Outdoor Dynamics: Outdoor Dynamics: Issues in Sustaining Wilderness & Backcountry Areas
This course explores the implications of past and future changes in land use and population changes over time in one of the least densely populated areas of the country but an area that serves as both a winter and summer playground for millions of urban residents each year. Set in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, only a day's drive for over 10 million Americans, the area boasts some of the most pristine and exotic microenvironments in the world, left from the last Ice Age. Over 250,000 people visit the summit of Mt. Washington, the region's highest peak, every year, driving, hiking or riding the cog railway to the top. The focus of the course is the growing interest in promoting "sustainable development," which most people envision as protecting the environment and wild species from human encroachment and pollution. The course will examine the human sphere and the natural sphere as common ground in the analysis of competing issues; areas of compatibility; and future plans to promote a sustainable environment and wilderness and backcountry in this region. The course will focus on three themes: 1) how the people and institutions tasked with being the environment's guardians go about their jobs; 2) how the area is used by visitors; and 3) how industry and its stakeholders have worked with local regulators and politicians to create jobs and promote growth.