Post-fire recreation management in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/2r36v321d

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  • Natural events such as wildfires, floods, and storms can significantly alter the short-term structure and functioning of natural systems. Recreation in wilderness areas is one instance in which individuals are directly exposed to post-disturbance landscapes. Consequently, public land managers may be faced with a different set of challenges stemming from changes in visitation, visitor experiences, and the potential for increased ecological impacts on the disturbed natural system from recreation use. This paper investigates the issue of post-wildfire recreation management in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness in Oregon. Data on recreational users of a wilderness area were collected by administering an intercept survey. Respondents were asked about changes in their use patterns following a wildfire, and their support for post-wildfire recreation management alternatives for the wilderness area. Existing wilderness permit data were utilized to reconstruct the visitation history for trailheads leading into the study area. The locations of campsites within the study area were recorded and analyzed to examine campsite choices following the fire. This paper focuses on the descriptive and evaluative components of wilderness management to inform managers of conditions in the wilderness following fire and to examine socially acceptable management strategies for the wilderness by opportunity class. Analysis of wilderness permits suggests some displacement from the burned area may have occurred, but is small in magnitude when compared to the effects of management actions on visitation in past years. This study found that many of the campsites previously located in the burned area have disappeared or are no longer used. Specific locations may be at risk of interference in natural regeneration from recreation use due to the number of campsites still in use at these locations and their proximity to the burn. Exit surveys indicated that satisfaction had decreased following the burn among visitors. A continuum of management alternatives were evaluated that ranged from further restricting access and letting nature take its course to increasing access and developed facilities in the wilderness area. Four distinct groups of users emerged from a cluster analysis on support for these recreation management alternatives. Significant differences across the clusters were suggestive of differing value orientations between groups. Thus, the plausibility of implementing post-wildfire recreation management alternatives is assessed in light of existing wilderness management regulations and guiding documents, and the support expressed for them by visitors. Finally, recommendations for monitoring the recovering burned area are made based on the results of this study.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Julie Kurtz(julie.kurtz@oregonstate.edu) on 2006-07-13T17:21:15Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Final Draft RB Thesis.pdf: 2000678 bytes, checksum: 172a625fd642ee5b437f99c26ba3a74b (MD5)
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