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S.R. Lawson

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How can recreation use be managed to control associated environmental impacts? What management practices are most effective and why? This study explored these and related questions through a series of experimental ?treatments? and associated ?controls? at the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park, a heavily used and environmentally fragile area. The treatments included five management practices designed to keep visitors on maintained trails, and these practices ranged from ?indirect? (information/education) to ?direct? (a fence bordering the trail). Research methods included unobtrusive observation of visitors to determine the percentage of visitors who walked off-trail and a follow-up visitor survey...
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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
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The rock outcrops and cliffs of Shenandoah National Park provide habitat for several rare and endangered plant and animal species, including the federally endangered Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon shenandoah; Ludwig et al., 1993). The location of the well-known park tour road, Skyline Drive, along the ridgeline provides exceptional access to many outcrops and cliffs throughout the park for a large number of the park?s 1.2 million annual visitors. Consequently, visitor use of cliff areas has led to natural resource impacts, including marked decreases in size and vigor of known rare plant populations. Despite the clear ecological value and potential threats to the natural resources at cliff areas, managers possess...
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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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