualities, and natural resources. by Fletcher Meadema 84

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Although wilderness managers have commonly adopted a professional approach to trail management that emphasizes sustainably designed, constructed, and managed formal trail systems, studies do not reveal a similar strategy applied to camping management (Cole 1982a 1982b, 2013; Leung and Marion 2000, 2004). Based on a review of the literature, this article describes the consequences of largely unconfined “dispersed” camping that emphasizes visitor-selected and -created campsites at locations of their choosing, with limited additional guidance. We present and describe a simple classification system of camping management strategies and options and urge managers to consider adopting a more proactive and sustainable camping “containment” strategy that emphasizes using a reduced subset of management-selected and -created campsites based on evaluations of their resource and social sustainability. Next, we examine the “wilderness character” trade-offs associated with trail and camping infrastructure decision-making and suggest that the clear benefits for having an infrastructure of formal trails are the same for having an infrastructure of sustainable campsites, as part of a camping impact containment strategy. Finally, we examine several recreation ecology research studies that demonstrate how a combination of management strategies and actions have been applied to significantly reduce aggregate camping impact and promote high-quality social conditions.

Camping Management Strategies Protected area managers have a diverse array of strategies and actions in their management “toolbox” for achieving resource protection and visitor management objectives (Cole et al. 1987, 1997; Leung and Marion 1999, 2004; Marion 2016). Related to camping, managers commonly seek to achieve the following core objectives: limit campsite numbers and the aggregate areal extent and severity or resource impact, promote high-quality social conditions, and preserve visitor freedom to camp in desirable locations. We further suggest that a key measure of agency success in achieving resource protection objectives is to minimize the aggregate area of camping impact by minimizing both campsite numbers and sizes. Although land managers have commonly applied some form of unconfined or largely unregulated camping (Cole 1993), recreation ecology research has revealed the greater merits of two core camping impact management strategies, dispersal and containment, derived from an improved understanding of the relationship between amount of use and resource impact (Marion 2016). Experimental trampling and camping studies have consistently demonstrated that most biophysical changes occur with initial and low levels of use, generally fewer than 15 nights/ year over the first two to three years (Figure 1) (Cole 1982b; Cole and Monz 2003; Marion 2016). Above this level, per capita impacts diminish substantially, and campsite conditions stabilize, achieving a relatively constant equilibrium over time (Cole 2013; Marion and Cole 1996). Even doubling use on a well-established campsite only marginally increases measurable resource impacts, particularly for sustainably selected campsites that resist site expansion.

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Figure 1 – A generalized model of the use-impact relationship for camping on vegetation and soil illustrating the empirical basis for effective dispersal and containment strategies. In this example, aggregate impact under many unconfined camping policies, three times an “a” level of impact, is substantially reduced under a Containment strategy that closes two campsites and shifts their use to a single site with a “b” level of impact. Alternatively, if camping could be fully dispersed to 45 sites used only once a year (and/or to highly resistant substrates), no lasting impact would occur (from Marion 2016).

This asymptotic relationship between camping use and resource impact has significant implications for devising effective camping impact management strategies (Figure 1). A clear implication is that managers can employ a Dispersal Strategy to avoid resource impacts by reducing use to levels that prevent impacts lasting more than a year. Alternatively, managers can employ a Containment Strategy to minimize aggregate camping impact by concentrating use on a limited subset of more heavily used sites (Leung and Marion 1999; Marion 2016). These two preferred strategies are featured in the following classification of Camping Strategies, along with unconfined camping (Table 1).

Unconfined For more than four decades US federal land managers have favored a largely unregulated camping strategy that promotes visitor freedom to select and create campsites in locations of their choosing, with limited additional guidance (Cole 1993, 2013). Managers typically refer to this strategy as “dispersed camping,” although it can encompass a range of policies that may not seek to disperse or reduce site use. In practice, many managers who employ dispersed camping urge visitors to select well-established campsites and/or apply educational guidance or regulations to shift campsites away from waterbodies, and more rarely from formal trails or popular destination areas. Some managers have additionally sought to close and restore campsites that are unnecessary; too close to water, trails, or other campsites; or are considered less sustainable – when combined with a request to camp on established campsites this scenario is like the established site camping strategy described below. We note that the “dispersed 86

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Table 1 – Camping management strategies, options, and guidance.

camping” nomenclature is not the same as that conveyed in Figure 1, where dispersal explicitly refers to the reduction of use to levels that avoid lasting resource impact. For clarification in this article we refer to dispersed camping as an “unconfined” camping strategy because visitors, not managers, are mostly free to select or create campsites, generally without knowledge or consideration of sustainability attributes that promote the protection of resource and social conditions. This and other camping strategies can be applied to entire wilderness areas or to specific zones.

Dispersal Strategy A strictly defined dispersal strategy is Pristine site camping, where visitors are asked to: (1) locate an area out of sight or distant from trails, water, and campsites with no evidence of visitor trampling or camping and trampling-resistant surfaces that show little evidence of camping impact; (2) camp one to several nights, concentrating use on the most resistant surfaces and departing before lasting impact is created; and (3) restore and naturalize the site to mask visible impacts and deter future campers from finding and reusing it. Trampling-resistant surfaces include durable rock, gravel, or snow; areas with little to no vegetation (e.g., shady forests, sandy shorelines, dry washes); or dry, grassy areas (Marion 2014). Cole and Benedict (1983) and Marion (2014) describe this form of camping, cautioning that visitors must apply these low impact practices to avoid the creation of new campsites. Though this form of camping is permitted in many protected areas, few managers have encouraged this practice, perhaps because when ineffectively applied it can lead to campsite proliferation (Marion 2016). August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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Containment Strategy Recreation ecology studies support a containment strategy as the most effective option in moderate to high-use settings, with visitors encouraged to use a limited number of carefully selected Established sites that meet agency guidance, or with visitors required to use only Designated sites (Cole 2013; Marion 2016; Reid and Marion 2004). As use is to be concentrated on a subset of highly visited campsites under this strategy, a key component for successful implementation is that managers carefully select campsites that are sustainable to promote the protection of both natural resource and social conditions. We define a sustainable campsite as one that can accommodate the intended type and amount of use over time without unacceptable levels of expansion, degradation, maintenance, and social crowding or conflict.

Supporting Actions from the Management Toolbox In addition to implementing a camping management strategy, agency staff can rely on a variety of tools, or actions, from the “management toolbox” (Cole et al. 1987; Marion 2016). When choosing tools, managers should consider the potential impacts of management actions on visitor freedom, access, and the quality of their experiences. These tools may be grouped as regulatory, educational, and site management actions that range along a management continuum from less to highly intensive.

