You are here: Home / Research Topics / Outdoor Recreation / Interactions

Interactions Between Recreation and Ecological Systems

Climate change and wildfire alter ecosystems and affect outdoor services and experiences. Recreation businesses (i.e. ski resort operators), special populations (i.e. subsistence users) and visitors will experience impacts as physical and biological conditions change. Forest Service scientists are helping managers, businesses, and private landowners adapt to changing conditions.

Wildland fire, recreation, and the wildland-urban interface (WUI)

Wildland fires impact recreation infrastructure and the communities that depend on recreation and tourism. Scientists are studying the impact of these disturbances on the recreation and tourism sectors, and the options available to managers and public officials working to increase community resiliency.

Invasive species and the recreation system

Invasive species are a serious concern for land managers. Recreation activity can be a source of transport or transmission, and recreation resources can suffer damage from invasive species. Recreation researchers work with botanists, pathologists, ecologists, and other scientists to help resource managersí develop policies and procedures that limit invasive species spread and damage.

Recreation management and use in fragile environments

Recreation use can have measurable and unacceptable effects on sensitive natural environments. A significant focus of this research has been in wilderness areas where trail use and campground sites are monitored for environmental effects, and management practices are adjusted to protect resources.