User perceptions of appropriate standards for recreation opportunity spectrum criteria at Steens Mountain, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/s4655j50r

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  • Recreation opportunity planning, including use of the recreation opportunity spectrum (ROS), was developed to aid land managers in inventorying, classifying, and managing outdoor recreation resources within an overall planning framework. This planning concept, which combines physical, managerial, and social setting characteristics into an array of recreation opportunities ranging from primitive to modern urban, has been adopted by both the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as part of their integrated resource planning process. The objectives of this research were to identify appropriate standards for two of the ROS criteria used in classifying settings, remoteness from the sights and sounds of man and level of man-caused resource modification, and to examine differences in perceptions of these standards between recreationists local to the study area and nonlocal visitors. The study area, characteristic of semi-arid landscapes, was selected to compare user perceptions of appropriate standards with existing standards which were developed for us in forested landscapes. Eighty-one users of the Steens Mountain Recreation Area in southeastern Oregon participated in in-home interviews during the summer of 1981. Results of this study suggest that major changes in ROS standards currently used to classify settings based on remoteness and resource modification are not needed. Users' descriptions of the remoteness of Steens Mountain settings and perceived distance from the sights and sounds of man necessary for opportunities for remoteness generally fell within guidelines presently being used, particularly when viewed within the context of the location and topography of the area. Local and nonlocal users differed in their choice and description of the remoteness of their settings, though they were fairly consistent in perceptions of distances and remoteness of specified settings. It is recommended that current remoteness standards could even be relaxed somewhat, depending on the landscape being analyzed. Findings suggest that acceptability of resource modification in recreation settings could also be influenced by history and location of these semi-arid areas. Natural-appearing, nonpermanent modifications such as livestock grazing, abandoned buildings, and watering ponds, common occurrences in western semi-arid landscapes, detracted less than permanent, obvious man-made structures such as powerlines and lived-in cabins. It is suggested that when classifying lands based on this criterion that modifications be grouped into these two categories. Local users were more tolerant of all types of modification than nonlocal users, particularly recreation-related modifications such as campgrounds and roads.
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