Visitor management frameworks in North America COST Action E33: Forests for Recreation and Nature Tourism (FORREC) 2nd Management Committee meeting + WGs meeting + Workshop in Edinburgh, Scotland 31 Oct. – 2 Nov., 2004 Wolfgang Haider School of Resource and Environmental Management Simon Fraser University Vancouver, Canada Goals of presentation To briefly present the major North American visitor management frameworks for forest recreation and protected areas To briefly evaluate them To initiate a discussion of their relevance and applicability in Europe The Origin: Carrying Capacity The maximum level of use an area can sustain as determined by natural factors With tourism / recreation, there is an ecological capacity, and a social capacity (the impact on visitor experiences) (Wagar, 1964) Resource and social impacts A B Y2 Y1 X1 X2 Recreation use Carrying Capacity - Limitations Impacts on biological and physical resources do not help establish carrying capacity Different recreation/tourism experiences have different carrying capacity There is no strong cause-and-effect relationship between amount of use and impacts Carrying capacity is a product of value judgements There is NO “magic number” INSTEAD, IT BECAME OBVIOUS THAT: With visitor use, change is inevitable The question revolves around ‘acceptable change’ Management approaches depend on ‘objectives’ This leads to mgt frameworks, all of which contain evaluative criteria and include societal values Visitor Management Frameworks 1979 – ROS (Recreation Opportunity Spectrum) 1985 - LAC (Limits of Acceptable Change) 1985 – VAMP (Visitor Activity Management Process) 1990 – VIM (Visitor Impact Management) 1993 – VERP (Visitor Experience Resource Protection) 1996 – TOMM (Tourism Optimisation Management Model) ROS The ROS – main features Acknowledges the diversity of recreation LAC opportunities The 3 key components of recreation mgt. are Setting (opportunity) VIM Activity Experience 6 land classes VERP A tool for landscape / regional recreation planning (~ zoning) TOMM Occasionally used as a research framework VAMP ROS ROS - classes Each class is defined with respect to a combination of setting characteristics Classes Primitive Semi- Semi- Semi- Developed Highly (6) prim. prim. dev. natural developed LAC Non- Mot. natural Mgt. factors mot. (examples) VIM Very difficult Physical Difficult access Moderately difficult VERP Strict regimentation Moderate regimentation Managerial Min. regimentation TOMM No regim. No / few contacts VAMP Social Moderate contacts encounters Many contacts ROS ROS - map LAC VIM VERP TOMM Product: a zoned landscape, based on established criteria VAMP ROS The ROS – discussion LAC Suitability for EU Additional challenge of large scale homogenous landscapes Classes are too coarse Most of EU lacks the remote end of the spectrum VIM The generic concept itself might be useful e.g. TOS (Tourism Opportunity Spectrum) if access criterion is differentiated much more subtly VERP Similar problem has been recognized in the US: ROS now for private land in NE-US The class “HIGHLY DEVELOPED” has been split into: TOMM Large natural (> 15 acres) Small natural (< 15 acres) Facilities (e.g. baseball field) VAMP The need for a more site-specific decision tool became obvious ROS The LAC framework 1 – identify areas of concern and issues LAC 2 – define and describe management objectives 3 – select indicators of resource and VIM social conditions 4 – inventory resource and social conditions VERP 5 – specify standards for resource and social conditions 6 – specify alternatives TOMM 7 – identify management actions for each alternative 8 – evaluate and select an alternative In a VAMP 9 – implement actions and monitor participatory conditions context ROS Indicators (Measures of resource or social conditions) LAC Should be measured cost-effectively and accurately Should reflect some relationship to the amount/type of use occurring VIM Should be related to user concerns (social indicators) Must be responsive to management control Examples VERP Water quality Soil compaction Vegetation cover TOMM Number of encounters VAMP ROS Standards (A level beyond which change is unacceptable) Standards may vary between opportunity classes LAC (ROS) or other zoning / regions May reflect existing conditions or future targets Monitoring and evaluation provide means for revision VIM and improvement Indicator Standard VERP Number of encounters No more than 1  encounter with other parties with another party per day TOMM People at one time at No more than 20 people on a 50m selected sites section of trail VAMP Exposed tree roots No more than 4 trees per target campsite ROS LAC – discussion Suitability for Europe Positive arguments LAC Adequate attention towards management of biophysical and social conditions Included monitoring of resource conditions and effectiveness of management actions VIM Allows zoning as means of protecting pristine qualities Good trackability and explicitness of protected areas decision making Encourages innovative approaches to citizen participation VERP Critical arguments There are cost associated with adapting such a general fw TOMM Lack of attention to experiential knowledge Compartmentalization of functions Pragmatism vs. rigid framework (much planning in EU seems to follow the LAC logic intuitively) VAMP Ability to react timely to newly arising problems First application in Finland in protected areas ROS VIM Very similar to LAC - built specifically for LAC the US Parks Service More prescriptive, management oriented lack of participation VIM No