- THE PROBLEM. The problem was to study the recreation resource-
user and to determine attitudes, characteristics and relationships
between selected variables common to these users.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. The purpose of the study was to
1) Who are the recreation resource-users of the Bend Ranger
District, Deschutes National Forest ?
2) What were some of his characteristics, attitudes and opinions?
'3) How can resource management and the needs of the recreation
resource-user be more closely coordinated?
SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS. The study was limited to the
analysis of the data obtained from 525 recreation units of the Bend
Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest in Oregon. Factors
within the sample were limited to the material recorded in the interview
with the recreation resource-users and the analysis of the results.
The findings of the study cannot be applied without adjustment
to other geographic areas unless a careful fitting is undertaken.
METHODOLOGY. The author analyzed the target population,
their opinions, characteristics and attitudes. The study was of the
user population of summer-oriented forest recreation facilities of the
resource-based type. A questionnaire was used in conjunction with
personal interviews to obtain the data. Sites within the forest were
delineated and given a weight according to historical records of user
attendance, and interviews proceeded accordingly.
The treatment of the data in this study has been undertaken by
examining select variables for high associations or inter-relationships
with other variables. Three statistical tools were used in the
analysis of said data.
The first tool was that of examining the "simple correlation" coefficients
between independent variables.
Secondly, an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to study
the relationships between variables. The "Variance Ratio," called F,
was used to obtain an over-all test of the significance of the difference
Another statistical tool chosen for analysis purposes was the
Chi Square (X²) test. This statistic represents a useful method of comparing experimentally obtained results with those to be expected
theoretically on some hypothesis. This allowed investigation of the
relationship between variables which are classified into two or more
Heavy emphasis was also placed upon statistical inference which
enables the development of a profile from the sample that might be
representative of the larger population of which the sample is a part.
Other statistics such as the standard arithmetic mean were applied as
it was appropriate. Graphic presentation of the arithmetic mean was
The data was punched on IBM cards and processed through the
Oregon State University computer center.
CONCLUSIONS. The conclusions were formulated from variable
associations dealing with the value of the site, residence of the user,
relationship to water, the retired user, desire of the user to return,
equipment ownership, expressed likes and dislikes, environmental
factors, camping experience, and major activity participation.
Characteristics of the recreation resource-user are manifold.
For example, the average family size is 3.65. Children average
1.65 in number and 11 years in age. The parents of the family unit
are 45 and 43 years of age, respectively. Over 81% of the users have
completed high school. The average income per family-unit was
$11,082. Over 73% of the users are Oregonians, 21% Californians
and 6% from other states.
A detailed analysis of the user's ownership patterns, place of
residence, length of stay, camping experience, and activity preference
and participation is reported., Attitudinal responses of the
recreation resource-user's reaction to the value of the site, noise,
water sports, privacy, sociability, beauty, convenience, cleanliness,
development and safety and how these related to a resource management
program are given.
Considerations and recommendations for resource managers are
derived from the findings of the attitudes, opinions and characteristics
of the resource-user and the experience and observations of the
For example, it was concluded that:
1) Resource management teams must draw more from other
disciplines and approach the problems from an interdisciplinary
point of view.
2) The "quality" of the water resource and of the recreation
site, as well as the quality of water available, constitute
important considerations in the users' choice of recreation
3) Recreation resource-users are middle and upper-middle
class in income, education and occupation.4) The above suggests an educational opportunity for managers. These users are probably above average in the
awareness of natural resource management controversy.
Efforts to provide answers and information should prove
worthwhile because these users represent the politically
more expressive socio-economic classes in the general
5) Campground facilities that offer opportunities for the entire
family are needed.
6) Although camping occasions are somewhat numerous, the
users' experience is somewhat limited. Their interests
are high, and they are receptive to information and reasoning
behind land management decisions.
Not only must we pay greater attention to the "quality of our
environment" . . the recreation resources, our water, our air, our
land. But: we must continually strive for knowledge of our recreation
resource-users. Only through this dual effort can recreation resource managers
serve both adequately.