Technical Resources

We've assembled a great collection of websites and documents from the web that can help you do your job better. If you've got a resource you would like to share with SORP members - send it to us at [email protected]

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Index of Subjects

DEIA Access to Public Lands Agency Recreation Resources 
Byways Children in Nature Climate Change Concessions
Conservation Data Sources Outdoor Economy
Environmental Education Environmental Justice Estimating Recreation Demand
Greenways/Greenspace Livability
Heritage Recreation Indigenous Voices Journals
Operations and Maintenance Parks Planning Guidance
Policy Professional Organizations Public Health and Wellness
Publishers Recreation Conflict Recreate Responsibly Research                    
Scenery Management Signage Sustainability
Tourism & Destination Stewardship Trail Resources Training/Education
Visitor Experience Management Visitor Use Management Water Recreation

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility



Outdoor F.U.T.U.R.E. Initiative:

Together Outdoors:

Together Outdoors Resource Hub:

The Avarna Group:


National Center on Accessibility:

National Park Service - Harpers Ferry Center:

The Outdoor Equity App:

Universal Design:

Universal Design for Water Trails:

U.S. Access Board:

U.S. Forest Service:


Idea Sheet for Accessible Playgrounds (Indiana DNR, 2009, 0.6 MB)

Making Outdoor Programs Accessible (Mohonk Preserve, 2005)

Outdoor Developed Areas: a summary of accessibility standards for Federal outdoor developed areas (U.S. Access Board, 2014, 7.1 MB)

Universal Access Trails and Shared Use Paths (Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, 2014, 6.4 MB)

Disability Awareness and Planning for Accessibility during Events

Racial and Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion Efforts of Public Park and Recreation Agencies

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Access to Public Lands


U.S. Forest Service Urban Connections Program


Landlocked: Measuring Public land Access in the West (Center for Western Priorities, 2013, 7 MB)

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Agency Recreation Resources


Bureau of Land Management Land Use Planning:

Bureau of Reclamation:

California State Parks, Park and Recreation Technical Services:

Environmental Protection Agency:

Interagency Visitor Use Management Council:

National Park Service:

National Park Service Planning Site:

NPS Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance:


Park and Recreation Professionals Glossary:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Natural Resource Management Gateway:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Planning Documents:

U.S. Forest Service:


Bureau of Land Management Recreation Strategy (2014, 2.1 MB)

U.S. Forest Service Framework for Sustainable Recreation (June 2010, 1 MB)

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National Scenic Byways Program:


Development of a Resource Planning Index for Washington's Scenic and Recreational Highways (WA DOT, 2010, 1.6 MB)

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Children in Nature


California Children in Nature Campaign:

California State Parks: A Valuable Resource for Youth Health:

Children and Nature Network Research:

Pathways for Play:


Back to School: Back Outside (National Wildlife Federation, 2010, 2.8 MB)

Beyond Outreach – Sharing Innovative Approaches for Engaging Youth from Diverse Communities (National Park Service, 2012)
 - Report (3.2 MB)
 - Handbook (1.2 MB)

California Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights (2012, 0.7 MB)

Maryland Partnership for Children in Nature (2009, 8.8 MB)

Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan (2010, 2.2 MB)

Shared Nature Experience as a Pathway to Strong Family Bonds (Children & Nature Network, 2009)

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Climate Change


Sea Level Rise Analysis from Climate Central:


Impacts of Climate Change on Outdoor Recreation Participation: Outlook to 2060

Unequal impact - The Deep Links Between Racism and Climate Change

Climate Change Is Changing the Face of Outdoor Recreation

Climate Change and Outdoor Recreation Resources 

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U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Policies:

U.S. Forest Service Special Uses:


Campground Concession Desk Guide(USDA Forest Service)

Public Lands and Private Recreation Enterprise: Policy Issues from a Historical Perspective (U.S. Forest Service, 2002, 1.5 MB)

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Greenprint Maryland:


Conserving Lands and Prosperity: Seeking a proper balance between conservation and development in the Rocky Mountain West (Southwick Associates, 2012, 1.7 MB)

Conservation Tools: An Evaluation and Comparison of the Use of Certain Land Preservation Mechanisms (Washington RCO, 2009)
- Report (1.7 MB)
- Appendix B (0.2 MB)

Conservation Works: How Congress can Lower the Deficit and Protect Wildlife & Public Health (National Wildlife Federation, 2011, 3 MB)

Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Urban Nature and Health (TKF Foundation, 2015, 0.5 MB)

Scaling Up Collaborative Approaches to Large Landscape Conservation (National Park Service, 2014, 3.7 MB)

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Data Sources


American Community Survey:

Internet Research Information Series:

National Association of Counties:

National Survey on Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation:

National Survey on Recreation and the Environment:

National Visitor Use Monitoring:

Net Migration Patterns for U.S. Counties:

Outdoor Industry Association:

Protected Areas Database of the United States (PAD-US): 

U.S. Forest Service, Southern Research Station:

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Outdoor Economy


BEA Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account:

Confluence of States:

Headwaters Economics:

OSU Center for Outdoor Recreation Economy: CORE - Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable:

Outdoor Industry Association:

Outdoor Recreation Economy:


The Outdoors Drives Jobs: Career Paths in the Outdoor Recreation Economy (OSU and ORR, 2022)

(OSU and ORR, 2021)

2013 National Park Visitor Spending Effects ( 2014)

Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State (2015)

The Value of State Office of Outdoor Recreation (ORR, 2022)

Economics Associated with Outdoor Recreation, Natural Resources Conservation and Historic Preservation in the U.S. (Southwick Associates, 2011)

Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation Outdoor Recreation: Jobs and Income (FICOR, 2014)

Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation
(Southwick Associates, 2013)

Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation (2012)

State Parks: Assessing the Benefits (Siikamäki, 2012)

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Environmental Justice


Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Environmental Justice:

Intersectional Environmentalism:

Justice Outside:

Principles of Environmental Justice:


Coming to Terms with Environmental Justice in Outdoor Recreation A Conceptual Discussion with Research Implications

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Environmental Education




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Estimating Recreation Demand


Estimating Future Recreation Demand: A Decision Guide for the Practitioner (Bureau of Reclamation, 2007)

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance:

Environmental Grantmakers Association:

FHWA Transportation Enhancements:

Foundation Center:

Foundation Directory Online:



National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse:

The Conservation Alliance:

The Chronicle of Philanthropy:

The NonProfit Times:

Tourism Cares:


Creative Finance for Smaller Communities (Urban Land Institute, 2016, 5.6 MB)

Private Funding of Public Parks: Assessing the Role of Philanthropy (Walls, 2014, 1 MB)

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Greenways Archive:

Metropolitan Greenspace Alliance:


Capital Area Greenway Planning & Design Guide (City of Raleigh, 2014, 8.8 MB)

Green Infrastructure: Smart Conservation for the 21st Century (The Conservation Fund, 2001)

Protecting Open Space: Tools and Techniques for Texans (NPS)

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Heritage Recreation


Alliance of National Heritage Areas:


ACHP Policy on Archaeology, Heritage Tourism, and Education

Economic Impact of Heritage Tourism Spending (Alliance of National Heritage Areas, 2005)

The Economic Impact of National Heritage Areas (Tripp Umbach, February 2013, 0.7 MB)

Economic Impacts of National Heritage Area Visitor Spending; Summary Results from Seven NHA Visitor Surveys (Stynes and Sun, 2004)

Making Connections: Linking Outdoor Recreation, Open Space & History (NPCA, 2010, 4.4 MB)

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Indigenous Voices


Ecological Society of America, Traditional Ecological Knowledge Resources:


Reimagining U.S. Federal Land Management through Decolonization and Indigenous Value Systems

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American Journal of Play:

Environmental History:

Journal of Facility Planning, Design and Management:

Journal of Leisure Research:

Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism:

Journal of Park & Recreation Administration:

Leisure Sciences:

SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education:

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FHWA Livability Initiative:


Costs for Pedestrian and Bicyclist Infrastructure Improvements (UNC Highway Safety Research Center, 2013, 2.8 MB)

Getting the Wheels Rolling A Guide to Using Policy to Create Bicycle Friendly Communities (Change Lab Solutions, 2013, 5.4 MB)

Livability in Transportation Guidebook (FHWA, 2010, 4.1 MB)

The Livability Economy (AARP, 2015, 4.1 MB)

The Road to Livability (AASHTO, April 2010, 1.1 MB)

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Operations and Maintenance


U.S. Forest Service, Technology and Development Center:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:


Appalachian Trail Conference Backcountry Sanitation Manual (ATC, 2001)

Bearproof Dumpster (U.S. Forest Service, 2003)

