University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Division

Project Title

The Benefits of Integrating Sustainable Ecotourism Management on Federal Lands

Presenter Hometown

Mount Sterling, KY

Major

Recreation and Parks Administration

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Brian Clark

Mentor Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Abstract

The Benefits of Integrating Sustainable Ecotourism Management on Federal Lands

Akasia Bradley

Tourism across the United States is vital for the prolonged success of our economy, it provides thousands of jobs, and is important for future infrastructure in our country; however, the benefits of tourism do not outweigh the impact that can potentially destroy our environmental resources. Tourism puts a substantial strain on federal lands, including land controlled by the National Parks Service, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Services. These agencies conserve threatened ecosystems, protect critically endangered species, conserve water sources, and reduce national disasters. According to the NPS, more than 325 million people visit their parks alone each year; this is not including the land controlled by other government agencies. Tourism on federal lands can deplete these resources, alter ecosystems, pollute, and generate land degradation. Integrating ecotourism into land management is an important step in conserving and protecting the resources that our public lands provide. My intention for this study is to examine the different techniques used on federal lands to reduce the impact of tourism and travel. This will include research into several different agencies’ objectives and trends, as well as potential interviews with professionals regarding the most effective management strategies that they have assimilated into their specific goal so far. Proactive resource management on federal lands has potential to minimize the impact of tourism, increase environmental awareness, and encourage positive travel experiences.

Keywords: Tourism, sustainability, management, environmental awareness, federal lands

Presentation format

Poster

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The Benefits of Integrating Sustainable Ecotourism Management on Federal Lands

The Benefits of Integrating Sustainable Ecotourism Management on Federal Lands

Akasia Bradley

Tourism across the United States is vital for the prolonged success of our economy, it provides thousands of jobs, and is important for future infrastructure in our country; however, the benefits of tourism do not outweigh the impact that can potentially destroy our environmental resources. Tourism puts a substantial strain on federal lands, including land controlled by the National Parks Service, the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Fish and Wildlife Services. These agencies conserve threatened ecosystems, protect critically endangered species, conserve water sources, and reduce national disasters. According to the NPS, more than 325 million people visit their parks alone each year; this is not including the land controlled by other government agencies. Tourism on federal lands can deplete these resources, alter ecosystems, pollute, and generate land degradation. Integrating ecotourism into land management is an important step in conserving and protecting the resources that our public lands provide. My intention for this study is to examine the different techniques used on federal lands to reduce the impact of tourism and travel. This will include research into several different agencies’ objectives and trends, as well as potential interviews with professionals regarding the most effective management strategies that they have assimilated into their specific goal so far. Proactive resource management on federal lands has potential to minimize the impact of tourism, increase environmental awareness, and encourage positive travel experiences.

Keywords: Tourism, sustainability, management, environmental awareness, federal lands