Problems in Paradise: The Chronic Failures of Unconfined Camping Particularly in wilderness, many managers have preferred some form of an unconfined (dispersed) camping strategy that allows visitors the freedom to find and select a campsite of their choice, with minimal regulatory interference. One common regulation that managers have applied has been to prohibit camping within various specified distances of waterbodies, as described in another article in this issue (Marion et al. 2018). Recreation ecologists who study the impacts of visitor use in protected areas have consistently documented some substantial avoidable and unacceptable natural resource and experiential impacts associated with unconfined camping policies (Cole 1982a 1982b, 2013; Leung and Marion 2000, 2004). Three common/chronic problems include (1) visitors frequently create nonsustainable campsites in flat terrain close to popular attraction features or destination locations, water, and formal trails; (2) visitors create high-density clusters of large campsites with unacceptable levels of resource and social impact in the most popular areas; and (3) site proliferation over time leads to exceptionally large numbers of unnecessary campsites. These topics are examined and illustrated below with data from campsite monitoring surveys and research in various US regions. In 1999, the Appalachian Trail management community sought to identify the worst camping locations trailwide, and initiate consulting and management actions to resolve resource and social impacts (Marion 2003). Seventeen locations in eight states were identified and visited by an interdisciplinary team of land managers, volunteers, and scientists. Annapolis Rocks, a scenic overlook and popular camping spot in Maryland, was judged to be the “worst” location in 1999. 88

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It had been managed under an unconfined (dispersed) camping policy that permitted visitors to create a large cluster of 19 campsites in flat terrain adjacent to the vista, with exceptionally high levels of resource and social impacts (Figure 2). Mean campsite size was 2,271 feet2 (211 m2), including three mega-sites exceeding 5,000 feet2 (464.5 m2) formed by the expansion and merging of several proximate sites (Daniels and Marion 2006). The aggregate area of camping impact was 43,099 feet2 (4,004 m2), including 23,116 feet2 (2147 m2) of exposed soil, 83 damaged trees, and 137 tree stumps. A questionnaire examined visitor satisfaction with camping in the area using a scale of 1 (highly dissatisfied) to 5 (highly satisfied) to evaluate 22 utility, environmental, and social indicators. The indicators with the four lowest scores were “privacy of my campsite” (3.26), “noise from other groups” (3.27), “amount of bare soil” (3.27), and “number of people camped near me” (3.31) (Daniels and Marion 2006). The problems of unconfined camping were also evident in a survey of 11 US Forest Service wilderness areas in Virginia. Leung and Marion (2000) found that a large majority of campsites (72%) created by visitors were located along and within sight of formal trails, with 38% fewer than 25 feet (7.62 m) from formal trails. Campsites were unevenly distributed, with visitors creating high densities of campsites in large flat areas close to camping shelters and streams. Results suggest that visitors rarely select campsite locations based on a desire for solitude or privacy, and their proximity to trails and camping shelters reduces the potential for solitude of other hikers and campers. Neither were these campsites in resistant locations; most were located under forest canopies on fragile forest herbs in flat terrain where site expansion and proliferation have and will always be chronic

Figure 2 – One of three “mega-sites” within a cluster of 19 campsites at Annapolis Rocks, Maryland, identified by the Appalachian Trail management community in 1999 as its “worst” example of resource and social camping impacts. This location illustrates the chronic problems that an unconfined camping policy allows: excessive site proliferation and campsite expansion occurring in large flat areas that create unacceptable resource and social conditions.

problems (Leung and Marion 2000). Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park (NP) wilderness managers applied a modified unconfined camping policy beginning in 1974 that actively sought to shift visitors away from trails and water by prohibiting camping within 25 feet of water and within sight of formal trails (Williams and Marion 1995). However, a comprehensive census survey in 1992–1993 found that 68% of all sites (n=725) were in violation of these polices, including 25% located fewer than 25 feet from water and 56% within sight of formal trails (58% were <150 ft. from trails). Based on permit data, managers estimated that campsite visitation ranged from 0 to 50 nights/year, with most sites receiving 5 to 20 nights/year. Scientists and managers who examined the survey findings and permit August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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data concluded that there were large numbers of campsites receiving low levels of use that, if eliminated, would substantially reduce aggregate camping impact (Williams and Marion 1995). Recreation ecology studies in the western states report similar findings to these eastern examples. In a study of wilderness campsites in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness, Cole (1982a) found that most campsites were concentrated at just a few popular destinations. Within two popular lake basins permit data suggest that about 10 groups/night camped on 221 campsites during the core part of the use season, an occupancy rate of only 4.5%. The unconfined camping policy had allowed excessive campsite proliferation to occur, most of which were “within a few hundred feet of water sources and within sight of a trail.” Cole’s recommendation was to reduce aggregate camping disturbance by concentrating use on “only a small proportion of the sites,” noting that their research also found that “the most frequently used sites were not disturbed much more than sites used no more than once a week” (Cole 1982b). A later study reported that the number of campsites at the 7 high-use lakes increased by 134% over 15 years, with campsite density in 1990 exceeding two sites per hectare and “many clusters of sites so dense that it is difficult to tell where one site ends, and another begins” (Cole 1993). In a similar study of Montana’s Lee Metcalf Wilderness Cole (1993) documented campsite proliferation that increased site numbers 84% from 1972 to 1988, which he attributed to “an increase in site-pioneering behaviors” and “passive campsite management programs.” He concluded that “campsite proliferation is a highly significant problem that demands more attention from wilderness managers.” The authors noted that reducing use levels at popular destination areas “would likely have more negative than positive consequences,” and that “neither encounter levels nor physical impacts would be reduced to any meaningful extent.” The authors concluded that (1) the primary physical impact problem associated with camping is the large aggregate areal extent of camping impact, which is largely linked to campsite proliferation; (2) education by itself is insufficient to concentrate use; and (3) that direct management in the form of an intensive program of site management is needed to shift use to a subset of existing campsites (Cole et al. 1997). Although unconfined camping policies allow visitors the ability to select and create preferred campsites, that freedom comes with a significant cost related to the creation of large numbers of unsustainable campsites in flat terrain near water and trails. It also reveals that use reduction is a poor tool for constraining campsite proliferation, aggregate camping impact, and crowding/ conflict concerns, particularly in higher use areas (Cole et al. 1997). Neither have assisting direct actions such as camping setbacks or indirect actions such as education been very successful. Our review demonstrates that in popular high-use areas managers frequently experience chronic problems with dense clustering of campsites near trails and water that threaten visitor solitude and social conditions, and that site proliferation can also be a problem in low- and moderate-use areas.

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Implementing a Containment Strategy The dispersal and containment campsite impact management strategies (Figure 1 and Table 1) are directly derived from recreation ecology experimental trampling and camping studies and empirical research on campsites (Cole 1995a, 1995b; Marion 2016; Marion and Farrell 2002; Reid and Marion 2004). These studies also provided the basis for the national Leave No Trace programâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guidance to concentrate use on campsites in popular areas while dispersing use in remote or low-use areas (www.LNT.org; Marion 2014). For example, Cole (1982a) suggests camping dispersal on sedge meadows in the Eagle Cap Wilderness can be tolerated several nights/ year if campfires are not constructed. However, his core recommendation was a containment strategy, to reduce aggregate camping disturbance by encouraging visitors to use a subset of the existing campsites. Established campsites can be marked or unmarked on the ground, they typically have few or no facilities, and they are generally more numerous and offer greater visitor choice than designated campsites, which are marked and may have greater infrastructure development, such as anchored steel fire rings, primitive toilets, or food storage facilities. Because visitors are required to use designated campsites a management agency generally assumes greater responsibility for periodically surveying for and removing hazardous trees. Under established site camping visitors are encouraged to use management-selected sustainable campsites but retain the freedom to camp elsewhere so agency liability for hazardous trees is reduced (however, we note that some managers have â&#x20AC;&#x153;requiredâ&#x20AC;? the use of established campsites). The smaller sizes of sustainable designated and established sites make it easier for agency staff to manage hazard trees, and agency control over campsite locations allows for shifting them to more open settings with fewer trees and more trampling-resistant grassy ground vegetation. Designated site camping is typically necessary only in the most popular and intensively visited areas. In some of these areas, managers additionally operate rationing or reservation systems that restrict the number of groups to the number of designated sites, or even assign groups to specific sites by date. Several studies reveal that shifting camping to locations in sloping terrain is the most important sustainability factor in spatially concentrating camping activity on small campsites that will resist future expansion and campsite proliferation (Marion and Farrell 2002; Daniels and Marion 2006; Eagleston and Marion 2017). Other sustainability factors include durable surfaces such as rock, barren trampling-resistant substrates such as gravelly or sandy shorelines, dense shade that supports little vegetative ground cover, sunny locations with grassy vegetation, and extreme rockiness in off-site areas (Marion 2016). A 32-year study by Eagleston and Marion (2017) discovered that selecting campsites in dense woody vegetation is only temporarily effective in deterring site expansion, as woody vegetation is removed over time by insects, disease, fires, or felled by visitors for firewood.

