Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Scenic quality at Crater Lake National Park : vistitor perceptions of natural and human influence Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2801pk894

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  • This study explored park visitors' preferences for scenic vistas at Crater Lake National Park, and whether their scenic evaluations would be affected if water levels of Crater Lake changed. Three main areas were addressed in the study. The first tested park visitors' ability to perceive differences in the level of Crater Lake if it was lowered, and if the present lake level would be preferable to depictions showing reductions of 25, 75 and 125 feet. The second area investigated whether visitors would find alternative human uses of Crater Lake water acceptable. The third area considered the influence of information as it relates to natural variation and human influence on scenic perception at Crater Lake. Study participants included 1202 visitors at Crater Lake National Park during summer and fall seasons of 1996 and 1997. A multi-method approach to scenic perception and preference was utilized in this study, including a visual experiment, an attitudinal survey, and group interviews. Survey methods were based on photographs of three Crater Lake views depicting the current level and three lowered lake levels. The simulation of the visual change in photographs was created using a computer graphics program. Results of the study indicate that visitors prefer views of the lake that reflect Crater Lake with water levels at their present level. This was true when visitors had no information about the changing lake levels, and was more pronounced when visitors were informed about the lowered levels. Results also indicated that when respondents were informed that lake levels were changing due to human uses of Crater Lake water, the information had a more negative affect on respondents' preferences than other types of information. This was consistent with the results on visitor attitudes toward alternative uses of Crater Lake water as expressed in the survey and interviews. The sensitivity of public attitudes toward national park preservation and natural scenery is well documented in the literature. Results from this study at Crater Lake confirm that park visitors' scenic evaluations can be negatively influenced by perceived changes in scenery, and that potential human use of Crater Lake water is unacceptable.
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