Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Recreation Management

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Norma Nickerson

Commitee Members

Jennifer Thomsen, Teresa Sobieszczyk, Deborah Kerstetter


Tourism Development, Rural Development, Geotourism, Impacts of Tourism, Rural Tourism, Visual Data Analysis


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Tourism and Travel


In 2007 the governor’s Montana Tourism Advisory Council adopted the Montana Tourism and Recreation Charter. Its guiding principle of geotourism pledged to sustain and enhance the character of the places that the people of Montana call home. How can the state’s efforts to keep this pledge be assessed when “character of place” has never been clearly defined or understood in detail? To keep this pledge, and chart the future of geotourism in the state, it was important to clarify what is meant by character of place and identify the full range of present and potential problems that threaten the integrity of a character. Only by assessing character of place can we understand whether and how geotourism sustains the local environment and its aesthetic appeal, enhances the local community and its culture, and enriches the local heritage and well-being of its people.



© Copyright 2017 Michael E. Tipton