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Perceptions of pack and saddle stock in wilderness: a historical and geographical review of a resource conflict Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/1z40kt610

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  • It has long been acknowledged that recreation activities can cause conflict among stakeholders with different perspectives. In 1949, Aldo Leopold, one of the earliest proponents of wilderness preservation, noted "Public policies for outdoor recreation are controversial. Equally conscientious citizens hold opposite views on what is and what should be done to conserve its resource base." Over the last forty years, the Wilderness Act was passed in 1964, the appropriateness of recreational stock use in wilderness has become the topic of exactly this kind of controversy. When Leopold and other wilderness visionaries imagined a National Wilderness Preservation System, they did not predict that the inclusion of pack and saddle stock in their initiative would generate unrest. Pack stock figured prominently into the discussion of wilderness designation and it was suggested that wilderness areas should be at least large enough to allow for a two-week pack trip (Leopold 1921). Leopold (1949) explained that "wilderness areas are first of all a sanctuary for primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing." This research paper describes and elucidates the evolution of this conflict. It first follows the history of the recreational stock issue, paying particular attention to key events and changing strategies over time. Then it examines the various resource perceptions of groups with an interest in recreational pack and saddle stock by outlining their arguments. Finally, it looks at the issue from a geographic perspective to develop some spatial understanding of the issue on a national scale.
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