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Current studies by the authors on the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails (AT and PCT) is focused on the development, testing, and refinement of protocols for evaluating the sustainability of existing or new sites with ground- and computer-based Geographic Information System (GIS) assessments. The objective of this research is to identify sustainability criteria and develop GIS methods that can be efficiently applied to large numbers of agency backcountry and wilderness campsites. Unfortunately, GIS methods will require accurate Global Positioning System (GPS) campsite locations and high-resolution topographic data (e.g., aerial LiDAR derived DEMs) that are not yet available for many areas. Preferred designated or established campsites can be identified through a careful selection process that emphasizes the selection of the most sustainable existing campsites and, over time, the creation and use of new, highly sustainable locations identified by managerial actions. Campsites that are not sustainable, are unnecessary, or are too close to water, cultural/historic sites or threaten wildlife, rare species, or sensitive habitats can be omitted and closed for restoration. Inclusion of social criteria such as campsite amenities, scenic beauty, and proximity to trails, other sites, or day-use areas such as vistas can also be incorporated to promote high-quality social conditions and visitor satisfaction (Daniels and Marion 2006). An important consideration is matching the availability of established or designated campsites to campsite demand within travel zones. An essential element of the containment strategy is for managers to restrict camping to a small subset of campsites. For example, National Park Service managers at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area substantially improved their designated site policy for backcountry riverside campsites in 1988 by reducing campsite numbers and installing anchored steel fire rings to specifically identify each legal campsite location (Marion 1995). Limited river patrols and enforcement efforts improved designated site camping compliance while closed and illegal campsites were left to recover naturally. A comparison of monitoring data from 1986 to 1991 revealed a reduction from 179 campsites (116 designated and 63 illegal) to 110 campsites (87 designated and 23 illegal). Even though designated campsite use levels increased 28%, from 268 to 344 campers/site/year, the aggregate area of camping impact for all sites decreased 50%, from 302,896 feet2 (28,140 m2) to 150,910 feet2 (14, 020 m2). River rangers reported that campsite demand exceeded supply typically on only two peak use weekends each year. A study by Reid and Marion (2004) evaluated actions at Shenandoah NP to convert an ineffective unconfined camping strategy to an established site camping strategy by asking visitors to only use “well-established” campsites. They also sought to close unnecessary and less sustainable campsites, assessed as sites with a higher potential for expansion potential based on topography, rockiness, and dense woody vegetation. Efforts were also made to increase the spacing of the selected sites from water, trails, and other selected sites to further protect resource and social conditions. Park staff performed limited restoration work once a year on the “closed” campsites, consisting of fire ring removal and placement of leaves, brush, and/or logs on barren areas to deter camping. Over three years, campsite numbers were reduced by 49%, 92

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aggregate campsite area by 50%, and area of vegetation loss by 44%. Campsite occupancy rates increased from approximately 19 to 29 nights/year on the remaining sites, but their mean size increased only 3%. We note that visitors frequently failed to find and use established campsites located out of sight from trails, so providing visitors with maps or GPS coordinates that identify campsite locations may be necessary. Established site camping has also been implemented successfully in other wilderness areas when managers have implemented aggressive programs that target the closure and restoration of larger numbers of unnecessary, illegal, or nonsustainable campsites. For example, although not called established site camping, Cole and Ferguson (2009) describe how an active program of campsite closure and restoration in the Caney Creek Wilderness of Arkansas successfully reduced campsite numbers 40%, from 91 in 1994 to 54 in 2007. The largest decrease was in the number of highly impacted campsites, with median campsite size reduced from 2,500 ft2 (232 m2) to 915 ft2 (85 m2). Of note was the closure and relocation of a riparian corridor trail containing some of the most unacceptable camping impacts. Following the trail closure the old campsites were no longer accessed by visitors. Even greater success was achieved in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks where visitors are directed to camp on “previously impacted areas.” An intensive program of campsite closure and restoration was primarily responsible for a more than two-thirds reduction in aggregate camping impact from the late 1970s to 2007 (Cole and Parsons 2013). Park staff obliterated large numbers of unnecessary campsites in areas of high site densities and where campsites were close to water and removed fire rings in areas where campfires were prohibited. We stress that the efficacy of established site camping is improved when campsites are identified on maps and GPS coordinates and when managers can sustain efforts to actively close and restore nonselected campsites. We also suggest placing large flat “kitchen rocks” on established sites to attract and spatially concentrate intensive cooking activities to a single fixed location, and/or if campfires are permitted, ice-berging a few large rectangular rocks around a preferred campfire location (Figure 4) (Reid and Marion 2005).

Figure 3 – Minimal site facilities such as a large flat “kitchen rock” for stove use (left) or a small fire ring of large ice-berged rocks (right) can serve to identify, attract, and spatially concentrate camping activity on established campsites.

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Side-Hill Campsites Based on research at Isle Royale National Park, Marion and Farrell (2002) suggested that aggregate camping impact can be most effectively minimized by promoting camping on constructed “side-hill” campsites in sloping terrain (>20% slope), where the topography naturally inhibits campsite expansion and proliferation (Figure 4). This practice had been applied to create many of Isle Royale’s campsites, achieving a very high level of camping activity concentration and constraining mean campsite size to 645 ft2 (60 m2), representing the lowest mean area of camping disturbance per overnight stay documented in the existing literature (Marion and Farrell 2002). Side-hill campsites can be located to enhance social qualities, and their small size and ability to provide pristine conditions in adjacent areas are also aesthetically pleasing to visitors. Constructed side-hill campsites were recommended at numerous locations along the AT in 2003 as part of a larger campsite consulting study (Marion 2003), including as designated or established campsites. At Annapolis Rocks in Maryland side-hill campsites were constructed to resolve the substantial and unacceptable camping impacts there (Figure 2). The 19 visitorcreated campsites that had resulted from unconfined camping were replaced in 2003 by 14 designated side-hill constructed campsites in sloping terrain just uphill from the former sites. The new campsites were distributed above and below a side-hill trail at locations to enhance the potential for solitude. The aggregate area of camping impact was reduced from 43,099 ft2 (4,004 m2) to 6,243 ft2 (580 m2) after 1 year and to 8,574 ft2 (796 m2) after 9 years (Daniels and Marion 2006). A questionnaire examined visitor satisfaction with camping on the side-hill campsites

Figure 4 – Highly sustainable “side-hill” campsites can be constructed in sloping terrain to spatially concentrate camping activity on exceptionally small campsites. This site (right) was constructed along the AT at Annapolis Rocks, Maryland, and visitors expressed strong support and satisfaction with their creation (Daniels and Marion, 2006; figure from Marion 2016).

