The Response of Forest Recreationists to Clearcutting in Northern Lower Michigan: A Preliminary Report
The behavioral and attitudinal responses of forest recreationists to clearcutting were measured on 8 quarter-townships, each 9 square miles in size. These areas had been clearcut at 4 levels of cutting intensity: all standing timber was removed from 202 acres on each of 2 control areas every year and experimental areas had 1,509, 1,469, 2,845, 2,678, 4,326, and 4,401 acres clearcut between 1972 and 1975. Recreationists using these areas were contacted in the field on sample days in 1974 and 1976. Mail questionnaires returned from 1,730 (55 percent) of these recreationists indicated that a majority (79 percent) had seen the clearcutting. Archery deer hunters and small game hunters had the most favorable attitude toward cutting while campers and canoeists were most opposed. The reported enjoyment of recreation on the areas and the change in the number of visitors to the areas were not always related to attitudes about clearcutting. A theoretical framework to explain the consistency and inconsistency of recreationists' response to clearcutting is presented. Forest Sci. 26:81-91.
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