Monitoring recreation impacts

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    Monitoring recreation impacts

How do we decide what to monitor?
Focus first on monitoring problems that might lead to
        restrictive management — LAC-type indicators if you
        have them
Focus next on monitoring other concerns (e.g. trail damage)
       and use characteristics
       Considerations in selecting
          monitoring methods
• Amount and type of information (what questions
  do you need to be able to answer?)

• Precision and reliability (confidence in conclusions;
  minimum detectable change)

• Cost
    Campsite monitoring options

1. Photopoints (photographs)
2. Condition class ratings
3. Multiple parameter ratings (rapid
   survey)
4. Multiple parameter measures
   (detailed measures)
Photographs should not be the primary
      source of monitoring data




1979                  1990



But photographs are a great supplement to
            quantitative data
           Condition class ratings
          (Modification of Frissell)




Class 1                 Class 2




Class 3                  Class 4
   Condition
 class ratings
(Modification
  of Frissell)
   Condition
 class ratings
(Modification
  of Frissell)
           Condition class ratings
           (Modification of Frissell)
Only requires a few seconds to record

Inexpensive way to answer the following questions:
- how many campsites are there?
- where are campsites located?
- which campsites are most highly impacted?
- have the number of campsites increased or decreased?
- have conditions generally improved or deteriorated?
Cannot provide the following types of information:
- which types of impact (e.g. tree damage or vegetation
   loss) are most severe or changing most
- how have individual campsites changed (other than
   gross changes)
          Minimum Protocol
   FS Chief’s Wilderness Challenge
Census “all” campsites

1. Site Coordinates

2. Condition Class (1-8) based on:

    • Groundcover disturbance (modified Frissell)
    • Tree damage
    • Disturbed area
  Multiple parameter estimates
                (Rapid survey)

Impact parameters are quickly estimated
rather than carefully measured
For example, is camp area:

1. <500 feet2

2. 500-1000 feet2

3. > 1000 feet2
     Multiple parameter estimates
                 (Rapid survey)

Parameters estimated usually include:
1.   Vegetation loss
2.   Mineral soil exposure
3.   Tree damage
4.   Tree root exposure
5.   Level of development (facilities)
6.   Level of cleanliness (trash, human waste)
7.   Social trailing
8.   Campsite area
9.   Devegetated area (barren core area)
Multiple parameter estimates
                                          (Rapid survey)
                                                                CAMPSITE INVENTORY


         IMPACT EVALUATION                                          ON CAMPSITE                                     ON UNUSED COMPARATIVE AREA

 (19)    VEGETATION COVER:                    1 – 0-5%    3 – 26-50%           5 – 76-100%                   1 – 0-5%         3 – 26-50%          5 – 76-100%
         (Be sure to compare similar          2 – 6-25%   4 – 51-75%                                         2 – 6-25%        4 – 51-75%
         areas, same species, slope,
         rockiness, and canopy cover)

 (20)   MINERAL SOIL EXPOSURE:       1 – 0-5%      3 – 26-50%     5 – 76-100%                1 – 0-5%          3 – 26-50%     5 – 76-100%
        (Percent of area that is     2 – 6-25%     4 – 51-75%                                2 – 6-25%         4 – 51-75%
        bare mineral soil)
 ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
                                                                           Rating (Circle one category)                         Calculation of impact
 (21)   VEGETATION LOSS:                                     1                      2                          3               _ index (do in office)__
                                                   (No difference          (Difference one            (Difference two or more
                                                   in coverage)            coverage class)            coverage classes)

 (22)    MINERAL SOIL INCREASE:                           (No difference              (Difference one               (Difference two or more
                                                          in coverage)                coverage class)               coverage classes)

 (23)    TREE DAMAGE:                                     (No more than broken        (1-8 scarred trees, or        ( > 8 scarred trees, or > 3
         No. of trees scarred or felled ____              lower branches)             1-3 badly scarred or          badly scarred or felled)
         % of trees scarred or felled ____ (est.)                                     felled)

 (24)    ROOT EXPOSURE:                                   (None)                      (1-6 trees with               ( > 6 trees with roots
         No. of trees with roots exposed ____                                         roots exposed)                exposed)
         % of trees with roots exposed ____ (est.)

