Advertisement

Air Quality and Visitor Behavior in U.S. Protected Areas

  • Chris A. B. ZajchowskiEmail author
  • Deborah A. Tysor
  • Matthew T. J. Brownlee
  • Jeff Rose
Article
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

Past research has documented the harmful impacts of air pollution on endemic species, ecosystem functions, and human health. Far less is known about how degraded air quality influences the behaviors of visitors who frequent protected areas, such as National Parks. The aim of this study was to survey United States federal land management agency professionals to better understand the dynamic interplay between social and ecological factors leading to air quality-related visitor behavior. We analyzed professionals’ (n = 38) perceptions of the process of air quality degradation, management actions, and visitor responses, specifically the behavioral strategies visitors employ to reduce their exposure to degraded air quality. Results indicate a preponderance of context and source-specific behaviors. Additionally, many professionals shared their concerns regarding lingering gaps in social science scholarship regarding broad air quality-related behavioral patterns in protected areas. Implications for federal land managers, protected area researchers, and policy makers are discussed.

Keywords

Air pollution Air quality Wildland fire Prescribed fire Visitor behavior Recreation substitutability Social-ecological systems Protected areas 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks are due to N. Qwynne Lackey and Milo Neild for their assistance throughout the coding process. Thanks are also due to protected area professionals for their participation in this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

All participants received notification of informed consent prior to the interview process; participants were able to refrain from answering specific questions in accordance with federal or agency policies (i.e., The Hatch Act). Participants were also informed that interview responses would be de-identified to provide anonymity, and that their name, professional title, unit, and agency would not be attached to specific quotes in this or other documents.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

10745_2019_46_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 13 kb)

