Visitor Use Management Resources

Visitor Use Management Quick Facts

Land and water managers from across the United States and Canada have similar goals:  providing high-quality outdoor recreation experiences and protecting natural and cultural resources as visitor use increases and public expectations change. Managing people and places requires a comprehensive approach that considers community vitality, individual and collective connections to the outdoors, and the resilience of natural and cultural resources. 

Definitions from the Interagency Visitor Use Management Council:

Visitor Use Management: Visitor use management is the proactive and adaptive process for managing characteristics of visitor use and the natural and managerial setting using a variety of strategies and tools to achieve and maintain desired resource conditions and visitor experiences.

Visitor Capacity: a component of visitor use management, is the maximum amounts and types of visitor use that an area can accommodate while achieving and maintaining desired resource conditions and visitor experiences consistent with the purposes for which the area was established. 

Visitor Use Management Publications & Training

The IVUMC is made up of six federal land and water management agencies: BLM, NPS, USFS, NOAA, USFWS, and USACOE. Representatives from these agencies work together to develop guidance for consistent planning and implementation of visitor use management regardless of jurisdiction. The council published the 2016 Visitor Use Management Framework that outlines four core elements and associated steps for visitor use management planning regardless of scale. They also published associated guidebooks on desired conditions, visitor capacity, and monitoring.

Learn more and visit the IVUMC training page.

Visitor Use Management Workshop

SORP worked with Acadia National Park to host a hybrid workshop in August 2023. This workshop focused on local, state and federal perspectives on visitor use management. Managers in the New England region have a long history of working across jurisdictions to plan for and provide outdoor recreation opportunities.  Participants heard from land managers and researchers about case studies and discussed best practices and lessons learned for visitor use management. 

VUM Workshop Summary

Stay tuned for future Visitor Use Management Workshop announcements!

Visitor Use Management Community of Practice

The VUM Community is a resource for SORP members to ask questions, share resources, and celebrate successes! Not yet a SORP member? It also have an extensive library of VUM-related research and publications. Join here or email Rebecca Maguire at for more information. 

Visitor Use Management Case Studies

The VUM case studies are 1-page overviews of current and recent visitor use management projects. Do you have a VUM case study to share? Contact Rachel Franchina at