Deciding what user impacts are natural or unnatural has inspired much debate. Biophysically, moose cause similar kinds of soil and vegetation impacts as hikers. Yet moose are the sign of nature while hikers are the sign of damage. The field of outdoor recreation is beset with paradoxes, and Theorising Outdoor Recreation and Ecology presents a unique, alternative framework to address these dilemmas. Examining outdoor recreation through the lens of ecological theory, Ryan draws from theorists such as Foucault, Derrida and Latour.
Theorising Outdoor Recreation and Ecology explores minimum impact strategies designed to protect and enhance ecological integrity, but that also require a disturbing amount of policing of users, which runs counter to the freedom users seek. Recent ecological theory suggests that outdoor recreation's view of nature as balanced when impacts are removed is outdated and incorrect. What is needed, and indeed Ryan presents, is a paradoxical and ecological view of humans as neither natural nor unnatural, a view that embraces some traces in nature.
2. Discourse and Power in Outdoor Recreation
3. Humans and Nature
4. Tracing and Haunting Humans and/in Nature
5. The Nature of Paradoxes/The Natural Paradox
6. Paradoxical Outdoor Recreation
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Sean Ryan is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at University of Alberta, Canada. He has worked as a wilderness guide, which culminated in a 70-day, 2 500 km canoe trip.