Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC)

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Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) was developed as an alternative to carrying capacity, shifting from answering "how much is too much" to "what are acceptable resource and social conditions. The 9-step LAC process helps managers identify the trade-offs among different alternatives and identify various management actions to achieve desired conditions. LAC was first applied to wilderness planning in the Forest Service, and has since been applied to a variety of recreation planning projects.

Annotated bibliography of publications for LAC applications > McCool and Cole,1997. Includes listings of papers and articles highlighting practical applications of LAC and related planning processes.

The Limits of Acceptable Change (LAC) system for Wilderness Planning > Stankey et al., 1985. This is the original Forest Service general technical report (GTR) describing the LAC framework.

Limits of Acceptable Change and Natural Resources Planning: When is LAC Useful, When is it Not? > Cole and McCool, 1998. This paper uses a generic version of the LAC process to identify situations where LAC can usefully be applied and situations where it cannot.

Limits of Acceptable Change and Related Planning Processes: A Workshop > Cole and McCool, 1997.

Proceedings—Limits of Acceptable Change and related planning processes: progress and future directions > Cole and McCool, 1998. LAC and related processes were developed as a means of dealing with recreation carrying capacity issues in wilderness and National Parks. This proceedings represents and attempt to learn from that experience and suggest means of increasing the future utility of these processes.


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