Title: Wilderness recreation use trends, 1965 through 1994
Author: Cole, David N.
Source: Res. Pap. INT-RP-488. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 11 p
Station ID: RP-INT-488
Description: Recreation use of the National Wilderness Preservation System has steadily increased since passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964. People are recreating in designated wilderness more than ever. Although the size of the National Wilderness Preservation System has greatly increased since 1964, many wildernesses are also used more heavily than ever. At least one-half of all designated wildernesses experienced their highest levels of use during the 1990s. Moreover, use increased during the early 1990s in virtually every wilderness, even those that experienced higher levels of visitation in the late 1970s or 1980s. Recent growth is particularly pronounced in National Park Service units where double-digit growth rates are comparable to those of several decades ago. This conclusion is different from reports in the late 1980s that determined that wilderness use was stable or declining. The fact that use continues to increase has critical implications for wilderness management and for land-allocation decisions.
Keywords: wilderness, outdoor recreation, visits, usage, trends
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Cole, David N. 1996. Wilderness recreation use trends, 1965 through 1994. Res. Pap. INT-RP-488. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 11 p.