A Framework for Evaluating and Assessing the Effects of Urban Growth on Protected Areas
AdvisorGimblett, H. Randy
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoEmbargo: Release after 8/4/2011
AbstractProtecting and managing National Parks and Monuments effectively is very important for their future sustainability. Urban encroachment on areas adjacent to protected areas is often considered a potential threat to the natural resources inside the protected areas. To minimize these threats, evaluating and assessing the effects of urban encroachment on protected areas and developing effective management strategies is critical. To implement any management strategy, interactions, support and perceptions of changing conditions from neighboring communities is imperative. The goal of this study was to develop a framework to assess perception of land use change along the borders surrounding Saguaro National Park East. The objectives of this study were to determine 1) the change in landscape that has occurred as a result of urban encroachment in and adjacent areas to Saguaro National Park (SNP) over a 15 year period 2) the degree to which neighbors surrounding SNP perceive that these changes have occurred due to urban encroachment 3) the perception of neighbors surrounding SNP that increased urbanization has led to more impacts on local wildlife 4) the possible planning and management strategies that neighbors agree would lead to reduce impacts of urban encroachment on protected areas and how strongly do they support the implementation of these proposed planning and management strategies. Results of this study indicated that landuse / landcover changes have occurred over the landscape at a rapid rate and in large areas within one mile of lands adjacent to the boundary of SNP East. Urban area increased 2.45%, agricultural lands decreased 76.15% and forested lands decreased 6.19% from its previous class in one mile adjacent land to the park from 1992 - 2001. Building units (residential) increased dramatically by 71.53% in this one mile buffer in the period between 1992 and 2007. In addition, respondents that live in adjacent lands perceive these changes over the landscape due to urban encroachment at a moderate degree strongly agree that increased urbanization has led to more negative impacts on local wildlife. Further, respondents strongly support more communication between authorities, developers and neighbors and environmental education programs with regards to urban encroachment on SNP.
Degree ProgramGraduate College