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Abstract

The increase in wilderness and general backcountry use over the last ten years is a "recreation phenomenon", even in an era of rapid growth in leisure activities. Visitor use estimates compiled by the Forest Service indicate that recreational use of Wyoming's eight wilderness and primitive areas rose from 299,500 visitior days in 1968 to 478,000 visitor days in 1972, an increase of nearly 60 percent. While a growth rate of this magnitude implies a strong demand for wilderness-type activities and experiences, there is evidence that suggests these trends will not be sustained in the future. During the period from 1969 to 1970 a growth rate of 38.2 percent was documented. However, the growth rate progressively decreased between 1970 and 1972. Forest Service data indicate the same trend is occurring in wilderness areas outside Wyoming as well. Project Number 203.

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