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Instant- and Interval-Count Sampling: Two New Techniques for Estimating Recreation Use

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The analogy between point sampling and on-site count methods in recreation sampling led to the development of instant-count sampling. One or more instantaneous counts of visitors are made to estimate total use in visitor-days or visitor-hours on site. The observer spends additional time on-site to count people entering and leaving if number of visitors is of interest. This technique is particularly suitable for estimating use on small areas or sites characterized by users easily visible from a single observation point such as overlooks, visitor information centers, and historical sites. Use estimates can often be made without users being aware of the observer. The method proved very efficient in a test on a data set generated from a study on the Pike National Forest in Colorado. Interval-count sampling was developed for large recreation areas with one-way traffic. Counts of users are made while the observer travels through the site against the flow of traffic. The procedure is efficient in estimating visitor-days use if travel time through the site is negligible and in estimating visits if users can state their actual use with negligible error. Visitors generally have to be interviewed to obtain unbiased estimates of number of visitors and total visitor-days of use; otherwise, the observer often cannot distinguish between initial entries and reentries. Forest Sci. 21:40-44.

Keywords: Unequal probability sampling; interviewing; total use; visits

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Recreation Specialist, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, Clemson, S.C.

Publication date: 1975-03-01

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Average time from submission to first decision: 62.5 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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