University of Tasmania
whole_CarlingtonBernardGerard1988_thesis.pdf (16.8 MB)

Franklin River rafters and other western Tasmanian wilderness parks users : their characteristics, experiences and attitudes as inputs to management

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posted on 2023-05-27, 08:37 authored by Carlington, Bernard(Bernard Gerard)
Tasmania's Franklin - Lower Gordon Wild Rivers National Park, together with the other Western Tasmanian Wilderness Parks, was entered onto the United Nations World Heritage List in 1982. Encompassing one of the largest south temperate wilderness areas in the world, these three contiguous parks provide opportunities for a range of recreation activities from vehicle-based sightseeing to extended wilderness white-water rafting. Recreational pressures on all of the parks are increasing and they are now being seen, not only as reserves of major biological and ecological importance, but also as important components of an increasingly tourist based economy. Both development within the parks to support recreational use and their general management have been intuitively based and until recently the acquisition of visitor data for planning purposes has been a very low priority. It is contended that, in the face of increasingly scarce resources and the need to provide a recreation environment that will allow maximum visitor satisfaction consistent with the conservation of the parks, the planning process must take due account of the nature of the recreation experience and the objectives of participants. The purpose of this study is to provide management information for use in that process and the approach is based upon the premise that individuals choose to participate in recreation activities within selected physical, social, and managerial environments for the purpose of attaining pre-determined satisfactions or outcomes. It further presupposes that the focus of the management effort should be the provision of opportunities for the pursuit of such satisfactions. Successful management therefore requires an understanding of the satisfactions or outcomes that participants associate with the opportunities provided and the implementation of management prescriptions that contribute to the attainement of those satisfactions consistent with the overall policies of the agency. The immediate objective of the study was to determine the use and user profiles of the wilderness parks with an emphasis on the newest, the Franklin - Lower Gordon Wild Rivers National Park; to determine the nature of the satisfactions associated by visitors with the opportunities afforded by the parks and with particular defined activity - setting complexes; to investigate the existence of differences between selected subgroups of rafters and their responses to selected management options; and to examine the relationship between the satisfactions and valued outcomes of current participants and their views on appropriate management directions. The research instrument selected was the self-administered questionnaire completed by a total of 1969 participants from all of the parks. A further 1028 participants completed a more lengthy form which included a section consisting of 62 attitudinal scales reflecting possible outcomes associated with participation. Of these 633 were rafters on the Franklin - Lower Gordon Wild Rivers. Analysis undertaken on the basis of the park where contact was made revealed that, with the exception of the Franklin -Lower Gordon, the patterns of use and visitor characteristics were essentially similar with the dominant use being vehicle-based, short-duration activities centred around the visitor service areas. Again with the same exception, the opportunities and outcomes associated with each of the parks were essentially similar with those satisfactions arising out of exposure to natural environments rating most highly followed by those arising from in-group social interaction and physical exercise. The Franklin - Lower Gordon Wild Rivers National Park differed in that outcomes associated with achievement and risk taking figured more prominently. Six broadly defined activity settings were established on the basis of visit duration, activity, and maximum possible penetration into the parks. These were labelled: sightseeing, picnicking, daywalking, developed area camping, bushwalking and rafting. On the basis of participant scoring of the outcome scales, only three clearly distinguishable activity settings emerged, each with an identifiably different pattern of valued outcomes associated with it: rafting, bushwalking, and a single remaining group of activity setting complexes the locus of which is confined to the immediate proximity of the visitor service areas - the sightseeing, picnicking, daywalking, and developed area camping. While managerial presence and policy are an integral part of the resultant setting, the links between the value placed by participants on the experience outcomes and their views on management direction are few and weak and do not provide any clear indication to management of any broadly shared perception that selected management directions would either enhance or detract from future availability of opportunities to pursue particular experiences. Differences in outcome profiles occurred among subgroups of rafters with differences showing up between those in commercially organised parties and others; first time participants and those with previous expereience; and between males and females. In terms of future management options, there was a clear perception on the part of rafters that controls on user numbers would be appropriate as would controls on other aspects of rafters' behavior including the use of fuel stoves, axes and saws. There was also a clear preference for such controls to be exercised prior to entry into the park. Three indices of management presence and control were developed from participants' scoring of possible management prescriptions and the relationship between participants scores on these indices and their outcome scores examined. The results demonstrate again that outcome scores are not strong predictors of participant views on future management direction in this environment.


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Copyright 1988 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1989. Bibliography: p. 346-358

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