Une étude Américaine sur quelques sites d’escalade a étudiée le cycle complet d’un site d’escalade qui peut être résumé à 5 étapes :

  • Site vierge (le monde perdu !) ou réaménagement de site industriel (carrière de matériaux)
  • Découverte et aménagement
  • Boom de fréquentation (effet de mode)
  • Chute de fréquentation
  • Retour à l’état sauvage

Recreation ecology began in the 1960s to measure the impacts of recreation on
ecosystems. Area of environmental impact is an important objective to assess recreational
impact. However, few researchers have examined the trends of these impacts over time.
This study measures the environmental area of impact at eight climbing areas, in Red
River Gorge, Kentucky, over a six year period, to determine impact trends. The results of
this research will help recreation ecologists and land managers understand environmental
impacts over time, and possibly predict future impact scenarios. The hypothesis of this
research is the total mean area of impact at the climb areas in 2007 and again in 2013 will
change insignificantly. The findings support this hypothesis. Six of the eight climb areas
resulted in insignificant change in area of impact over six years. Application of mitigation
strategies by land managers may therefore be more effective at reducing impact areas.
Longer duration impact trend studies should be conducted to verify there is a consistent
impact threshold at climb areas. Determination of this threshold, and how to build a
predictive model, should also be considered in the future. Also, further research
replicating this study should be conducted at climbing areas with different environmental
and social conditions.+

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