This is an excerpt from Integrated Risk Management for Leisure Services.
The Dilemma of Two Bridges
Consider the wilderness experience that each bridge provides and which is more appropriate. The stepping stones are natural and consistent with providing a wilderness- or backcountry-type experience. The bridge is typical of the frontcountry. From a design perspective, the bridge lacks a rustic nature and real charm and is urban in appearance.
Then juxtapose the experience with safety and rescue concerns. During spring, many hikers and backpackers would need to traverse the swollen stream. If they do not recognize the potential hazard and if they are not trained in how to traverse swollen rivers, they are at risk. This increases mishaps, rescues, and management costs. Without the bridge, numerous rescues and potential fatalities would occur at this site each year.
Hence the dilemma. Should management build the bridge and, in doing so, change or lose the experience provided? At what point do simple management decisions change the experience provided so that the desired experience is lost? Once management begins to manage the experience to reduce search and rescue costs, where do they end? Even marginal returns in terms of safety can be justified.
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