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Impact of Recreational Activities on an Unmanaged Alpine Campsite: The Case of Kuro-Dake Campsite, Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan

1
Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
2
Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Environments 2019, 6(3), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6030034
Received: 26 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 11 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract

The Kuro-dake Campsite in Daisetsuzan National Park is situated in a fragile alpine setting. Since it opened in 1992, it has not been under formal management. With camping increasingly affecting the Kuro-dake Campsite, this study aims to gain deeper insights into the soil erosion and overcrowding at the campsite and to suggest a corresponding strategy for future management. A detailed topographic map was created using pole photogrammetry to understand the ground surface condition of the campsite in 2017. Aerial photographs taken in 2012 and 2017 were used to understand the long-term changes in the ground surface. Furthermore, questionnaire surveys with campers, interview surveys with organizations related to the park management and secondary data collection were conducted. Two gullies were identified on the topographic map of the campsite. From 2012 to 2017, the campsite size increased by 48 m2. The daily-use level on busy days is nearly seven times the mean daily-use level for the year. Some campers illegally pitch tents on nearby trails on such busy days. The questionnaire surveys in 2017 and 2018 (n = 346) show that most respondents oppose a future closure of the campsite and two-thirds oppose a use limit. The 2018 survey (n = 210) shows that 71% of respondents were not aware of the reservation system in national parks elsewhere; however, 76% agreed to a reservation system to secure their tent space. Introducing formal management oversight, along with a reservation system, is urgently needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: national-park management; campsite; alpine environment; soil erosion; crowding national-park management; campsite; alpine environment; soil erosion; crowding
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Wang, T.; Watanabe, T. Impact of Recreational Activities on an Unmanaged Alpine Campsite: The Case of Kuro-Dake Campsite, Daisetsuzan National Park, Japan. Environments 2019, 6, 34.

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