Proposal Title

SESSION 3.2: Sustainable Management of Backcountry Environments: Tourism, Technology and Climate Change

Presentation Type

Individual paper

Location

IB 1020

Start Date

2-5-2019 1:45 PM

End Date

2-5-2019 3:15 PM

Disciplines

Environmental Studies

Abstract

As access to sensitive alpine environments is made easier through technological innovation, climate change and a growing tourism sector in Western Canada, regulation and management practices must be developed to protect these ecologically sensitive areas. The 2016 Transport Canada approval of the Aero Designs Ltd. helicopter bike rack has created an economically viable tourism opportunity for mountain bike enthusiasts to access fragile mountain environments. While there is plenty of existing literature on the ecological impacts of mountain biking, there are limited resources available that give insight into management solutions specific to backcountry trails in Western Canada. The key objective of this research is to examine the appropriateness of current industry standards, best practices and policies related to trail design, construction, access and management in there application to backcountry environments. Qualitative methods in the form of in-depth interviews will be used with key stakeholders who are currently using and managing both frontcountry and backcountry trail networks. It is imperative to understand the acting power relations between key stakeholder groups, such as multiple layers of government, small business owners, land managers, First Nations and park official’s due to the complex history of land use in Western Canada. This research will assist in the creation and development of a more sustainable tourism management strategy for summer use of backcountry terrain. While focusing on sustainable management of a growing industry, this study will also develop a better understanding of the effects that climate change is having on tourism economies in Western Canada.

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May 2nd, 1:45 PM May 2nd, 3:15 PM

SESSION 3.2: Sustainable Management of Backcountry Environments: Tourism, Technology and Climate Change

IB 1020

As access to sensitive alpine environments is made easier through technological innovation, climate change and a growing tourism sector in Western Canada, regulation and management practices must be developed to protect these ecologically sensitive areas. The 2016 Transport Canada approval of the Aero Designs Ltd. helicopter bike rack has created an economically viable tourism opportunity for mountain bike enthusiasts to access fragile mountain environments. While there is plenty of existing literature on the ecological impacts of mountain biking, there are limited resources available that give insight into management solutions specific to backcountry trails in Western Canada. The key objective of this research is to examine the appropriateness of current industry standards, best practices and policies related to trail design, construction, access and management in there application to backcountry environments. Qualitative methods in the form of in-depth interviews will be used with key stakeholders who are currently using and managing both frontcountry and backcountry trail networks. It is imperative to understand the acting power relations between key stakeholder groups, such as multiple layers of government, small business owners, land managers, First Nations and park official’s due to the complex history of land use in Western Canada. This research will assist in the creation and development of a more sustainable tourism management strategy for summer use of backcountry terrain. While focusing on sustainable management of a growing industry, this study will also develop a better understanding of the effects that climate change is having on tourism economies in Western Canada.