The Effectiveness of Vault-Toilet Odor-Control Products: An Update (U.S. Forest Service, 2007)

Field Evaluation of Electronic Fee-collection Machines for Forest Service Recreation Sites (U.S. Forest Service, 2000)

Handbook for Public Playground Safety (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)

In-Depth Design and Maintenance Manual for Vault Toilets (U.S. Forest Service, 1991)

Operation and Maintenance Manual for Hand Pumps (U.S. Forest Service, 1999)

Parks Safety Audit Form (City of Toronto)

Sweet-smelling Toilet Installation Guide (U.S. Forest Service, 2003)

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National Recreation and Park Association:

The Trust for Public Land:


The Benefits of Parks: Why America Needs More City Parks and Open Space (The Trust for Public Land, 2006)

California State Parks: An Equitable and Sustainable Revenue Generation Strategy (California Research Bureau, 2014, 4.6 MB)

The Excellent City Park System (The Trust for Public Land, 2006)

Paying for State Parks: Evaluating Alternative Approaches for the 21st Century (Walls, 2013, 1MB)

The Paradox of Parks in Low Income Areas (Cohen et al, 2016, 0.4 MB)

The State of the Great Outdoors (Resources for the Future, 2009)

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Planning Guidance


Barriers to Implementing Protected Area Strategic Plans (Kohl, 2007, 1 MB)

Engaging Citizens in State Recreation Planning: Best Practices from Oregon (Waller, 2010, 1 MB)

Outdoor Recreation Business Plan Guidebook (Bureau of Reclamation, 2008, 2.6 MB)

Public Engagement Methods (Orton Family Foundation, 2015, 0.7 MB)

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Bureau of Land Management:

Bureau of Reclamation:

National Park Service:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

U.S. Forest Service:



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Professional Organizations


America Outdoors:

American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration:

American Planning Association:

American Society of Landscape Architects:

Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education:

Association for Conservation Information:

George Wright Society:

National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials:

National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaisons:

National Association of State Park Directors:

National Recreation and Park Association:

Organization of Wildlife Planners:

River Management Society:

Society for Wilderness Stewardship:

World Urban Parks:

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Public Health and Wellness


Active Living Research:

ASLA - Health Benefits of Nature:

CDC Priority Strategy: Increasing Physical Activity Through Community Design

Healthy Living West Virgina:

Nature’s Impact on Human Health Guide

Pathways for Play:

Park Rx:


Park, Trails, and Health Workbook (NPS & CDC)

Designed to Move: Active Cities (NIKE)

Healthy Parks Healthy People: the state of the evidence 2015 (Deakin University,)

Outdoor Recreation, Health and Wellness (Resources for the Future)

Park Prescriptions (Institute at the Golden Gate)

Promoting Active Living in Rural Communities (Active Living Research)

Research Synthesis: Parks, Playground and Active Living (Active Living Research)

Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity within a Generation (White House Task Force)

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Human Kinetics:

Sagamore Publishing:

Venture Publishing:

Waterford Press:

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Recreation Conflict


Recreation Conflict - Applied Research Clearinghouse:


Recreational User Conflict Resolution Principles (Pennsylvania DCNR, 1 MB) 

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Recreate Responsibly


Recreate Responsibly Coalition:

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

Tread Lightly!:


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Adventure Research Cache:

Aldo Leopold Research Institute:

Coalition for Education in the Outdoors:

Environmental Values and Demographic Research:

Headwaters Economics:


Internet Research Information Series (IRIS):

National Outdoor Leadership School:

National Park Service:

Natural Resources Research Information Pages:

Parks Stewardship Forum:

Playcore Center for Outreach, Research, & Education:

Recreation Ecology Research Network:

U.S. Forest Service:

U.S. Forest Service Technology and Development Centers:

Wilderness net:


2017 North American Camper Report 

Adaptive Management in Natural Parks

American Indian and Alaskan Native Participation in Land-based Outdoor Recreation Activities (2005, 1 MB)

Changes in recreational behaviors of outdoor enthusiasts during the COVID-19 pandemic

 Igniting Research for Outdoor Recreation: Linking Science, Policy, and Action 

The Paradox of Parks in Low Income Areas 

Promises and pitfalls of using computer vision to make inferences about landscape preferences: Evidence from an urban-proximate park system


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Scenery Management


Federal Highway Administration:


An Ecological Aesthetic for Forest Landscape Management (Gobster, 1999)

