Latest Trends in Nature-Based Outdoor Recreation

4:19 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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According to a recent report from the USDA Forest Service, outdoor recreation grew from 2000 to 2007 by 4.4%, or aproximately 9 million visits.

The fastest growing activities were photography and nature viewing. The declining activities were mountain biking, coldwater fishing, and whitewater rafting.

http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/ja/ja_cordell021.pdf/

5:17 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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I'd beg to say that follows right in line with the growth and use of digital cameras which has allowed more and more amateur photographers and made photography easy for everyone.

6:49 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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I agree with mikekey on the photography.
The obvious reason for decline in cold water fishing in my area is that I catch all the fish upstream from the popular fishing spots.

Just joking of course, thanks for the link tbastress.

7:14 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Naaahh, the reason for the decline in coldwater fishing is that fishermen these days are wimps - they can't stand the cold.

I suspect the decline in mountain biking, if it really exists, is in other parts of the country. There certainly is no decline in this area. The number of organized mountain bike races, open to one and all (not just "pro" riders) is increasing, and they draw hundreds of riders.

This link works better - http://www.srs.fs.usda.gov/news/341

Of the 17 fastest-growing nature-based activities from 2000 to 2007, viewing or photographing flowers and trees was at the top. The number of people engaged in this activity climbed 25.8 percent, and the number of times over the last year people participated surged 77.8 percent during the study period. Second on the list is viewing or photographing natural scenery. This activity saw a 14 percent increase in number of people, with a 60 percent increase in times participated. Driving off-road is third on the list of fastest growing, nature-based activities. Between 2000 and 2007, the number of people using off-road vehicles grew 18.6 percent, and they participated 56.1 percent more times in 2007 than in 2000.

Certain nature-based recreational activities declined between 2000 and 2007. Fewer people reported participating in mountain biking, coldwater fishing, and whitewater rafting. The research shows the number of people backpacking and mountain climbing also decreased during the study period; however, the number of times they engaged in these activities increased. Conversely, the number of times visiting prehistoric sites, saltwater fishing, and snorkeling declined, but the number of people engaging in these pastimes grew.

Driving off-road is "nature-based"??????

http://www.srs.fs.fed.us/pubs/ja/ja_cordell021.pdf this works. Don't know why yours didn't.

Oh, wait! I see one difference in the article. Read further down to the section "Since 2000" to see the comments about off-roading'

8:06 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Bill, the only way some people can get three miles into "nature" is to use a motorized conveyance of some type.

At least till it tears up three miles in!
HaHa, then their really mad, I've seen them.

8:42 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Yes, many outdoorsman I know would rather ride a four wheeler than walk. Everytime I go back to work after my long weekend of hiking, there's always at least one that will say motorbiking is a lot easier than walking.
Who was it that said, "When man invented the wheel, he forgot how to walk." ?
And Mountain Biking is as ever popular here in Jackson Hole as it ever has been.

9:54 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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IMO the more people "get out there" the more people will want to save whats left of "out there" I hope the trend continues :)

10:22 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Hmmm, interesting thread and comments. I'm going to put on my flame-retardant suit here and chime in :). I'm one of those (rare??) types who enjoys both ... being off in the wilderness far from the nearest vehicle ... or driving my Jeep to a "remote" spot on a Jeep road.

IMO each has its virtues. The virtues of backpacking in the wilderness are obvious and don't need repeating in this forum :). The virtues of "Jeep camping", however, are that I can go 20 or 30 miles out in a single day, and get to spots I wouldn't be able to any other way on a weekend outing. I recall some awesome spots I've gotten to this way that in reality I couldn't have seen any other way.

I don't suppose I'll get much support for this view in this forum, heh heh :), but before you flame me, please realize I do try to tread as lightly as I can, staying on established Jeep roads/trails, don't go around spinning the tires digging up the terrain, and when I arrive, I camp essentially the way I would if had backpacked in (oh, except for the 7 gallon water jug :).

10:34 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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On the contrary bheiser1, I have a decent off road rig and do go off road.
I think sometimes the off road guys get a bum rap, but sometimes they do tend to be obnoxious and destructive.

I have often used service roads or jeep trails to get further in before setting off on foot.
I really don't like high traffic areas much anymore, not that I'm anti social, but I do enjoy solitude, and going off road does help get you into more remote areas.

Having said that, I DO NOT like hearing engines racing and guys trying to yell over them while I hike, camp, or fish.

Go figure.

10:55 p.m. on November 6, 2008 (EST)
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Yes! I agree with each of your points :)

-Bill

6:24 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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I agree with you totally here. of road driving is not a nature based sport as far as I'm concerned

10:13 p.m. on January 10, 2009 (EST)
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Yes big debate here in Norway too. The ATWs used by the samis are in debate cause they make tracks in the wilderness. Even snowmobiles are heavily restricted. People who owns huts are only permitted a few number of tours to their hut using the snowmobile.

The state is preparing a set of new rules, and the snowmobile people are angry for every restiction imposed. Rumors say the rules will be close to a total ban of every type of leisure driving.

How anyone may call driving by motor in the nature a nature based sport is beyond me also. Maybee lowlevel flight with helicopter also is nature based sport?

July 31, 2014
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