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USGS - science for a changing world

K.L. Cahill

A stated choice survey was employed to evaluate the relative importance of resource, social, and management attributes by asking visitors to select preferred configurations of these attributes. A verbal protocol assessment was added to consider how respondents interpret and respond to stated choice questions applied to hikers of a popular trail at Acadia National Park. Results suggest that visitors are sensitive to changes in public access to the trail and its ecological conditions, with level of encounters least important. Verbal protocol results identified considnations made by respondents that provide insight to their evaluations of alternative recreation setting configurations. These insights help clarify issues...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Journal of Leisure Research
Protected natural area managers are challenged to provide high quality recreation opportunities and ensure the protection of resources from impacts associated with visitation. Development of visitor use facilities and application of site hardening practices are commonly applied tools for achieving these competing management objectives. This study applies stated choice analysis to examine visitor opinions on acceptability when they are asked to make tradeoffs among competing social, resource and management attributes in backcountry and frontcountry settings of Acadia National Park. This study demonstrates that asking visitors about recreation setting attributes uni-dimensionally, a common approach, can yield less...
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