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Forests 2018, 9(5), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9050241

Recreationists’ Perceptions of Scenic Beauty and Satisfaction at a Public Forest Managed for Endangered Wildlife

1
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2
North Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 155 Research Road, Quincy, FL 32351, USA
3
Department of Family, Youth & Community Sciences, University of Florida, PO Box 110310, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 28 April 2018 / Accepted: 29 April 2018 / Published: 2 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Abstract

Prescribed burning and other active forest management treatments have been proven essential for maintaining suitable habitat conditions for many wildlife species, including the federally endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW). This study examines the perception of forest management treatments of recreation users participating in various activities (hunting, hiking/backpacking, camping, off-highway vehicle riding, and canoeing/kayaking) in terms of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. We used photographic images to capture various forest management treatments of different intensity levels and times after treatments, and assessed users’ perception of scenic beauty and recreation satisfaction. Results indicated variation among users participating in different recreation activities, but that good quality RCW habitats offered both higher scenic beauty and higher recreation satisfaction than poor quality habitats for most activity user groups. Finally, recreation satisfaction was statistically equal to perceived scenic beauty from both good and poor-quality RCW habitats for most of the activity user groups, thus suggesting the importance of scenic beauty of forest sites in determining recreation users’ attainment of visit satisfaction. Findings conclude that forest sites developed as good quality RCW habitats in the present state also offer quality experience to recreation users, thus supporting multi-objective forestry practices in public forests. View Full-Text
Keywords: forest beauty; outdoor recreation; graphic elicitation technique; controlled burning; red-cockaded woodpecker; Ocala National Forest forest beauty; outdoor recreation; graphic elicitation technique; controlled burning; red-cockaded woodpecker; Ocala National Forest
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Paudyal, R.; Stein, T.V.; Ober, H.K.; Swisher, M.E.; Jokela, E.J.; Adams, D.C. Recreationists’ Perceptions of Scenic Beauty and Satisfaction at a Public Forest Managed for Endangered Wildlife. Forests 2018, 9, 241.

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