Parks and Carrying Capacity: Commons Without Tragedy

By the early 1990s, the U.S. national park system reached an average of 250 million visitors per year with no sign of decline. The increased public interest in the national park system was worthy of celebration, but according to professor and author Robert E. Manning, the visits also presented a serious threat to the integrity of the parks. ?The quality of the visitor experience was being threatened through crowding and congestion, conflicting uses, and the aesthetic consequences of resource degradation,? Manning states in the introduction to Parks and Carrying Capacity: Commons Without Tragedy (Island Press, February 9, Cloth: $70.00, ISBN: 978-1-55963-104-4; Paper: $35.00, ISBN: 978-1-55963-105-1). Parks are intended to be protected as well as used, which raises the most fundamental question in environmental thought: how much can we use the environment without spoiling it?


In Parks and Carrying Capacity, Manning, a professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont, looks to answer that question. Following a historical and conceptual treatment of carrying capacity, inspired by Garrett Hardin?s 1968 environmental piece, ?The Tragedy of the Commons,? Manning examines different approaches that can be used to help analyze and manage carrying capacity and maintain long-term sustainability.
Integrating research from diverse academic disciplines including sociology, ecology, economics, and landscape architecture, Manning creates a unique and comprehensive framework that defines carrying capacity challenges and provides case studies as models for application in parks, protected areas, and beyond. Parks and Carrying Capacity is an important new work for faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and researchers in outdoor recreation, park planning and management, as well as professional planners and managers involved with park and outdoor recreation related agencies and nongovernmental organizations.
Island Press was established in 1984 to stimulate, shape, and communicate the ideas that are essential for solving environmental problems. Publishing approximately 40 books and other information tools a year, we use a multidisciplinary, peer-reviewed approach that brings practical solutions to complex challenges like climate change, the depletion of our oceans, sustainable energy and agriculture, and species extinction. A nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, Island Press publishes for scientists, policy makers, environmental practitioners, students, journalists, and the general public. Island Press ? Solutions that inspire change.
For more information about Parks and Carrying Capacity, please visit: http://www.islandpress.org
328 pages | $70.00 hardcover | $35.00 paper
Click here to order today!

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