Annotated Bibliography

Part III: Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing in Wilderness Recreation Area Management

11. Landres, Peter B., et al. GIS Applications to Wilderness Management: Potential Uses and Limitations. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2001. 

Landres el al. give a short, simple consideration of the many applications of GIS technology in managing wilderness areas under the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service. The authors also stress that there are limitations and potential drawbacks. Addressing the useful applications first, Landres, et al. discuss GIS as a means of quickly and efficiently managing and storing inventories and assessments of natural and recreation resources. Mapping campsites, visitor services, and trail assessments based on user density could be a fantastic tool for park managers to understand which areas are in need of more upkeep or maintenance. The authors also consider the uses of GIS in planning for “what if” scenarios; this type of management potentially requires modeling, which a GIS could be extremely useful in producing. The second part of this report focuses on the limitations of GIS for the US Forest Service, including the potential loss of the feeling of exploration as a result of mapping extensively, the cost and labor of maintenance of a GIS, and the steep learning curve of introducing GIS technologies to park managers. In summary, this paper gives a very basic overview of the applications of GIS in managing wilderness areas for both conservation and recreation.

12. Michael, Wing, and Bo Shelby. “Using GIS to Integrate Information on Forest Recreation.” Journal of Forestry, Jan. 1999, pp. 12–16., Accessed Nov. 2021. 

In their 1999 paper, Wing and Shelby use GIS mapping to visualize levels of use from different recreation groups in McDonald-Dunn Research Forest near Corvallis, Oregon. The data was collected via survey of recreationalists encountered at major access roads to the forest. Data was collected for multiple seasons to account for any changes in use. The survey results were based on user’s access points, the type of recreation they were engaged in, and the routes they took through the forest. These answers were then coded into Microsoft Excel and then into ARC/INFO for visualization. This map of seasonal usage can be used to identify choke points throughout the park, as well as identify areas which may need more services for park maintenance and improved visitor satisfaction. For park managers, this is a simple yet effective way to utilize GIS mapping to manage and improve a recreation area. 

13. Gross, John E., and Ramakrishna Nemani. “Remote sensing for the national parks.” Park Science, vol. 24, no. 1, June 2006, pp. 30–36., Accessed Nov. 2021. 

Remote sensing can be a low cost, relatively simple way to monitor changes to a given area over time. In this paper, Gross and Nemani detail the applications of remote sensing technology to observe and document changes to National Parks in the United States. Gross and Nemani provide a brief overview of several different kinds of remotely sensed images from providers such as IKONOS, Quickbird, and Landsat, comparing pixel and spectral resolutions. They also provide real examples of uses for each type of imagery from different National Parks. This paper provides an excellent beginner resource to different sources and resolutions of remote sensing imagery, as well as real applications. These uses are immensely beneficial to park and wilderness recreation area managers since they include monitoring spread of invasive species, performing animal population surveys, mapping and modeling fire behavior and potential, modeling potential changes to soil and water resources, and characterizing landscape dynamics.

14. Yeqiao Wang et al. “Remote sensing of land-cover change and landscape context of the National Parks: A case study of the Northeast Temperate Network.” Remote Sensing of Environment, Vol. 113, no. 7, 2009, pp. 1453-1461., Accessed Nov. 2021.

In this paper, Yeqiao et al. complete a 30-year temporal comparison of urbanization and deforestation within and surrounding National Parks, National historic Sites, and segments of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Comparisons were done along trails and park bounds from .5, 1, and 5 km buffers. In total, 33 Landsat photographs were obtained spanning from 1970 to 2002. Land cover classes were determined and then assigned to the imagery using supervised, unsupervised, and stratified classification techniques. These classes were also ground-truthed. Buffers were then applied to the park boundaries and trail segments and changes in urbanization and deforestation were calculated. The results showed substantial increases in urbanization and decreases in forest cover around parks and trails. The relevance of this project to wilderness recreation area management lies in the use of remote sensing to observe changes to park boundaries. This information is useful because it may point to incoming edge effects as a result of dual urbanization and deforestation.

15. SH, Sonti. “Application of Geographic Information System (GIS) in Forest Management.” Journal of Geography & Natural Disasters, vol. 05, no. 03, 1 Oct. 2015, Accessed Nov. 2021. 

