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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Publications and Products
Title: Visitor perceptions of crowding and discrimination at two National Forests in southern California
Author: Chavez, Deborah J.
Source: Res. Paper PSW-RP-216. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 17 p
Station ID: RP-PSW-216
Description: Visitors to southern California National Forests are urban dwellers and as a group are culturally diverse. To manage the National Forests for this diverse group of visitors, information is needed on their expectations, preferences, and experiences at recreation sites. To evaluate visitor perceptions of crowding and discrimination, to determine favorite activities, and to determine the potential of visitor displacement from recreational sites, observations and surveys were collected during July and August 1990 in two of the National Forests. Racial and ethnic groups were categorized into Anglo American, Hispanic American, Mexican American and Others. In general all groups rated crowding similarly, although Hispanic groups expected more people than were found at the sites. Additionally, enjoyed activities differed only slightly between ethnic groups: all reported hiking, picnicking and visiting with others as favorite activities. The biggest difference between ethnic groups was exposure to discriminatory acts. Members of minority groups were more likely to report being subject to these acts. There was little evidence of displacement at the sites studied. Potential management actions include suggestions for improving interaction and communication between resource managers and the visiting public, reducing depreciative behaviors, and better signs. Research needs include evaluating these suggested management actions.
Key Words: crowding, cultural diversity, discrimination, displacement, participant observation, symbolic interaction
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Chavez, Deborah J. 1993. Visitor perceptions of crowding and discrimination at two National Forests in southern California Res. Paper PSW-RP-216. Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; 17 p.
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