Paying for Backcountry Recreation: Understanding The Acceptability of Use Fees


  • Anthony J. Fedler
  • Ann F. Miles


Backcountry, use fees, willingness to pay, revenue.


Little is known about the attitudes ofbackcountry and wilderness users towards user fees. Previous research has looked only at individual segments of the user fee issue, such as type, amount, or disposition of use fees. However, an understanding of the combination of these three factors and the overall attitude towards use fees is needed inorderto assess various fee implementation alternatives. This study was intended to identify hiker attitudes towards use fees and to determine which combination of the above factors would be most and least acceptable to hikers. Results showed that hikers were willing to pay a reasonable use fee, as long as the fee program was carried out in certain ways. For example, hikers preferred to pay a fee by voluntary contribution, but they were also willing to purchase a daily or annual use permit. Hikers felt strongly that the revenues collected should be returned to the collecting site or agency and used to improve hiking resources. Strategies for implementing user fee programs are discussed.?





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