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    Wilderness managers are often faced with difficult and complex tasks. One such task is fulfilling the legal mandate of the 1964 Wilderness Act (Public Law 88-577) to provide opportunities for use and enjoyment of wilderness while protecting and preserving the wilderness character of the area. The ideas of use and enjoyment and wilderness character are expressions of societal values for wilderness, but we lack a full understanding of what these ideas mean. As a result, it may be difficult for managers to evaluate the success of their accomplishments as well as some of the far-reaching outcomes of their decisions and actions in wilderness.

    This article describes an effort by the USDA Forest Service Wilderness Monitoring Committee to develop national protocols to monitor trends in selected conditions and stewardship actions related to wilderness character. An important part of this effort is to develop monitoring related to the ?outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation? dimension of wilderness character. This article then describes the purpose and scope of a workshop held in February 2004 to develop a better understanding of these ?outstanding opportunities? that would be used in developing this monitoring. Last, the article introduces several perspectives from the workshop on this dimension of wilderness character.

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    Landres, Peter. 2004. Developing indicators to monitor the "outstanding opportunities" quality of wilderness character. International journal of wilderness. 10(3): 8-11, 20


    wilderness, characteristics, recreation, indicators, monitoring, wilderness management

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