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Figure 5 – Current research on campsite sustainability along the Pacific Crest Trail identified these highly sustainable naturally occurring “side-hill” campsites located in the Inyo National Forest at Thousand Island Lake, where surrounding topography and rockiness effectively inhibits site expansion and proliferation.

using a scale of 1 (highly dissatisfied) to 5 (highly satisfied) to evaluate 22 utility, environmental, and social indicators. The indicator that had scored lowest for the clustered visitor-created campsites, “privacy of my campsite” (3.26), became the highest score for visitors camping on the new side-hill campsites (4.30). The next three highest indicators were “number of people camped near me” (4.23), “security of my belongings at my campsite” (4.23), “noise from other groups” (4.21), and “naturalness of the area near my campsite” (4.18) (Daniels and Marion 2006). Current AT and PCT studies by the authors are investigating efficient ground- and GIS-based methods for identifying optimal locations both for constructing side-hill campsites and for locating “naturally occurring” side-hill campsites (Figure 5). More than 800 side-hill campsites have been created along the AT since 2002, and they have proven to be highly sustainable and effective in reducing both resource and social/experiential camping impacts (Marion 2016). A significant advantage of side-hill campsites is that visitors spatially concentrate their camping activities to campsites with a small footprint through natural interactions with surrounding topography rather than in response to regulations and enforcement or their ethical knowledge and conscience (Marion and Farrell 2002). Shifting camping to constructed or naturally occurring side-hill sites resolves the chronic management problems of campsite expansion and proliferation that have proven to be inevitable in flat terrain. The extremely small size of these sites also makes it substantially easier for agency staff to manage hazardous trees.

Wilderness Character Considerations An examination of wilderness character concerns (Landres et al. 2015) reveals both benefits and costs associated with the provision of an infrastructure of sustainably selected campsites managed under a containment strategy. Research reveals that the successful application of this strategy can avoid or substantially reduce resource and social impacts from those occurring under an unconfined management strategy, particularly in high-use settings. The reduced campsite numbers and impacts would improve the natural conditions of wilderness, a core August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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quality of wilderness character. A second quality, solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation, is improved by separating campsites from trails and other sites, but designated site camping would restrict visitor freedom to camp anywhere. The reduction in campsite numbers would improve the undeveloped character of wilderness, but any facilities provided on designated sites would detract. The fourth core quality of wilderness character, untrammeled, is somewhat compromised by the required use of designated sites. Finally, other features of value are preserved when campsites are more sustainably selected and located to avoid degrading sensitive archaeological, historical, or paleontological sites. In our evaluation the potential threats to wilderness character associated with formal trail systems that employ side-hill constructed treads, stone staircases, engineered drainage features, and treated dimensional lumber or steel in bridges greatly exceed those related to the use of designated site camping in high-use areas. We presume that wilderness managers have evaluated wilderness character qualities and trade-offs for developed trail infrastructures and justified their need. While the â&#x20AC;&#x153;rewildingâ&#x20AC;? movement has sought to restore native flora and fauna in protected areas, and even to remove and restore unnecessary roads (Switalski et al. 2004), managers have continued to construct and maintain formal trail networks in wilderness. An important question raised in this article is why we have not found the same logic and decisionmaking to the professional management of trails applied to wilderness campsites, and why we less commonly have developed infrastructures of sustainable wilderness campsites.

Challenges and Research Needs We suggest that additional studies be focused on evaluating and improving the implementation of the pristine site camping strategy in low-use areas and the containment strategy in moderate- to high-use areas. An important remaining challenge for implementing established site camping is developing compelling and effective education, communication, and navigation aids to direct visitors to established sites and to avoid using closed/illegal sites. Campsite closure and restoration programs applied to accomplish this are staffing intensive and difficult to sustain long-term, are frequently ineffective in closing well-used campsites, and cannot direct visitors to the most sustainable sites. The success of this work can be substantially improved by identifying established and designated site locations on printed and digital maps and in GPS files posted on websites, just as formal trail networks are. For example, Voyageurs National Park provides a digital file of GPS waypoints for all their backcountry campsites. Visitors are increasingly using smartphones, and their connectivity to accurate GPS satellite networks allows a variety of phone apps to access easily updated digital maps for wildland navigation. For example, one popular phone app includes campsites and navigational aids to easily find them and welcomes collaborations with managers to substitute a listing of more sustainable sites. These new media also facilitate the communication of information on camping regulations and low-impact practices based on a userâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s specific location.

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Important future research could test the use of printed and digital maps to direct visitors to the most sustainable established campsites. Such maps when viewed on GPS units or phone apps can utilize â&#x20AC;&#x153;digital fencesâ&#x20AC;? by depicting shaded regions that clearly illustrate camping setbacks from water or formal trails. The rapidly increasing use of digital maps by backpackers and hikers on GPS units and smartphone apps offer managers an innovative, inexpensive, and accurate method to create, update, and widely distribute information about regulations, low-impact practices, and the locations of sustainable established or designated campsites. The benefits of using these new methods is contrary to the observations of some of our colleagues, who cite the expanding use of technological devices and their personal wilderness character concerns with the electronic connectedness of wildland visitors (Dustin et al. 2017). However, Harmon (2015) observed that long-distance hikers were not constantly connected and instead had punctuated moments of interaction and use of their smartphones, concluding that disconnection is less about unplugging from these devices and more about a context shift, and social reconfiguration that takes place in the wildland setting. Recognizing that some managers may not view the use of such technological devices to be appropriate in wilderness, we suggest that: (1) device use is legal and optional, with visitors deciding whether or not to use them; (2) these platforms offer substantial advantages in effectively communicating relevant information, particularly for shifting visitors to a sustainable subset of existing campsites; and (3) not engaging via these technologies may pose an increasing risk that agency communication efforts will become less relevant. Further, we recommend additional discourse between scientists, managers, and visitors, and additional research to evaluate the potential risks and opportunities of these expanding digital technologies on wilderness character, visitor experiences, and the efficacy of visitor use management actions.

Conclusions Recreation ecology research and management experience reveal significant problems with unconfined camping, particularly in popular moderate- to high-use areas such as riparian corridors and lake basins. We suggest that a dispersal strategy with pristine site camping can be a viable option in remote and/or low-use areas, although more research and management experimentation are needed. In moderate- to high-use settings a containment strategy with either established or designated sites can be a preferred strategy to concentrate camping on a more sustainable subset of campsites selected to promote improved resource and social conditions. Higher levels of use and impact generally require more intensive and direct visitormanagement actions such as designated site camping. Constructed and naturally occurring side-hill campsites offer another option, particularly in popular high-use areas where other strategies and actions have proved ineffective.

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Acknowledgments The authors express their thanks to Beth Boyst, USFS Pacific Crest Trail program manager; Susan Fox, director, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute; and Laura Belleville, vice president, Conservation and Trail Programs, Appalachian Trail Conservancy; and to their respective organizations for their strong and continued support of our PCT and AT programs of research. We also thank Mitch Rosen for his dedicated AT and PCT field research, Yu-Fai Leung for his peer review, and Ken Straley and Ralph Swain for their helpful comments on this article.

