A Comparison of Perceptions and Attitudes of Commercially Guided Recreational Users and Private Recreational Users on the White Salmon River, Washington


  • Robert C. Burns West Virginia University
  • Alan Graefe The Pennsylvania State University
  • Michael Heilman U.S. Forest Service
  • Jennifer A. Wade U.S. Forest Service


During the 2009 summer recreation season, researchers conducted a river use study at the White Salmon Wild and Scenic River in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The principle focus of this study was to understand if river recreationists perceived crowding and conflict and to measure their satisfaction levels. Specifically, researchers wanted to identify any differences between private users and users recreating with outfitter guides for the following variables: perceptions of crowding, acceptable number of times to see others, acceptable time to wait before starting their activity, reasons for recreating, quality of facilities and services, and how others impact their experience. The resulting data will be used to better manage Special Use Permits.