Document Type


Publication Title

Wilderness science in a time of change conference-Volume 4: Wilderness visitors, experiences, and visitor management; 1999 May 23-27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-4.


U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Publication Date



Despite widespread efforts to minimize resource impacts, a number of remote areas continue to suffer from poor backcountry practices. Research to evaluate the effectiveness of low-impact communication strategies as they relate to recall of messages (Cole and others 1997) measured whether or not recreationists were aware of appropriate behavior given certain scenarios; it did not measure actual compliance. Partially in response to the results of that study, it has been hypothesized that a lack of information is not necessarily the only limiting factor in complying with specific low-impact recommendations. We propose a four-stage model of factors that might help to explain some noncompliance with backcountry low-impact recommendations where information is not the limiting factor