References

  1. An, R., and Xiang, X. (2015). Ambient Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity Among US Adults. Public Health 129: 1637–1644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnberger, A., and Brandenburg, C. (2007). Past On-Site Experience, Crowding Perceptions, and Use Displacement of Visitor Groups to a Peri-Urban National Park. Environmental Management 40: 34–45.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-004-0355-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biggs, D., Abel, N., Knight, A. T., Leitch, A., Langston, A., and Ban, N. C. (2011). The Implementation Crisis in Conservation Planning: Could “Mental Models” Help? Conservation Letters 4: 169–183.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-263X.2011.00170.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bresnahan, B. W., Dickie, M., and Gerking, S. (1997). Averting Behavior and Urban Air Pollution. Land Economics 73: 340–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brownlee, M., and Leong, K. (2011). Climate Change, Management Decisions, and the Visitor Experience: The Role of Social Science Research. Park Science 28: 21–25.Google Scholar
  6. Brownlee, M. T. J., Hallo, J. C., Wright, B. A., Moore, D., and Powell, R. B. (2013). Visiting a Climate-Influenced National Park: The stability of Climate Change Perceptions. Environmental Management 52: 1132–1148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brunson, M. W., and Shelby, B. (1993). Recreation Substitutability: A Research Agenda. Leisure Science 15: 64–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chapko, M. K., and Solomon, H. (1976). Air Pollution and Recreational Behavior. The Journal of Social Psychology 100: 149–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research, 4th edn., Pearson, Upper Saddle River.Google Scholar
  10. De Valck, J. J., Broekx, S., Liekens, I., De Nocker, L., Van Orshoven, J., and Vranken, L. (2016). Contrasting Collective Preferences for Outdoor Recreation and Substitutability of Nature Areas Using Hot Spot Mapping. Landscape and Urban Planning 151: 64–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dello K (2017, October 13). Prepare for Larger, Longer Wildfires. Nat. Retrieved from https://www.nature.com/news/prepare-for-larger-longer-wildfires-1.22821
  12. Dustin, D. L., Zajchowski, C. A. B., Gatti, E., Bricker, K. S., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Schwab, K. (2018). Greening Health: The Role of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism in Health Promotion. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 36: 116–125.  https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2018-V36-I1-8172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Environmental Protection Agency (2016, October 19). Criteria air pollutants. Retrieved from the Environmental Protection Agency website: https://www.epa.gov/criteria-air-pollutants
  14. Gigerenzer, G. (2000). Evolution and Cognition Series: Adaptive Thinking: Rationality in the Real World, Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  15. Gigerenzer, G., and Goldstein, D. G. (1996). Reasoning the Fast and Frugal Way: Models of Bounded Rationality. Psychological Review 103: 650–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gigerenzer, G., and Todd, P. M. (1999). Fast and Frugal Heuristics: The Adaptive Toolbox, MIT Press, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  17. Hall, T., and Shelby, B. (2000). Temporal and Spatial Displacement: Evidence from a High-Use Reservoir and Alternate Sites. Journal of Leisure Research 32: 435–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hammitt, W. E., Cole, D. N., and Monz, C. A. (2015). Air, sound and technology: New issues for recreation ecology. In Wildland Recreation: Ecology and Management, 3rd edn., John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.Google Scholar
  19. Hendee, J., and Burdge, R. (1974). The Substitutability Concept: Implications for Management and Research. Journal of Leisure Research 6: 157–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Keiser, D., Lade, G., and Rudik, I. (2018). Air Pollution and Visitation at U.S. National Parks. Science Advances 4: 1613.  https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat1613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kulesza C, Le Y, Littlejohn M, Hollenhorst SJ (2013) National Park Service Visitor Values and Perceptions of Clean Air, Scenic View and Dark Night Skies. Natural Resource Report Moscow ID: Park Sciences UnitGoogle Scholar
  22. Lareau, N. P., Crossman, E., Whiteman, C. D., Horel, J. D., Hoch, S. W., Brown, W. O. J., and Horst, T. W. (2013). The Persistent Cold-Air Pool Study. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 94: 5–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lemieux, C. J., Thompson, J. L., Dawson, J., and Schuster, R. M. (2013). Natural Resource Manager Perceptions of Agency Performance on Climate Change. Journal of Environmental Management 114: 178–118.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.09.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Light, A., and Hale, B. (2018). Year One of Donald Trump’s Presidency on Climate and the Environment. Ethics Policy and Environment 21: 1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Loomis, J. B., and Keske, C. M. (2009). Mountain Substitutability and Peak Load Pricing of High Alpine Peaks as a Management Tool to Reduce Environmental Damage: A Contingent Valuation Study. Journal of Environmental Management 90: 1751–1760.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2008.11.024.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mace, B. L., Bell, P. A., and Loomis, R. J. (2004). Visibility and Natural Quiet in National Parks and Wilderness Areas: Psychological Considerations. Environment and Behavior 36: 5–31.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916503254747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Maguire, L. A., and Albright, E. A. (2005). Can Behavioral Decision-Making Theory Explain Risk-Averse Fire Management Decisions? Forest Ecology and Management 211: 47–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Malm, W. C. (2016). Visibility: The seeing of near and distant landscape features. Amsterdam, Elsevier, Netherlands.Google Scholar
  29. Manning, R. E. (2011). Studies in Outdoor Recreation: Search and Research for Satisfaction, 3rd edn., Oregon State University Press, Corvallis.Google Scholar
