Visitor Use Management in Wilderness: Fundamentals

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This is the first in a series of three courses in the Visitor Use Management course of study and is designed to introduce you to the fundamental principles of Visitor Use Management.


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This course will introduce you to the topic of visitor use management (VUM) in wilderness, explain why it is necessary, review relevant laws and agency policies, and examine the challenges of VUM in wilderness, including threats to the biophysical and social components of wilderness resources.

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From delicate cave formations vulnerable to human touch to popular whitewater rivers, every wilderness provides opportunities for visitors to explore and experience wild and natural environments. Visitor use of wilderness also leads to impacts on the wilderness resource that require careful management. But that management also has effects. This course examines the need for, regulation of, and possible effects of VUM in wilderness.

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.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Interactive practice activities
  • Learn More opportunitites
  • Supplemental reference materials
  • Final assessment

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

  • Definition of Visitor Use Management
  • Purpose of Wilderness
  • Management of Wilderness
  • Visitor Opportunities
  • Threats
  • Process Review

Be able to:

  • Recall relevant portions of law and agency-specific policy.
  • Define visitor use management.
  • Explain why visitor use management is needed.
  • Identify the challenges of managing visitor use and the potential threats to the wilderness resource that accompany it.

Recommended Background

There are no prerequisites for this course.


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