 (25)    DEVELOPMENT:                                     (None)                      (1 fire ring with or          ( > 1 fire ring or other
                                                                                      without primitive             major development)
                                                                                      log seat)

 (26)    CLEANLINESS:                                     (No more than               (Remnants of > 1              (Human waste, much
         No. of fire scars ____                           scattered charcoal          fire ring, some               litter or manure)
                                                          from 1 fire ring)           litter or manure)

 (27)    SOCIAL TRAILS:                                   (No more than 1             (2-3 discernible,             ( > 3 discernible or more
         No. of trails___                                 discernible trail)          max. 1 well-worn)             than 1 well-worn)

 (28)    CAMP AREA:                                       ( < 500 ft2 )               ( 500 – 2000 ft2 )            ( > 2000 ft2 )
         Estimated area ______ (ft2 )

 (29)    BARREN CORE CAMP AREA:                           ( < 50 ft2 )                ( 50 – 500 ft2 )              ( > 500 ft2 )

 (30)    PHOTO RECORD __________________
                                                                                                                     _____________________
 (31)    COMMENTS: (Details about location of site, impacts, management suggestions, etc. )
         _______________________________________________________________________________                                 (32) IMPACT INDEX ________________
         _____________________________________________________________________
 Multiple
parameter
estimates
   (Rapid
  survey)
     Multiple parameter estimates
                     (Rapid survey)

Requires 5-15 minutes per campsite
In addition to the questions condition class
ratings can answer, these estimates can
answer the following questions:
- which types of impact (e.g. tree damage or vegetation
   loss) are most severe
- which types of impact are changing most
- which type of impact are most problematic in
   particular places?

However, this is still not a good way to get
precise estimates of trends in the condition of
individual campsites
    Multiple parameter measures
              Detailed measures

Impact parameters (same as in the rapid survey) are
measured in a repeatable manner
Variable radial transect method
 for measuring campsite area
      Multiple parameter measures
                 Detailed measures

Can take 30 minutes to 2 hours per campsite

But, this is the only way to get precise estimates of
trends in the condition of individual campsites

This is also the only way to identify short-term trends on
campsites if change occurs slowly
               Multiple parameter measures
             Changes on the Main Salmon River,
                        1996-2002
                Area (m2)   Sand (%)   Rock (%)   Bare (%)   Veget (%)   Litter (%)


Mean

  1996              1182         49         21          9          14            7

  2002              1154         53         21         12           5            8

Median

  1996               905         53         15          3           5            3

  2002               837         59         16          3           3            3

# of Sites

  Decrease             4          0          1          2           5            2

  Increased            6          1          0          2           0            2

  Unchange             3         12         12          9           8            9

Signif.             0.52        0.09       0.52      0.37         0.08        0.69
           Campsite monitoring
            recommendations
Minimum protocol
- locate, photograph and assign condition classes to all
      campsites
- repeat every five years
Supplement, if possible:
- multiple parameter measures on 10% of campsites
- repeat every five years
Make certain your monitoring uses protocols and
measurement units that allow you to conclude
whether or not you have problems that must be dealt
with through restrictions
            Monitoring trail impacts
Good recent source:
 Marion, J.L. and Y. Leung. 2001. Trail resource impacts and an
 examination of alternative assessment techniques. Journal of Park and
 Recreation Administration 19(3): 17-37
Monitoring
social trails




 Social trail condition class:
 1. Discernable trail but >20% vegetation cover
 2. Less than 20% vegetation cover; <0.5m wide
 3. Less than 20% vegetation cover; >0.5m wide
Other impact monitoring protocols

      • Grazing impacts
      • Wildlife disturbance
      • Water quality
For the Bighorn
Crags portion of the
Frank Church-River
of No Return
Wilderness, Idaho

We are inventorying:
- all official trails
- all social trails
- all campsites

We are developing a
simulation model of visitor
use and distribution
                               Barking Fox Lake                                         #   #

                                                              Welcome Lake
For the Bighorn                          Skyhigh Lake     #



Crags portion of the
                                                               #           #
                                                              ##
                                                               #            #
                                                                             #
                                                                             #




Frank Church-River           Lost Lake

of No Return                   Turquoise Lake
                                       Echo Lake
                                                              #

                                                              #
                                                               #
                                                                               #
                                                                               #




Wilderness, Idaho
                                                              #        ## #
                                                                         #
                                                                         #
                                                                   #
                                                                           #
                                                                           #
                                                                       #
                                         Reflection Lake
                                                                   #


