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Research to guide management of outdoor recreation and tourism in parks and protected areas

The park has regional and local significance because of its rich and diverse cultural, social, aesthetic and natural values. These values include Aboriginal sites, remnant bush, and a range of buildings and structures including the Victorian gothic villa, Greycliffe House. Goat Island is of national and state heritage significance for its exceptional ensemble of built, natural and archaeological features that represent three important historical periods within one place: Aboriginal pre , colonial , and maritime The island retains its isolation from the city and surrounding foreshore development.

South Head forms the southern edge of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. Most of the area has been a national park since , with Gap Bluff added in The site has rich natural and cultural heritage values, including at least 11 Aboriginal sites. The management of 10 historic lighthouses located along the NSW coastline is covered in this plan. Most are within or adjacent to national parks, reserves, marine parks or state conservation areas. It occupies 0. The site consists of Lot numbers 1 and 2 of DP The following plans outline the direction for the management of the conservation and adaptive reuse project of the North Head Quarantine Station in Sydney Harbour National Park.

The site of these historic buildings covers a large area of the headland at Middle Head, in Sydney Harbour. The structures were built between and to support the defence of Sydney Harbour. Research can help evaluate the potential efficacy of selected management practices. A study of recreation at the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, Maine is an example of the way in which research can help guide management Park et al. Acadia attracts nearly 2. Cadillac Mountain is an especially popular visitor attraction as its summit offer expansive views and is accessible by both road and trail.

A short, paved loop trail is provided for visitor use. A research project was administered to test the efficacy of alternative management practices designed to encourage visitors to stay on the maintained trail. The study employed a series of experimental treatments - five management practices from 'indirect' e. During all treatment and control periods, researchers unobtrusively observed visitors and recorded the number that walked off the maintained trail.

In addition, a survey of visitors was conducted to explore why the experimental management treatments worked or not. Study findings suggest that all of the experimental management treatments reduced the percentage of visitors who walked off the maintained trail.

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More aggressive applications of indirect management practices were more effective than less aggressive applications and the direct practice of fencing was the most effective. However, none of the indirect management practices reduced off-trail walking enough to effectively limit damage to soils and vegetation. Implications of the study are that a coordinated programme of indirect and direct management practices be implemented at Cadillac Mountain and similar sites that includes, 1 a rule requiring that visitors stay on maintained trails, 2 enforcement of this rule as necessary, 3 unobtrusive fencing along the margins of the trail, 4 redesigning of the maintained trail to extend it, widen it, and to provide spur trails to key photo points and 5 an aggressive education programme informing visitors of the regulation to stay on maintained trails and the reason for this regulation.

A growing body of research and associated literature.

The studies outlined above are a part of a growing body of research and associated scientific and professional literature that can help guide management of parks and protected areas for outdoor recreation and tourism. These advances can help build the capacity of park and protected area management agencies in several ways. Moreover, these conceptual frameworks have formed the foundation for a number of management frameworks such as LAC and VERP, as discussed in this article. A number of related management frameworks have been developed and applied in parks and protected areas around the world, offering a choice of management frameworks from which to choose Belokurov et al.

The similarity of many of these frameworks suggests that it may be more important to choose and apply any one of the frameworks than to struggle with the choice of which framework is 'best' Manning Secondly, there is a growing body of research on indicators and standards of quality for managing outdoor recreation and tourism in parks and protected areas. Indicators and standards of quality have begun to be compiled in several synthetic sources Manning a; National Park Service Fourthly, a substantial body of research is addressing the effectiveness of alternative management practices applied to parks and protected areas Buckley ; Manning a.

This body of work has identified a range of management strategies and practices, tested the effectiveness of these practices in diverse contexts and has begun to develop a series of principles to guide the application of management practices e. Manning , a. Fifthly, the research illustrated above has been conducted in a number of parks and protected areas around the world and this has contributed to the growing body of scientific and professional literature on management of parks and protected areas in diverse environmental, social and managerial contexts.

This growing body of scientific and professional work is helping build the capacity of park and protected area management. Close collaboration between managers and scientists will aid in successful management of parks and protected areas for outdoor recreation and tourism Manning a; McCool et al. Some of the data reported in this article were collected as part of surveys of visitors to several units of the US national park system.

These surveys were approved by institutional review committees of the principal investigator's university. These surveys were administered on a voluntary basis and potential respondents were told the purpose of the surveys and approximately how long they would take. Response rates were very high as most visitors to the national parks are inherently interested in how these areas are managed and are pleased to report on their experiences and attitudes toward park management issues.

Respondents' names are not recorded to assure anonymity and confidentiality. The reliability and validity of the data reported in this article are supported by publication of findings from these and related studies in many papers published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. All of these papers have been reviewed by a minimum of three external reviewers who have examined all facets of these studies, including reliability and validity. Parks and protected areas have seen substantial growth in recent decades.

Paul F. J. Eagles

However, management of these areas requires careful attention to maximise their potential environmental and societal values and to minimise potential conflict between public use of parks and protected areas and protection of park resources and the quality of the visitor experience. A recent study suggests that there is considerable room for improvement in management effectiveness Leverington et al. However, application of research was found to be positively correlated with management effectiveness. This suggests that management should be based on the growing body of scientific and professional literature.

Outdoor recreation and tourism are increasingly important uses of parks and protected areas. However, they can also challenge park managers to minimise the potential impacts of tourism and outdoor recreation on park resources and the quality of the visitor experience. Management-by-objectives frameworks have emerged from the scientific and professional literature that can guide planning and management of parks and protected areas for outdoor recreation and tourism. These management frameworks draw on the broader literature in environmental planning and management and can be supported by a programme of research.

The examples of this type of research outlined in this article suggest ways in which research can help inform each of the three primary steps of the management-by-objectives framework, 1 formulating indicators and standards of quality, 2 monitoring indicators of quality and 3 implementing management actions to help ensure that standards of quality are maintained.

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These and related programmes of research around the world can help inform management of parks and protected areas for outdoor recreation and tourism. The author declares that he has no financial or personal relationships that may have inappropriately influenced him in writing this article. Agee, J. Baldwin, E. Balmford, A. Brown, P.

Brown, G. Buckley, R. Christensen, N. Cole, D. Davenport, L. Terborgh, C. Rao eds. Driver, B.


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    Leung, Y-F. Leverington, F. Manning, R. Vaske ed. Cole compiler , Wilderness visitor experiences: Progress in research and management, pp. Marion, J. Mastny, L. McCool, S. Monz, C.