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Wilderness recreation use: the current situation

Posted date: June 26, 2006
Publication Year: 
1989
Authors: Roggenbuck, Joseph W.; Watson, Alan E.
Publication Series: 
General Technical Report (GTR)
Source: In: Outdoor recreation benchmark 1988: proceedings of the National Outdoor Recreation Forum: Tampa, Florida, January 13-14, 1988. Gen. tech. rep. SE-52. Asheville, N.C.: Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 394-398
Note: This article is part of a larger document.

Abstract

The total amount of recreational use of the National Wilderness Preservation System is currently at about 14.5 million visitor days per annum. Trends indicate a stable or declining overall use; use on a per acre basis is declining. The common stereotype of the wilderness user as young, wealthy, urban, leisured, and a nonresident of the State or region is largely incorrect. The one characteristic that does sharply distinguish wilderness users is their very high education level. Use patterns in wilderness also differ from commonly held perceptions. Size of individual user groups is small, and getting smaller. Most visits are day-use only. Distribution of use is highly skewed toward weekends and summers, but the trend is toward increased dispersal of use across time and space. Higher impact and consumptive activities like hunting and horse use are declining as a percentage of total use.

Citation

Roggenbuck, Joseph W.; Watson, Alan E. 1989. Wilderness recreation use: the current situation. In: Outdoor recreation benchmark 1988: proceedings of the National Outdoor Recreation Forum: Tampa, Florida, January 13-14, 1988. Gen. tech. rep. SE-52. Asheville, N.C.: Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 394-398