When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska in 1989 and spilled 11 million gallons of oil, it changed Prince William Sound forever. The catastrophe disrupted the region’s biological system, killing countless animals and poisoning habitats that to this day no longer support some of the local species. The effects have also profoundly altered the way people use this region.
Nearly three decades later, changes in recreation use run counter to what was initially expected. Instead of avoiding Prince William Sound, tourists and visitors flock there. Economic revitalization efforts have resulted in increased wilderness access as new commercial enterprises offer nature tourism in remote bays and fjords. This increased visitation has caused concerns that the wilderness may again be threatened—not by oil but rather by the very humans seeking those wilderness experiences.
In Sustaining Wildlands, scientists and managers, along with local community residents, address what has come to be a central paradox in public lands management: the need to accommodate increasing human use while reducing the environmental impact of those activities. This volume draws on diverse efforts and perspectives to dissect this paradox, offering an alternative approach where human use is central to sustaining wildlands and recovering a damaged ecosystem like Prince William Sound.
Brad A. Andres, Chris Beck, Nancy Bird, Dale J. Blahna, Harold Blehm, Sara Boario, Bridget A. Brown, Courtney Brown, Greg Brown, Milo Burcham, Kristin Carpenter, Ted Cooney, Patience Andersen Faulkner, Maryann Smith Fidel, Jessica B. Fraver, Jennifer Gessert, Randy Gimblett, Michael I. Goldstein, Samantha Greenwood, Lynn Highland, Marybeth Holleman, Shay Howlin, Tanya Iden, Robert M. Itami, Lisa Jaeger, Laura A. Kennedy, Spencer Lace, Nancy Lethcoe, Kate McLaughlin, Rosa H. Meehan, Christopher Monz, Karen A. Murphy, Lisa Oakley, Aaron J. Poe, Chandra B. Poe, Karin Preston, Jeremy Robida, Clare M. Ryan, Gerry Sanger, Bill Sherwonit, Lowell H. Suring, Paul Twardock, Sarah Warnock, and Sadie Youngstrom