Wilderness can be looked at as both a biophysical reality and as a social/cultural/legal construct. Wilderness management from the ecological perspective is characterized as making and implementing decisions to sustain intact or naturally functioning ecosystems at large spatial scales and over very long periods of time. Wilderness management applies basic ecological and other biological principles specific to the function of large scale ecosystems and permanent conservation to management decisions and actions.
Restrictions may be placed on camping, hiking, boating, hunting, fishing and climbing in backcountry. Campfires may be forbidden. Dogs may be forbidden or allowed on a leash provided the owner removes the animal's excrement. In a growing number of places, responsible behaviour now dictates that humans carry out their own excrement as well.