JEFFREY L. MARION is a recreation ecologist with the US Geological Survey stationed at Virginia Tech; email: jmarion@vt.edu JOHANNA ARREDONDO is a graduate student at Virginia Tech, Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation; email: johanna.arredondo@gmail.com JEREMY WIMPEY is the owner of Applied Trails Research, an outdoor recreation firm that develops sciencebased solutions to challenging visitor use management issues; email: jeremyw@appliedtrailsresearch.com FLETCHER MEADEMA is a graduate student at Virginia Tech, Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation; email: fmeadema@vt.edu

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References Cole, D. N. 1981. Managing ecological impacts at wilderness campsites: An evaluation of techniques. Journal of Forestry 79: 86–89. ———. 1982a. Controlling the spread of campsites at popular wilderness destinations. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 37: 291–295. ———. 1982b. Wilderness Campsite Impacts: Effect of Amount of Use. USDA Forest Service, Res. Pap. INT-284. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. ———. 1993. Campsites in Three Western Wildernesses: Proliferation and Changes in Condition Over 12 to 16 Years. USDA Forest Service, Res. Pap. INT-463. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Research Station. ———. 1995a. Disturbance of natural vegetation by camping: Experimental applications of low-level stress. Environmental Management 19(3): 405–416. ———. 1995b. Experimental trampling of vegetation. II. Predictors resistance and resilience. Journal of Applied Ecology 32: 215–224. ———. 2013. Changing Conditions on Wilderness Campsites: Seven Case Studies of Trends Over 13 to 32 Years. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rpt. RMRS-GTR-300. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. Cole, D. N., and J. Benedict. 1983. Wilderness campsite selection: What should users be told. Park Science 3(4): 5–7. Cole, D. N., and T. E. Ferguson. 2009. A relatively nonrestrictive approach to reducing campsite impact: Caney Creek Wilderness, Arkansas. International Journal of Wilderness 15(1): 20–25. Cole, D. N., and C. A. Monz. 2003. Impacts of camping on vegetation: Response and recovery following acute and chronic disturbance. Environmental Management 32: 693–705. Cole, D. N., and D. J. Parsons. 2013. Campsite Impact in the Wilderness of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks: Thirty Years of Change. USDI National Park Service, Nat. Res. Tech. Rpt. NPS/SEKI/NRTR – 2013/665. Fort Collins, CO. Cole, D. N., M. E. Petersen, and R. C. Lucas. 1987. Managing Wilderness Recreation Use: Common Problems and Potential Solutions. USDA Forest Service Gen. Tech. Rpt. INT-GTR-230. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Research Station. Cole, D. N., A. E. Watson, T. E. Hall, and D. R. Spildie. 1997. High-Use Destinations in Wilderness: Social and Biophysical Impacts, Visitor Responses, and Management Options. USDA Forest Service, Res. Pap. INT-RP-496. Ogden, UT: Intermountain Research Station. Daniels, M. L., and J. L. Marion. 2006. Visitor evaluations of management actions at a highly impacted Appalachian Trail camping area. Environmental Management 38(6): 1006–1019. Dustin, D., L. Beck, and J. Rose. 2017. Landscape to Techscape: Metamorphosis along the Pacific Crest Trail. International Journal of Wilderness 23(1): 25–30. Eagleston, H., and J. L. Marion. 2017. Sustainable campsite management in protected areas: A study of long-term ecological changes on campsites in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Minnesota, USA. Journal for Nature Conservation 37: 73–82. Harmon, M. E. 2015. Computing as context: Experiences of dis/connection beyond the moment of non/use. Dissertation, Information and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine. Landres, P., C. Barns, S. Boutcher, T. Devine, P. Dratch, A. Lindholm, L. Merigliano, N. Roeper, and E. Simpson. 2015. Keeping It Wild 2: An Updated Interagency Strategy to Monitor Trends in Wilderness Character across the National Wilderness Preservation System. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rpt. RMRS-GTR-340. Fort Collins, CO: Rocky Mountain Research Station. Leung, Y. F., and J. L. Marion. 1999. Spatial strategies for managing visitor impacts in national parks. Journal of Park & Recreation Administration 17(4): 20–38. ———. 2000. Wilderness campsite conditions under an unregulated camping policy: An eastern example. In Proceedings: Wilderness Science in a Time of Change, Vol 5: Wilderness Ecosystems, Threats, and Management, ed. D. N. Cole et al. (pp. 148–152), May 23–27, 1999, Missoula, MT. USDA Forest Service, Proceedings RMRS-P-15-Vol-5. Ogden, UT: Rocky Mountain Research Station. ———. 2004. Managing impacts of campsites. In: Environmental Impact of Tourism, ed. Ralf Buckley (pp. 245–258). Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing. August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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Marion, J. L. 1995. Capabilities and management utility of recreation impact monitoring programs. Environmental Management 19(5): 763–771. ———. 2003. Camping Impact Management on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Report published by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Harper’s Ferry, WV. ———. 2014. Leave No Trace in the Outdoors. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. ———. 2016. A review and synthesis of recreation ecology research supporting carrying capacity and visitor use management decision-making. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 339–351. Marion, J. L., and D. N. Cole. 1996. Spatial and temporal variation in soil and vegetation impacts on campsites: Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. Ecological Applications 6(2): 520–530. Marion, J. L., and T. Farrell. 2002. Management practices that concentrate visitor activities: Camping impact management at Isle Royale National Park, USA. Journal of Environmental Management 66(2): 201–212. Marion, J. L., Y. F. Leung, H. Eagleston, and K. Burroughs. 2016. A review and synthesis of recreation ecology research findings on visitor impacts to wilderness and protected natural areas. Journal of Forestry 114(3): 352–362. Marion, J. L., and J. Wimpey. 2017. Assessing the influence of sustainable trail design and maintenance on soil loss. Journal of Environmental Management 189: 46–57. Marion, J. L., J. Wimpey, and B. Lawhon. 2018. Conflicting messages about camping near waterbodies in wilderness: A review of the scientific basis and need for flexibility. International Journal of Wilderness (this issue). Reid, S. E., and J. L. Marion. 2004. Effectiveness of a confinement strategy for reducing campsite impacts in Shenandoah National Park. Environmental Conservation 31(4): 274–282. ———. 2005. A comparison of campfire impacts and policies in seven protected areas. Environmental Management 36(1): 48–58. Switalski, T. A., J. A. Bissonette, T. H. DeLuca, C. H. Luce, and M. A. Madej. 2004. Benefits and impacts of road removal. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2(1): 21–28. Williams, P. W., and J. L. Marion. 1995. Assessing Campsite Conditions for Limits of Acceptable Change Management in Shenandoah National Park. USDI National Park Service, Chesapeake System Support Office, Nat. Res. Tech. Rpt. NPS/MARSHEN/NRTR-95/071. Annapolis, MD. Wimpey, J., and J. L. Marion. 2011. A spatial exploration of informal trail networks within Great Falls Park, VA. Journal of Environmental Management 92: 1012–1022.

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness 103 of China photo credit Š Staffan Widstrand / Wild Wonders


INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVES

A Preliminary Study on Mapping Wilderness in Mainland China

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original article was published in June 2017 in Chinese Landscape Architecture (《《中国园林》中国园林国园林》) (Cao, Y., Long, Y., Yang, R., 2017. Research on the identification and spatial distribution of wilderness areas at the national scale in Mainland China [J]. Chinese Landscape Architecture, 6: 26–33.). Invited by IJW, authorized by the authors, and permitted by CLA, this article appears as a translated summary of the original version.

By Cao Yue

PEER REVIEWED

Wilderness areas are, in the main, places that are ecologi-

by Yang Rui

cally intact, mostly free of industrial infrastructure, and without significant human interference. With a growing appreciation of the intrinsic value of wilderness, more attention is being paid to wilderness protection and management especially as threats increase and remaining wilderness areas shrink in size (Casson et al. 2016). Practical experience in many countries has shown that

by Long Ying

maps depicting the spatial distribution of wilderness provide baseline information for the development and implementation of wilderness protection policies. Accurate and reliable wilderness inventories are an essential basis for robust designation of wilderness protected areas and the development of associated management policies. by Steve Carver 104

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Due to the lack of a wilderness inventory in China, the total area and the spatial distribution of wilderness are neither known nor fully understood. This places considerable restrictions on wilderness protection. This article therefore focuses on identifying and understanding the spatial distribution of wilderness in mainland China to provide a practical basis for the future development of Chinese wilderness protection policies (Cao et al. 2017).

