Comparing Support for Dog Regulations Among Adjacent Households and Other Visitors at a Multiple-Use Recreation Area
Keywords:attitudes about dog management, dog restraint manner, visitation characteristics, survey, adjacent and travelling visitors
Ongoing management and research interest in dog-related issues at recreation areas necessitates examining support for relevant management strategies among different visitor groups. Using data collected from an onsite survey of nonadjacent visitors (n=1,257) and a household mail survey of visitors who live adjacent (n=74) to a multiple-use recreation area (referred to as the Forests) in Oregon, we compare visitation characteristics and attitudes about dog-related management strategies among these two visitor groups. Nearly half of all respondents reported bringing dogs with them. Overall, respondents supported providing more dog waste bags and trash cans and requiring leashes in busy areas. They opposed requiring leashes everywhere. Compared to nonadjacent respondents, adjacent respondents have been recreating at the Forests longer, used stricter leash behavior with their dogs, and supported stricter leash regulations and increased enforcement of regulations. However, effect sizes for these statistically significant differences were small. Thus, communication and management strategies that aim to mitigate unwanted impacts from dogs may not need to be targeted uniquely to adjacent visitors compared to those who travel to the Forests. We discuss other pertinent management and communication implications.
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