McDonald Forest : a case study in the use of the recreation opportunity spectrum planning framework in an near-urban forest Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qz20sv930

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  • Managing near-urban forests is a challenge because people living nearby care about these places and often express their concerns. The near-urban forest situation alerts us that there is a need for an approach to land use planning and management which deals with the multiplicity of values expressed by the urban population. In the area of recreation, the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) is a planning and management framework which focuses on the experiences people seek from recreation and how settings can be managed for a variety of opportunities to fulfill the values of a diverse population. The ROS framework was used to develop classes of recreation opportunity which could be provided on McDonald Forest, a near-urban forest managed by the Oregon State University College of Forestry. As a university research forest with a mandate to provide research and education opportunities, a profitable timber producing forest and a 7000 acre natural area near a growing urban population, McDonald Forest seemed an appropriate place to study the application of the ROS. To develop a plan for managing recreation on McDonald Forest, information was gathered on behaviors, preferences, needs and perceptions relating to outdoor recreation. Current recreationists, Corvallis community households and forest neighbors (those living along the forest boundaries) were surveyed. An inventory of the resource relative to information about behavior and preferences was used to develop six recreation opportunity classes specific to McDonald Forest. McDonald Forest was analyzed to determine the existing and potential allocation of recreation opportunities. Finally, a plan for managing recreation was developed which outlines the allocation of the six recreation opportunity classes and describes setting indicators and criteria for each class. Using the information on the culture of the people and the kind of place, the ROS framework was used to develop a recreation plan which is responsive to recreationists' desires and forest management objectives. The results of this study indicate that the ROS clearly fits the challenges of near-urban forest management where neighbors and nearby community residents see the forest as a special place and express a multiplicity of values about the forest.
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