The Concept of Wilderness Mapping Different people often have different opinions on “how wild should wilderness be?” which makes the concept of wilderness a complex one to implement. How to apply multiple and complex wilderness definitions into a meaningful wilderness map is the first question that needs to be answered. The idea of defining the point at which wilderness begins and ends along the environmental modification spectrum was first proposed by Roderick Nash in his book Wilderness and the American Mind (Nash 2016). His approach was to emphasize the variations of intensity of human impact on landscapes and so define the wilderness continuum. This was further developed by Lesslie and Taylor and applied to wilderness mapping in the early 1980s (Lesslie and Taylor 1985). The wilderness continuum emphasizes the transition from urban areas to pristine nature through varying levels of human modification as reflected in the intensity of human impacts on landscape. The basic attributes of the wilderness include measures of remoteness and naturalness such that wilderness quality increases with the increased remoteness and naturalness. In this manner, wilderness quality can be divided into high, relatively high, medium, and low levels. Defining wilderness by these relativistic ideas helps us to understand the concept of wilderness from a spatial perspective. Based on this concept of the wilderness continuum, GIS-based wilderness quality mapping is the most commonly applied method of identifying the spatial extent and quality of wilderness areas. Although the first global mapping was carried out using manual techniques (McCloskey and Spalding 1989), wilderness mapping at various spatial scales developed rapidly with the development of satellite technology and GIS from the 1980s onward. During the past 30 years, several wilderness mapping projects have been carried out at global scale (Sanderson et al. 2002; See et al. 2016), continental scale (Fisher et al. 2010; Carver 2010), and in countries, regions, and individual protected areas (Kliskey and Kearsley 1993; Carver et al. 2013; Orsi et al. 2013; Măntoiu et al. 2016; Lin et al. 2016). Several countries have conducted wilderness mapping studies including Australia (Lesslie and Maslen 1995), the United States (Aplet et al. 2010), the United Kingdom (Carver et al. 2002), Iceland (Ólafsdóttir et al. 2016), Denmark (Müller et al. 2015), and Austria (Plutzar et al. 2016), some of which have effectively supported wilderness protection policies. These currently provide inspiration and a technical lead for ongoing developments in China.

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The Model of Wilderness Mapping for China In developing a wilderness map for China, we address the principal questions: “Where are, how large, and of what “quality” are China’s remaining wilderness areas?” Our objective is to map the spatial distribution of the remaining wilderness areas in China, thereby providing a practical base for the further development of Chinese wilderness protection policies. The study area is mainland China excluding Taiwan and marine areas. The mapping model is shown in Figure 1. Four indicators reflecting the wilderness qualities or attributes are selected and mapped as follows: Remoteness from the settlements (i.e., areas of permanent human occupation) Remoteness from vehicular access Biophysical naturalness (i.e., the degree of biophysical disturbance by modern society) Apparent naturalness (the degree of involvement of modern artificial facilities) These four indicators reflect two aspects of the wilderness definition simultaneously: on one hand, from the “ecological” point of view, wilderness is natural areas with fewer human impacts and high naturalness; on the other hand, from the “perceptive” point of view, wilderness is seen as remote with almost no human-made facilities or habitation. To map these indices, national datasets, including urban and rural construction land, road networks, land use, and artificial facilities, were selected and mapped using GIS methods according to the four indicators described above. The results of each individual indicators are overlaid with equal weights using a simple weighted linear summation Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) approach to obtain the map of Chinese Wilderness Quality Index (WQI). This is then used to further identify wilderness areas with different values. The resolution of the map is 1 km2 (.39 mile2). Each 1 km2 grid cell corresponds to a wilderness index ranging from 0 to 100. This resolution is deemed sufficient for mapping wilderness at the national scale in China.

Figure 1 – Model of wilderness mapping for China.

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Table 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The grading evaluation table of different land-use types corresponding to the natural degree

Mapping Wilderness Attributes Remoteness from settlement reflects the distance to/from existing urban and rural habitation. Data on urban and rural construction land in China (Liu et al. 2014) are used as the source to calculate remoteness as Euclidean distances (see Figure 2). Remoteness from access reflects the distance from roads. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Roadless areasâ&#x20AC;? are usually considered to be an important indicator of wilderness (Selva et al. 2011). Chinese traffic network data, including railways, highways, national roads, provincial roads and urban roads, are merged and used as inputs when calculating Euclidean distance from mechanized access (see Figure 3).

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Biophysical naturalness reflects the degree of human modification of land cover based on a naturalness grading given to different types of land use. The 2010 national land-use data is selected as the base data (Liu et al. 2014), which itself is based on classified remote sensing images. There are six principal types of land use, including cultivated land, forestland, grassland, open water, residential land, and “unused” land, and 25 secondary types in this classification. The land-use types corresponding to the land code (land resource classification system) are reclassified to reflect the likely degree of human modification of natural ecosystems (See Table 1 and Figure 4). Apparent naturalness reflects the extent to which an area is affected by permanent modern human artifacts. Distribution of traffic network data and settlement data are selected as the input data because transportation infrastructure and buildings are two main kinds of artificial infrastructure seen in the landscape. The former data also includes artificial infrastructures near the road such as bridges, dams, and power lines. A kernel density tool is used to calculate the density of artificial facilities, which in turn is used to reflect the degree of apparent naturalness (see Figure 5).

Figure 2 – Remoteness from settlements

Figure 3 – Remoteness from access

Figure 4 – Biophysical naturalness

Figure 5 – Apparent naturalness

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Figure 6 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Map of the Wilderness Quality Index (WQI)

Results Since the calculation of the four indicators involves different dimensions and units, the first step in calculating a wilderness quality map is to normalize each of the input layers so that all the scores range from 0 to 100. To derive the Chinese Wilderness Index, scores of four indicators are combined by weighted linear summation within MCE. The formula is as follows.

In this formula, WQI is the wilderness index, the value of which represents the wilderness quality; ei. is the standard score after evaluation of individual indicator; n is the number of indicators. It should be noted that equal weight of the four indicators is used for simplicity and clarity, but alternative weighting schemes could be explored in future. The resulting map of the Chinese Wilderness Quality Index (WQI) is shown in Figure 6. The wilderness quality index is then classified to divide all lands into five types: high-quality, relatively-high-quality, medium-quality, low-quality wilderness, and other type of lands (i.e., developed), as shown in Table 2. The spatial distribution of wilderness areas falling within the different levels are shown in the Chinese Wilderness Map (see Figure 7). Four types of wilderness take up to half of the whole land area, which together constitute those landscapes with the highest wilderness levels in mainland China. August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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Table 2 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Degrading of Chinese wilderness quality and its proportion of total land area

High-quality wilderness accounts for 4.3% of the total land area of mainland China, mainly distributed in Qiangtang, the Altun Mountains, Hoh Xil, the Taklamakan Desert, and Lop Nur. Relatively-high-quality wilderness accounts for 12.4% of the total land area, mainly distributed in the northern Tibet Autonomous region, southern Xinjiang Autonomous region, Western Qinghai Province, and Western Inner Mongolia Autonomous region. Together these high-quality and relatively-high-quality wilderness areas are mainly distributed in Western China. Policies restricting land-use alterations, construction of artificial infrastructures, and human activities with negative effects on landscapes could be implemented in these regions to preserve their wilderness value and characteristics for future generations.

Figure 7 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Chinese Wilderness Map.

