Kirch Flat Campground Recommendation Report

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Providing opportunities for outdoor recreation experiences on public lands is essential for the quality of life of individuals as well as beneficial to land management efforts by encouraging and developing stronger stewardship of forests on public land. However, outdoor recreation managers must balance the recreation and rejuvenation people seek from outdoor environments with the need to protect the resource. Using Kirch Flat Campground (50 miles southwest of Fresno, California, in the High Sierra Ranger District, Sierra National Forest) as a case study, the impacts of visitor use and current management practices on public lands were examined to reveal concerns and opportunities to improve and protect these resources. Information was obtained by personal site visits, discussions with recreation professionals and visitor interviews, previously-conducted visitor use surveys, Forest Service recreation site data from the INFRA database, the Sierra National Forest Land and Resource and Kings River Special Management Area management plans, peer-reviewed literature, and government agency publications which were used to develop recommendations. Long-term and short-term management solutions are suggested to promote the improvement of Kirch Flat Campground conditions, longevity of sustainable operations, protect natural resources, and provide visitors with an enjoyable experience that leaves the recreation site un-impaired for future generations, eliminating the possibility of a permanent site closure.

Capstone Paper in partial fulfillment of the Masters of Natural Resources Program at Virginia Tech
natural resource management, outdoor recreation, camping, U.S. Forest Service, Sierra National Forest, visitor use