Managing Special Provisions in Wilderness: Commercial Services

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Explore the processes for determining which and to what extent commercial services may be necessary in wilderness.

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Section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964 specifically prohibits commercial enterprises. Yet Section 4(d)(6) allows commercial services to the extent necessary for realizing recreational or other wilderness purposes. This course reviews processes for determining which commercial services may be necessary and to what extent.

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Course Schedule

This course is self-paced, allowing learners the flexibility to complete the course as quickly or slowly as they need. While exploring course content, learners can investigate topics in greater detail through enrichment activities that link to real-world examples, original source materials, and policy documents. Learners can easily move from section to section as they navigate through the course, revisiting concepts as needed. This course includes the following elements.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Learn More opportunities
  • Supplemental reference materials

After completing all course activities, you will complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Course Chapters

  • What is a commercial service?
  • Which commercial services are necessary?
  • What other pitfalls and challenges are involved?
  • How do I make a Determination of the Extent Necessary?

Be able to:

  • Distinguish between a commercial enterprise and a commercial service.
  • Define "necessary" as it relates to commercial services in wilderness.
  • Define the relationship between capacity and the extent necessary.
  • Describe common pitfalls and misconceptions regarding commercial service.
  • Determine the "extent necessary" for a commercial service in your wilderness.

Recommended Background

It is strongly recommended that you complete the free The Wilderness Act of 1964 e-course before beginning this course. Without foundational knowledge of the Wilderness Act, you will not be able to get the most out of this course and could find the content confusing. It is also recommended that you complete the Minimum Requirements Analysis course. The Wilderness Act of 1964, Minimum Requirements Analysis, and other e-courses can be found at


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