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Human Impacts on Nature

Exploring commercial, recreational and conservational impacts
by

Brendan Hodges

on 14 August 2013

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Transcript of Human Impacts on Nature

On Outdoor Environments
Human Impacts
Here we explore the activities undertaken by humans in outdoor environments and the variety of impacts these activities have on the environment.

Human Impacts on
Outdoor Environments
These activities include:
commercial use of outdoor areas
recreational activities in outdoor environments and conservational strategies used to preserve and restore these environments.


Some of these can have both positive and negative impacts on outdoor environments.
Commercial activity has a largely negative impact on outdoor environments.

Commercial activity often has at its core exploitation of what we have come to understand as ‘natural resources’ for human use.

Such human uses are given priority, by people, over the needs of other species or ecosystems
Commercial impact

Positive impacts:
Can utilise recycled waste water, crops can retain soil and prevent erosion
Negative impacts...
Land clearing and vegetation loss can cause a raise in water table and loss of arable land due to salinisation.

Other impacts include a decline in biodiversity, loss of habitats, erosion of creeks and decline in water quality.
Water ways can also be victim of algal blooms as a result of use of nitrogenous and superphosphate fertilisers.
Hard hooved animals can also cause a loss of topsoil and/or loss of nutrients in soil and an introduction of weed species and disease.
Recreational activity fills a human need.

Mostly, such activity also has a negative impact on outdoor environments, although recreational users often express a love of nature or being outdoors.

The increasing popularity of outdoor activity can lead to ‘loving a place to death’.
Recreational impacts
A positive impact of recreational activities can include the benefits gained from experiential education.

Recreational users venture to outdoor environments and gain a better understanding for the environment they use and what effect they can have on it.

This can then lead to users gaining a greater respect for them leading to development of better practice and area conservation.
Positives?!?
These are dependent of the example. Lets look at Hiking/bushwalking
Negatives??
Introduction of weed species
Fire associated effects (scars, destruction of habitats)
Soil compaction
Erosion
Pollution from poor toileting and rubbish disposal methods
Wildlife dependency on humans
Domestic animals and increased noise disturbing wildlife
Landscape degradation due to facilities being built for campers.
Hiking/Bushwalking
While conservation has commonly a positive impact on outdoor environments, conservation action can sometimes be negative.
Having said this, the actions involved with this practice should be having a mostly positive effect seeing as the definition of conservation is the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife.
Conservation
Positive impacts could include:
Zoning to reduce conflict between users.
Creation of reserves such as State and National Parks to protect areas of significant value.
Creation of walkways to limit erosion, compaction and soil loss.
Introduction of composing toilets to centralise impact.
Track closure for rehabilitation, revegetation and disease control (inc. quarantine areas).
Group size restrictions and permit requirements to reduce impact.
Positives??
Vegetation modification due to back burning (prevention of larger fires through deliberate burning of fire breaks)
Land clearing for conservation structures (eg. walkways, composting toilets)
Environmental intrusion due to the creation of permanent structures in natural areas (eg. walkways, fences, viewing platforms)
Incidental disruption of habitats
Negatives??
Farming and Agriculture example
What you have to do now??
You now need to research 3 activities and present your findings.
These activities need to include a Commercial, a Recreational and a Conservational activity.

By the end of the class this class you must have a document that describes:

The positive impacts on outdoor environments of the activities (if applicable).
The negative impacts of each of the activities
What can be done to limit/reduce/eliminate these negative impacts.
Brief history of this activity in relation to VIC/AUS and any major events.
Full transcript