A strategy for outdoor recreational planning for Manitoba's Provincial Forests, based on an evaluation of the Belair Provincial Forest
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Some Provincial Forests in southern Manitoba have become popular public recreational areas, yet little planning for that type of land use has been done. In Manitoba, all Provincial Forests have heretofore been managed with a specific forestry objective in mind, that is, the full utilization of the forest resource on a sustained-yield basis for the purpose of producing forestry products. Regulation of all other uses and activities, such as preserving wildlife habitat, watersheds, and wilderness recreation, is subsumed under a multi-use management approach. However, since multi-use is not clearly defined and has no guidelines for specific existing activities, most of these other uses and activities cannot be effectively administered. One of these other uses and activities is recreation. It is the focus of the study. During the 1970s and '80s recreational activities in some Provincial Forests increased dramatically, yet no recreation-oriented development strategy was devised to accommodate these activities. Clearly, Provincial Forests cannot continue to be adequately managed under the present forestry management mandate. The entire use-spectrum must be taken into account. A comprehensive and responsible recreational management strategy is vital in order to guide and direct growing recreational demands and protect the interests of all forest users. In this report, the Belair Provincial Forest is used as an example. A set of management guidelines for recreational use has been developed that could be applied to recreational management in Provincial Forests generally.