Forests and Landscapes: Linking Ecology, Sustainability and Aesthetics (Gobster, 2001)

Landscape Aesthetics: A Handbooks for Scenery Management

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Signage and Interpretation


NPS-Harpers Ferry Center:

National Association for Interpretation:


Communicating Minimum Impacts Behavior on Bulletin Boards

Comparing the Effectiveness of Interpretive Sanctioned Messages for Influencing Wilderness Visitors’ Intended Behavior (Duncan and Martin, 2002)

Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor Design Guidelines (1995)

Iowa Water Trail Sign Manual (Iowa DNR)

NASBLA Universal Signage Recommendations

National Park Service Editorial Style Guide (2007)

National Park Service Map Standards (2005)

Promoting Persuasion in Protected Areas (Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, 2007)

Sign Sense: Principals of Planning, Design, Fabrication and Installation (U.S. Forest Service)

Skagit Wild and Scenic River Sign Guide (U.S. Forest Service, 2002)

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A New Century of Forest Planning blog, Sustainable Recreation:


Developing Sustainable Park Systems in Oregon
(Tim Gallagher, June 2012, 1.2 MB)

San Mateo County Sustainability Action Plan (2016, 2.9  MB)

Sustainable Recreation powerpoint
(Kreg Lindberg)

U.S. Forest Service Framework for Sustainable Recreation (June 2010, 1 MB)

U.S. Forest Service Sustainable Recreation and Tourism Study Results (2009)

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Tourism & Destination Stewardship


Indigenous Tourism BC:

American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association:

Civic Tourism:

Cultural Heritage Tourism Planning:

Destination Analysts:

Heritage Tourism - Utah Div. of State History:

International Ecotourism Society:

MSU Extension – Tourism:

National Assembly of State Arts Agencies:

National Association of Gateway Communities:

National Geographic - Center for Sustainable Destinations:

Recreation Economies for Rural Communities:

UMN Tourism Center:

U of Wisconsin Extension - Center for Community and Economic Development:

USDA Rural Tourism:


Compendium of Good Practices in Indigenous Tourism – Regional Focus on the Americas

Recreation, Tourism, and Rural Well Being (U.S. Forest Service, 2005)

State of the American Traveler (Destination Analysts Inc, April 2016)

State Parks and Gateway Communities: Development and Recreation Planning Issues in Wisconsin (Marcouiller, Olson and Prey, 2002)


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Trail Resources


American Trails:

Equestrian Land Conservation Resource:

Designing Sidewalks and Trails for Access:

FHWA Recreational Trails Program:

International Mountain Bicycling Association:

Leave No Trace:

National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council:

NPS - North County Trail handbook:

NPS - Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance:

Oregon Statewide Trails Plan:

Partnership for the National Trails System:

Rails to Trails Conservancy:

Tread Lightly:

U.S. Forest Service, Trail Management:


Assessing and Understanding Trail Degradation: Results from Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area (Marion, 2006)

Collision Course: Off-road Vehicle Impacts on Hunting and Fishing (Izaak Walton League of America, 2007)

Comparing Relative Impacts of Various Trail User Groups (Keen, 1997)

Geosynthetics for Trails (U.S. Forest Service, 2000)

Hawaii Public Lands Liability (Hawaii DNR, 2006)

How Communities are Paying to Maintain Trails, Bike Lanes, and Sidewalks (Advocacy Advance, 2014, 2.2 MB)

Los Angeles County Trails Manual (Sapphos Environmental, Inc., 2011, 10.5MB)

Making Trails Count in Illinois (Trails for Illinois, 2013, 9.5MB)

Massachusetts DCR Trail Guidelines and Best Practices (2014, 3.9 MB)

Miami Valley Bike Plan Update (2015, 9.6 MB)

Minnesota Bikeways Manual (Minnesota DOT, 1996)

Managing Degraded OHV Trails in Wet, Unstable, and Sensitive Environments (U.S. Forest Service, 2002)

Off-Highway Motorcycle and ATV Trails Guidelines for Design, Construction, Maintenance and User Satisfaction (Wernex, 1994)

Ontario’s Best Trails: Guidelines and Best Practices for the Design, Construction and Maintenance of Sustainable Trails for all Ontarians (Trails for all Ontarians Collaborative, 2006)

Pennsylvania Trail Town Manual (Allegheny Trail Alliance, 2005)

Pennsylvania Trail Design Manual for Off-Highway Recreational Vehicles (Pennsylvania DCNR, 2004)

