A management approach to Diamond Head trail recreationists and their environmental impact
Volcanoes are an important part of my life. As soon as I learned that my husband was being stationed in Hawaii I knew that I needed to hike Diamond Head. Aside from volcanoes, I am also hugely passionate about education and conservation which makes maintaining the integrity of Diamond Head a critical goal of mine. Selfishly, I want to be able to hike Diamond Head for years to come. This paper will discuss how the demographics of recreationists and their environmental impacts on Diamond Head can possibly be addressed by management approaches.
Diamond Head trail is hiked by about a million people per year. The Hawaii Department of Land and…show more content… The small percentage of local people who use the trail choose to hike in the morning for exercise and meditation. The cost to enter the trail is currently $1 and 1,500-2,500 people visit daily (DLNR, 2000) which is a substantial economic benefit; according to the US Army Corps of Engineers, visitors who spend money contribute to the local economies by supporting jobs and generating income (US Army Corps of Engineers, 2006). The user profile contributes to the environmental impact on Diamond Head. Studies conducted on visitors participating in outdoor recreation concluded that respondents were not particularly aware of how their recreation contributed to environmental impacts (Chapter 3) which is displayed by the users at Diamond Head since the vast majority of hikers are unfamiliar with Hawaii and past experience with any activity is what influences whether people are appropriate in their recreational pursuits (Hammit & Cole, 1998). According to Yara Lamadrid-Rose, coordinator of Diamond Head State Monument, erosion from foot traffic has caused Diamond Head to decrease in height; it has eroded about two feet in 10 years on certain areas of the trail (Watanabe, 2010). The erosion has resulted in the trail surface becoming extremely uneven (DLNR, 2000). Unrestricted access to the interior of the crater has also caused obvious scarring from soil breaking away