Source: UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA submitted to
19-06 HATCH REGULAR: UNDERSTANDING HUMAN AND COMMUNITY BENEFITS AND MECHANISMS
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1019421
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
ALK19-06
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Apr 17, 2019
Project End Date
Sep 30, 2022
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Fix, PE, .
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA
(N/A)
FAIRBANKS,AK 99775
Performing Department
School of Natural Resources & Extension
Non Technical Summary
People engage in recreation in hopes of receiving beneficial outcomes. The desired outcomes, and how best to achieve them, will vary by individuals. Recreation managers can enhance the opportunities for individuals to realize their desired benefits. Crucial to doing so is understanding the benefits desired and how potential management actions could positively or negatively impact attainment. This project seeks to advance previous research that examined the relationship between attainment of desired benefits and management actions. In addition, if individuals within specific communities receive benefits from recreation, related research questions include whether a change could be detected at the community level and if management actions can increase the extent of positive change. This project also seeks to build on research that addresses the ability to measure and influence community-level beneficial outcomes. The expected impacts of this project are increased effectiveness of recreation management and enhanced beneficial outcomes to individuals and communities.
Animal Health Component
0%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
100%
Applied
(N/A)
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1340599310050%
1340599303050%
Goals / Objectives
Contribute to the understanding of how recreation management can facilitate the production of benefitsReport findings in a manner relevant to a broad audience with practical applications clearly highlightedImprove efficiency in the BLM's application of Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM)Further develop the capacity of the Matanuska Experiment Farm (MEF) to fulfill the surrounding communities' health and wellness needsInvestigate how recreation on the MEF contributes to the well-being of the surrounding communityProvide data to assist in the management of the MEF.
Project Methods
Creation of database compiling existing BLM OFM-based survey and focus group data, involving the construction ofMeta-analysis of OFM-based survey data compiled in database to:Provide an aggregated descriptive summary of visitors and trips to BLM lands across time and regionInvestigate the activity-setting-experience-benefit relationship in outdoor recreationMeta-analysis of OFM-based focus group data to construct an aggregated descriptive summaryAdministration of new OFM-based survey and focus group studies, involving:Creation and use of a common survey instrumentConsultation with local BLM field offices to construct studies to meet information needsPartnering with university researchers to implement studiesMaintenance of OFM-based recreation study database, adding new studies as completedValidation of OFM benefits questions/concepts through:A longitudinal study involving:Recruitment of participantsAdministration of a series of pre and post-outdoor recreation surveys over several weeks, employing both OFM measures and appropriate, reliable, and validated non-OFM measures (selected through review of relevant literature)Comparison of OFM to non-OFM measures, assessing consistency of outcomes measuredAssessment of validity and meaning of community, environment, and economic benefit measures by exploring how participants form their responses to these questions using:InterviewsFollow-up surveysConstruction and administration of an MEF trail user survey involving:A representative onsite sample of users, randomly selected across time blocks to participate in a follow-up web-based survey of trail use, preferences, and perspectives on potential trail and land-use changes on the MEFResearch into and application of the HPHP five steps to improve health in a community through:Literature reviewCreation of a community health profile, with reassessment planned after implementation of project (see next step, below)Planning, implementation, reevaluation, and adaptation of a project to address community health in consolation with relevant local partners