                                                                                 ##


We are inventorying:                 Twin Cove Lake                                   #
                                                                                      # #
                                                                                        #




- all official trails                                                          Buck Lake
- all social trails               Tip Top Lake
- all campsites
                                                      #

                                                              Ramshorn Lake
We are developing a
                                            #
                                            #


                            Paragon Lake        # #



simulation model of visitor                           Alpine Lake
use and distribution
                                                 #
                                                          #
For the Bighorn
Crags portion of the
                              Frank Church - River of No Return Wilderness
                                 Salmon-Challis                  National                      Forest
                                                                 See Inset




Frank Church-River
                                                                                                                    Goat Lake




of No Return                                                                   Roaring Creek Lakes



Wilderness, Idaho
                                                                                                     0       0.3   0.6      1.2
                                                                                                                               Miles




We are inventorying:
- all official trails




                                                                 s
- all social trails




                                                                ag
                                                          Cr
- all campsites




                                                         n
                                                         or
                                                    gh
We are developing a                                                                                      F




                                                    Bi
simulation model of visitor
use and distribution
                                                                                   Baseline Scenario
                                                                                   Average Encounters per Trail Link
                                                                                          1




                               S       0 0.25 0.5    1    1.5    2      2.5
                                                                           Miles
                                                                                          2
                                                                                          3
                                                                                          4
                                                                                          5
                                                            See Inset

                                                                                                               Goat Lake




For the Bighorn
Crags portion of the                                                      Roaring Creek Lakes



Frank Church-River
                                                                                                0       0.3   0.6      1




of No Return
Wilderness, Idaho




                                                            s
We are inventorying:




                                                           ag
- all official trails




                                                     Cr
- all social trails




                                                    n
                                                    or
- all campsites



                                               gh
                                                                                                    F




                                               Bi
We are developing a
simulation model of visitor                                                   Baseline Scenario
                                                                              Average Encounters per Trail Link


use and distribution
                                                                                     1




                              S   0 0.25 0.5    1    1.5    2      2.5
                                                                      Miles
                                                                                     2
                                                                                     3
                                                                                     4
                                                                                     5
                                                            See Inset

                                                                                                               Goat Lake




For the Bighorn
Crags portion of the                                                      Roaring Creek Lakes




Frank Church-River
                                                                                                0       0.3   0.6           1.2
                                                                                                                               Miles




of No Return
Wilderness, Idaho




                                                            s
                                                           ag
We are inventorying:




                                                     Cr
- all official trails




                                                    n
- all social trails




                                                    or
                                               gh
- all campsites                                                                                     F




                                               Bi
                                                                              Baseline Scenario


We are developing a
                                                                              Average Number of Parties that Use Location
                                                                                     1-4

                                                                                     5-8




simulation model of visitor
                                                                                     9 - 13




                              S
                                                                                     14 - 16




use and distribution
                                                                                     17 - 35
                                                                      Miles
                                  0 0.25 0.5    1    1.5    2      2.5               36 - 48
   Glacier National Park Site
      Monitoring Program
Three Types of Sites

    • Designated Campsites

    • Administrative Sites

    • Undesignated Sites
Designated Campsites
Administrative Sites
Undesignated Sites
             Trends for Individual Campgrounds,
                         1992-2004
NORTH FORK SUBDISTRICT   IMPACT RATING (1995-criteria for evaluating campgrounds changed)

Campground               1992    1993     1994     1995     1996     1997     1998     1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004

Kintla Lake, Head        1.75    1.00     1.48     1.28     1.35     1.16     1.15     1.08   1.08   1.00   1.55   1.43   1.17


Upper Kintla Lake        1.83    1.06     1.55     1.45     1.39     1.14     1.33     1.11   1.14   1.20   1.70   1.08   1.36

Boulder Pass *           1.45    1.32     1.36     1.24     1.10     1.12     1.13     1.00   1.00   1.00   1.20   1.15   1.15

Brown Pass               1.80    1.61     1.60     1.40     1.35     1.12     1.25     1.13   1.16   1.25   1.16   1.25   1.25

Bowman Lake, Head        1.40    1.00     1.42     1.37     1.30     1.30     1.28     1.22   1.09   1.10   1.40   1.40   1.19

Quartz Lake              1.68    1.50     1.70     1.53     1.33     1.29     1.33     1.25   1.29   1.30   1.33   1.04   1.25

