Sustained forests; sustained profits

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The Wildland Walkers

This enterprise markets the Lasting Forests and all of its resources and those of the region for recreation of all types. It is interested in the diverse activities of the entire field of outdoor recreation. It concentrates on hikers and campers but advances computer-enhanced decision making, models of recreation activity, encourages improved in-the-field behavior, and uses rapidly accumulating knowledge on effects of horses, hikers, bikers, and others on the wildlands.

Hiking and carefully regulated biking, select area use of the off-road vehicle, horse-back trail riding, adventure treks, challenge runs, and a new sport of timed walks through the wilderness - the ranger route, secondary scouting trips, hiker schools, campcraft schools, animal watching (unscheduled and not related to the planned or programmatic action of the other Lasting Forest enterprises) - these are all part of the group activity.

Funds are gained from admission, fees for guided hikes, permits for activities, publications, special gear sales, food sales, membership fees, flags, emblems, equipment rentals, photography (action photographs to take home), web site access, exhibit space rentals for companies selling approved equipment and clothing, free-lance writing, photo sales, insurance, guide services, outfitting services.

The Wildland Walkers works with landowners, outfitters, retail outlets, and all regional enterprises to sustain and improve local economic and employment conditions, preserve and enhance nature and the wildlands, and promote high quality outdoor recreation. Not a preservationist/protectionist group, the system advocates sophisticated computer-aided decision-making to sustain the many diverse benefits available to hikers in the region. It employs new knowledge-based approaches to outdoor recreation. The group is apolitical. It may seek certain regulatory and/or legal means to achieve its objectives, but it will not take "stands" on certain issues. It does encourage its members and their groups to do so as responsible citizenship.

The Walkers (somewhat like other units of the Lasting Forests) consists of:

  1. Diverse objectives of area users - a unique development and presentations of recreational objectives.
  2. Hiking and Walks - many types, length of stay, objectives, reports and experiences; group, solitary; horse; nature based; adventure based; winter; work based.
  3. Membership fees
  4. Newsletter
  5. Annual rendezvous
  6. Work parties and voluntary fire fighters
  7. Judging teams and contests
  8. Security patrol
  9. Signs
  10. Trail construction and maintenance
  11. Fire-site management
  12. Tourism (inter- and extra-, see the RRR Program)
  13. Publications
  14. First Aid and emergency/rescue procedures (e.g., Albert P. Rosen, Health Hints for Hikers, 1994, New York-New Jersey Trail Conf., 232 Madison Ave., NY, NY 10016 $5.95 + $0.80)
  15. Contract studies and research
  16. Consulting
  17. Seminars, speeches, and workshops

The concept that makes the recreation system special and assures profitable successes are:

  1. Using a tested systems approach with new improvements
  2. Using computer-based economic optimization
  3. Using ecological and natural resource models
  4. Locating with large private capital land resources
  5. Affiliation with resources of other lands
  6. Being remote but with high quality highway access
  7. Relating to a well-established hunting and tourist industry
  8. Bring 40 years of tax-based wildland research, information, software and models and concentrating it on the region.
  9. Offering opportunities for Virginia Tech students for meaningful work
  10. Providing a variety of employment opportunities and profit inventories for citizens
  11. Being grounded within and linked to diverse resources of the Lasting Forests
  12. Offering new, meaningful, year-around recreational and nature-study opportunities to a growing urban citizenship
  13. Offering areas to meet personal needs such as ease of hiking, areas for the handicapped, viewscapes, remoteness, fishing, and specialized nature-study areas.

Potentially call Sierra (405-977-5653) in relation to nighthikes.

Potentially work with www.AmericanHiking.org at 1422 Fenwick Lane, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (301-565-6704.

Locales for hiking along finest trails .

Park Maps may be available.

gnu below Winegra Va, James River
A special hiking, fishing, and floating area in the James River, Virginia.

