High Impact Activities in Parks: Best management practice and future research
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Off-road driving, horse riding, rock climbing and similar activities can be lucrative for tour operators and important for local recreational groups, but contentious for management of national parks and protected areas, both because of safety and liability and because of potentially high environmental impacts. These include spreading weeds and pathogens, starting fires and crushing birds nests on beaches, amongst others. In Australia, as elsewhere, off-road vehicles and horse are allowed only in some places in some parks, and often only under permit. We have very little reliable scientific information to-date on just how serious these impacts may be, and on how well they might be managed through minimal-impact practise such as vehicle washdowns, stockfeed processing and seasonal closures. Such information can only be obtained thought site specific ecological studies of the plants, animals and watercourses likely to be affected, differentiating tourism impacts from natural causes and fluctuations. This report examines management strategies for these activities worldwide and in Australia. Suggestions for best management practice and future research agendas are set.
© 2008 CRC for Sustainable Tourism. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version. The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, established and supported under the Australian Government's Cooperative Research Centres Program, funded this research.
Impacts of Tourism