Progress 10/01/19 to 09/30/20

Outputs
Target Audience:Managers with the Bureau of Land Management, Research at other universities. Managers with the Bureau of Land Management included staff in the (then) Washington DC office, Las Vegas Field Office, Kingman, AZ Field Office, Monticello, Utah Field Office, Vernal, UT Field Office,Newcastle, WY Field Office, and Price, UT Field Office. Researchers at other universities included the participants in the NE 1962 Multistate project:University of Connecticut, West Virginia University, The Ohio State University, South Dakota State University, Cornell, North Carolina State University, Northern Iowa University, and the University of Florida. Changes/Problems:The Matanuska Greenbelt Trails study had planned to have a surveyor onsite to randomly sample trail users. Due to Covid-19 we had to switch to using signs with a QR code. This impactedthe abilityto assess representation and to the capacityto generalize results toall users. However, data still have research and management utility. What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? Nothing Reported How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Project reports for the Logandale Field Office Study were developed and distributed to BLM managers and other relevant stakeholders. For the MEF, initial summaries of key variables have been provided to the MEF Trails Advisory Commission. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?Continue with the BLM OFM studies: conduct the meta-analysis on the data included in the database, finish the Bears Ears National Monument study (data collection and report), finish the Vernal Field Office Study (data collection and report) start the Newcastle Field Office study. Analyze the data gathered at the Matanuska Greenbelt Trail system and create report and other outreach material. Develop a general population survey to further explore health issues and constraints to participationoutdoor recreation.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? For the goal improve efficiency in the BLM's application of Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM), the following was accomplished: This was demonstrated through the efficiency with which new studies were developed and implemented. This includes Logandale Trails visitor survey and community assessment, Kingman Field Office visitor survey and community assessment, Vernal, Utah John Wesley Powell National Conservation Area and McCoy Flats Recreation Area visitor survey and community assessment, and Bears Ears National Monument visitor survey. These visitor and community assessments are developed with minimal need to consult with the respective field office. Visitor surveys and community assessment scripts are developed within two months. Studies were developed at the following sites; data that has been gathered is listed in parentheses. Logandale Trails (visitor survey, onsite n = 144, follow-up n = 34; community assessment, n = 21). Project reports complete. Kingman Field Office (visitor survey, onsite n = 271, follow-up n = 89; community assessment developed, but not started). However, data collection was paused due to Covid-19 concerns. Bears Ears National Monument (visitor survey, onsite n = 494, follow-up n = 246; community assessment developed, but not started). The accomplishments for the following three goals, are detailed below. Further develop the capacity of the Matanuska Experiment Farm (MEF) to fulfill the surrounding communities' health and wellness needs Investigate how recreation on the MEF contributes to the well-being of the surrounding community Provide data to assist in the management of the MEF. A survey of trail users was developed. The survey included topics related to types and location of use, frequency and duration of use, perceptions of problems on the trail system, management preferences,anticipated health outcomes, self-assessment of attainment of those health outcomes, and demographics.Due to Covid-19 constraints the survey was distributed by placing signs with a QR at the main trailheads at the MEF. The survey was administered August 8, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Nine hundred twenty-eight responses were received.

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2020 Citation: Fix, P. J., McAllister, E., Garcia, R. A., Virden, R. J., Casey, T. T., & Tunnell, A. (2020). Logandale Trails Management Areas Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM) Recreation Study, Spring 2020. Project report for the BLM Las Vegas Field Office. BLM PLRRP Report #10. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Fairbanks, School of Natural Resources and Extension, Department of Natural Resources Management.
  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2020 Citation: Casey, T. T., Haas, D. J., Garcia, R. A., & Fix, P. J. (2020). Logandale Trails, Las Vegas, NV BLM Field Office Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM) Recreation Focus Group Study, 2020. Project report for the BLM Las Vegas Field Office. BLM PLRRP Report #11. Grand Junction, Colorado: Colorado Mesa University, Natural Resource Center, Department of Social and Behavioral Science.


