Multiple-use forest land and commercial tourism in Sweden and Maine (USA):

Networking land parcels for outdoor recreation

Document identifier:
Keyword: Outdoor recreation trails, Multiple-use landscape, Incentive alignment
Publication year: 2006
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructureSDG 11 Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 8 Decent work and economic growth
The SDG label(s) above have been assigned by


This paper deals with government strategies to counteract rural economic decline and will focus on two problems that affects the possibility to promote nature tourism in general, and nature tourism relying on a trail network in specific. First, recreational land is a multiple use resource where the tourism use may not only lead to conflicts between different tourism uses but also with other land use interests, like forestry and environmental preservation, especially when certain types of uses are viewed as mutually exclusive. Second, the demand for a recreational trail network, for example a snowmobile, biking or canoeing trail, is dependent on several factors. It has for example been showed that the recreational demand for a trail network is increasing in trail length and number of scenic sites accessible. However, under conditions of public access to private land and fragmented land ownership, the production of trail networks of high quality is complicated when the trail crosses multiple landholdings. In general, the creation of an attractive trail network requires coordinated access to multiple land parcels. The paper highlights two institutional innovations that seek to align stakeholders’ incentives and manage recreational access. They are Sweden’s snowmobile trail networks, crossing multiple ownerships and biomes; and Maine’s state acquisition of large-scale conservation and recreation easements on private forestland related to the development of a back country trail “hut-to-hut” network.


Tobias Heldt

Högskolan Dalarna; Nationalekonomi
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David Vail

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