United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service

  ROS Primer and Field Guide

management icon Visitor Management

This includes the degree to which visitors are regulated and controlled as well as the level of information and services provided for visitor enjoyment. In some opportunity settings, controls are expected and appropriate. For instance, people sometimes seek developed settings for security and safety. Elsewhere, on-site controls may detract from desired experiences, such as independence, self-reliance, and risk-taking.

The type and level of information, and where it is provided to the visitor, may facilitate or hinder a desired experience. On-site interpretive and directional signing may adversely affect the visitor where experiences such as self-discovery, challenge, and risk are important. In other situations, on-site information may be essential to achieve desired experiences. Generally, on-site information is more appropriate at the developed end of the spectrum, while off-site sources are preferable at the primitive end.

Low regimentation. No on-site controls or information facilities. Subtle on-site regimentation and controls. Very limited information facilities. On-site regimentation and controls are noticable but harmonize with the natural environment. Simple information facilities. Regimentation and controls obvious and numerous but harmonize. More complex information facilities. Regimentation and controls obvious and numerous. Sophisticated information exhibits.
Primitive Norm Incon. Unacceptable Unacceptable Unacceptable
Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized Compatible Norm Incon. Unacceptable Unacceptable
Semi-Primitive Motorized Compatible Norm Incon. Unacceptable Unacceptable
Roaded Natural Compatible Compatible Norm Incon. Unacceptable
Rural Compatible Compatible Compatible Norm Incon.
Urban Compatible Compatible Compatible Compatible Norm

photograph: a visitor

Learning by self-discovery is a key experience opportunity provided in Primitive and Semi-Primitive Non-Motorized settings. Visitors learn primarily from observation and information they bring to the site.

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