chapter 16 Outdoor and Adventure Recreation Introduction • Phenomenon of outdoor recreation and the social and historical forces influencing its development in North America • Diverse forms of expression of outdoor recreation • Resources and services that emerge as outdoor recreation opportunities Statistics on Outdoor Usage • 87% of Americans participated in an outdoor recreational activity in 2002. 32% in the same year visited a national park. • 35% of Canadians visited a national park in Canada in 2001. • The United States estimates 900 million outdoor recreation visits to national lands. • State parks contribute another 800 million visitors. • There are between 3 and 4 billion outdoor recreation visits annually in the United States and Canada. • Most outdoor recreation occurs in local areas close to home. Definitions • Outdoor recreation. Recreation behavior that depends to some degree on the natural environment or setting. It can vary considerably and still be considered outdoor recreation. • Nature-based tourism. Depends to some degree on the natural environment. Takes place in national parks, national forests, historical sites, beaches, and other nature-based attractions. (continued) Definitions (continued) • Ecotourism. Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. • Environmental interpretation. Educational activity that aims to reveal meanings about our cultural and natural resources. Most is tied to the National Park Service. • Adventure recreation. Outdoor recreation activities that are perceived by the participant to include elements of danger and adventure. (continued) Definitions (continued) • Adventure tourism. Activities that include either organized or dispersed adventure recreation. • Adventure programming. A broad base of philosophies, theories, and leadership techniques used in the fields of outdoor leadership, experiential education, and adventure education. • Experiential education. A philosophy and methodology in which educators purposely engage with learners in direct experience and focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values. Meaning of Nature and Special Places • American historian William Cronon argues that “nature is a human idea, with a long and complicated cultural history which has led different human beings to conceive of the natural world in very different ways” (1996). • In North America, the meaning of nature is tied both to the frontier experience and the subsequent abuse of natural resources. History of Outdoor Recreation in North America (1500–1890) • Early Native American tribes (before the first Europeans) engaged in activities such as fishing, hunting, canoeing, outdoor celebrations, and gathering of berries and medicinal plants. • Early European explorers and colonists brought new ways of thinking about nature as well as new forms of technology and lifestyles. History of Outdoor Recreation in North America (1890–Present) • By 1900, a growing urban population began to perceive and mourn the loss of what once was the infinite North American frontier. • The following occurred early in the 20th century: – Protecting Banff, Yellowstone, Niagara Falls, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon became popular. – Americans and Canadians flocked to lakes, forests, and the new national parks. • In the late 1920s more visitors traveled to national parks by automobile than by train. The accessibility of the automobile led to the first “golden age of tourism” in North America. (continued) History of Outdoor Recreation in North America (1890–Present) (continued) • The Depression years and World War II deflated the demand for outdoor recreation and nature- based tourism in Canada and the United States. • War-based technology brought a whole new set of outdoor recreation toys: jeeps; aluminum trailers, boats, and canoes; inflatable rafts; and army surplus camping gear. • In 1962 the U.S. Congress established the Outdoor Recreation Resource Review Commission (ORRRC). (continued) History of Outdoor Recreation in North America (1890–Present) (continued) • In the late 1960s and 1970s, political commitment to environmental movement in the United States and Canada was spurred on by baby boomers. • The Wilderness Act was passed in 1964. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, 1965, led to establishment of the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation and funding for comprehensive national- and state-level outdoor recreation planning. Outdoor Recreation Demand • Historical social forces: population, urbanization, technology • Contemporary trends and lifestyles: ethnic and racial diversity • Economic behavior: increase in leisure and income and affluence • Technology: high-tech metals, plastics, and electronics; clothing and footwear made from new fabrics; many transportation options Outdoor Recreation Participation and Trends in the United States • National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE) by the USDA Forest Service: user activity preferences • Outdoor Industry Foundation Consumer Outreach Report, January 2004: human- powered outdoor recreation preferences Outdoor Recreation Participation and Trends in Canada • In Alberta, 11 of top 16 favorite activities are outdoor recreation. • Golf is ranked second. • Growth activities are bicycling, fly-fishing and saltwater fishing, gardening, hiking, backpacking, and running and jogging. • Decreased activities are fishing, hunting, downhill skiing, ice hockey, and curling. • Outdoor recreation–related expenditures in all of North America is $300 to $400 billion annually. Outdoor Recreation Demand: A Social Psychological Phenomenon 1. Demand for experiences: attraction, escape, achievement, and challenge 2. Human–environment interaction: preference for diverse natural settings and opportunities that increases the likelihood of people finding the type of environment they enjoy 3. Role of socialization and experience: childhood experience as a key factor in explaining adult outdoor recreation participation Outdoor Recreation Providers and Careers • Public sector agencies have broader natural resource missions with understanding of other disciplines: ecology, forestry, wildlife management, hydrology, and fire management. • Private sector career opportunities can be tourism based or guide and outfitter based. • Nonprofit sector provides environmental advocacy for youth camps to adventure programming. Outdoor Recreation Resources • Parks, wilderness, and preserves: Recreation agencies interpret the natural, historical, and cultural stories that are connected with these special places. • Forests, grasslands, deserts, and wetlands: Recreational use can be complicated and diverse, ranging from backcountry human-powered recreation to motorized recreational travel and enjoyment. • Water-based resources: Oceans, bays, estuaries, lakes, rivers, streams, canals, wetlands, or a desert oasis all hold tremendous value as recreation and tourism resources. U.S. Federal Land Agencies • National Park Service (NPS) • USDA Forest Service • Bureau of Land Management • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers • Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) • Bureau of Reclamation Canadian and U.S. Land Agencies • Local and county governments provide outdoor opportunities closest to where residents live. • The private sector provides marinas, commercial recreation businesses, tour operators, rafting and river-running companies, equipment rentals, private camps, and outdoor instructors and schools. • Nonprofit organizations: – Boy Scouts, YMCA, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire – Environmental and conservation organizations – Church-related programming to youth, usually in the summer season Adventure Programming and Experiential Education • Maturing subfield under broader umbrella of outdoor recreation • Outdoor leadership and programs: teaching adventure recreation activities in a safe environment through qualified instruction • Involves a leader or facilitator who designs an outdoor program with specific participant outcomes or benefits in mind Outdoor Leadership Skills set includes technical outdoor skills, safety skills, environmental skills, trip planning, liability and risk management, instructional and facilitation methods, judgment, ethics, communication, and leadership ability. Outdoor Adventure Associations • Association for Experiential Education (AEE) • Wilderness Education Association (WEA) • Outward Bound International (OBI) Challenges and Trends for the Future • Challenges: – Urbanization and development pressure on open space and natural areas – Continued growth in demand for outdoor recreation – New technologies and travel – Convergence of diverse social and cultural groups on limited resources • Trends: – Adventure, ecotourism, and culture-based tourism are 3 of the fastest growing areas of the tourism market. – Nonprofit organizations have been one of the fastest growing sectors related to environmental advocacy and to providing outdoor education and adventure recreation opportunities. Discussion: Subject: Cronon American historian William Cronon argued that “nature is a human idea, with a long and complicated cultural history which has led different human beings to conceive of the natural world in very different ways.” • What is the intent and significance of this quote?
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