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Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge: A survey of visitor experiences: Report to respondents

Open-File Report 2004-1331

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Abstract

In the fall of 2000, researchers from the Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Program (PASA) of the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) in the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) met with the staff of the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge (CPNWR) to discuss the issues related to social, economic, and human dimensions of natural resource management as it related to the Comprehensive Conservation Plan (CCP) planning process. As a result of the meeting a research study was designed to better understand how visitors are affected by environmental management decisions and provide information to assist the refuge managers in making decisions regarding public use and recreational management related to the goals of the proposed CCP. More specifically, information was collected to document the type and frequency of visitor use; assess the importance of recreational activities; and to determine visitor attitudes about recreation management decisions within the refuge. To this end, we designed a study to assess the effects of the no-action and alternative management plans for the Refuge visitors’ perceptions and likely visitation patterns.

In fall of 2002 a questionnaire was developed in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the CCP planning team and mailed to 1090 people who visited the refuge between June 2001 and June 2002. We used standard research methods in designing and administering the questionnaire. Six hundred and eightyfive (685) completed questionnaires (74%) were considered usable. We developed the questionnaire (OMB Control Number 1040-00) to answer the following questions:

  • What are the important differences in visitors’ attitudes and perception regarding recreation and visitor use at CPNWR?
  • What are the factors that explain the differences in visitor attitudes and perception regarding recreation and visitor use at CPNWR?
  • What are the regional economic impacts of visitor spending?

In general the respondents indicated support for current management practices of CPNWR. We found that people came to the Refuge to experience a connection with the resource and the environment. More than half of the respondents said that viewing the desert scenery, seeking wilderness solitude and viewing wildlife were the most important reasons for making the visit to the refuge.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge: A survey of visitor experiences: Report to respondents
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2004-1331
Year Published:
2004
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Fort Collins Science Center
Description:
iii, 26 p.
Country:
United States
Other Geospatial:
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N