Welcome to the blog of the ARC, dedicated to encourage, facilitate, and disseminate scholarship that advances the quality and vitality of the Adirondack Park and related environs. For more information on our history, projects, annual conference, and the Adirondack Journal of Environmental Studies, please visit our web page at www.adkresearch.org.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Research Notes: Science-based tourism management

Using science to manage Northern Forest tourism and recreation
Kelly A. Goonan, Carena J. van Riper, Robert Manning, and Christopher Monz, University of Vermont

Outdoor recreation and tourism is a growing and important use of the Northern Forest— 26 million acres stretching from the Adirondack Mountains in northern New York to eastern Maine. Thousands of visitors are attracted to the region’s mountains each year. Ultimately, outdoor recreation must be sustainable to protect natural resources in the area and provide a high quality experience to visitors. Managing tourism and recreation in the Northern Forest in a sustainable manner will require informed decisions based on a strong scientific foundation. This calls for formulating indicators and standards of quality for natural resource conditions and the visitor experience. Indicators of quality are manageable, measurable variables that define the quality of natural resources and visitor experiences, and standards of quality define the minimum acceptable condition of indicator variables. The University of Vermont is conducting research to guide management of the Northern Forest for tourism and recreation. Once indicators and standards of quality are formulated, indicator variables will be monitored and appropriate management action can be taken to ensure that standards are maintained. This study will focus on four summits across the Northern Forest region, and data will be collected during the 2008 summer field season. A pilot study was conducted on CascadeMountain in New York during the summer of 2007. Data were collected on the summit area to assess resource and social conditions. These data will provide an initial framework from which additional summits will be examined in upcoming field seasons. This research is funded by a grant through the Northeast States Research Cooperative.

For more information, please visit www.uvm.edu/envnr/parkstudies and www.nsrcforest.org.

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