Monitoring Public Access Impacts on Conservation Forests: A Management Framework
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The Conservation Fund (TCF), a national nonprofit working in land and water conservation, established its North Coast Forest Conservation Program in Mendocino County, CA in 2004. In 2007 TCF acquired two coastal redwood forest properties, Salmon Creek & Big River, through a funding partnership with three state agencies and additional private funding. Its sustainable forest management program includes endangered species protection, water quality improvements, stakeholder involvement and public recreational use. Recreation impacts, defined in this report as any undesirable visitor-related change to the natural resources, trails, or recreational experience of other users, can have detrimental results including erosion, vegetation trampling, and degraded water quality. This project was developed to meet TCF’s needs for responsible management of visitors to the properties, to both protect the natural resources and allow active forest management. A review of recreation ecology literature was conducted to identify key trends and results in the field, as well as locate experts. A survey of eight recreation experts, including both scientific researchers and recreation managers, was conducted to gain additional insight and various perspectives on recreation impact issues. Their responses and the literature review were analyzed and discussed to inform recreation monitoring recommendations for Salmon Creek and Big River. These were summarized in a final monitoring plan to aid TCF in its management of public access on these conservation forest properties.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
recreation monitoring plan
public recreation access
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