Facilitating Integrated Recreation Management: Assessing Conflict Reduction Benefits in a Common Metric
Recreation management on public land often involves trade-offs. For example, cross-country skiers may experience conflict with snowmobiles. A potential management response is trail separation, which may lead to gains to skiers but also ecological and financial costs associated with creation of a new trail. If separation involves snowmobile access restrictions, there may be experiential losses for that user group. Management responses are not always based on explicit identification and integration of the gains and losses accruing across diverse stakeholders and dimensions; economics provides a criterion, a metric, and measurement tools to facilitate such integration. A Swedish case study illustrates this approach and assesses values accruing to skiers from reduced snowmobile presence. Cross-country skiers were sampled on-site in the southern Jämtland mountain region, and follow-up mail surveys included choice experiment scenarios. Conditional logit analysis of the 1,468 completed scenarios indicates that skier welfare gains from conflict reduction are substantial and reflect both direct and indirect contact. A change from sharing trails to not seeing, hearing, or smelling snowmobiles leads to gains of 185 kronor (US$23) per skier party.
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