Date of Award:

12-2010

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Environment and Society

Advisor/Chair:

Christopher A. Monz

Abstract

Visitor use in parks and protected areas inevitably leads to resource impacts. In order to effectively manage for resource impacts, it is important for managers to not only understand ecological aspects of their system but sociological aspects as well. The two papers presented in this thesis used integrated approaches to better understand the current level of resource impacts within the Bear Lake Road Corridor of Rocky Mountain National Park and to explore visitor perceptions of these impacts. The first paper used traditional monitoring and assessment techniques, as well as recently developed methodologies, to determine the current level of resource impacts and examine areas for potential future resource change. Findings showed that there is significant impact in the trail system, particularly at popular hiking destinations. At two of these popular hiking destinations, with current use levels, there is potential for future resource change. Integration with measures of social norms showed that visitors are frequently experiencing resource conditions within the Bear Lake Road Corridor that are considered unacceptable.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on December 23, 2010.

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