Progress 04/17/19 to 09/30/19

Outputs
Target Audience:Researchers within the BLM at the Washington DC office, Kingman Field Office, Las Vegas Field Office; researchers at Colorado Mesa University, Northern Arizona University; the non-profit organization Partners in Conservation (Logandale, Nevada); recreation management students at the University of Minnesota; researchers at the Northeast Recreation Research Symposium (April 6 & 7). Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?My involvement with the various BLM field offices have provided opportunities to increase BLM staff's knowledge of survey research methods. In addition, the research partners on those projects, the non-profit Partners in Conservation and faculty at Northern Arizona University, have been provided with the opportunity to increase their understanding of recreation management within the BLM and survey research methods. MGT steering committee members and other relevant stakeholders to the MGT trail system have increased their knowledge of survey research methods. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?Two manuscripts from R. Bryant Wright's thesis were submitted for publication. Results of BLM projects that I have conducted have been incorporated into BLM recreation management training workshops. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?A poster highlighting the OFM process followed by the BLM was presented at the SHIFT Conference. A session related to applying OFM and measuring benefits was presented at the Alaska Recreation and Parks Association Annual Meeting. Kimberly Diamond will complete her thesis exploring factors related to benefit production. The database that combined previously gathered BLM data should be finalized and made available for analysis. The projects at the Logandale Trail System will move forward, as will the project at Kingman, AZ. New projects have been identified as well (Bears Ears National Monument, mountain bike trails in Vernal, UT, and a project along the Colorado River, in Colorado). Regarding the Matanuska Greenbelt Trails, the survey will finalized, a pilot test conducted, and data gathered in summer 2020.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? Contribute to the understanding of how recreation management can facilitate the production of benefits. During the reporting period significant progress was made on the process of combining data from over 20 previous studies that examined the production of benefits. First R. Bryant Wright finalized his Master's thesis, which conducted factor analysis to provide insight into the use of survey items to measure benefits. Additional variables are being merged into the benefit data combined by Mr. Wright (onsite experiences, trip characteristics, activities, group composition, demographics, etc.) allowing the exploration of variables that might be predictors of benefit production. Kimberly Diamond will focus her Master's thesis on identifying those variables. From this work, and abstract was submitted to the fall 2019 SHIFT conference (a conference that brings together health practitioners and public land managers to discuss evidence for benefits associated with recreation and ways to improve the efficacy of management). An abstract for a session presentation at the Alaska Parks and Recreation Association meeting was submitted and accepted. The session focused on applying OFM and measuring benefits. Improve efficiency in the BLM's application of Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM). Two new OFM projects were initiated during this study period. One outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Logandale Trail System, and the other in the Kingman, AZ area. The concept of this project was that UAF would serve as a national center to conduct recreation research for the BLM. That vision started to come to fruition during the reporting period. My colleague at the BLM Washington DC office conducts training workshops for BLM employees; during workshops she promotes UAF and the agreement with the DC office. That resulted in two new projects (and three new projects after the reporting period). The concept that this would increase efficiency has been supported. In addition, this has allowed me to make new connections with researchers at Northern Arizona University and with non-profits in southern Nevada. Investigate how recreation on the MEF contributes to the well-being of the surrounding community. The project that will apply concepts from the Bureau of Land Management's Outcomes Focused Management framework and the National Park Service's Healthy Parks Healthy People initiative to the Matanuska Green Belt (MGT) trails (i.e., that the MEF is part of) has moved forward. A detailed outline of project goals was developed and distributed to the MGT steering committee and other relevant stakeholders. Research priorities of the steering committee and stakeholders were ranked allowing us to move forward with a subset of priorities on which to focus research. A draft survey was developed.

Publications

  • Type: Other Status: Published Year Published: 2019 Citation: Casey, T. T., Garcia, R. A., & Fix, P. J. (2019). Amarillo, TX BLM Field Office Outcomes-Focused Management (OFM) Recreation Focus Group Study, 2018. Project report for the BLM Amarillo Field Office. BLM PLRRP Report #9. Grand Junction, Colorado: Colorado Mesa University, Natural Resource Center, Department of Social and Behavioral Science.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2019 Citation: Wright, R. B. & Fix, P. J. (In review). A case study in identifying recreation preferences at a community scale: Fairbanks community recreation survey. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism.
  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Under Review Year Published: 2019 Citation: Wright, R. B., Fix, P. J., & Garcia, R. (In review). Searching for subdimensions of the recreation benefits construct: Comparing factor structures in 13 benefits studies. Journal of Leisure Research.