Environmental Management

, Volume 47, Issue 5, pp 814–827 | Cite as

Perceptions of Community Benefits from Two Wild and Scenic Rivers

Article

Abstract

Wild and Scenic Rivers provide a host of psychological, social, ecological, and economic benefits to local communities. In this study, we use data collected from recreational users of two Wild and Scenic Rivers to examine perceptions of the benefits provided by the rivers to local communities. Our purposes are (1) to determine if similar perceptions of community benefits exist across the two rivers, (2) to determine if individuals’ proximity to the rivers are related to the benefits they perceive, (3) to determine if individuals’ prior recreation experience on the river is related to variations in perceived benefits, (4) to determine if users’ sociodemographic characteristics are related to perceived community benefits, and (5) to determine if the influence of these characteristics on perceived community benefits is similar across the two resource areas. Perceived benefits were found to be analogous across both rivers as individuals consistently ranked ecological/affective benefits as well as tangible benefits similarly. Recreationists living further from the river ranked ecological and affective benefits as significantly less important than those individuals living closer to the river. Women perceived the community benefits produced by the resource areas to be significantly more important when compared to men. Significant relationships were also found between perceived benefits and recreationists’ previous use of the river, their age, and their level of education. With the exception of resource proximity and prior use history, the effects of user characteristics on perceived community benefits were not statistically different across the two rivers. These findings imply similar patterns of perceived community benefits exist across distinct resource areas and that the relationships between user characteristics and perceived benefits are also similar across the study rivers.

Keywords

Wild and scenic rivers Community benefits Local/non-local Outcomes-focused management 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Natural ResourcesNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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