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USFS National Minimum Protocol for Monitoring Solitude. June 5, 2014 Dr. Troy E. Hall WIMST Oregon State University t [email protected] Overview of the webinar. Photo: Troy Hall. Why monitor opportunities for solitude Element 5 of the Challenge The national minimum protocol Q&A.

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usfs national minimum protocol for monitoring solitude

USFS National Minimum Protocol for Monitoring Solitude

June 5, 2014

Dr. Troy E. Hall

WIMST

Oregon State University

[email protected]

overview of the webinar
Overview of the webinar

Photo: Troy Hall

  • Why monitor opportunities for solitude
  • Element 5 of the Challenge
  • The national minimum protocol
  • Q&A
why monitor solitude
Why monitor solitude

Photo: cfot.ca

Wilderness Act: “outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive & unconfined type of recreation”

wilderness solitude
Wilderness & Solitude

Photo: Troy Hall

Wilderness character

The only land designation where solitude is mandated

wilderness solitude1
Wilderness & Solitude

Troy Hall

Tom Iraci

Opportunities may be compromised

10ywsc
10YWSC

Photo: Wilderness.net

All wildernesses managed to a minimum stewardship level by 2014

10 elements, each worth 10 points

Target: 60 points

element 5
Element 5

Photo: Tom Kaffine

“This wilderness has adequate direction, monitoring, and management actions to protect opportunities for solitude or primitive and unconfined recreation.”

why create a national protocol
Why create a national protocol?

Photos: Brad Johnson

Challenge making progress on Element 5

Inherent difficulties monitoring for solitude

assumptions
Assumptions

Photo: Wilderness Watch

This does not address primitive & unconfined recreation

“number of encounters” is the most appropriate indicator for solitude

This is a minimum protocol

scoring with the minimum protocol
Scoring with the minimum protocol

Photo: Maria Burke

4 points = data complete (collected & summarized) for each monitoring area

Data ≤ 10 years old (recommend 5 years)

Indicators and standards need not be formally presented in planning documents

what s in the protocol
What’s in the protocol?

Photo: Troy Hall

Photo: Marty Almquist

Establishing use zones

Selecting monitoring areas

Scheduling data collection

Collecting encounter data

Basic analysis

step 1 pre work
Step 1: Pre-work

NPS photo

  • Existing indicators & standards?
    • E.g., “80% of the time a visitor will encounter 10 or fewer groups per day”
    • E.g., “There shall be no more than one campsite visible or audible from any campsite, or closer than 500 feet in open country”
    • Previous data?
step 1 pre work1
Step 1: Pre-work

Existing WROS zones?

step 1 pre work2
Step 1: Pre-work

Photo: Jay Robinson

  • Establishing Use Zones
    • 2-4 categories
      • High, moderate, low
      • Most wilderness is “low use” -- <10% of all visitation
      • Monitoring is not required in low use zones
step 1 pre work3
Step 1: Pre-work

Photo: Steve Boutcher

Photo: wilderness.net

  • Establishing Use Zones
    • Mapping considerations
      • Reasonable size
      • Logical traffic patterns
      • Other management concerns
step 2 select monitoring areas
Step 2: Select monitoring areas

Photo: Troy Hall

What is a monitoring area?

step 2 select monitoring areas1
Step 2: Select monitoring areas
  • What “type” of wilderness?
    • Type 1:
      • “High” or “Medium” use wildernesses with > 75 miles of travel corridor
      • “Low” use wildernesses with > 100 miles of travel corridor.
    • Type 2:
      • “High” or “Medium” use wildernesses with 1-75 miles of travel corridor
      • “Low” use wildernesses with 1-100 miles of travel corridor.
    • Type 3:
      • Wildernesses with no miles of travel corridor.
step 2 select monitoring areas2
Step 2: Select monitoring areas

Photo: G. Wuerthner

  • How many monitoring areas?
    • Type I wildernesses:
      • 2 locations within each use class, except low use
    • Type II wildernesses:
      • 1 location within each use class, except low use
step 2 select monitoring areas3
Step 2: Select monitoring areas

NPS Photo

Photo: Troy Hall

  • How do you choose?
    • Representative area?
    • Canary in the coal mine?
    • Known problem areas?
slide21
The decision about which monitoring areas to choose is a judgment call. Therefore, each wilderness could have a different approach to selecting monitoring areas.

Photo: Wilderness.net

step 3 sampling
Step 3: Sampling

Photo: Mike Carr, Gila NF

  • Sampling
    • 5 weekdays & 5 weekend/holiday for each monitoring area, during high use season
    • 4 hours per monitoring session – daytime hours for traveling encounters
    • Convenience vs. random sampling
step 4 collect data
Step 4: Collect data

Photo: wilderness.net

Photo: Chris Barns

  • Traveling encounters
    • people you see and/or hear while traveling in the monitoring area
step 4 collect data1
Step 4: Collect data

Photo: Cathy Curby

Photo: Troy Hall

  • Camp encounters
    • number of other camping groups visible or audible from each occupied campsite
step 4 collect data2
Step 4: Collect data
  • What’s an encounter?
    • Inside or outside wilderness?
    • On/off trail?
    • Close vs. distant?
    • Multiple sightings?
step 4 collect data5
Step 4: Collect data

Photo: Bob Wick

  • Supplementary information
    • Visitor characteristics
    • Traffic counters
available materials
Available materials

Photo: Brad Eells

  • Protocol
    • Definitions and procedures
    • Guidance for establishing use zones
    • “checksheet”
    • FAQs
available materials1
Available materials
  • See also wilderness.net
    • Toolboxes  visitor use management  monitoring
slide35
FAQs

Photo: A. Halford

Why not use trail counters or permits?

What if we have an existing protocol?

What can Type III wildernesses do?

slide36
FAQs

Photo: Michael Lusk

How does this fit with Wilderness Character Monitoring and wilderness performance measure?

important caveats
Important caveats

Photo: wilderness.net

Photo: Cathy Curby

Protocol works for most but not all wildernesses

Not adequate for monitoring trends

a tip of the hat to
A tip of the hat to…
  • TJ Broom
  • WIMST, especially
    • ToganCapozza
    • Kimberly Schlenker
    • Chad Grossenberg
    • Tim Eling
    • Steve Boutcher
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