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01.09.2012 | Ausgabe 3/2012

Environmental Management 3/2012

Recreational System Optimization to Reduce Conflict on Public Lands

Zeitschrift:
Environmental Management > Ausgabe 3/2012
Autoren:
Fraser Shilling, Jennifer Boggs, Sarah Reed

Abstract

In response to federal administrative rule, the Tahoe National Forest (TNF), California, USA engaged in trail-route prioritization for motorized recreation (e.g., off-highway-vehicles) and other recreation types. The prioritization was intended to identify routes that were suitable and ill-suited for maintenance in a transportation system. A recreational user survey was conducted online (n = 813) for user preferences for trail system characteristics, recreational use patterns, and demographics. Motorized trail users and non-motorized users displayed very clear and contrasting preferences for the same system. As has been found by previous investigators, non-motorized users expressed antagonism to motorized use on the same recreational travel system, whereas motorized users either supported multiple-use routes or dismissed non-motorized recreationists’ concerns. To help the TNF plan for reduced conflict, a geographic information system (GIS) based modeling approach was used to identify recreational opportunities and potential environmental impacts of all travel routes. This GIS-based approach was based on an expert-derived rule set. The rules addressed particular environmental and recreation concerns in the TNF. Route segments were identified that could be incorporated into minimal-impact networks to support various types of recreation. The combination of potential impacts and user-benefits supported an optimization approach for an appropriate recreational travel network to minimize environmental impacts and user-conflicts in a multi-purpose system.

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