Canadian Forest Service Publications

Forest recreation area campers in the Rocky-Clearwater Forest of Alberta. 1996. McFarlane, B.L.; Boxall, P.C.; Gartrell, J.M. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre, Edmonton, Alberta. Information Report NOR-X-348.

Year: 1996

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 11945

Language: English

Series: Information Report (NoFC - Edmonton)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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Abstract

Understanding recreational users of the forest is essential to integrating social values in successful integrated resource management. This study examines campers at forest recreation areas in the Rocky-Clearwater Forest of Alberta to determine total campground use and user characteristics. Camping fee envelopes were modified to provide a relatively inexpensive means of data collection. Data were collected from the 33 campgrounds that collected fees during the 1994 camping season. Data were then linked with Statistics Canada census data to obtain estimates of socioeconomic characteristics. Geographic information systems technology was used to determine and map market areas. Results showed that the campgrounds are used primarily by Albertans who live within a 1- to 2-hour drive of the forest. July received more visits than the other months. The campgrounds are used mostly as one-night stopovers or as weekend camping destinations. Cluster analysis identified two subgroups of campers, suggesting that visitors are not a homogeneous group and may have differing recreational needs and opinions of forest management. The study employed existing systems for data collection and provided accurate use data and information on user characteristics. Existing systems and data bases should be examined more critically for user information that will assist management efforts in understanding social values associated with the forest.