Professional Disposition of WildlandUrban Interface Recreation Managers in Southern California: Policy Implications for the USDA Forest Service


  • Steve Dennis
  • Arthur W. Magill


Recreation management, recreation training, resource management, urban national forests, recreation visitor, professional dispositions, education.


The professional disposition of USDA Forest Service recreation managers is reported from a study on the implementation of recreation policy on four southern California national forests. Inquiry focused on managers' education and training in recreation management, professional contacts related to recreation management, and relationships with visitors. Line and staff officers from recreation and other functions, and district-level agency and nonagency recreation personnel were interviewed or completed questionnaires. Managers were predominantly educated in resource, as opposed to social, management, indicating a lack of emphasis on people. Training occurred almost exclusively on the job, a concern in a setting requiring innovation and adaptation to diverse visitor needs. Visitor accommodation was supported, though public behavior was expected to change rather than the agency's. Recommendations to improve dispositions toward the recreation function include establishing a new federal recreation job classification, improving affiliation of agency personnel with professional organizations, and improving practices to increase understanding of forest visitors.





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