Taylor Stein & Angela Colonna Understanding Conflict & Trail Use
PRESENTATION OUTLINE What is conflict? Coexistence of Recreationists Arizona National Scenic Trail Boulder County, CO FNST User Conflict Study ( ) Overall Conclusions & Implications
WHAT IS CONFLICT? Conflicts on multiple-use trails have been described "as problems of success ; an indication of the trail's popularity" (Ryan, 1993). Conflict has traditionally been understood in an outdoor recreation context as the result of goal interference among recreationists (Jacob & Schreyer, 1980). Leads to less satisfaction of user experiences Suggested management strategies (Manning, 1999): Zoning or separation of recreationists/activities Educational programs
COEXISTENCE of RECREATIONISTS ARIZONA TRAIL & BOULDER COUNTY, CO
In 2003, the Boulder County Parks and Open Space conducted a study to gather baseline information about potential user conflicts in the area User types: Hikers, bikers, equestrians, runners, and dog walkers Methods: On-site Survey Six parks were sampled because of their high visitation and user types BOULDER COUNTY PARKS & OPEN SPACE (STUDY 1)
Results: 98 percent of respondents had no conflicts with other users that day while recreating Only 2 percent reported they did experience some sort of conflict 66 percent of respondents reported never having conflicts in the past 34 percent at some point in the past did experience conflict
ARIZONA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL (STUDY 2) In 2011, a public engagement process was designed to make a Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) AZT Administrator Independent Resources Enterprise Team (InRe) Method: Workshops, public comments User types: Hikers, bikers, & equestrians Included in the study: Federal, state, and local agencies, AZT partners, the Arizona Trail Association (ATA), user groups, and municipalities
ARIZONA NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL (STUDY 2) Results: Source of pride and identity for Arizonans Represents natural and cultural character Minimal conflict was found between the users of the trail (Hikers, bikers, & equestrians) Few conflicts arise as use is spread out Congestion of use generally low Education on etiquette for each user was a suggested solution Individuals not part of an organized group generally were unaware of proper etiquette
POTENTIAL CONFLICT ON THE FNST STUDY YEAR (N=44)
STUDY SITES & ACTIVITIES LocationsTop Activities
USER ENCOUNTERS 24% of users did not encounter anyone on the trail 62% of users encountered 1-10 people on the trail 19% of users encountered people on the trail
USER GROUP CONCERNS Horseback Riders Destructive to trails Fecal matter remaining on trail Bicyclers Destructive to trails Unsafe behavior Poor behavior Hikers Littering Noise
RESULTS – ENCOUNTER EXPERIENCES Users indicated interactions with other users did not impact their experience. Comparison of the experience ratings given by visitors supported this finding. No difference between those who did and did encounter others No difference between visitors who encountered different user groups
CONCLUSIONS & IMPLICATIONS ACROSS OUTDOOR-BASED RECREATION
OVERALL CONCLUSIONS Identification of potential conflict can be utilized to create opportunities that might lead to quality visitor experiences or reduced levels of conflict. Conflict may not be dominantly present among users but still can be assessed to understand wants and needs of user groups.
OVERALL IMPLICATIONS Active management toward identifying existing and potential conflicts is beneficial to better ensure quality recreation experiences. Research to understand the concerns and key players (aka users groups) can monitor potential or existing conflict to influence management decisions.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS US Forest Service University of Florida School of Forest Resources and Conservation Carolyn Huntley, UF Graduate
REFERENCES Jacob, G.R., & Schreyer, R. (1980). Conflict in outdoor recreation: A theoretical perspective. Journal of Leisure Research. 12(4): Manning, R. (1999). Recreation Conflict: Goal Interference. In Studies in outdoor recreation search and research for satisfaction (2nd ed.). Corvallis, Or.: Oregon State University Press. Ryan, K. L. (Ed.) (1993). Trails for the twenty-first century. Washington, DC: Island Press.