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Intergroup conflict in wilderness: balancing opportunities for experience with preservation responsibility

Posted date: June 23, 2006
Publication Year: 
1995
Authors: Watson, Alan E.; Kajala, Liisa
Publication Series: 
Miscellaneous Publication
Source: In: Sippola, Anna-Liisa; Alaraudanjoki, Pirjo; Forbes, Bruce; Hallikainen, Ville, (eds.). Northern wilderness areas: ecology, sustainability, values; International Conference on Northern Wilderness Areas, December 7-9, 1994. Rovaniemi, Finland: University of Lapland, Arctic Centre: 251-270

Abstract

In contrast with the days of the early explorers, when wilderness travel in America was predominantly a solitary activity, the wilderness resource is now shared among many interests. Interaction among these various interests leads to varied amounts of conflict. Studies in the United States, conducted in multiple National Wilderness Preservation System units, across geographic regions and across agencies, closely examine the role of behavioral and attitudinal contributors to conflict between hikers and recreational packstock users as a case study conflict situation. A survey of previous literature indicates a lack of consistency in measurement of conflict in past studies. Results from five related studies suggests there are portions of conflict which can be addressed using light-handed, indirect methods such as education and persuasive communication to change behaviors or attitudes of visitors on either side of the conflict. Some contributors to conflict may be better addressed through more direct methods involving regulation and restrictions. Factors besides the conflict between recreational users must be considered in selection of management actions, however. In addition to quality of visitor experiences, preservation and scientific values of wilderness must also enter the decision about appropriate management actions.

Citation

Watson, Alan E.; Kajala, Liisa 1995. Intergroup conflict in wilderness: balancing opportunities for experience with preservation responsibility. In: Sippola, Anna-Liisa; Alaraudanjoki, Pirjo; Forbes, Bruce; Hallikainen, Ville, (eds.). Northern wilderness areas: ecology, sustainability, values; International Conference on Northern Wilderness Areas, December 7-9, 1994. Rovaniemi, Finland: University of Lapland, Arctic Centre: 251-270