Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications
RMRS Online Publication
RMRS-GTR-247: Numerical visitor capacity: a guide to its use in wilderness
Cole, David; Carlson, Thomas. 2010. Numerical visitor capacity: a guide to its use in wilderness. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-247. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 20 p.
Despite decades of academic work and practical management applications, the concept of visitor capacity remains controversial and inconsistently operationalized. Nevertheless, there are situations where development of a numerical estimate of capacity is important and where not doing so has resulted in land management agencies being successfully litigated. This report is a guide to developing estimates of numerical visitor capacity, with particular emphasis on wilderness. It reviews capacity concepts, surveys available approaches to capacity determination, and outlines a generic process. Appendices provide information on relevant legislation and policy, as well as detailed examples and templates.
Keywords: carrying capacity, indicators, recreation use, standards, visitor use management
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Numerical visitor capacity: a guide to its use in wilderness
Electronic Publish Date: January 3, 2011
Last Update: January 3, 2011
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