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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

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Visitor Management and Revegetation Efforts on a Degraded Lake Superior Cliff Edge.

Gilbertson, Ken, Dave Olfelt, and Phillip Leversedge.

This article discussed a restoration effort at one of the premier climbing sites and hiking areas in Minnesota - Shovel Point, a spectacular cliff along the North Shore of Lake Superior that lies within the boundaries of the Tettegouche State Park. The pressure on the land from recreational users has caused vegetation to die along the cliff edge. This die-back, or kill zone, has occurred because of severe soil compaction and erosion problems. The result is a significant negative environmental impact from human recreational use on a particularly sensitive landscape. In 1995, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) established a management plan to reduce impacts from rock climbers and recreational hikers while protecting and restoring the natural landscape along the cliff edge at Shovel Point. The author reports on a long-range, multipart study in support of the Tettegouche State Park Management Plan, which included (1) creation of a geo-referenced map of human-made and natural features at Shovel Point; (2) a survey of recreational users of Shovel Point regarding their attitudes toward the proposed management plan; (3) identification of the kill zone area; (4) analysis of revegetation potential on the site using native species; and (5) a review of rock climbing management practices in other state parks, national parks, and national forests. The authors conclude that a combination of trail marking and rehabilitation techniques, along with revegetation efforts, can halt and perhaps even reverse vegetative degradation in heavily used recreational areas, and that educating visitors about the value of natural resource rehabilitation and management can go a long way toward encouraging acceptance of and compliance with recreational management techniques.

CURA Reporter
Publication date: 
Minneapolis: Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, University of Minnesota.
Funded in part by the Center for Community and Regional Research (CCRR) at the University of Minnesota at Duluth through a grant from the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA), University of Minnesota. Additional funding provided by the Minnesota DNR.
36 (4): 20-23
Online availability
Download from CURA: 
CURA call number: 
Reporter 36 (4)

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