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Does zoning winter recreationists reduce recreation conflict?

Posted date: January 10, 2017
Publication Year: 
2017
Authors: Miller, Aubrey D.; Vaske, Jerry J.; Squires, John R.Olson, Lucretia E.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Environmental Management. 59: 50-67.

Abstract

Parks and protected area managers use zoning to decrease interpersonal conflict between recreationists. Zoning, or segregation, of recreation - often by nonmotorized and motorized activity - is designed to limit physical interaction while providing recreation opportunities to both groups. This article investigated the effectiveness of zoning to reduce recreation conflict in the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area in Colorado, USA. Despite a zoning management system, established groomed travel routes were used by both non-motorized recreationists (backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers) and motorized recreationists (snowmobilers). We hypothesized that persistent recreation conflict reported by non-motorized recreationists was the result of recreation occurring in areas of mixed non-motorized and motorized use, mostly along groomed routes. We performed a geospatial analysis of recreation [from Global Positioning System (GPS) points, n = 1,233,449] in the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area to identify areas of mixed non-motorized and motorized use. We then surveyed non-motorized recreationists (n = 199) to test whether reported conflict is higher for respondents who traveled in areas of mixed-use, compared with respondents traveling outside areas of mixed-use. Results from the geospatial analysis showed that only 0.7% of the Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area contained recreation from both groups, however that area contained 14.8% of all nonmotorized recreation and 49.1% of all motorized recreation. Survey analysis results showed higher interpersonal conflict for all five standard conflict variables among non-motorized respondents who traveled in areas of mixed-use, compared with those traveling outside mixed-use areas. Management implications and recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of zoning are provided.

Citation

Miller, Aubrey, D.; Vaske, Jerry J.; Squires, John R.; Olson, Lucretia E. 2016. Does zoning winter recreationists reduce recreation conflict? Environmental Management. 59: 50-67.