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    Author(s): Wayde c. Morse; Troy E. Hall; Linda E. Kruger
    Date: 2008
    Source: Environmental Management: 12 p.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.58 MB)


    In this article, we examine how issues of scale affect the integration of recreation management with the management of other natural resources on public lands. We present two theories used to address scale issues in ecology and explore how they can improve the two most widely applied recreation-planning frameworks. The theory of patch dynamics and hierarchy theory are applied to the recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS) and the limits of acceptable change (LAC) recreation-planning frameworks. These frameworks have been widely adopted internationally, and improving their ability to integrate with other aspects of natural resource management has significant social and conservation implications. We propose that incorporating ecologic criteria and scale concepts into these recreation-planning frameworks will improve the foundation for integrated land management by resolving issues of incongruent boundaries, mismatched scales, and multiple-scale analysis. Specifically, we argue that whereas the spatially explicit process of the ROS facilitates integrated decision making, its lack of ecologic criteria, broad extent, and large patch size decrease its usefulness for integration at finer scales. The LAC provides explicit considerations for weighing competing values, but measurement\r\nof recreation disturbances within an LAC analysis is often done at too fine a grain and at too narrow an extent for integration with other recreation and resource concerns. We suggest that planners should perform analysis at multiple scales when making management decisions that involve trade-offs among competing values. The United States Forest Service is used as an example to discuss how resource-management agencies can improve this integration.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Morse, Wayde c.; Hall, Troy E.; Kruger, Linda E. 2008. Improving the integration of recreation management with management of other natural resources by applying concepts of scale from ecology. Environmental Management: 12 p.


    Hierarchical patch dynamics, integration, limits of acceptable change, multiple-use management, recreation opportunity spectrum

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