The recreation resource-user of the Bend Ranger District, Deschutes National Forest, Oregon Public Deposited


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  • 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 examine: 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 among means. 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 categories. 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 also used. 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 author. 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 site/location. 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 population. 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.
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