Outdoor recreation participation in the United States - projections to 2060: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

  • Authors: Bowker, J.M.; Askew, Ashley E.; Cordell, H. Ken; Betz, Carter J.; Zarnoch, Stanley J.; Seymour, Lynne
  • Publication Year: 2012
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-160. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 34 p.

Abstract

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We developed national projections through 2060 of participation for 17 outdoor recreation activities. The projections were made under futures that vary by population growth, socioeconomic conditions, land use changes, and climate. We used a two-step approach to project the number of participants and the days of participation. The estimation step yielded national level statistical models of adult participation rate and days of participation by activity. The simulation step combined the models with external projections of explanatory variables at 10-year intervals to 2060. Per capita estimates for participation and days were then combined with population projections to derive estimates of participants and days of participation by activity. Results were derived across three 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment scenarios that each feature three associated climate futures. Findings indicated that outdoor recreation will remain a key part of the social and economic fabric of the United States. In the absence of climate change, the number of participants in the 17 recreation activities is projected to increase over the next 5 decades. In some cases, the participation rate will decline, but population growth will ensure that the number of participants increases. Some climate futures led to projected declines in participants, e.g., snowmobiling and undeveloped skiing showed declines in participant numbers up to 25 percent, despite population growth. Climate was also shown to have disparate effects on projections of annual days of participation, particularly for snowmobiling, undeveloped skiing, and hunting.

  • Citation: Bowker, J.M.; Askew, Ashley E.; Cordell, H. Ken; Betz, Carter J.; Zarnoch, Stanley J.; Seymour, Lynne 2012. Outdoor recreation participation in the United States - projections to 2060: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-160. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 34 p.
  • Keywords: Climate change, double-hurdle model, outdoor recreation, participation rate, recreation demand, recreation projections
  • Posted Date: July 12, 2012
  • Modified Date: November 8, 2013
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