Establishing both a social and ecological carrying capacity is essential to providing guidance on acceptable visitor use management, from closure (to protect rare species, wildlife habitat, and other sensitive areas), or use dispersal (such as hiking and camping), to concentrating use (such as high density visitation with developed facilities) for the long-term protection and preservation of the natural characteristics of the islands. The plan establishes what levels of use are appropriate in different areas of the park to provide quality visitor experiences and to protect resources, all within the framework of management areas delineated in the general management plan.
» Research to Support Carrying Capacity Analysis at Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area (Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR-2006/064). Study photographs in Appendix C illustrate a key feature of the study. [PDFs]
» Research to Support Development of Resource Indicators and Standards for Visitor Experience and Resource Protection (VERP) Implementation in Boston Harbor Islands, A National Park Area (Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management North Carolina State University, May 2004) [PDF]