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The assessment, monitoring and management of hiking trails: A case study from the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia

Mende, P. and Newsome, D. (2006) The assessment, monitoring and management of hiking trails: A case study from the Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia. Conservation Science Western Australia, 5 (3). pp. 285-295.

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Abstract

Degradation of hiking trails is a recognised worldwide problem, but as of yet, no standard system for the assessment and monitoring of trail degradation has been established. The purpose of this study was to apply a trail problem assessment method, similar to that developed in the USA, to walking trails in an Australian national park, in order to assess the method's suitability as an international system for assessment and monitoring. The assessment method was also developed further to evaluate the effectiveness of trail maintenance. Results indicate that the method is well suited to a variety of trails, and provides an efficient system, however the method becomes more resource intensive when used for trails longer than 5 kilometres in length. The method provided detailed trail profiles describing selected environmental variables, degradation problems and maintenance. Assessment of constructed features revealed that efficient constructed features maintain good trail condition. Efficiency is achieved through the provision of sufficient numbers of constructed features and their regular upkeep.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
Publisher: Department of Environment and Conservation
Copyright: (c) Government of Western Australia
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2595
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