In the late 1990s, enthusiasm for hiking the Baekdudaegan mountain system expanded beyond professional mountain climbers to the general public. Along with the increase in interest in Baekdudaegan, a series of efforts were made to arrange legal protection for Baekdudaegan. Eventually, the Korea Forest Service, with support from congressmen, proposed a special law with the sole purpose of protecting Baekdudaegan. In executing the law, the protection of the natural ecosystem was considered to be much more important than the promotion of national identity. After the enactment of the Baekdudaegan Protection Act, each administrative body, at both the local and national level, has individually used the term “Baekdudaegan” to realize its own political and economic objectives and ideologies. The term has also been used as an ideological tool to construct regional alliances among the local governments that share geographical proximity to Baekdudaegan. As Baekdudaegan evolved into an individual space, it began to be perceived as a space where an individual could mentally prepare to overcome hardships. In conjunction with the new symbolic meanings attached to Baekdudaegan, prominent individuals have recently begun hiking the Baekdudaegan in order to bolster their public image.
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