Planning Trails with Wildlife in Mind (Trails and Wildlife Task Force, Colorado State Parks, and Hellmund Associates, 1998, 0.6 MB)

Soil Stabilizers on Universally Accessible Trails (U.S. Forest Service, 2000)

Sustainable Trail Guide (Trail Towns Program, 2015, 3.7 MB)

Trail Construction and Maintenance Handbook (U.S. Forest Service, 2007)

Trail Ethics from Selected Park Districts

Trails and Economic Development (Rails to Trails Conservancy, 2007, 0.4 MB)

Universal Access Trails and Shared Use Paths (Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, 2014, 6.4 MB)

Wetland Trail Design and Construction (U.S. Forest Service, 2007)

Winter Bike Lane Maintenance (Alta Planning + Design, 2014, 0.6 MB)

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Training and Education


Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center:

Bureau of Land Management, National Training Center:

Clemson Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management Online Masters Program:

Eppley Institute:

National Conservation Training Center: 

NRPA Accredited Academic Programs:

National Trails Training Partnership:

Natural Resources Distance Learning Consortium:

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Visitor Experience Management


Creating More Meaningful Visitor Experiences:  Planning for Interpretation and Education (Bureau of Reclamation, 2009, 1.0 MB)

Developing a Sustainable Customer Experience Management Plan for Public Land Management (Hoversten and Menzel-Baker, 2007, 1 MB)

A Literature Review of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum and its Potential Application to Transportation in Parks and Public Lands
(Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center, March 2011, 2.8 MB)

Project Planning ROS User's Guide, Chapter 60 (U.S. Forest Service, 1987, 1 MB)

ROS on Non-federal Lands in the Northeast (U.S. Forest Service, 2003, 1 MB)

ROS Users Guide (U.S. Forest Service, 1982, 6 MB)

The Recreation Opportunity Spectrum: A Framework for Planning, Management, and Research (Clark and Stankey, 1979, 1 MB)

VERP: The Visitor Experience and Resource Protection Framework A Handbook for Planners and Managers (National Park Service, 1997, 1 MB)

Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum Handbook (Bureau of Reclamation, 2011, 7 MB)

Water and Land Recreation Opportunity Spectrum: Inventory Protocol (Bureau of Reclamation, 2011, 0.2 MB)

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Visitor Use Management


Interagency Visitor Use Management Council:


Applying Judicial Doctrine to Visitor Capacity Decision Making (Haas, 2002, 0.3 MB)

Belize Visitor Capacity Report (Salas & Haas, 2012, 0.7 MB)

Capacity Reconsidered: Finding Consensus and Clarifying Differences (Whittaker, Shelby, Manning, Cole, Haas, 2010, 1 MB)

Houseboat capacity analysis for Lake Berryessa, CA (Bureau of Reclamation, 2011, 1.4 MB)

Limits of Acceptable Change and Natural Resource Planning: When is LAC Useful, and When is it Not? (Cole and McCool, 1998)

New Melones Visitor Capacity Analysis (Haas, 2003, 2.6 MB)

Recreation capacity mapping for large landscapes (Haas & Slider, 2005, 0.1 MB)

Toward an Approach for Measuring Indicators of Facility Carrying Capacity in Outdoor Recreation Areas (Needham, Ceurvorst, Tynon, 2013, 0.5 MB)

Visitor Capacity on Public Lands and Waters (Haas, 2002)

Visitor Use Management Framework (2016, 1.9 MB)

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Water Recreation


American Canoe Association:

American Rivers:

American Whitewater:

Blue Trails Guide:

Iowa DNR - Water Trail Development Tools:

National Water Trail System toolbox:

NPS - Logical Lasting Launches:

NPS- Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance:

River Management Society:

Save American Rivers | 108 Nature Conservancy Organizations:

Universal Design for Water Trails:

University of Minnesota - River Trail Communities:


Case Studies of Water Trail Impacts on Rural Communities (Johnson, 2002)

Developing Water Trails in Pennsylvania (2008, 0.7 MB)

Guidelines for Paddling Trail Development (Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2007)

Iowa Small Footprint Water Access (Iowa Skunk River Paddlers)

Major Rivers: A Texas Water Education Program (Texas Water Development Board, 2007)

Major Rivers Sample Teachers Guide (Texas Water Development Board, 2006)

Practices, Ethics and Conduct (American Canoe Association)

River Access Planning Guide (NPS, American Whitewater, River Management Society)

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