Thursday, October 10, 2019

Outdoor Recreation and Park Management Essay

In order for a national park to protect their natural and cultural values, it is crucial for managers to effectively and actively administer protocols and regulations to safeguard the ecological integrity of the park and to provide to visitors the service they desire. While managers attempt to resolve such issues, they find themselves in a predicament where conflicting goals play a problematic factor. A diversity of issues poses as threats to the flora and fauna, vegetation and landscape of parks within Canada. Over the years, the ability to control fire, introduced plant life, losses of species, urbanization and tourism have contributed to significant issues that managers face on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Largely, the outlook of our ecological footprint and health of a park requires the management of the pressures of internal and external developments and public use. A park’s management strategies need to promote conservation of the vegetation, fauna and habitat within the park as well as catering for park visitors. Question 1: 5 Park Management Issues As a manager of a park, an array of issues affects both short term and long-term goals for management to contend with. At times, these issues usually conflict with the progress of anothe, in which forfeiting or sacrifice from one area is needed to fix another. I will introduce and explain 5 significant management issues that managers face while operating a park. 1. Tourism and Visitation The first of the issues that our park is faced with is tourism and visitation. Parks in Canada offer essential recreation assets for Canada. Their popularity with visitors indicates that immense visitor pressures are being placed on some parks and on the most popular recreation sites within a park. Tourism is an immense issue that we should not overlook and should not be underestimated. Below are two tables that display the sources of our income in parks and one that illustrates the revenue sources of parks for the 2000/2001 year. As we can distinguish in table 3, there is a huge influx of revenue emerging from park entry fees alone. $50 million is derived from park entry fees, camping fees and rental and concessions, where we can presuppose that these figures are a major financial backing for the operation of a park. This issue should be seen noteworthy to management as financial funding, in the means of tourism and visitation, secures a cushion for future developments and park sustainability. (Eagles, 2002) (Eagles, 2002) 2. Urbanization. A further more external pressure that parks are experiencing is the sudden emergence and increase of urbanization. â€Å" Increasing environmental pressures, such as those arising from increased tourist traffic and the urbanization of peripheral zones, with all the resulting air, water and noise pollution, have had as much impact on park ecosystems as they have on those outside the protected areas (Machlis & Tichnell 1985)†. For park managers, residential development is of great consequence and threat to the native fauna and flora of a park. Nonetheless, many people do not recognize the effects of their participation in activities on parks within proximity to where they reside. The effects of residential development on parks induce a magnitude of threatening ecological impacts. Such impacts include a foray of indigenous vegetation by persistent garden plants from bordering properties, a decrease in the scenic quality due to construction and clearing of vegetation, and soil erosion and dieback of vegetation as a result of storm water runoff (Solecki 1994). Storm water runoff from roads with the combination of the drainage of local residential wastes and treated waste matter from properties around a park is an additional aspect to be watchfully managed when urbanization becomes more apparent. The drainage as well as, the runoff from bordering roads can potentially lead to the decease of vegetation within the park. Poorly maintained septic tanks can result in nutrient-rich runoff being discharged. These wastes create unfavourable conditions for native vegetation and promote growth of weeds. Not only are smaller provincial parks are immune to this issue but also parks on a larger scale – national parks. 3. Loss of Species / Increase in Fauna The next issue to deal with is the introductions of species often unfavourably affect the native fauna and flora. The newly emerged fauna can directly contend with indigenous fauna for breeding sites and food. A possible harm that is negatively tied with the foreign fauna also introduced diseases, wide spread of weeds and prey upon native species (Louda 1997). Introduced species include domestic and feral cats, domestic dogs, foxes, rabbits, blackbirds and the common starling. This issue is not to be ignored as it is deeply tied into the overall appeal of why tourist may visit a park. 4. Fire One issue that should not go unnoticed for park management is the control of fire. The control of fire both negatively (forest fires) and positively (fire regime) should be placed as a priority as it endangers both human life and the ecological footprint of the park. Plant communities and their connected flora and fauna have progressed over thousands of years under a natural fire regime. The use of fire has key effects on ecosystems (Weber & Stock, 1998). The effects of fire management may be advantageous or undesirable, depending on the distinctiveness of the fire and the nature of the area burnt. Fires have the possibility to cause soil erosion, alter stream flow and water quality as well as change the vegetation composition. (Parsons, Graber, Agee, & Van Wagtendonk, 2005) Fire management is a very complicated and contentious issue, which often entails the balancing of fire safety requirements alongside vegetation and habitat management necessities. 