A conceptual framework for regional recreation planning: with an example from the Pacific Northwest

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Oregon State University, 1993 - Law - 458 pages
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The concept of large-scale natural resources planning and management is not new. The idea that resources and their human users occur as systems over large geographic areas has a long established tradition in forest, range, water, and air management sciences. Recent trends in this thinking concern the recognition of the inherently interdependent nature of many bio-social systems, where the interaction of people, culture and environment together influence regional conditions. Such thinking requires new concepts and strategies to understand and prescribe effective resource management actions. Included among these emergent concepts are those associated with regional recreation systems, which arise amidst growing evidence of declining recreation quality. This study presents experience-based recreation and the human ecology perspective based in systems theory as a useful framework for regional recreation planning. The framework takes a distinctly structural approach as it focuses on the social organizational attributes of resource management networks conducive to regional, interagency cooperative planning. Empirical evidence in support of the conceptual framework is provided by a case study of regional recreation planning in the Pacific Northwest and results of data analyses as evidence of regional recreation systems. Two separate state surveys of 5,205 sample households in Oregon and Washington were conducted over a 12-month period during 1987. Recreation activities, travel patterns, and natural resources used for recreation within and among the states were measured using telephone and mail instruments. Principal components analysis of travel patterns within Oregon and Washington was used to delineate functional recreation regions within the two-state area. As a result, five recreation regions were identified. The spatial and temporal characteristics of one recreation functional region in Oregon were described further using Lorenz Curve, directional bias and net flow, compactness and connectivity indices, and peaking index analyses. The final element of the study was to integrate the conceptual and empirical data in a simulation of institutional arrangements for regional recreation planning. The simulation was guided by a typology of organizational contexts relevant to recreation resource planning, both present and future. The applicability of the conceptual framework to regional resource management activities other than outdoor recreation was discussed.

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Toward a Regional Recreation Management
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