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Comparing the wilderness message of U.S. land management agenciesAuthor(s): C. Griffin; S. Januchowski; J. Hooker; E. Isely; E. Daniels; C. Lucas; R. Feuerstein; M. Bosma
Source: In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 411-415
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionWebsites from three U.S. agencies that manage wilderness were examined to determine what type of message is being communicated to the public about wilderness. Some websites contain almost no information about wilderness while others discuss it extensively. Most of the references to wilderness are in administrative documents. The second most common audience is prospective wilderness visitors. These messages were analyzed in detail. The dominant value of wilderness appears to be recreational rather than ecological, geological, educational, or scientific. Many websites talk about wilderness as being scenic, wild, natural, primitive, or pristine. As the likelihood of injury rises, agencies focus on the increased need of visitors to these wildernesses to be responsible for their own safety. There are many positive things being said about wilderness. For some websites, the wilderness message is highly compartmentalized and may not be in a place a recreational visitor would access. Agencies’ wilderness messages are often rule-based in an effort to modify visitor behavior. More extensive use of agency websites to communicate the values and uniqueness of wilderness could help influence visitor attitudes as well as modify their behavior, which could help preserve wilderness character.
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CitationGriffin, C.; Januchowski, S.; Hooker, J.; Isely, E.; Daniels, E.; Lucas, C.; Feuerstein, R.; Bosma, M. 2007. Comparing the wilderness message of U.S. land management agencies. In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 411-415
Keywordswilderness, biodiversity, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values
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