Understanding recreationists' attitudes toward and preferences for natural resources conservation
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With ever-increasing demands on scarce natural resources, understanding public attitudes toward natural resources is crucial to accomplishing various management goals for resource conservation and the provision of resource services. Despite numerous studies of public attitudes toward resource conservation since Dunlap and Heffernan 1975), there is a limited understanding of the driving forces underlying recreationists?? activities that contribute to their conservation attitudes and behaviors. Thus, this dissertation investigated the connected causal effects of how recreational anglers develop their conservation attitudes and preferences toward natural resources in light of within- and between-group diversity. Three independent studies, focusing on both recreation specialization and recreationists?? conservation attitudes, were conducted with different research themes. Two different methods, namely, a stated preference discrete choice method and structural equation modeling, were used. The first study examined anglers?? holistic preferences for trade-offs of various management rules and regulations using specialization segmentation. Study results supported that high specialization anglers reported a greater appreciation of and support for resource management practices such as harvest regulations that seek to reduce adverse user impacts than their less specialized counterparts. The second study explored the fostering process of conservation attitudes and behaviors with recreation specialization and other motivational and attitudinal variables. Given that empirical analyses supported the theoretical propositions in the constructed model, recreation specialization and other accrued motivational and attitudinal concepts provided insight to understanding the formation pattern of conservation attitudes and behaviors. The third study examined how the fostering process of attitudes toward resource conservation differed by race and ethnicity. Results indicated that anglers, regardless of their racial and ethnic origins, showed similar patterns of fostering attitudes toward and preferences for resource conservation. As they participated in fishing activity on a regular basis, heterogeneous development in conservation attitudes and preferences were likely to be minimal and be better explained by the framework of recreation specialization. Finally, a summary and synthesis of the findings, agenda for future research, and the management implications were discussed.
Oh, Chi-Ok (2005). Understanding recreationists' attitudes toward and preferences for natural resources conservation. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from