  1. Offering land owners controls which they desire over responsible use of their wildlands by recreationists
  2. Balancing controversies over long-term sustainability of rural communities and commodity extraction and interests in wildlife and preservation
  3. Encouraging that conventional sports and activities be practiced elsewhere, retaining the wildlands for their special uses
  4. Providing new internet registration services to campers and members
  5. Continuing comprehensive, diverse management of other natural resources on the same areas, that is, of total systems management.

Components:

System Leader - responsible for overall operations, policy, leadership, and developments

Membership Director - recruits members, produces a newsletter, and holds an annual conference and develops membership services and programs including employing and supervising directors of special member-related projects. Supervises publications.

Security Director - develops a security system (or uses one created elsewhere in the System Central, namely Safety and Security), including safety, surveys, analyses, education, record of safety and employs advice as needed for insect, disease, health, snakes, etc. potential problems. Secures an appropriate insurance program for the system and for individuals.

Special Products and Services - with the Outfits develops clothing certification projects; develops and tests equipment (staff, hat, flags, emblems, foods, equipment)

Field Director - conducts hikes, develops sites and services, develops trails, monitors and manages sites, develops sport and field events, plans special hikes or employs hike/camp masters, develops contests; assists in developing membership levels and tests; recruits and supervises guides; sponsors and guides research.

Secretarial, accounting, and computer services will be from the general pool of the Lasting Forests itself. Computer services are developed, including accounting, publishing, addresses and memberships, but also computer maps, ecological site analyses, allocation of camper units of impact, campsite analyses, and user satisfaction analyses.

Making strong use of past research in outdoor recreation and wilderness area recreational use, the system concentrates this knowledge and demonstrates how it can be used for private profit in a sustained manner.

See The Wildland Crew that may be closely related.

Income

The system profits are derived from a changing combination of sources, all private, namely:

  1. Day-use or trail-specific fees
  2. Conference and group camping fees
  3. Membership fees
  4. Educational fees
  5. Publication sales
  6. Contract trial building and stream improvement (The Fishery)
  7. Guide service fees
  8. Commissions from sales of (for example)
  9. Certification of clothing (after testing) of hiking and clothing (Outfits)
  10. Special hikes and tours - fee (e.g., coyote, bear, deer, owl tours)
  11. International tour fees (select nature tours in China, etc. with Tours Group)
  12. Race fees
  13. Special new sporting events

Costs

Staff of the system recruit land owner cooperation, conduct programs and projects, conduct education, employ consultants, develop a guides service, work with other components of Lasting Forests, develop publications, and promote and advertise the system and the region. Cooperative programs with REI and Hudson Trails, L.L. Bean and others will be sought. A small security group represents one of the higher, less-conspicuously-productive components of the system.

There will be additional gains if land under contract has ponds or streams near campsites. The intent is that the system be profit-driven, with feedback to all participants and incentives for cooperative efforts by small land unit owners (recruited nearby owners whose lands are not in the Lasting Forests but who are willing to participate for reasonable financial gains). These owners have previously been excluded from much intensive forest land management because of the problems of scale.

Incentives are for (1) customers and members (discounts as memberships and participation increases; awards for scores and safety); (2) Employees (all receiving a high percentage of profits); (3) The Lasting Forests itself and all associated support functions; and landowners (for use of their land for non-consumptive use by educated hikers); and (4) enterprise-related research and development at Virginia Tech and elsewhere.


Youths not exactly rushing to explore the so-so outdoors Study finds decline in hiking, biking, climbing

By Gil Rudawsky

Denver Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer Nov 7, 2000

Representatives of the outdoor recreation business got a hard lesson Monday from their next generation of customers: Outdoor activities are losing to the indoors.

A youth panel at the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America's regional meeting — held at REI's store in downtown Denver — gave a variety of reasons that they are not participating in outdoor recreation or buying outdoor gear. The reasons primarily had to do with weather, cost and competing urban activities. "I don't like to get cold or get my shoes dirty," said East High School student Jason Fordham, 17. "Plus, it's too complicated and too expensive."

