How wild is wild enough: do bears make the wilderness wild for tourists?

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Owen Nevin's presentation (plse note what Owen wrote at the beginning: this is no science!) during the Wilderness at the edge of survival in Europe symposium during the 3rd European Conference on Conservation Biology in Glasgow on August 2012. Silvia's conclusions included the following: Even well informed enthusiasts will respond to what they experience. Therefore experiences and iconic animals are important when trying to sell tourism in wilderness

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How wild is wild enough: do bears make the wilderness wild for tourists?

  1. 1. How wild is wild enough: dobears make the wilderness wildfor tourists?Owen NevinUniversity of Cumbria
  2. 2. Overview• Introduction• Wilderness defined• Study site characterised• Tourist demography• Tourist response• Conclusions
  3. 3. Introduction• WARNING! This isn’t science!
  4. 4. How do we define wilderness?• “A large area of unmodified or slightly modified land, and/or sea retaining its natural character and influence, without permanent or significant habitation, which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural condition” – IUCN
  5. 5. How do we define wilderness?• “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammelled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain” – US Wilderness Act 1964
  6. 6. How do we define wilderness?• Intact• Roadless• Pristine•…
  7. 7. How does the tourist define wilderness?• Remote• Wild• Natural• Untouched•…
  8. 8. How does the tourist define wilderness?• “Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity” – Wikipedia
  9. 9. Study site
  10. 10. British Columbia, CanadaGlendaleCove
  11. 11. Study site• Glendale Cove (historically) – First Nations settlement – Salmon Cannery – Logging camp and supply depot
  12. 12. Study site
  13. 13. Study site• Hyper-maritime forest – Second growth • Natural regeneration • Planted monoculture stands – Harvest of both old-growth and second growth continues
  14. 14. Study site
  15. 15. Study site
  16. 16. Study Site
  17. 17. Study site• Successful salmon restoration – Highly engineered
  18. 18. Study site
  19. 19. Study site
  20. 20. Study site
  21. 21. Tourist demography
  22. 22. Tourist demography
  23. 23. Tourist demography
  24. 24. Tourist response• “it’s so pristine”• “what a fantastic opportunity to experience the wilderness”• “I really felt like I had got out into the wild”•…
  25. 25. Conclusions• Degraded is good enough?• The public don’t know what they want?• Bears make the wilderness wild?
  26. 26. Conclusions• We have a complex message – Even well informed enthusiasts will respond to what they experience – Therefore experiences and iconic animals are important• Using the same words does not mean we are talking about the same thing!
  27. 27. Questions?

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