Research Agenda

Our current Program Charter presents five principal problem areas for the Leopold Institute’s research and application efforts:

  • Inadequate understanding of recreation experiences and the impacts of recreation hamper efforts to preserve and protect wilderness resources and experiences.
  • Improved information is needed on how relationships between people and lands protected for their wilderness values affect and are affected by management policies and actions.
  • There is a need for improved information to guide the stewardship of fire as a natural process in wilderness while protecting social and ecological values inside and outside wilderness.
  • There is a lack of adequate understanding of how wilderness stewardship is influenced by the location of wilderness within larger ecological and social systems that extend beyond wilderness boundaries.There is a need to improve the delivery and application of scientific knowledge and tools pertinent to wilderness stewardship.

In selecting these problem areas, we considered the following criteria: 1) the priority of wilderness management research and application needs as identified by wilderness managers; 2) whether similar or related work is being conducted elsewhere; and, 3) the match between research needs and the expertise of current Leopold Institute staff.