successful implementations the original publication (1990) contains a good ‘catalogue’ of impacts VERP a good ‘catalogue’ of inventorying and monitoring tools TOMM Suitability for Europe Suitable if public participation is not an issue Catalogues as background VAMP ROS VERP Very similar to LAC - built specifically for the US LAC Parks Service Attempt to make the framework useful and efficient for an organization with single purpose and mandate Includes crucial components of public participation (remain VIM for the most part more formal) Scoping comments Comments on EA and EIS (Environmental Impact Statements) General comments Stay involved (web-site, superintendent) VERP Standards set for zones within the park, or for special sites 5 applications TOMM Suitability for Europe Suitable for single purpose agencies (i.e. protected areas) VAMP ROS TOMM – main features LAC Very similar to LAC, with focus on overcoming lack of stakeholder support for LAC and VIM in VIM Australia The term ‘impact’ and ‘limits’ are perceived as discouraging growth by tourism businesses VERP Narrow focus on condition of physical environment and visitor experience Adapt to tourism needs TOMM Tourism Optimisation Management Model VAMP TOMM – indicators, evaluation and ROS monitoring Market Opportu- LAC nities VIM VERP Experienti al conditions TOMM VAMP ROS TOMM – indicators, evaluation and monitoring LAC Social VIM condi- tions for resi- VERP dents TOMM VAMP ROS TOMM – indicators, evaluation and monitoring LAC VIM VERP TOMM VAMP ROS VAMP Core: visitor activity profiles LAC Market research focus (connect a particular activity with the social and demographic characteristics of participants with the activity’s setting requirements and with trends affecting the activity) VIM E.g. cross-country skiing VERP - Recreation day-use skiing - Fitness skiing - Competitive skiing - Backcountry skiing TOMM Each specialization requires different levels of service and has VAMP different standards ROS LAC VIM VERP TOMM VAMP ROS VAMP LAC To develop a national position regarding an activity VIM Influence on criteria selected for Appropriate Activity Assessment (AAA) VERP Attempt to tie the framework to already established processes of Parks Canada during the dual mandate eara TOMM No successful implementation (despite occasional other claims) VAMP ROS Comparing the frameworks after: Newsome et al, 2002 Evaluative criteria ROS LAC VIM VERP TOMM VAMP Suitable for regional *** * *** *** *** LAC planning (multiple areas) Provides info on ** *** ** *** impacts of visitor use VIM needed for mgt Makes explicit provision *** ** *** for inclusion of VERP stakeholders Responsibility / ** ** *** discretion for action left to managers TOMM Readily integrated with ** * * ** * ** other forms of planning (e.g. mgt. or tourism plans) VAMP Results in a ** ** *** publishable, stand- alone document ROS Summary Over past 2 decades, agencies in North LAC America have experimented with several different recreation mgt processes VIM The LAC concept has proven to be a [the most] successful concept / formula Very generic flexible VERP Participatory (by coincidence rather than design) VERP - adaptation to specific agency requirements TOMM - adaptation to different use / culture / TOMM administrative setting Mostly on site-specific and local scales, except when linked with another framework, e.g. ROS) VAMP ROS – a framework for large scale GO AND EXPERIMENT WITH IT Other North American trends in recreation and landuse management Ecosystem (based) management serves as new mgt. paradigm for most land and/or recreation mgt. agencies Established mgt frameworks are frequently subordinated to it Introduces the concept of adaptive mgt. (purposeful research) Human use management (Parks Canada) Ecological Integrity Panel (1999) National Parks Act (2000) A new process to deal with ALL human uses in a National Park (i.e. Banff NP) DOES NOT USE ANY OF THE ESTABLISHED FRAMEWORKS Appears to be problem-oriented Land and Resource Management Planning (BC) example for participatory planning on a large regional scale (24 mgt units across the province) ROS Suggestions When thinking about adopting and adapting any of the visitor mgt frameworks, one should consider the LAC following Planning is a process, not necessarily a product Challenge: keep it as process; avoid that it slips into rigid format of application (cookbook) VIM Planning is a political process in a politicized setting Grounding the process in legislation is critical Understanding the institutional context for LAC processes is fundamental to planning and implementation VERP Requires adaptation to European / national / regional situations Defending decisions requires a trackable/traceable process Learning is an important objective in the LAC process but not TOMM yet well developed Rethink the frameworks from the current knowledge base (mgt sciences, social sciences) [see next slide] VAMP ROS Opportunities & Challenges Be cognizant of the culture (paradigm) LAC driving these frameworks Training of future managers and researchers Create an international publication platform for VIM exchange and dissemination of ideas Rethink these positions periodically Adopt the concept of ‘adaptive management’ VERP Particular challenges for research, e.g. If the desire is to “make trade-offs and values explicit” TOMM Use state-of-the-art research methods (decision analysis, multivariate trade-off methods) Data capturing and analysis VAMP Operate both deductively and inductively Thank You ! ank You !
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