Skip to Main Content
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
PDF: Download Publication (280 B)
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.
- You may send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
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
- Intergroup conflict in wilderness: balancing opportunities for experience with preservation responsibility
- Communicating minimum impact behavior with trailside bulletin boards: Visitor characteristics associated with effectiveness
- An analysis of normative messages in signs at recreation settings
XML: View XML