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Environmental impacts associated with recreational horse riding

Newsome, D., Cole, D. and Marion, J. (2004) Environmental impacts associated with recreational horse riding. In: Buckley, R., (ed.) The environmental impacts of tourism. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, pp. 61-82.

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This chapter provides a state of knowledge review of some of the most recent research concerned with the environmental impacts of horse-riding. Our perspective is derived from studies carried out in the USA and Australia, but the results and conclusions derived from this work are applicable in the global situation. The focus is largely on trail examples from the USA but also considers the case of free range riding in Australia. We provide the context of horse-riding as a recreational activity and summarize the spectrum of impacts brought about by recreational horse-riding. This is followed by three case studies concerned with the assessment and measurement of impacts in important conservation areas. The case study from Yosemite National Park in the USA considers the associated impact of grazing effects, while the Big South Fork study, also from the USA, highlights impacts on trail networks. The final case study explores the quantifiable damage to soils and vegetation when horse-riding occurs in a random dispersed fashion off-trail networks. The final section of this chapter provides insight into three different management situations. The first relates to reducing impacts at campsites used by horse-riders in the USA, the second management perspective, also from the USA, explores the management of horse-riding in a multiple-use recreation area. The third management scenario examines the management of horse-riding in Australian protected areas.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: CABI Publishing
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