A recreation allocation model is developed which efficiently selects recreation areas and degree of development from an array of proposed and existing sites. The model does this by maximizing the difference between gross recreation benefits and travel, investment, management, and site-opportunity costs. The model presented uses the Travel Cost Method for estimating recreation benefits within an operations research framework. The model is applied to selection of potential wilderness areas in Colorado. This example is then extended to show the model's capability in budget analysis and in planning to meet recreation targets.