Mapping Patterns of Human Use and Potential Resource Conflicts on Public Lands

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Focusing on a 2.2 million hectare area surrounding the Lolo National Forest in western Montana, USA, we illustrate a GIS method for predicting patterns of human use on public lands and highlighting potential for impacts on fish and wildlife species. Data inputs include human population count (derived from the 1990 Census), roads and trails, and the predicted distributions of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and 41 terrestrial vertebrates of special concern. Because results highlight areas where conflicts between humans and resources may occur, they are of potential use to land managers. This approach can be applied wherever data are available, and inputs can be varied according to the topics of interest.