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Management Perceptions of Off-Highway Vehicle Use on National Forest System Lands in Appalachia

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The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of issues related to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use and management tactics among US Forest Service District Rangers on National Forests in the Appalachian region. We determined the differences in perceptions of District Rangers based on different concentrations of OHV managed trails on Ranger Districts. We surveyed 42 District Rangers on 14 National Forests using a modified Dillman mail-back method that resulted in a response rate of 69.1%. The questionnaire was modified from a previous study. Managers with high levels of OHV trail concentrations reported using more varied and additional management tactics to deal with ecological impacts and social issues. Unauthorized trail creation was reported consistently across both levels of OHV trail concentrations. When we compared our findings to earlier results, there were some differences in what managers reported. For example, closing or limiting use was more frequently reported as a management tactic in this study, whereas use of personal contacts was more often selected in the California study.
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Keywords: ATV; Appalachia; all-terrain vehicle; off-highway vehicle; recreation management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2011

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