Ranging

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Index and Introduction

Ranging means engaging in one or more of a diverse set of extended, dispersed outdoor or rural activities for health, recreation, study, appreciation, and adventure. It may also mean the enterprises that are related and that promote, support, and supply these activities and the areas and resources used.

It includes (but is not limited to) hiking, tramping, trecking, camping, rock and tree climbing, biking, horseback trail riding, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kyacking, boating, archery, touring, sightseeing, studying nature, and active wildlife watching. As an adjective, the word modifies actions and conditions that tend to stabilize and improve the lands and waters of a region for high quality diverse outdoor recreational and viewing activities. It may also mean the strategy or program for developing a system devoted to a system of many of these activities and events.
There is nothing special about a word like ranging unless it can help make sense and provide structure to the confusing array of inconsistent writing and work in the expansive areas of outdoor recreation and ecotourism and related words and phrases. Ecotourism is for visitors to an area; ranging is for residents as well as visitors. Hector Ceballos-Lascurain, Mexico, is said to have coined the word ecotourism in 1983.

See rural tourism.

Recreational opportunities and a concept of a recreational system are presented within The Trevey.

Underlying past work and thought within the area symbolized by these words has been the influence of agency work on large and small public areas, federal and state funding, foundation support, and enormous amounts of volunteer effort and time spent. There is surrounding business activity such as for clothing and equipment. Proponents of "outdoor recreation" and its economic impacts list supportive fields and count as their full contribution the production of income from matches to motors, beer to binoculars.

from 1971 Jefferson National Forest cover

Changes in economics, agencies, and policies in the US, indeed the world, have suggested that alternative strategies may be worth discussing. Such discussions may be necessary. Current conditions suggest reduced tax support for resource agencies, loss of experienced staff, reduced staffs, increasing environmental problems for which there are no apparent solutions and only long-term maintenance costs, new public awareness (but poorly informed) about dependence upon a healthful environment, and new demands for "cleaning up" after past misdeeds. There are increasing urban populations, most having little understanding of rural conditions, practices, relevant periods of growth or change, or limitations.

There must evolve efforts to resolve such conflicts and meet the human needs that are expressed. There are needs for sophisticated modern management. Perhaps ranging is not just a bunch of activities but is or can become a dynamic system that can be analyzed, designed, operated, and maintained for the long run ("sustained"). "For the good of the environment" or "for the good of the animals" are essential concepts, but foremost is " for the good of people." When a system is designed and operated for the good of people into perpetuity, then all of nature must be included and tended with great care to assure that the desired future conditions occur. Recently (2004) Mexico leaders reported the Ministry of Tourism was collaborating to ensure the quality of tourism destinations and promoting certification. "When the positive environmental attribute of tourism destinations are protected, so too are the interests of investors and users." (from World Bank's Environment Matters, 2004)

There is a complex, diverse business associated with ranging and there are principles of businesses that can be derived from nature, ecological concepts, and resource management system concepts.

See some of the diversity of potentials in desert tourism and activities.

Also a 2001 visitor and recreational use survey on the National Forests.

Effects of Recreation on Rocky Mountain Wildlife: A review for Montana. 307pp in the printed version. A compilation by the Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Available on the net at www.montanatws.org or once by mail order through gjoslin, Montana State Univ. (May, 2002)

The entire February 2000 (Vol. 14, No. 1) issue of Conservation Biology is devoted to road impacts on wildlife, thus recreation and ranging.

See Giles' notes on Sustainable Tourism

US Forest Service Recreation Topics (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/)

Potential contact: Floyd Thompson
Travel and Tourism Program Manager
USDA, Forest Service
201 14th Street, SW, Rm 4C
Washington, D.C., 20250
(202) 205-1423
fax; 1145
email: fthompson02@fs.fed.us

See Mexico Ecotourism Network (Red Mexicana)

a newspaper account (2003) said that tourism in Virginia is a $12.9 billion industry supporting more than 211,000 jobs for Virginians and providing more than a billion dollars in state and local tax revenues.

Fishing and wildlife recreation are said to involve more than 2.4 million people who spend nearly $788 million annually on wildlife watching in Virginia.

See Canyon Travel

Ms. Alisa Bailey is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. As a statewide organization, VETA's purpose is three-fold: to protect Virginia's natural resources; to develop, promote and market professional ecotourism industry in Virginia; and to promote safe, quality experiences for ecotravelers.

Contact: Megan Epler Wood, Exec. Director, (1998); The Ecotourism Society, P.O. Box 755, North Bennington, VT 05257-0755

See Marcus L. Endicott's book (2004), Vagabond Globetrotting 3: The Electronic Traveler in the New Millennium

References

Gangstad, E.O. 1989. Recreation resource management, Thomson Publications, Box 9335, Fresno, CA 93791 310 p. ($25 1989)


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Last revision February 21, 2005.