Date of Award:

1998

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA)

Department:

Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning

Advisor/Chair:

John C. Ellsworth

Abstract

New planning and management paradigms for the USDA Forest Serviee suggest that future Forest Plans incorporate the best available science and the public's values into Forest Plan revisions. Revised plans should focus on the ecological capabilities of the land and how to sustain them. The means to manage the land for these outcomes should be developed with considerable and ongoing public involvement. One outcome of this public involvement can be the development of a "desired future condition" for the area being managed and the needed regulations to maintain and monitor the desired conditions.

In order to provide preliminary information on backcountry recreation in a particular setting, a survey was conducted in the Lakes Management Area (LMA) of the Kamas Ranger District in northeastern Utah. The purpose of the survey was to provide scientifically gathered baseline information (who the typical visitor

was, perceptions of and preferences for social and biophysical conditions in the LMA, how the area was being used) and to investigate the variability of visitor desires within the LMA.

Results indicate that visitors to the LMA are mostly from the nearby urban Wasatch Front. Visitors come to the LMA to relax and find solitude while hiking and camping. They report being highly satisfied with their visit, with social and biophysical conditions found during the visit surveyed largely meeting expectations or being less than expected.

The variability of visitor desires was measured by creating groupings of visitors based on characteristics of the visitor or visit considered relevant to managers. Eight groupings were developed. Subgroupings within these groups were then analyzed, using ANOVA, to determine the extent of variability within the groupings of visitors and their perceptions of and preferences for selected social and biophysical factors as well as site attributes and management options. Significant variability was found within certain groupings, particularly groupings based on the type of organization the visitor was a member of, how many previous trips to the LMA the visitor has made, and whether the visit was day use or overnight.

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