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Adaptive Recreation Planning And Climate Change: A Contingent Visitation Approach

R. Richardson, J. Loomis
Published 2004 · Geography

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Abstract This paper applies a contingent visitation analysis to estimate the effects of changes in climate and resource variables on nature-based recreation demand. A visitor survey at Rocky Mountain National Park included descriptions of hypothetical climate scenarios (depicting both weather- and resource-related variables), and questions about how respondents' visitation behavior would change contingent upon the scenarios. Survey responses are used to estimate the impact of climate change on park visitation and to test for the relative significance among climate scenarios and resource variables. A relatively small proportion of respondents indicated that their visitation behavior would change under the hypothetical climate scenarios, and the net effect on visitation is slightly positive. Both direct (weather-related) and indirect (resource-related) climate scenario variables are found to be statistically significant determinants of contingent expected changes in visitation. The results of the contingent visitation analysis are compared with the results of a regression analysis of historic visitation and climate variation for methodological assessment, and we find that they are in close agreement.
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