The use of pack animals to transport people and equipment into wilderness has become increasingly controversial. Advocates of greater packstock restriction point to evidence of ecological and sociological impacts. Packstock supporters defend the traditional role of packstock in wilderness and call for greater selfregulation. This article proposes that the conflict results from the clash of three symbolic realms of belief: (1) wilderness as a sacred object; (2) arguments against packstock derived from an ecologistic ordering of wilderness; and (3) a cognitive ordering of the conflict that allows moral pain to be felt on both sides. Three hypotheses about wilderness managers ’ attitudes toward symbolic statements were proposed and tested by using univariate statistics and bivariate and multivariate logistic analysis. The results indicate strong support for wilderness symbolism and less strong support for packstock symbolism. Numbers of packstock trips, Government Service grade, number of years in the current position, education, and perceived environmental impacts influenced these attitudes.
- Public problems
- Sacred wilderness
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management