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    Recreational use of backcountry inevitably impacts environments intended for preservation. Where use is light or where management programs provide adequate protection, impacts need not be unacceptably severe. However, where use is heavy and protective actions are inadequate, impacts may be severe and widespread. Trails may become deeply eroded trenches or mudholes and crisscross the landscape like a spider web (Figure 1). Campsites, viewpoints and other destination areas may be stripped of all groundcover vegetation and standing trees may be scarred and killed. Mineral soil may be exposed, compacted and even eroded away, once the vegetation layer and organic horizons are eliminated.

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    Cole, David N. 1994. Backcountry impact management: Lessons from research. Trends. 31(3): 10-14


    wilderness, recreation, management, impacts, research

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