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Equity in Access to Outdoor Recreation—Informing a Sustainable Future


Winter et al., 2020

Abstract: Despite an increasingly ethnically and racially diverse population in the United States (U.S.), growing evidence indicates that minorities are underrepresented in national forest visitation. Many reasons for continuing underrepresentation have been examined, involving research reaching back multiple decades. In the current study, a random sample of residents (n = 1977) from four large metropolitan statistical areas in California was involved in a telephone survey about forest visitation. Analysis revealed a continuing pattern of inequities in lifetime visitation to a national forest, as well as recency of visitation. Constraints to national forest visitation show similarities among groups. Lack of time was the most often mentioned constraint, with resource-related constraints more frequently cited by minority respondents. In contrast to prior studies, a lack of information or concerns about discrimination were not cited by survey respondents, though the open-ended approach to top constraints may underpin some of this variation from prior research. The primary information source for outdoor recreation used most frequently and most trusted was the Internet, followed closely by social networks (family and friends). In the presentation of U.S. outdoor recreation information, natural resource management agencies, use groups, and opportunity providers would benefit from incorporating culturally relevant messaging and images to affirm the message of inclusion and welcome.

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