Trends in Attitudes Toward the Recreational Fee Demonstration Program on the National Forests: A Computer Content Analysis Approach...................
Keywords:Attitudes, computer content analysis, fees, national forests, news media, Recreation Fee Demonstration Program.
AbstractThe Recreational Fee Demonstration Program (RFDP) was authorized by Congress in 1996 as a three-year pilot program and was subsequently extended through September 30, 2001. This program allows the USDA Forest Service and three other federal agencies to experiment with new or increased fees at up to 100 recreation sites per agency. The RFDP has sparked a public debate about the merits and demerits of charging fees for recreation on public lands.This study used the patented InfoTrend computer content analysis method to analyze the debate about RFDP fees on national forests expressed in a large electronic database of news media stories. The media have been found to both shape and reflect public opinion for a wide range of social issues. Analysis of large numbers of news stories using the InfoTrend method is a way to quickly and efficiently take the pulse of the public on a variety of social issues and indirectly measure public attitudes and beliefs. This method has the advantages over surveys, focus groups and interviews of being easily and rapidly updated, extending back in time several years to establish time trends and hence monitor changing attitudes and beliefs over time, and being expandable to include additional issues or dimensions. The main disadvantages of this method are that it may not be possible to analyze an issue with the same depth as with focus groups and interviews, and it provides an indirect measure of public opinion, which should be corroborated with direct measures.Over the period January 1, 1996 through September 30, 1999, favorable beliefs about RFDP fees expressed in our database of news media stories outnumbered unfavorable expressions by a factor of about 2 to 1, comparable to the findings of surveys and interviews. The share of favorable attitudes toward RFDP fees decreased over time due to an increase of expressions of unfavorable attitudes for the four southern California forests and the national forests of Oregon and Washington. In the rest of the country, however, there was no change in the share of favorable attitudes over time.The nature of the public debate about RFDP fees was found to differ substantially between those who hold a favorable view of fees and those who oppose them. Arguments and beliefs in support of the fees have been overwhelmingly utilitarian and pragmatic. In contrast, arguments and beliefs held by those opposing fees have tended to be focused on issues of rights, fairness, and wilderness values. Much of the support for RFDP fees was found to be conditional: Many people are willing to pay the fees so long as the revenue collected is used locally to fund needed improvements in recreation areas and facilities.
Sagamore Publishing LLC (hereinafter the “Copyright Owner”)
Journal Publishing Copyright Agreement for Authors
PLEASE REVIEW OUR POLICIES AND THE PUBLISHING AGREEMENT, AND INDICATE YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THE TERMS BY CHECKING THE ‘AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS COPYRIGHT NOTICE’ CHECKBOX BELOW.
I understand that by submitting an article to Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, I am granting the copyright to the article submitted for consideration for publication in Journal of Park and Recreation Administration to the Copyright Owner. If after consideration of the Editor of the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, the article is not accepted for publication, all copyright covered under this agreement will be automatically returned to the Author(s).
THE PUBLISHING AGREEMENT
Assignment of Copyright
I hereby assign to the Copyright Owner the copyright in the manuscript I am submitting in this online procedure and any tables, illustrations or other material submitted for publication as part of the manuscript in all forms and media (whether now known or later developed), throughout the world, in all languages, for the full term of copyright, effective when the article is accepted for publication.
Reversion of Rights
Articles may sometimes be accepted for publication but later be rejected in the publication process, even in some cases after public posting in “Articles in Press” form, in which case all rights will revert to the Author.
Retention of Rights for Scholarly Purposes
I understand that I retain or am hereby granted the Retained Rights. The Retained Rights include the right to use the Preprint, Accepted Manuscript, and the Published Journal Article for Personal Use and Internal Institutional Use.
All journal material is under a 12 month embargo. Authors who would like to have their articles available as open access should contact Sagamore-Venture for further information.
In the case of the Accepted Manuscript and the Published Journal Article, the Retained Rights exclude Commercial Use, other than use by the author in a subsequent compilation of the author’s works or to extend the Article to book length form or re-use by the author of portions or excerpts in other works.
Published Journal Article: the author may share a link to the formal publication through the relevant DOI.
- The Article I have submitted to the journal for review is original, has been written by the stated author(s) and has not been published elsewhere.
- The Article was not submitted for review to another journal while under review by this journal and will not be submitted to any other journal.
- The Article contains no libelous or other unlawful statements and does not contain any materials that violate any personal or proprietary rights of any other person or entity.
- I have obtained written permission from copyright owners for any excerpts from copyrighted works that are included and have credited the sources in the Article.
- If the Article was prepared jointly with other authors, I have informed the co-author(s) of the terms of this Journal Publishing Agreement and that I am signing on their behalf as their agent, and I am authorized to do so.