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Abstract

The spatial trends in wilderness character in Adams County, Pennsylvania were examined to evaluate how influenced specific areas are impacted by human activity and development. Indicators of wilderness character were selected as natural, untrammelled, undeveloped, along with solitude and unconfined recreation by the Death Valley National Park staff in which a 0-4 ranking system was based upon to portray a range of most degraded to optimal land. This was executed through examination of factors such as abundance of biodiversity and human development within the given area before a Monte Carlo simulation was run to show sensitivity of change. It was found that overall wilderness quality is most optimal along the Michaux Forest boundary and small sections of land on the southwestern and eastern edge of Adams County. Areas that are most sensitive to a change in the weights of wilderness character factors are small sections of land throughout the middle areas of Adams County along the roads while areas of land that are least sensitive to change are mainly the areas associated with the Michaux Forest boundary along the northwestern parts of Adam’s County. It was concluded that an increase in human interaction tends to lead to land that is more degraded and misused for infrastructure purposes.

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