5. Loss of Habitat / Increase in Flora Lastly, the fifth stand out issue that managers face when operating a park is the increase in flora. The spread of emerging plants from neighbouring residential gardens, abandoned farms, tracks and roadsides root a continuing change in the arrangement and diversity of the vegetation. This can lead to a considerable alteration in the nature of the ecosystem and habitat within the park. One persistent type of an introduced plant is weed. The destructive nature of many weeds is such that they quickly occupy disturbed areas and prevent the germination and regeneration of indigenous species (Louda, Kendall, Connor, & Simberloff, 1997). In this way weeds may reduce the variety of species present in a park. Weed can be a detrimental factor in parks as they can cause soil disturbance, grazing by introduced animals, increase frequencies of fire and the presence of bordering agricultural land with weed species. Question 2 – Two Outdoor Recreation Activities The two activities that I will be discussing are rock climbing and hunting. Both of these activities vary in the characteristics each one hold. When comparing both activities, I will point of the differences in environment used for each activity, the types of organizations provided, types of environmental attitudes, positive and negative impacts caused by them and the socio-demographics of the participants. For rock climbing, the environment used is very undemanding, as it is typically done outdoors. Climbs more often than not take place on sunny days when the holds are dry and provide the best grip. At their own discretion, climbers can also endeavor to climb at night or in poor weather conditions if they have the appropriate training and equipment. In spite of this, night climbing or climbing in poor weather conditions will increase the difficulty and danger on any climbing route. Hunting is a kind of recreational that demands money, time and effort. Today, most hunting in Canada is recreational and motivated by the tangible as well as intangible rewards of success. For hunting, the environment used differs greatly from rock climbing (Bruner, Gullison, Rice, & da Fonseca, 2005). For Hunting, weather is an integral aspect in the success of hunters, and ideal weather conditions time and again greatly increase the probability of a kill. â€Å"Ideal hunting weather is on a cold day, with light rain, and no wind. (Miller, 1990)† Windy days are usually poor for hunting, as the game are assumed to avoid open spaces on windy days. You may be able to hunt on a windy day, but you will have a more difficult time finding the game since they will not be congregating in open fields where they are highly visible. Hunting is best on days when there is a delicate drizzle. Most game, such as deer’s, enjoy the rain, and tend to be out on rainy days. Cold weather is the last element to good hunting weather. â€Å"Cold weather is best for deer hunting, as that is when deer are most likely to leave their dwellings. †(Miller 1990) Deer have an adrenaline rush when the temperature suddenly drops, which makes them even more vulnerable to hunters. Deer tend to avoid hot weather, and often sleep through the hot humid days of summer. Types of Organizations: There are a multiple of institutes and organizations that offer rock climbing. Typically the majority of provincial and national parks, and some regional and municipal parks offer rock climbing as one of their many outdoor recreation activities. In addition to parks offering this activity, many independent and private organization offer climbing experiences through clubs, for example, Alpine Club of Canada. Unlike rock climbing, the types of organizations in hunting are very restricted. Hunting is prohibited in National Parks across the country, but is available at selected provincial and regional parks. Being under governmental laws and regulations, higher authority set out rules governing hunters. These rules may entail strictures on age and qualifications of applicants for hunting licences, as well as defining hunting zones, seasons and bag limits. â€Å"Strict laws regulate when, where, what and how a person can hunt. In Ontario, each gun hunter must pass both the Canadian Firearms Safety Course exam and the Ontario Hunter Education Course exam (Govt Ont)† Type of Environmental Attitudes: Rock Climbing holds a more naturalistic attitude towards the environment. Rock climbing can be associated with a strong attachment to wild nature. Ones desire and contact desired is achieved through both the physical and mental aspect of climbing. Hunting holds a negativistic and doministic environmental attitude. It is usually associated with dislike, domination, and control. Depending on the type of hunting, it can display the dangers, the skill, the superiority, or the competition hunting bestows. Positive and Negative Impacts The positive impacts of rock climbing stimulate the participant both mentally and physically. When you consider the benefits of rock climbing, you usually think first of the physical benefits. Rock climbing is a recreation that requires a great deal of physical strength. Most people who become involved in the sport soon realize that they must be in excellent shape to even begin to enjoy it. This leads to an increase in physical conditioning that is most often beneficial to the participants overall health. Even though many rock climbers abide to the â€Å"leave no trace† and â€Å"minimal impact† practices, rock climbing can be damaging to the environment. Common environmental damages include: litter, chalk accumulation, soil