Nowadays, in different parts of the world forest ecosystems are increasingly viewed as resources that could be managed for a wide range of ecological, economical, and social uses. The forest based recreation can be considered as an economic and social function that can provide recreation opportunities and income for entrepreneurs. Zagros forests in the west of Iran play an important role for soil and water conservation and can be used for forest based recreation. This study develops a model to evaluate ecological capability of Iran’s Zagros forest. Results showed that 23861 and 43589 ha of Javanrood region have capability for intensive and extensive recreation respectively. The model suggests that 7869 ha of region can be assigned for conservation and protection. Also, the results revealed that current land use pattern is not based on ecological capability and some potential protection and conservation area are used for understory farming and urban development.
Key words: Ecological capability, forest based recreation, conservation, protection, Zagros forests.
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