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Recreation

Science Spotlights

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Historically, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States are not as likely to recreate or work in the country’s natural lands as are racial whites. Data from the Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring program indicate disproportionate utilization of National Forest System recreation opportunities by the nation’s minority racial and ethnic groups. Past individual case studies conducted of regional areas have addressed constraints...
Remote camera captures a wolverine as it approaches a researcher's trap.
Forest Service scientists and their research partners use a novel approach that includes trapping and fitting wolverines with GPS collars that accurately plot their movements in areas of high winter recreation. Thenvolunteer snowmobilers, back-country skiers, and other recreationists carry GPS units in the same areas used by wolverines. Resulting data show how wolverines respond to winter recreation in terms of their movements, behaviors, and...
Westslope cutthroat trout, native to the Columbia River and upper Missouri River hybridize with introduced rainbow trout and have been extirpated from large portions of their historical range.
Hybridization between westslope cutthroat trout and both rainbow trout and Yellowstone cutthroat trout is a major conservation concern for the species.  A new broad-scale analysis of hybridization patterns found many pure populations of westslope cutthroat trout in headwaters streams.
For nearly 50 years, scientists at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute (established as the Forest Service Wilderness Management Research Unit in 1967) and their collaborators have compiled important research on natural and social science issues pertaining to wilderness. This archive neatly organizes such research, and makes it available to the public in digital format.
Native trout are culturally and ecologically important, but climate change is likely to shrink the cold-water environments they require. Much can be done to preserve these fish but efficient planning and targeting of conservation resources has been hindered by a lack of broad-scale datasets and precise information about which streams are most likely to support native trout populations later this century. The Climate Shield is a useful took for...
The “Human-Side of Restoration Webinar Series” was launched in 2014 as a collaboration among the Rocky Mountain Research Station, National Forest Foundation and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University. The series of seven webinars provided a forum for managers and social scientists to share insights and experiences with the “human side” of restoration, including the interface among ecological restoration, human...
Findings from this project help resource specialists explore the potential impacts of declining hunting participation, identify regions and activities experiencing the greatest decline, anticipate changes to communities dependent on wildlife-associated recreation, and consider new mechanisms to fund wildlife management. 
Research conducted by RMRS scientists demonstrates how intensive sampling efforts across a large geographical scale can influence identification of taxonomic groups among the fishes of the genus Cottus in the northern Rocky Mountains. Researchers used specific sequences from mitochondrial DNA regions and phylogenetic analyses techniques as indicators of biodiversity and to identify unique species.
Past and ongoing research provides insights into the nature of wilderness experiences and the factors that influence experience quality (photo by David Cole, USFS).
The Wilderness Visitor Experience Workshop was held at the Lubrecht Experimental Forest near Missoula, MT, on April 4-7, 2011 with the purpose of celebrating lessons learned from half a century of research on visitor experience and preparing for the 50 years of wilderness research and stewardship.
Researchers with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute applied a computer simulation model to understand visitor travel through administratively established zones and use levels of backcountry campsites at the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Superior National Forest. The model provides a user-friendly interface for interactive modeling and can output a variety of estimates about overnight visitor use. Current knowledge on...

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