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What kind of wilderness management research is Federally funded?

National leadership for wilderness management research is provided by researchers at the interagency Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. In the area of social science, research scientists provide managers with information on wilderness visitor characteristics, behaviors, and expectations. Research also provides information on how to most effectively carry out wilderness education programs. In the area of biological science, research provides an understanding of the ecological impacts that visitors may cause in various wilderness settings, and how those impacts can be minimized. Recently, wilderness fire scientists have begun to research and provide information to help better understand the natural role of fire in wilderness ecosystems and the consequences of fire suppression.

To tie together the social and biological sciences, research helps build management systems that effectively respond to environmental and social issues, and to the needs and preferences of visitors. In addition, much of the fundamental ecology, range, watershed, wildlife, and air quality research conducted by researchers and their cooperators outside wilderness is used to inform wilderness managers.