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In addition, medium-quality wilderness accounts for 11.9% of the total land area, and lowquality wilderness accounts for 24.0%. This is distributed in provinces throughout western, central, and eastern China. Although the wilderness quality of these two types is lower, there are still high conservation values to be found in these lands, some of which have already been designated as protected areas, although many others have not. Wilderness areas in eastern and central China are highly fragmented, yet still provide important ecosystem services and recreational opportunities for nearby urban populations. These areas are perhaps more threatened than wilderness areas in western China and so perhaps need closer attention and further research due to the country’s large population and associated demand for economic development. Most importantly, the use of these areas should also be wisely and carefully managed to preserve their wilderness values to the extent possible. Existing wild areas can be divided into two types: those that already have been designated as protected areas and those that have not. For those already included in protected area networks, the wilderness area and its values should be emphasized in the management zoning, and more scientific and sophisticated management policies should be developed to enhance conservation practices and the permanence of these wilderness zones. For wilderness areas not included in existing protected areas but with relatively-high-wilderness quality, the necessity and feasibility of further studies and practices should be explored. These include the designation of new protected wilderness areas and the delineation of ecological “red lines”1 around biodiversity hotspots to bridge the gap between existing protected areas and wilderness. The establishment of ecological networks connecting wilderness areas will be necessary, especially to maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of smaller wild areas. Rewilding might be necessary to either restore and enhance existing wilderness areas or improve connectivity between protected areas.

Conclusion and Discussion This research has identified existing wilderness areas in China from a spatial perspective and created the first national-scale wilderness map in mainland China. Four levels of wilderness areas and other (developed) lands respectively accounted for 4.3%, 12.4%, 11.9%, 24.0%, and 47.4% of the total land area in mainland China. This study is meaningful in terms of both cognitive and practical aspects of wilderness protection in China. At the cognitive level, a new understanding of the national-scale landscape is added from the perspective of wilderness, which is a basic requirement for the further analysis of spatial patterns of wilderness at multiple spatial scales. At the practical level, it is expected to guide policy making about wilderness preservation and planning for a national Chinese Wilderness Preservation System. This will provide an essential reference for development and planning of various protected areas and for the delineation of ecological protection “red lines.” 1 Ecological “red lines” is one of the key policies in “China Eco-civilization,” which would designate areas to be protected from further development, and mainly focuses on eco-functional areas, ecologically fragile areas, and biodiversity hotspots.

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This research develops the national-scale wilderness mapping in mainland China and lays the foundations for further work including 1. Improvements to the mapping work described here to better analyze spatial pat terns of wilderness in China, making use of big data and multisourced data. 2. Systematic assessment of the multiple values of wilderness in China, especially the biodiversity and ecosystem service values of wilderness areas. 3. Analysis of the conservation status of wilderness areas in China and identification of gaps in wilderness preservation to support proposals for more targeted wilderness preservation policies. 4. Multiscale wilderness mapping to directly assist management of wilderness protected areas, designation of new wilderness areas, management zoning, and wilderness recreation planning.

In recognition of the importance and sensitivity of wilderness areas, preservation of wilderness qualities and values should be discussed in the context of the Chinese national park pilot program and ongoing reconstruction of the country’s protected areas system. Wilderness preservation and management in China could be greatly improved by policies such as ecological function zoning, national main functional area planning, delineation of biodiversity conservation priority regions, and delineation of ecological “red lines” so as to maintain harmonious landscapes between humans and nature and leave precious “Wild China” for both contemporary and future generations.

Rejoinder This article is a preliminary study focusing on wilderness mapping at a national scale. It creates the first wilderness map for China and could be taken as a starting point for further studies including regional- and park-focused mappings. The following issues should be addressed carefully in further studies.

Wilderness Definition and Attributes The wilderness concept has been introduced and discussed in China from multiple perspectives, including environmental philosophy, environmental aesthetics, environmental history and nature writing. Scholars including HOU Wenhui (侯文蕙), CHENG Hong (程虹), LU Feng (卢风), YE Ping (叶平), and CHEN Wangheng (陈望衡) have made great contribution to this process. The special issue on wilderness in Chinese Landscape Architecture in 2017 raised more discussions on the wilderness concept in China (Carver 2017; Cao and Yang 2017; Martin 2017; Watson and Carver 2017). In addition, scholars have also started to explore the wilderness concept in the Chinese mind from the perspective of perception and philosophy, prompting the discussion to go a step further (Tin and Yang 2016; Tin et al. 2016; Gao 2017).

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However, there is no unified or official definition of wilderness in China at present, so we have taken the IUCN and other existing definitions as a reference. We believe that defining wilderness in the Chinese context is extremely important; however, we cannot give a precise Chinese definition at this stage. In this case, our mapping work is based on the wilderness continuum and internationally recognized attributes that most wilderness mapping studies to date have adopted. China is a huge and geographically/culturally varied country making it hard to find an approach that works at all scales. We think using naturalness and remoteness as wilderness attributes at the national scale is appropriate but acknowledge that these may need modifying to take social, cultural, political, and historical factors into account at the local scale. Remoteness is a good indicator at the national scale, because where there are no roads it is more remote from human influence and therefore more likely to be wild/natural. However, at local scales more indicators should be taken into consideration including solitude, lack of visible human artifacts, population density, and terrain roughness, and more complex models should be used to map these variables including visibility, walking time, and so forth. “Apparent naturalness” in this paper refers to the absence of certain artificial infrastructure – usually considered to be an important indicator of wilderness (Lesslie and Maslen 1995; Carver et al. 2002; Plutzar et al. 2016). In Chinese, wilderness attribute (属性) has a similar meaning to wilderness indicator (指标)(指标) including naturalness, wildness, and remoteness. Wilderness Quality Index is a term used in European wilderness mapping projects. This may cause confusion because quality (质量) in Chinese usually relates to both good or bad qualities. Although WQI is understandable, using ( 荒野 等级 / 荒野度 / 荒野程度 ) 荒野等级(wilderness levels/grades)) may be better as the classification of areas with different wilderness quality index.

Revisiting the Cultural Relevance of Wilderness in China and How to Acknowledge It in the Mapping Procedure We acknowledge that simply transposing Western methods onto China may cause confusion in a cultural context. Further studies to address this problem may include the following points: 1. Conduct a series of wilderness perception surveys in China to see how this Western term is interpreted in the minds of Chinese people. This research may include different levels of public participation and expert consultation to address the following questions: Is wilderness a meaningful and useful concept in nature conservation in China?? What are the attributes that best define an area as wilderness in China? Which attributes are most important to the Chinese people? 2. Use MCE techniques to combine the indicators in different ways, orders, and sets with variable weights that acknowledge the cultural understanding and local, regional, national, and international differences. 3. The classification criteria of wilderness quality should be further improved using statistical and fuzzy methods to better interpret the resulting wilderness map in a culturally relevant way.

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Comments on Data Quality There are some problems in terms of data quality in this research that need to be recognized when considering the results. These include the following: 1. Due to data or calculation methods, there may be overestimation or underestimation of the wilderness quality, which should be verified and improved in regional-scale mapping work. 2. Overestimation of wilderness quality may exist in Chinese border regions due to edge effects arising from the absence of relevant data from neighboring countries. 3. Internal edge effects can also be seen due to variations in mapping standards between different provinces requiring careful calibration and checking using supplementary data.

Acknowledgments We would like to thank Vance G. Martin (president, the WILD Foundation and Wilderness Foundation Global, and chair, Wilderness Specialist Group [IUCN/WCPA]) for his guidance and advice; Li Jiajia for her assistance with data processing; and Peng Qinyi for his assistance with the translation of the paper.

