ERIC Number: ED370722
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
An Investigation of the Ecological and Social Impacts Caused by Rock Climbers.
This study examined the ecological and social impacts of rock climbing. The survey included climbing sites in 10 federal areas, 2 state parks, 1 private area, and 1 city park. Resource managers provided information on the observed impacts of rock climbing and current management practices to minimize impacts. Survey results indicate: (1) 71 percent of the respondents reported observable damage to soil as a result of climbers seeking access to climbing areas; (2) 57 percent of respondents expressed concern over vegetation damage caused by off-trail hiking and the mechanical removal of vegetation from rock surfaces; (3) 43 percent reported concerns related to conflicts between climbers and wildlife, particularly the disturbance of limited habitats; and (4) 78 percent of the respondents reported a variety of social impacts that detracted from the quality of the wilderness experience, including noise, the presence of climbers on the rockface, use of brightly colored clothing or rope, and the use of shiny hardware (such as bolts) that damages the rockface. Implementing nonrestrictive methods, such as educating visitors, is important for minimizing impact. The paper provides examples of direct-management practices to minimize climber-caused impacts and methods of dispersing information used by college and university programs. (LP)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Environmental Impact; Impact Studies; Outdoor Recreation; Rock Climbing
Note: In: Proceedings of the 1991 International Conference on Outdoor Recreation (October 17-19, 1991, Moscow, Idaho); see RC 019 109.