Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

What is the place of democracy in recreation ecology?

Moore, S.A. (2008) What is the place of democracy in recreation ecology? In: Fourth International Conference on Monitoring and Management of Visitor Flows in Recreational and Protected Areas: Management for Protection and Sustainable Development, 14 - 19 October, Montecatini Terme,Tuscany, Italy

PDF - Authors' Version
Download (69kB)


What should be monitored and who decides has been debated for as long as recreation ecology has been with us. The early work on planning frameworks advocates consulting with visitors to determine what conditions are important to them and then derive resource and social indicators from this information. Any associated standards are then similarly set with visitors’ input. At the same time, recreation ecologists have selected indicators that allow measurement and predictions regarding the relationships between resource and social conditions and levels of visitor use. Where are we now regarding these choices? A democratic perspective would argue that visitors should have significant influence on indicator selection and the standards that might accompany them. But what role does this leave for scientists and institutionally derived scientific knowledge in recreation ecology? In this paper I argue that we are morally and societally bound to embrace a democratic approach to recreation ecology with scientists and managers working with visitors, and others with a vested interest in protected areas, to develop ‘practical wisdom’ that can be evoked as a central tenet of recreation ecology.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
Conference Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page


Downloads per month over past year