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. Forests2018, 9, 241.
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. Forests 2018, 9, 241.
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.
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