National Park Service Southwest Alaska National Parks visitor impact monitoring: Phase 1 report

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The scope and extent of visitor use and resource impacts in the Southwest Alaska Network Parks (SWAN) was investigated as the first step in developing visitor impact monitoring protocols. Thorough scoping, including managers interviews, site visits and documentation of resource impacts revealed several visitor impact issues across SWAN Parks, namely impacts to soil and vegetation, wildlife disturbance and noise associated with aircraft and motorboat use. Sixteen possible vital signs measures were identified as possible monitoring indicators of visitor impact and use. These vital signs measures were prioritized based on fourteen criteria and ranked as to their priority for further development. The second phase of this project will develop monitoring protocols for selected vital signs.

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