Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

RMRS Online Publication - Journal Articles, External Publications, and Special Reports
Long-term effectiveness of restoration treatments on closed wilderness campsites

Cole, David N. 2013. Long-term effectiveness of restoration treatments on closed wilderness campsites. Environmental Management. 51: 642-650.

doi: 10.1007/s00267-012-0015-3.

This study assessed long-term recovery of vegetation on six wilderness campsites in subalpine forests in Oregon that were closed to use and that received common restoration treatments (scarification, soil amendments, mulch, transplanting, and seeding). Vegetation cover was assessed every year for the first 7 years following treatment, as well as 10 and 15 years after treatment. This made it possible to compare long-term treatment effectiveness to short-term efficacy. Plots that were closed and not scarified had virtually no vegetation cover even after 15 years without use. If long-used campsites in these subalpine forests are simply closed and allowed to recover on their own, restoration of undisturbed conditions will require hundreds if not thousands of years. Study results show, however, that simple treatments can accelerate recovery rates substantially. Scarification and transplanting were highly effective treatments, with seeding and soil amendment with organic matter and compost also contributing to success, but to a lesser degree. The use of a mulch mat, in contrast, had no effect, either positive or negative. Assessments of success conducted within the first few years of treatment overestimate treatment efficacy, particularly the effectiveness of soil amendments and seeding.

Keywords: compost, recreation impacts, scarification, seeding, soil amendments, transplanting

About PDFs: For best results, do not open the PDF in your Web browser. Right-click on the PDF link to download the PDF file directly to your computer. Click here for more PDF help.

Download Article

PDF File Size: 310 K

Title: RMRS Other Publications: Long-term effectiveness of restoration treatments on closed wilderness campsites
Electronic Publish Date: July 22, 2013
Last Update:
July 22, 2013

RMRS Publications | Order a publication | Contact Us