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A comparison of campfire impacts and policies in seven protected areas

January 1, 2005

Using resource-monitoring data from seven protected areas, the effectiveness of three campfire policies—campfire ban, designated campfires, and unregulated campfires—were assessed based on the number of fire sites and the amount of tree damage. Results indicate that unregulated campfire policies permitted substantial numbers of fire sites and tree damage in campsites, although fire bans did not eliminate or even substantially decrease these problems. A designated campfire policy was effective in decreasing number of fire sites, but little difference was found among policies regarding tree damage. Given the importance of campfires to visitor experiences, campfire prohibitions could be viewed as unnecessarily restrictive based on their limited success in preventing resource damage. Conclusions encourage protected-area managers to consider designated campfire policies and prohibitions on axes, hatchets, and saws to better meet resource protection and visitor experience mandates.

Publication Year 2005
Title A comparison of campfire impacts and policies in seven protected areas
DOI 10.1007/s00267-003-0215-y
Authors S. E. Reid, Jeffrey L. Marion
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Environmental Management
Index ID 5224475
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center