erosion, abandoned bolts and ropes, human excrement, introduction of foreign plants through seeds on shoes and clothing, and damage to native plant species, especially those growing in cracks and on ledges as these are often deliberately removed during new route development through a process commonly referred to as cleaning. (Jakus 1996) Hunting brings forth both positive and negative impacts to the environment. The positive impact hunting retains is it helps maintain certain species of wildlife and their environment by keeping the animal’s population from exceeding its habitat’s carry capacity. It can bring wildlife populations up and create a much more nourishing environment for them. Hunting also provides predation for species of animal that no longer have predation due to various reasons. This keeps the ecosystem in balance ( Bruner 2005). Essentially, hunting Prevents wildlife populations from getting out of control that will eventually harm the wildlife, their environment, and possibly humans. As like some of the issues managers deal with, some pose as controversial and conflicting issues. One of the negative impact that hunting results in is it can cause populations of certain species of wildlife to decline. It may also interfere with natural predation which would cause the ecological footprint to drastically alter in the long run. Socio-demographics of Participants: The majority of people think that rock climbing is a recreation for men; this is not true at all. Climbing is an activity for both men and women, kids to adults. Rock climbing is a fairly inexpensive outdoor recreation compared to other activities like skiing. Educational background does not play a significant role in the decision to participate in such activity. Hunting is well scattered among age groups, with slightly more interest in the 35-44 age group. It is also popular among all education levels, with to some extent more interest shown by high school graduates. Hunting is mainly popular with rural residents and with those making $30,000-$49,999. The US Fish and Wildlife Service reports that approximately 35% of the nation’s hunters live in the South, as do 73% of the African-American hunters, 39% of the Hispanic hunters and 29% of the female hunters. Question 3 – Future Predictions My predictions for hunting will depend greatly on multiple factors. In the next 30 years I see hunting decreasing at a steady. Based on global climate, government laws and regulations, as well as park restrictions, hunting will be a very rare recreation. The changing climate will alter the hunting seasons in the means of shortening the duration periods. With strict gun laws and hunting regulations affirmed by the government and the rapidly changing economy, I feel as if the population will view hunting more of a hassle involving the multiple licensing and registration one needs to complete before being able to hunt. In addition, with the increasing urbanization in Canada, it will start to affect the more rural areas where hunting is allowed. Once these areas have been developed, laws will soon prohibit the use of hunting. My prediction for rock climbing is on the other side of the spectrum in regards to hunting. I strongly feel that there will be an increase in participation for this type of recreation. This is based on numerous of factors. Firstly, we live in a very physical and influential world. As the world becomes more health aware and proactive, people will start to view climbing as a physical activity. Similarly like yoga, this form of recreation and exercise involves overcoming both physical and mental barriers. It involves stretching of the muscles, as well as exercising of the mind. Overall, Park managers must consider a whole spectrum of issues in order to satisfy both the ecological footprint and the desires of the customers. It is a difficult challenge to prioritize one task over another as a great majority of them coincide with one another. Given the two very different outdoor recreation activities, we were able to observe the different environments, the impacts and the demographics each activity entails. From this we gain a stronger understanding of the the role that managers play in the delivery of outdoor recreation within Canada. Work Cited Bruner, A. G. , Gullison, R. E. , Rice, R. E. , & da Fonseca, G. A. (2005, Jan 5). Effectiveness of Parks in Protecting Tropical Biodiversity. Science 5 , 125-128. Eagles, P. F. (2002). Trends in Park Tourism: Economics, Finance and Management. Journal of Sustainable Tourism , 141-144. Fortin, M. -J. , & Gagnon, C. (1999, June 23). An assessment of social impacts of national parks on communities in Quebec, Canada. Environmental Conservation 26 , 201-206. Louda, S. M. , Kendall, D. , Connor, J. , & Simberloff, D. (1997, August). Ecological Effects of an Insect Introduced for the Biological Control of Weeds. Science 22 , 1088 – 1090. Miller, S. D. (1990). Impact of Increased Bear Hunting on Surviorship of young Bears. Wildl. Soc. Bull , 462-467. Parsons, D. J. , Graber, D. M. , Agee, J. K. , & Van Wagtendonk, J. W. (2005, July 03). Natural fire management in National Parks. Environmental Management , 21-24. Theil, D. , Menoni, E. , Brenot, J. -F. , & Jenni, L. (2007). Effects of Recreation and Hunting on Flushing Distance of Capercaillie. Journal of Wildlife Management , 1. Weber, M. G. , & Stock, B. J. (1998). Forest Fires and Sustainability in the Boreal Forest of Canada. Royal Sweedish Academy of Science , 545-547. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation: October 2002. U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2006 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation: National Overview. May 2007.

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