  30. Manning, R. E., and Valliere, W. A. (2001). Coping in outdoor recreation: Causes and consequences of crowding and conflict among community residents. J Leisure Res 33: 410–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Matthews, Y., Scarpa, R., and Marsh, D. (2018). Cumulative Attraction and Spatial Dependence in a Destination Choice Model for Beach Recreation. Tourism Management 66: 318–328.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.12.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miles, M. B., Huberman, M. A., and Saldaña, J. (2014). Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook, 3rd edn., Sage, Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  33. National Park Service (2017, September 6). Annual visitation highlights. Retrieved from https://www.nps.gov/subjects/socialscience/annual-visitation-highlights.htm
  34. National Parks Service (2002). Air Quality in the National Parks, 2nd edn., Air Resources Division, Lakewood.Google Scholar
  35. Needham, M. D., and Vaske, J. J. (2013). Activity Substitutability and Degree of Specialization Among Deer and Elk Hunters in Multiple States. Leisure Science 35: 235–255.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2013.780513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Noonan, D. S. (2014). Smoggy with a Chance of Altruism: The Effects of Ozone Alerts on Outdoor Recreation and Driving in Atlanta. Policy Studies Journal 24: 122–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Otto-Banaszak, I., Matczak, P., Wesseler, J., and Wechsung, F. (2011). Different Perceptions of Adaptation to Climate Change: A Mental Model Approach Applied to the Evidence from Expert Interviews. Regional Environmental Change 11: 217–228.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-010-0144-2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peters, M. (2017). Science and the big picture for national park resources. The George Wright Symposium, Norfolk, Virginia.Google Scholar
  39. Pickering, C. M., Harrington, J., and Worboys, G. (2003). Environmental Impacts of Tourism on the Australia Alps Protected Areas: Judgments of Protected Area Managers. Mountain Research and Development 23: 247–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Radeloff, V. C., Stewart, S. I., Hawbaker, T. J., Gimmi, U., Pidgeon, A. M., Flather, C. H., et al (2010). Housing Growth in and Near United States Protected Areas Limits their Conservation Value. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107: 940–945.  https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0911131107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rose, J., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Bricker, K. S. (2016). Managers’ Perceptions of Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on U.S. Federal Lands. Society and Natural Resources 29: 185–202.  https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2015.1062948.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Saldaña, J. (2013). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, Sage, Thousand Oaks.Google Scholar
  43. Seidman, I. (2013). Interviewing as Qualitative Research, 2nd edn., Teachers College Press, New York.Google Scholar
  44. Shelby, B., and Vaske, J. J. (1991). Resource and Activity Substitutes for Recreational Salmon Fishing in New Zealand. Leisure Science 13: 21–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sutton, S. G., and Oh, C. O. (2015). How do Recreationists Make Activity Substitution Decisions? A Case of Recreational Fishing. Leisure Science 37: 332–353.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2015.1016195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Todd, P. M., and Brighton, H. (2016). Building the Theory of Ecological Rationality. Minds and Machines 26: 9–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Todd, P. M., and Gigerenzer, G. (2007). Environments that Make us Smart: Ecological Rationality. Current Directions in Psychological Science 16: 167–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. US Global Change Research Program (2018). Fourth national climate assessment: Impacts, risks, and adaptation in the United States. Retrieved from https://nca2018.globalchange.gov/. Accessed 7 Jan 2019
  49. USDA Forest Service (2016). National visitor use monitoring survey results: National summary report. Retrieved from https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/pdf/5082016NationalSummaryReport062217.pdf
  50. Verbos, R. I., Zajchowski, C. A. B., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Skibbins, J. C. (2017). I’d Like to be Just a Bit Closer’: Wildlife Viewing Proximity Preferences at Denali National Park & Preserve. J Ecotourism, online: 1–16.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14724049.2017.1410551.
  51. Villalobos-Céspedes, D., Galdeano-Gómez, E., and Tolón-Becerra, A. (2010). Demand Indicators for Adventure Tourism Packages in Costa Rica: An Exploratory Analysis. Tourism and Hospitality Research 10: 234–245.  https://doi.org/10.1057/thr.2010.7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Virapongse A, Brooks S, Covelli-Metcalf E, Zedalis M, Gosz J, … Alesa L (2016) A Social-Ecological Systems Approach for Environmental Management. Journal of Environmental Management 178:83–91.Google Scholar
  53. Wang, C., and Miko, P. S. (1997). Environmental Impacts of Tourism on U.S. National Parks. Journal of Travel Research 4: 31–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wen, X., Balluz, L., and Mokdad, A. (2009). Association Between Media Alerts of Air Quality Index and Change of Outdoor Activity Among Adult Asthma in Six States, BRFSS, 2005. Journal of Community Health 34: 40–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zajchowski, C. A. B., and Rose, J. (2018). Sensitive Leisure: Writing the Lived Experience of Air Pollution. Leisure Science, online: 1–14.  https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2018.1448026.
  56. Zajchowski, C. A. B., Brownlee, M. T. J., and Rose, J. (2018a). Air Quality and the Visitor Experience in Parks and Protected Areas. Tourism Geographies, online: 1–23.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14616688.2018.1522546.
  57. Zajchowski, C. A. B., Dustin, D. L., and Brownlee, M. T. J. (2018b). To Err is Human: Pondering the Undoing of Human-Induced Climate Change. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration 36: 22–33.  https://doi.org/10.18666/JPRA-2018-V36-I2-8308.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Zhang, H., and Smith, J. (2018). Weather and Air Quality Drive the Winter Use of Utah’s Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons. Sustain 10: 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zivin, J. G., and Neidell, M. (2009). Days of Haze: Environmental Information Disclosure and Intertemporal Avoidance Behavior. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 58: 119–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human Movement SciencesOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health, Kinesiology, and RecreationUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism ManagementClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

Personalised recommendations