Visitor Use Management on Public Lands and Water: A Position Paper to Guide Policy

Publication and Source

The position paper can be viewed online through the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council's website.

Short Description

The Interagency Visitor Use Management Council is comprised of several federal land management agencies and strives to help agencies achieve an appropriate balance between social benefits and resource protection and conservation on public lands and waters. Managers continue to be challenged with uncertainty about the balance as it relates to the individual agency's mandates for protecting the natural and cultural resources which is amplified by inconsistent terminology and divergent management approaches. This publication is a collaboration among agencies to define visitor use management and visitor capacity, clarify the relationships between these two concepts, and provide a framework for federal land managers using these concepts to meet agency goals. It documents the council's position on visitor use management, visitor capacity, and guidence for subsequent activites.

Related Partners

The BLM is responsible for carrying out a variety of programs for the management and conservation, of resources on 258 million surface acres, as well as 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estate.
Most people know that the National Park Service cares for national parks, a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation. The treasures in this system -- the first of its kind in the world -- have been set aside by the American people to preserve, protect, and share, the legacies of this land.
Our military and civilian engineers, scientists and other specialists work hand in hand as leaders in engineering and environmental matters.
The Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to manage and monitor the conservation of wildlife habitats throughout the United States. This includes the direct management of the National Wildlife Refuge System for the wellfare of all American people, and using social science in the decision making process and utilization of management plans.
The Forest Service was established in 1905 and is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres.

Suggested Citation

Interagency Visitor Use Management Council (March 2013). Visitor use management on public lands and waters (edition one). Retrieved from