Lower Quartz Lake        1.72    1.06     1.62     1.37     1.28     1.28     1.23     1.14   1.25   1.17   1.75   1.60   1.14

Akokala Lake             1.25    1.00     1.26     1.20     1.16     1.00     1.00     1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00

Logging Lake             1.80    1.20     1.44     1.48     1.35     1.80     1.31     1.30   1.15   1.10   1.20   1.12   1.40

Round Prairie*           N/A     N/A      N/A      1.00     1.00     1.00     1.00     1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00   1.00

Adair                    1.50    1.02     1.57     1.40     1.17     1.10     1.00     1.11   1.14   1.10   1.00   1.14   1.14

Grace Lake               1.40    1.14     1.33     1.30     1.16     1.16     1.10     1.08   1.12   1.12   1.12   1.12   1.08
                             Overall Trends on Designated
                              Campgrounds, 1992-2004
                                                   Backcountry Cam pground Im pact Ratings 1992-2004

                        60




                        50
Number of Campgrounds




                        40

                                                                                                        Impact Rating-Good

                        30                                                                              Impact Rating-Fair

                                                                                                        Imapct Rating-Poor

                        20




                        10




                        0
                             1992   1993   1994   1995   1996    1997    1998    1999    2000    2001    2002     2003       2004
                                                                         Year
                              Overall Trends in Facility Ratings,
                                         1992-2004
                                      Backcountry Campground Facility Ratings 1992-2004
                        70




                        60




                        50
Number of Campgrounds




                                                                                                    Facility Rating-Good
                        40
                                                                                                    Faciltiy Rating-Fair

                                                                                                    Facility Rating-Poor

                        30




                        20




                        10




                        0
                             1992   1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998    1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004
                                                                       Ye ar
Trend data are used to identify needs
for management and/or restoration
Trend data are used to identify needs
for management and/or restoration
Rating Legend              Good      Fair       Poor
Impact Rating              1.0-1.5   1.51-2.2   2.21-3.0
Faciltiy Rating with *no   24-33     33.1-53    53.1-91
hitchrail
Facility Rating with       27-36     36.1-56    56.1-100
Hitchrail
           UNDESIGNATED CAMPSITES - TWO MEDICINE SUBDISTRICT
LOCATION                 UTM'S       SITE CONDITIONS
Lonely Lakes Basin       323.5 E     No evidence of human impacts found.
8/02,8/04                5378.9 N    No food hanging trees.
Aurice Lake area         316.9 E     No evidence of human impacts found.
9/02                     5368.1 N    No food hanging trees. Pristine
                                     area.
Razeredge Mtn and        314.6 E     No impacts from humans found. One
Triple Divide Mtn        5382.3 N    area of matted grass from a recent
8/01                                 camp. No food hanging trees.
Saddle between Triple    314.6 E     No impacts.    72 sq.ft. of vegetation
Divide and Razor Edge    5382. 2 N   matted down.
1995
North side of Tinkham    316.8 E     No evidence found of any campsites
Mtn                      5377.5 N    after searching area all day.
8/02
Katoya Lake              319.3 E     Fire rings x2, 30 ft to water, no
1996                     5377.7 N    recent impacts.
Red Eagle Meadows        307.0 E     No impacts found.   Great site
1995                     5384.0 N    potential.
Lena Lake                327.2 E     No new impacts. Very old fire ring
2003                     5363.8 N
ADMINISTRATIVE CAMPSITES - TWO MEDICINE SUBDISTRICT
Cobalt Lake Trail Crew    321.7 E    Overall impact rating of GOOD. Area
Spike Camp                5368.9 N   in good shape; food pole present, but
9/03                                 no pit toilet.
2004                                 Food pole and toilet present.
                                     331sq.ft of vegetation loss with 252
                                     sq.ft of barren core.
Morning Star Trail Crew   319.4 E    Trail access site, 165 ft. from
Spike Camp      1992      5382.4 N   water, fire ring present, food pole
                                     present, impacted area = 3000 sq.
                                     ft., no barren core, litter present,
                                     4 social trails. @ human waste pits
                                     used and filled in by Trail Crew (20
                                     days in 1992)
2004                                 Low rider in place. Two social trails
                                     place well defined trail coming in.
                                     Food prep area shows 264 sq.ft of
                                     bare ground and 410 sq.ft impacted
                                     veg. Hanging pole area is 57 sq.ft
                                     and 107 sq.ft.

				
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