Introduction to the special issue on visitor monitoring
Public agencies are increasingly held accountable for documenting the benefits and services they provide. Recreation is a key public benefit for most land-managing agencies and thus visitation is an important metric. Visitation estimates are also needed for planning improvements to infrastructure, for evaluating current capacity and potential resource damages, and for communicating with nearby communities and service partners. To meet their information needs, agencies are most often interested in destination-based measures of visitation. That is, their interest is in recreation trips that end at agency lands from any origin. At the same time, agency budgets are typically not keeping pace with increased use of resources or needs for management.