ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION EFFECTS ON PERCEPTION OF RECREATIONAL AND SCENIC QUALITIES OF FOREST BURN AREAS.
AuthorTAYLOR, JONATHAN GOLDING.
KeywordsForest fires -- Prevention and control -- Psychological aspects.
Forests and forestry -- Arizona -- Recreational use -- Psychological aspects.
Fire ecology -- Arizona -- Psychological aspects.
Prescribed burning -- Psychological aspects.
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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.
AbstractThe purpose of this study has been to test public perceptions of both scenic quality and recreational acceptability of southwestern ponderosa pine forests exibiting one-to-five years of recovery from both light and severe fire. Public fire-effects information documents were also constructed and tested. Appropriate ponderosa forest areas in Arizona were selected and randomly photographed. Population samples, drawn from Tucson, Arizona, first read fire-ecology or "control" information brochures and then rated forest scenes on 1-to-10 scales for scenic quality and for acceptability for selected forms of outdoor recreation. Respondents finally answered a short fire-knowledge, fire-attitude questionnaire. Ratings were subjected to SBE analysis (Daniel and Boster, 1976), and analysis of variance was applied to both ratings and questionnaire results. The clearest distinction drawn, for both scenic quality and recreational acceptability, is between light-fire and severe-fire effects. Light fire improves scenic quality for a 3-to-4 year period, while severe fire seriously detracts from scenic quality for an unknown length of time exceeding the 5-year period tested. Recreational acceptability is differentiated according to the recreational activity selected: camping is nearly twice as sensitive to severe fire effects as scenic quality, and is somewhat disrupted by light fire effects; picnicking is second-most impacted by severe fire effects; hiking or backpacking is affected by severe fire to about the same degree as scenic quality; nature study is least affected. Picnicking, hiking and nature study are not significantly affected by light fire. Provision of fire-effects information does not significantly affect scenic or recreational evaluation of forest burn areas. The fire-effects information brochures produced general "halo" effects on both fire knowledge and fire attitude in the groups sampled. Fire knowledge shifted toward the expert position that fire effects are less severe than generally believed. Fire attitude shifted toward the expert position of greater tolerance for fire in ponderosa ecosystems. Results show prescribed burning as generally acceptable. The results of this study demonstrate distinctions between affect (perceptual evaluations) and cognition (questionnaire response). Scenic and recreational evaluations emerge as clearly distinct entities.
Degree ProgramRenewable Natural Resources
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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