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Parks and Carrying Capacity

Commons Without Tragedy

 Parks and Carrying Capacity
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Robert E. Manning

328 pages | 6 x 9
How much can we use the environment without spoiling what we find so valuable about it? Determining the carrying capacity of parks and related areas is a perennial question whose urgency grows each year as the number of visits continues to increase. Parks and Carrying Capacity represents a comprehensive assessment of the issue, as it:
  • offers a historical and conceptual treatment of carrying capacity
  • describes and illustrates research approaches for assessing carrying capacity, including qualitative and quantitative surveys, normative theory and methods, visual research approaches, trade-off analysis, and simulation modeling
  • examines management alternatives for limiting the environmental and social impacts of visitor use
  • considers the broader question of environmental management and how the issue of carrying capacity can be applied more generally
  • discusses how the theory and methods associated with managing the carrying capacity of parks and protected areas might be extended to other areas of environmental management
The book includes a series of case studies that describe research programs designed to support analysis and management of carrying capacity at eight diverse units of the U.S. National Park System, and an additional case study that explores how the foundational components of carrying capacity (formulating indicators and standards, monitoring, and adaptive management) are being applied in an increasing number of environmental and natural resources fields to address the growing urgency of sustainability.

Parks and Carrying Capacity is an important new work for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and researchers in outdoor recreation, park planning and management, and natural resource conservation and management, as well as for professional planners and managers involved with park and outdoor recreation related agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
"Examining different approaches that can be used to help analyze and manage carrying capacity and maintain long-term sustainability and creating a unique and comprehensive framework that defines carrying capacity challenges and provides case studies as models for application in parks, protected areas, and beyond."
Natural Resources Journal


"Over the years, the concept of carrying capacity, so critical to management of parks and protected areas, has been enriched by a host of theoretical and empirical advances. For more than two decades, Manning's work has been at the heart of this progress and has given us the means to understand how values and expectations affect human use of parks and protected areas. Parks and Carrying Capacity is poised to become the standard work on the subject."
David Harmon, Executive director, the George Wright Society


"This book is a valuable contribution to a literature calling for increased science-based knowledge about the long-term management and sustainability of critical biophysical and social values for parks and other protected areas. Manning offers a range of practical, easy-to-understand case studies from applied research and resource management that addresses the question, At what point must managers intervene to prevent unacceptable environmental and social impacts by visitors? Policy makers, field resource managers, planners, researchers, teachers, and students interested in the controversy over park protection and preservation versus use will benefit greatly from this provocative volume."
David W. Lime, senior research associate emeritus, Department of Forest Resources, Univ. of MN


"Parks and Carrying Capacity demonstrates how applied social science can inform national park and protected area managment. Forging a strong link between academy and practice is increasingly important given the need for rigorous methodologies to analyze problems, identify management responses, and evaluate their effectiveness. Manning emphasizes a framework that will advance adaptive management and engage the public in creating sustainable strategies for our shared resources."
Nor J. Mitchell, Director, Conservation Study Institute, National Park Service


Preface
Introduction
PART I. From Commons to Carrying Capacity
Chapter 1. The Tragedy of the Commons
Chapter 2. Carrying Capacity of Parks and Protected Areas
Chapter 3. Indicators and Standards
PART II. Research to Support Application of Carrying Capacity
Chapter 4. Identifying Indicators for Parks and Protected Areas 
Chapter 5. Normative Standards for Indicator Variables
Chapter 6. Visual Research Methods
Chapter 7. Tradeoffs in Park and Outdoor Recreation Management
Chapter 8. Computer Simulation Modeling of Visitor Use
PART III. Case Studies of Measuring and Managing Carrying Capacity 
Chapter 9. Managing Recreation at Acadia National Park
Chapter 10. Day-Use Social Carrying Capacity of  Yosemite Valley
Chapter 11. Wilderness Camping at Isle Royale National Park
Chapter 12. Indicators and Standards at Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Chapter 13. Estimating Carrying Capacity of Alcatraz Island
Chapter 14. Defining and Managing the Quality of the Visitor Experience at Muir Woods National Monument
Chapter 15. Wilderness Management at Zion National Park
Chapter 16. Indicators and Standards for Cultural Resources at  Mesa Verde National Park
PART IV. Managing Carrying Capacity  
Chapter 17. Alternative Management Practices
Chapter 18. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Management Practices
PART V. Beyond Parks and Protected Areas 
Chapter 19. Indicators and Standards of Sustainability 
Contents
Conclusion  2
Appendix A. Indicators for Parks and Protected Areas
Appendix B. Standards for Parks and Protected Areas
References
Index
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