Kent Denver student Iman Haynes, 17, gave a less traditional but equally emphatic answer: "That Blair Witch thing — my friends and I are scared to go into the woods."

Haynes added that she doesn't like to go out of cellphone range or into areas where she has to pay roaming fees.

The seven panelists, ages 17 to 24, included high school students, a college student and two bicycle messengers. As part of a sweeping ORCA-sponsored study on participation in outdoor recreation, youths around the country will be surveyed on their habits, and findings will be presented to the organization's 1,100 business members.

"This is ground zero for the industry," said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of ORCA. "If we lose this market, we lose the business and we possibly lose their votes to protect these outdoor activities."

A preliminary study found that youth participation is declining in 13 of 14 outdoor recreational activities. The categories include backpacking, road bicycling, mountain bicycling, dirt road cycling, camping, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, rafting, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, telemark skiing, snowshoeing and trail running.

The only area that showed a slight increase was kayaking.

Craig Mackey, public-policy liaison for Outward Bound USA, pointed out to the panelists that a day at Six Flags/Elitch Gardens can cost as a much as a day of skiing at Vail.

"That may be true, but I've never seen a Vail ad directed at me or my friends," Fordham responded. "They are probably going after the white, rich market."

More than one panelist pointed out that of the approximately 75 participants at the meeting, few, if any, were minorities.

Mackey conceded that fact. "We have to reach out to a younger, more diverse market to keep outdoor recreation vibrant," Mackey said. "This should be a wake-up call for people in the room".

Hugelmeyer said one solution would be to encourage outdoor recreation businesses to do a better job of bringing outdoor recreation to the urban environment.

Panelist Wendell Gibbs, 18, said he has tried the climbing wall at Elitch Gardens but wouldn't consider going to the mountains to rock climb.

After the panel concluded, an ORCA member had Gibbs climbing REI's indoor climbing wall. "I really like this," Gibbs said. "I might have to try this outdoors". Contact Gil Rudawsky at (303) 892-2562 or rudawskyg@RockyMountainNews.com.

Leads to extreme events may be available.


References

Burch, W. R., Jr. 1964. Two Concepts for Guiding Recreation Management Decisions. Journal of Forestry, 62: 707-712.

Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife. 1966. 1965 National Survey of Fishing and Hunting. (Resource Publication 27). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Gould, H. M., Jr. 1962. Forestry and Recreat±on. In: Economics in 0utdoor Recreation Policy (Report #11). Western Agriculture Research Council,Berkeley, California:

Kennedy, J. 5. 1970. A Consumer Analysis Approach to Recreational Deci~ions: Deer Hunters as a Case Study), Unpublished Doctorate Dissertation, Department of Forestry and Wildlife. Blacksburg, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Lowenthal, D. 1961. Geography, Experience, and Imagination: Towards a Geographical Epistemology, Annals of Association of American Geographers, 51 (3): 241-60.

Lowenthal, D. 1966. Assumptions Behind the Public Attitudes. In H. Jarrett (ed.), Environmental Quality in a Growing Economy. Baltimore: Johns HopkinsPress, pp. 128-137.

Mutch, W. E. 5. 1968. Public Recreation in National Forests: A Factual Survey. (Forestry Commission Booklet #21). London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office.

Peterle, T. 5. 1967. Characteristics of Some Ohio Hunters, Journal of Wildlife Management, 31(2): 375-389,

Rvel, L. A. 19~9. Deer Hunters' Opinion Survey, 19S8. (Report #187). Ann Arbor: Michigam Dept. of National Resources.

Turiss, R. H. 1969. Conf1ictss in Forest Landscape Management--The Need for Forest Environment Design' J. Forestry, 67(1): 19--22.

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Last revision March 10, 2003.