In this paper, SH explains the rapid adoption and development of GPS, GIS, and Remote Sensing technologies in a myriad of fields and applications. They then discuss the application generally, before turning to the specific uses of GIS in forest management. These applications include resource inventories and extraction schedules, fire planning and management, and recreation planning and maintenance. Three case studies accompany, detailing the uses of GIS in each. First SH explores the case study of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, Kenya, where high resolution photos of the forest were used to create maps detailing changes in land cover in and around the forest. Second, SH shares how GIS was vital in facilitating a participatory GIS process by which the communities of Tinto were able to map and classify and inventory the forest they used to apply for a community forest designation from the government in Cameroon. Finally, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, GIS and RS were employed to create a forest atlas for more intelligent management of the forest resources. All three of the case studies in this paper point toward the potential usefulness of GIS and RS technologies in maintaining wilderness recreation areas. Creating an atlas for such areas to enhance inventories and monitoring of land cover changes, or engaging in participatory GIS to increase visitor satisfaction would both be excellent uses. 

16. Gajda, Anna M. T., et al. Managing Coastal Recreation Impacts and Visitor Experience Using GIS, vol. 5, United Stated Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station Proceedings, 2000, pp. 115–123. 

In British Columbia Canada, Gwaii Haanas National Park was chosen as an area to employ GIS to investigate the effects of recreationalists as it pertained to the ecology of the park and the cultural heritage of the Haida Nation. As a result of a dispersed camping policy, certain areas were being affected more than others; impacts would be assessed and added to the park’s GIS for management consideration. To assess the impact, Gajda et al. compiled a list of campsite and cultural heritage locations. They then visited each campsite  at least twice to get a baseline evaluation and then comparison data to be used against the baseline. Sites were assessed using radial transects from which photographs and written descriptions could be taken. The sites were then assigned a condition based on ecological sensitivity and cultural sensitivity to be monitored against. Finally, the sites were added into the GIS for Gwaii Haanas. The results of the survey showed that over one season of use, 52 of the 75 sites surveyed showed high to extreme cumulative impacts. This is important, because at least 30 of the sites represented high or extreme ecological sensitivity, and 77% of sites were of high or extreme cultural sensitivity. From these results, recommendations were made on a per-site basis to accept the level of use, restore the site, or close the site (temporarily or permanently). This study shows the relative ease with which GIS can be used to mark, categorize, and monitor the impact of wilderness use by recreationalists for management action, if need be.

17. ArcGIS Solutions for Protected Area Management. Managing Protected Areas. August 29, 2019. Accessed November 23, 2021.

This Story Map introduces a useful new software land managers may employ for advanced spatial analytics that are specific to protected area management. Through a collaboration of National Geographic Society and ESRI, ArcGIS Solutions for Protected Area Management software gives conservation-specific tools to land and protected-area managers. The aim of this software is to provide four tailored solutions to park managers to meet their objectives: ecology solutions, infrastructure solutions, outreach solutions, and protections solutions. The ecology solutions tools focus on helping wildlife managers track and monitor animals in and around the lands they manage. Infrastructure solutions are geared toward aiding in inventories and asset management. The outreach solution tools help facilitate discussions about spatial management and communicate about changes to managed areas. Finally, protection solutions allow for targeted incident response and mitigation. The second part of this presentation is a demonstration of the effectiveness of ArcGIS Solutions for Protected Area Management by African Parks, African People & Wildlife, the Peace Parks Foundation, and the Jane Goodall Institute.

18. Gross, John, et al. “Remote Sensing for Inventory and Monitoring of U.S. National Parks.” Remote Sensing Applications Series, 2011, pp. 29–56., 

In Gross el al. (2011), the authors discuss the Park AnaLysis and Monitoring Support (PALMS) project as a highly effective way to minimize costs while monitoring selected important environmental indicators in more than 270 individual parks nationwide. The indicators listed include stream biota, primary production, habitat connectivity, etc. and the merits and reasons for selection of these indicators was explained. This program could be implemented in each park as a way to use remote sensing in a surgical way to gain inventory and management knowledge that is specific to each park. The successes and limitations of implementation of PALMS into the National Parks Service were then discussed. Successes included the use of web-based tools to minimize training, flatten learning curves, and ensure proper organization and storage of data, as well as the comprehensiveness and cost-effectiveness of the PALMS strategy. The challenges discussed included the coordination of personnel at many different locations, the amount of data which needed to be analyzed, and the expertise needed to analyze the results in a context-specific way for each of the park’s data. 

This paper provides an interesting look into a remote sensing method which could monitor site-specific critical indicators to give a cost-effective overview of park health and function. 

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