The use an area can tolerate without unacceptable change (Hendee, et al. 1990)
Types Physical - Biological Social - Psychological
Physical - Biological Describe the amount and kind of use an ecosystem can sustain Without undue evidence of unnatural impact
Social - Psychological Dimension Levels and concentrations of human use an area can accommodate before the solitude is diminished
How? Its a relative term - not absolute number Established by managerial judgement Qualities of bio-centric & human experience Plan for appropriate development toward: Preservation Time Space
Ecology First Recreational Carrying Capacity tends to be socially based It must first consider the ecology of an area This demands that the recreation professional understands Ecological Carrying Capacity FIRST and FOREMOST
Principles for Sustainable Nature Tourism 1.Nature values are preserved and the tourism activities promote nature protection. 2.Minimum loading of the environment is assured. 3.Local culture and heritage are respected. 4.Customers' appreciation and knowledge of nature and culture are promoted. 5.Customers' opportunities to find recreation in nature are enhanced.
6.Customers' mental and physical wellbeing are reinforced. 7.Positive impacts are made on local economy and employment. 8.Communication and marketing are of high standard and carried out with a sense of responsibility. 9.Activities are planned and implemented in cooperation (w/ stakeholders). – Public Participation (Metsähallitus, 2000; E33 & E39)
Common Approaches Survey perceived tolerances Visual surveys Questionnaires Base on history Demand Perceived and actual impact Estimate (annual; monthly; daily; seasonal)
Estimating Recreational Carrying Capacity Daily: A programs x # participants/group Or, #of estimated users /day (based on LAC) Estimate this on how many hours/day; How many hours/program or event; How many staff can support the programs; How many participants and events can facilities and equipment handle
Monthly: B Programs x estimated # participants/program Annually or Seasonally: C programs/month x 12 (or how many months are functional) Finally: Can the land, facilities, and staff handle this number? Cost effectiveness = feasibility.