Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Recreationists’ Perceptions of Scenic Beauty and Satisfaction at a Public Forest Managed for Endangered Wildlife

Version 1 : Received: 11 April 2018 / Approved: 12 April 2018 / Online: 12 April 2018 (04:46:34 CEST)

How to cite: Paudyal, R.; Stein, T.V.; Ober, H.K.; Swisher, M.E.; Jokela, E.J.; Adams, D.C. Recreationists’ Perceptions of Scenic Beauty and Satisfaction at a Public Forest Managed for Endangered Wildlife. Preprints 2018, 2018040156 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201804.0156.v1). Paudyal, R.; Stein, T.V.; Ober, H.K.; Swisher, M.E.; Jokela, E.J.; Adams, D.C. Recreationists’ Perceptions of Scenic Beauty and Satisfaction at a Public Forest Managed for Endangered Wildlife. Preprints 2018, 2018040156 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201804.0156.v1).

Abstract

Prescribed burning and other active forest management treatments have been proven to be essential for maintaining suitable habitat conditions for many wildlife species, including the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This study examines the perception of forest management treatments of recreation users participating in various activities (hunting, hiking/backpacking, camping, off-highway vehicle riding, and canoeing/kayaking) in terms of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. We used photographic images to capture various forest management treatments of different intensity levels and times after treatments, and assessed users’ perception of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. Results indicated variation among users participating in different recreation activities, but that good quality RCW habitat offered both higher scenic beauty and higher recreation satisfaction than poor quality habitat for most user groups. Finally, recreation satisfaction was statistically equal to perceived scenic beauty from both good and poor-quality RCW habitats for most of the user groups, thus suggesting the importance of scenic beauty on forest sites in determining recreation users’ attainment of visit satisfaction. Findings conclude that forest sites developed as good quality RCW habitat in the present state also offer quality experience to recreation users, thus supporting multi-objective forestry practices in public forests.

Subject Areas

forest beauty; outdoor recreation; graphic elicitation technique; controlled burning; red-cockaded woodpecker, Ocala National Forest

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