Visitors at Mesa Verde National Park (upper left), Buffalo National River (upper right), Arches National Park (lower left) & Zion National Park (lower right).
A new organization called the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council, recently chartered by the NPS, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, has been established to provide consistent guidance on visitor use management by developing effective and legally defensible implementation tools for assessment, planning, and management. The Council's efforts will help improve visitor use management being applied on public lands.
Confusion regarding terminology and methodologies associated with visitor use management and visitor capacity on federal lands has led to inconsistent implementation and litigation. There is need for clear and consistent guidance concerning visitor use management. Interagency collaboration through the Council will enable shared investment in tools and training development, along with raised awareness of and commitment to a professional and scientific approach to managing visitor use on public lands.
The Council will offer:
- Unified and legally defensible planning and management frameworks, communication protocol, and assessment techniques that are applicable across agencies.
- Tools and trainings concerning visitor use management.
- Facilitation for both external and interagency communication and collaboration concerning visitor use management on public lands.
- Interagency initiatives and work group development related to visitor use management.