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Nature tourism in the temperate eucalypt forests of Western Australia

Newsome, D., Moore, S. and Smith, A. (2002) Nature tourism in the temperate eucalypt forests of Western Australia. In: 9th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management, 2 - 5 June, Bloomington, Indiana.

Abstract

Recreation and tourism have always been important uses of forested areas in Australia with forest-based tourism growing at a continuous and steady rate. In contrast to the extensive database available in relation to North American national parks only limited studies of the ecological impact of recreation and tourism in Australia have been published. In making comparisons of recreational use, one of the main differences between the US and Australian situation is that, in North America, many campers travel into natural areas which prohibit vehicle access (backcountry), on foot or on horse back. Alternatively, Australians access their forests mainly through the use of vehicles and walk only a short distance from a car parking area (front-country site) before setting up camp or using the recreation area for day use activities such as picnicking.

As a result of limited recreation studies conducted in Australia, it was deemed necessary to conduct a study in the eucalypt forests of Western Australia to determine the relevance of techniques applied in North America to Australian eucalypt forests; determine the transferability of US backcountry techniques to Australian front-country recreation sites; provide an integrated evaluation of acceptability of impacts using biophysical and social data; and to also provide information on impacts of camping and the development of a monitoring programme for front-country recreation sites for Australian natural area managers. This study is being conducted as part of a Doctor of Philosophy degree at Murdoch University, Perth, Western Australia. Five eucalypt sites have been chosen in the south-west of Western Australia that cover a range of land tenures, varying management regimes, a range of activities, varying use levels and different visitor types.

This research will enhance the current understanding of recreation impacts, both social and biophysical, in temperate eucalypt forests and improve procedures in impact assessment. Furthermore, it will provide a means to explore which indicators get transmitted into management and will also provide a better understanding of the success of various management strategies in reducing adverse impacts.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9098
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