Date of Award:

1996

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Natural Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Forest Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Dale J. Blahna

Abstract

A written survey of 200 Moab residents was used to measure residents' attitudes 11 toward tourism. Three regression models were developed using variables identified in the tourism literature to measure the relative importance of interpersonal contacts with tourists, negative impacts to outdoor-recreation experiences, and community experience in predicting attitudes toward tourism. Interpersonal contacts and recreation impacts both had fairly high predictive capabilities. It was concluded that interactions between recreation visitors/tourists and local residents should be a focus of further research.

Data from the Moab resident survey were also used in conjunction with a survey of mountain bikers visiting or living in the Moab area and interviews with IO community leaders to document and explain the dynamics of conflicts between recreationists and community residents. It was hypothesized from anecdotal evidence that Moab residents would ascribe more negative economic and environmental impacts to mountain bikers than to other major recreation user groups in the area and that conflicts between the two groups would be asymmetric in nature. It was also hypothesized that measurements of institutional overload would be correlated to perceptions of recreation conflict. Findings from survey data supported all of these hypotheses.

Conflicts reported in this study can be partially attributed to lifestyle intolerance and resource specificity (recreation concepts), as well as institutional overload and culture clash (community sociology concepts). The interaction between recreation conflict and sociocultural impacts at the community level indicate the need for a more comprehensive concept of recreation conflict beyond the historic focus upon on-site conflicts between recreation user groups.

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