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Human Dimensions

A group of backpackers utilizing and enjoying 		
                          natural resources.
The Human Dimensions Program ensures NPS has a current understanding of how society values biological resources in parks.

The human dimensions of biological resource management are the factors that help decide which resources are valued most by people. By understanding human values and desires, managers can better understand how to work to conserve and protect these resources.

The field of human dimensions utilizes social science to understand how people value natural resources, the benefits they seek and derive from resources, and how they affect or are affected by resource management decisions.

Resources can be valued for ecological, health and safety, recreational, economic, and/or aesthetic/emotional reasons. Culture, personal experience, socio-economics and politics often affect the way that resources are valued by individuals in a specific context.

These human dimensions— based on people's values and desires— help managers describe, predict, affect, and learn from stakeholder thought and action toward biological resources and their management in parks, thereby improving the sustainability, durability, and acceptability of biological resource management decisions.

Last Updated: March 10, 2014