Wilderness campers' perception and evaluation of campsite impacts

Tracy Farrell, Troy E. Hall, Dave White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


On-site, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 51 groups of campers in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness to understand their perception and evaluation of impacts to vegetation, soil, and trees. At campers' sites, measurements of vegetation loss, mineral soil exposure, tree damage, and site size were made for comparison with visitors' numeric evaluations of conditions. Content analysis of qualitative responses revealed that 75% of groups noticed vegetation impacts, 52% noticed soil impacts, and 51% noticed damage to trees. More than 70% of evaluative comments about conditions were positive, with many related to the functional benefits of impacts. Sites ranged in size from 13 m2 to 453 m2, but there were no statistically significant relationships between 6 measured impact parameters and campers' numeric evaluations of conditions. The difference between visitors' and managerial evaluations of impact conditions will present considerable challenges for selecting and successfully implementing management policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)229-250
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Leisure Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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