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The feasibility of implementing a campfire closure in a heavily used portion of Eagle Cap Wilderness Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/x346d495t

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  • Gathering and burning firewood in heavily used subalpine areas contributes to campsite deterioration. Forest Service policy directs wilderness managers to implement the principle of nondegradation. As a result, campfires may be prohibited in areas where fire-related impacts are significant. The Lakes Basin and Ice Lake Travel Zones in the Eagle Cap Wilderness were studied. A review of available bio-physical data for the area indicate resource degradation as a result of campfire use is substantial. A survey of study area visitors reveal a strong affinity for campfires, but also a willingness to support a campfire prohibition policy if necessary to protect wilderness resources. Managers from 14 wildland areas were contacted and asked to comment on the campfire regulations in their area. Most managers report good success with campfire restrictions, and believe there is no way large numbers of campfires can be permitted without seriously altering the visual and ecolo­gical resources of wilderness. Prohibition of all open fires in high-use areas is the most successful campfire management strategy employed by managers. This study suggests there is good foundation for a campfire closure in the study area from a legal, resource degradation, visitor support, and administrative practicality perspective. Management implications of these findings are presented.
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