Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/12279
Wilderness and human influence in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve : a preliminary study of wilderness perceptions
The Hornstrandir nature reserve in Westfjords, Iceland is planned to become a Wilderness reserve, an Ib category park as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This study examined the appropriateness of the IUCN category for the reserve, by gathering stakeholder opinions on how much different human impact aspects present on the reserve affect their wilderness experience. The vast majority of the stakeholders considered wilderness experience easily achieved in Hornstrandir, despite the presence of old farmsteads and summer houses. However, concerns were raised over the presence of motorized vehicles, especially low flying aircraft, as well as the growing number of tourists. The introduction of the official IUCN categorization was considered by the stakeholders as an auspicious tool for enforcing control over potentially harmful human influences.
However, the presence of the farmsteads and summerhouses is somewhat in conflict with the category Ib definition. It is recommended that zoning is used, to exclude these most built-in areas from the category assignment. These areas can then be used for the necessary visitor infrastructure, such as campsites and ingress sites for providing instructions for “wilderness-friendly” visiting.