|dc.description.abstract||Increasing demands for wilderness experiences, principally through outdoor recreation and tourism, are creating an ever greater need for careful management of natural and pristine areas in order to preserve the natural ecological processes of an area while also permitting appropriate wilderness use. This study addresses these pressures by emphasising the application of varying perceptions of wilderness within a geographic information systems (GIS) framework as an approach to balancing the ecological and experiential conditions that characterise wilderness environments.
The specific objective is to delimit the spatial extent of multiple perceptions of wilderness, held by backcountry users, as a means of improving the effectiveness of management approaches, via a GIS framework . A wilderness perception mapping (WPM) methodology is operationalised through two alternative approaches. The first method applies perceptions of wilderness settings, from an attitudinal scale, and maps the spatial extent of these perceptions . This is achieved through a direct overlay process using GIS. The second method utilises multivariate techniques which enable a weighted overlay process to be performed.
The initial results obtained from employing the WPM methodology are examined through the application of the two approaches to a case-study, namely North-West Nelson in the South Island of New Zealand. The end products for each approach provide new and useful information that has applicability to both management and research. After comparing the end products, the results for the first method are further analysed with respect to protected areas management. The role and implications of WPM are discussed with reference to wilderness management in North- West Nelson and in New Zealand, and to protected areas management at a broader level.||en_NZ