Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Environment and Society


Steven W. Burr


Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use has grown enormously on Utah’s public lands and is one of the most contentious and difficult issues for federal, state, and local land management agencies to address and provide for. Despite OHV use’s meteoric rise in popularity and its ongoing public conflicts, little is known about OHV recreationists. This thesis develops a typology that identifies within-activity differences related to recreation specialization; it also determines differences in OHV owners’ environmental attitudes and motivations. Findings show Utah’s owners comprise a range of use along the recreation specialization continuum. Results also indicate that an OHV owners’ specialization level is not a significant determinant of either their environmental attitude or four out of the seven given motivations for participation in the activity. Specialization is, however, directly correlated to three specific motivation domains: achievement/stimulation, independence, and meeting new people. Overall, the recreation specialization framework, broadly interpreted, was successfully utilized to develop a typology of use which can inform resource management decisions.