ERIC Number: ED417048
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Reference Count: N/A
What Is the Message in the Medium? Mixed Signals for National Park and Wilderness Users.
Huffman, Michael G.; Fickle, James E.
Mass media portrayals of unsafe, irresponsible outdoor activities encourage many people using national parks, forests, wilderness areas, and other public lands to exhibit little concern about environmental responsibility, safety, and the rights of other people. Such behavior threatens natural resources and the opportunity for others to enjoy them in the future, and results in unnecessary injuries, rescue missions, and emergency medical services. Education campaigns such as the highly successful Smokey the Bear campaign have resulted in various information and education programs for mitigating visitor-related management problems. Brochures are relatively inexpensive and are widely used. Recently, the National Outdoor Leadership School, the National Park Service, the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cooperated to produce a new series of publications on the theme of "Leave No Trace." These are particularly effective because they provide regional and park-specific information about minimum impact practices. The effectiveness of publications can be improved when combined with a personal contact. Exhibits and displays can present complex detailed information, and if agency personnel are present, questions can be answered and supplemental information can be distributed. Direct communication from agency personnel is one of the most influential, and expensive, media. Videotapes are receiving increased use, and the Internet has tremendous potential for providing responsible information. Eight principles of effective wilderness education are presented. Contains 18 references. (TD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A