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High impact activities in parks: best management practice and future research

Cater, C, Buckley, R., Hales, R., Newsome, D., Pickering, C. and Smith, A. (2008) High impact activities in parks: best management practice and future research. CRC for Sustainable Tourism, Gold Coast, Qld.

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Off-road driving, horseriding, rock climbing and similar activities can be lucrative for tour operators and important for local recreational groups, but contentious for management of national parks and protected areas, both because of safety and liability and because of potentially high environmental impacts. These include spreading weeds and pathogens, starting fires and crushing bird nests on beaches, amongst many others. In Australia as elsewhere, off-road vehicles and horses are allowed only in some places in some parks, and often only under permit. We have very little reliable scientific information to-date on just how serious these impacts may be, and on how well they might be managed through minimal-impact practices such as vehicle washdowns, stockfeed processing and seasonal closures. Such information can only be obtained through site specific ecological studies of the plants, animals and watercourses likely to be affected, differentiating tourism impacts from natural causes and fluctuations. This report examines management strategies for these activities worldwide and in Australia. Suggestions for best management practice and future research agendas are set.

Item Type: Report
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Publisher: CRC for Sustainable Tourism
Copyright: © CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd 2008
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