Visitor Perceptions of Appropriate Management Actions Across the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum


  • Steven R. Martin
  • Jeffrey Marsolais
  • David Rolloff


direct management, indirect management, Recreation Opportunity


An assumption of the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum is that direct or regulatory management strategies are more appropriate in modern or developed settings, but less appropriate in primitive settings, where indirect visitor management techniques are considered more appropriate. During the summer of 2003, 410 visitors to eight recreation settings (representing urban through primitive) in the American River watershed of California participated in a survey about their perceptions of 25 direct and indirect visitor management techniques. From four generic ROS settings described in both text and photos, participants chose the type of setting in which they most frequently recreated. For that chosen setting type, participants then rated the appropriateness of each of the 25 management actions. What we found suggests that the assumed linear relationship of direct and indirect management actions to the ROS is not fully supported. Instead, management actions are perceived differently in different types of recreation settings, and certain types of actions may be more accepted in certain ROS settings. Respondents who recreate most often in primitive settings were the most supportive (of the four groups) of direct or regulatory management actions, while respondents who recreate most often in semi-primitive motorized settings were the least supportive of direct or regulatory actions. The primitive setting respondents were less supportive of what we called engineering-type management actions. We found more differences among the ROS settings for direct management actions than we did for indirect actions, and our results suggest that management actions may play a smaller role in defining primitive settings, a moderate role in defining rural and urban settings, and a major role in defining semi-primitive motorized settings.?





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