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The management of wilderness bushwalking in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

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Sawyer, NA 1992 , 'The management of wilderness bushwalking in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area', Coursework Master thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the management problems relating to bushwalking in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Some background information is provided on the World Heritage Area itself, the development of bushwallcing in the area, the concept of wilderness and the existing management structures and policies.
The problems caused by bushwalking are examined in some detail. The most obvious physical problem is the deteriorating state of many of the walking tracks but there are many others including the loss of wilderness quality of remote areas as tracks evolve in previously untracked regions, campsite deterioration, campsite proliferation, fire, litter, disposal of faecal waste, pollution and the spread of Phytophthora. Social concerns include possible overcrowding and the impact of unnatural disturbances such as track work, views of distant roads or forestry operations and low-flying aircraft. All may result in a loss of "wilderness experience" to users of the WHA.
The management guidelines for the area are examined in the context of the significance of the World Heritage listing and recommendations made on the priorities for management. In particular, the conflict between preservation and use is examined.
The various management strategies relevant to the management of wilderness recreation are examined. These include the more sophisticated applications of the concept of "carrying capacity" as well as the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum and Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) methodologies. The limitations of the LAC are considered and it is used as a basis for much of the subsequent discussion of available management actions and monitoring techniques.
The management actions relevant to the problems caused by bushwallcing are considered. Four broad categories are used as a framework for discussion: the control of distribution of use, regulation of use, education of users and physical works.
A consequence of adopting the LAC methodology is the need to monitor key indicators of environmental and social change to ensure that the acceptable levels of impact are not exceeded. The most appropriate techniques for monitoring environmental change are considered as are the methods for obtaining information about users.
Major conclusions include consideration of the practicality of the LAC for both environmental and social monitoring, the need for use limitation in two distinct circumstances, the need for better control of the information available to users and the ongoing need for education of users.

Item Type: Thesis - Coursework Master
Authors/Creators:Sawyer, NA
Keywords: Wilderness areas, Hiking
Copyright Information:

Copyright 1990 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Additional Information:

Thesis (MEnvSt)--University of Tasmania, 1992. Includes bibliographical references

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