CAO YUE is a PhD candidate in Department of Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University. His research focuses on national park and protected areas, focusing especially on Chinese wilderness protection and the establishment of the Chinese Wilderness Preservation System; email: caoyue14@mails. tsinghua.edu.cn YANG RUI is both chair of and professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Tsinghua University. He is a Chinese senior advisor to the WILD11 process; email: yrui@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn LONG YING, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Architecture, Tsinghua University. His research focuses on urban planning, quantitative urban studies, and applied urban modeling; email: ylong@tsinghua.edu.cn STEVE CARVER is a geographer and senior lecturer at the University of Leeds. He has more than 25 yearsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; experience in the field of GIS and multicriteria evaluation with special interests in wild land, rewilding, landscape evaluation, and public participation; email: s.j.carver@leeds.ac.uk

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August 2018 | Volume 24, Number | International Journal of Wilderness 119 of China photo2credit Š Staffan Widstrand / Wild Wonders


WILDERNESS DIGEST

Book Review: John Shultis, Book Review Editor CONFESSIONS OF A RECOVERING ENVIRONMENTALIST AND OTHER ESSAYS by Paul Kingsnorth. 2017. Greywolf Press. 284 pp. $16.00 (pb).

Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist and Other Essays by Paul Kingsnorth

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International Journal of Wilderness | August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2


When asking graduate students which environmental public intellectuals I should read, Paul Kingsnorth’s name is frequently mentioned (along with George Monbiot, Rebecca Solnit, and Terry Tempest Williams). Kingsnorth is a longtime activist, Man Booker prize–nominated author, and former deputy editor of the Ecologist. Confessions is an enjoyable, easy-to-digest collection of his work published over the last 10 years. As the title would suggest, Confessions traces a gradual disillusionment with the environmental movement. The hard truths that Kingsnorth tells of include a single-minded obsession with climate change, an environmental movement focused on admittedly important humanist and social justice concerns, and the neo-environmentalists such as Peter Kareiva (formerly chief scientist of The Nature Conservancy), Emma Marris, and the folks at the Breakthrough Institute. The green movement, Kingsnorth suggests, has become utilitarian and self-congratulatory in their embrace of technology, sustainable development, and ethical consumption: We are not environmentalists now because we have an emotional reaction to the wild world…. We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the non-human world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens, although some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilisation at the comfort level that the world’s rich people – us – feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so. (p. 68)

Much like Edward Abbey and Gary Snyder, Kingsnorth targets growth-for-the-sake-of-growth as the more important cause for concern. With an unfailing optimism that human ingenuity and resourcefulness will find ways to only continue human dominance and progress, many environmentalists now seem little different from big governments and large corporations: This approach has left environmentalism in a position where its advocates now find themselves unable to do anything but argue about which machines they would prefer to use to power an ever-growing industrial economy. (p. 47)

One target of disappointment for Kingsnorth is those like Stewart Brand, who in the face of the supposed Anthropocene, suggest, “We are as gods, and HAVE to get good at it” (Whole Earth Discipline, 2010, p. 1). Kingsnorth worries that, as captains of the planet, we treat and deplete the resources of the Earth such that we must then turn to the heavens. But, he suggests, that a “Mars-based future, like the future in which we rebuild passenger pigeons in laboratories, breed babies in machines and download our consciousness into silicon chips, is an exercise in space-age Romanticism” (p. 39). Paul Kingsnorth follows in the tradition of Emerson and Thoreau, calling for a simplicity of wants, a humility and forbearance, and an embrace of the joys and wonders of nature. He suggests that “living without wild nature is like living without one of our senses or one of our limbs” (p. 57). Confessions is a well-written, well-considered, and compelling collection. Kingsnorth’s is a voice well worth giving attention to.

Reviewed by BILL BORRIE, professor, Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management, University of Montana; email: bill.borrie@umontana.edu August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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WILDERNESS DIGEST

Book Review: John Shultis, Book Review Editor THE FUTURE OF CONSERVATION IN AMERICA: A CHART FOR ROUGH WATERS by Gary E. Machlis and Jonathon B. Jarvis. 2018. University of Chicago Press. 112 pp. $14.00 (pb).

The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Waters by Gary E. Machlis and Jonathon B. Jarvis

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The rise of neoliberalism in America has changed the way in which conservation, including wilderness conservation, is perceived. Examples of this shift are an increasingly partisan political support and growing political opposition for conservation. The 2016 American election illuminated additional barriers to conservation. As noted by the authors, both high-profile conservation leaders who worked at the highest national political level, The election of Donald Trump was a signal event; the deeper challenges of populism, anti-science attitudes, and resentment against government are a profound and long-term concern. The longsimmering tension and now open conflict between those who view conservation as a shared, bipartisan, and vital national and global interest and the opposing rise of a populist, nationalist politics embracing class resentment, strident partisanship, and narrow self-interest will profoundly influence the future of conservation in America. (pp. 6–7)

This book attempts to galvanize and focus future conservation efforts by providing several recommended strategies and approaches. They suggest that “strategic intentions” should form the basis of all conservation efforts; that is, “strategy should select tactics that, when successful, lead the way for additional progress” (p. 10). Fourteen specific strategies are provided, including (1) the need to “monitor, record and expose the retreat and retrenchment of environmental protection and conservation” (p. 44), (2) the need for conservation supporters to provide science in the public interest (even though the authors acknowledge the current power of the anti-science stance), (3) provide direct nature experiences to all citizens and especially young people, (4) champion the “healthy parks, healthy people” connection, and (5) “protect, connect, and grow the network of protected areas across the American land- and seascape” (p. 53) (although the authors also note the lack of support for any new large scale conservation efforts in the current political climate). The authors also suggest a more unified vision of what constitutes conservation is required. A broader coalition, including “citizens, activists, philanthropists, organizations, tribes, local, state and federal agencies, business-sector (including the outdoor retail industry) and individual firms, scientists, and public leaders” (p. 70) will be needed to move conservation forward in these times: “Acting individually, each branch will be unlikely to achieve significant progress in the face of deliberate, determined and direct attacks on conservation. United and working collaboratively, they are more capable of confronting the assault on conservation by the Trump administration” (p. 74). Thus, the authors suggest that the various branches of the broad conservation movement, including the integration of “nature conservation, historical preservation, environmental justice and civil rights, sustainability, public health and science communities is overdue, but when fully accomplished will reap significant reward” (p. 82). In sum, the authors provide a positive, thoughtful call to arms for the beleaguered conservation movements in these troubled times.

Reviewed by JOHN SHULTIS, book review editor of the IJW and associate professor at the University of Northern British Columbia; email: john.shultis@unbc.ca August 2018 | Volume 24, Number 2 | International Journal of Wilderness

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SPONSORING ORGANIZATIONS Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute Central Michigan University, Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Administration Conservation International SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry The WILDÂŽ Foundation The Wilderness Society USDA Forest Service USDI Bureau of Land Management USDI Fish and Wildlife Service USDI National Park Service Wilderness Foundation (South Africa) Wilderness Foundation Global Wilderness Leadership School (South Africa) University of Montana, School of Forestry and Conservation; and, the Wilderness Institute

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International Journal of Wilderness: Volume 24, No 2, August 2018  

The International Journal of Wilderness (IJW) is the tool of choice for wilderness managers and advocates, produced through a unique collabo...

International Journal of Wilderness: Volume 24, No 2, August 2018  

The International Journal of Wilderness (IJW) is the tool of choice for wilderness managers and advocates, produced through a unique collabo...