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The representation of outdoor recreation in land-use planning in British Columbia Harshaw, Howard W.

Abstract

The cases of recreation in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and Peace Foothills in British Columbia are used to explore the issues of the representation of outdoor recreation in land-use planning and the participation of recreationists in land-use planning. The widening array of outdoor recreation activities in high-use areas poses new challenges to the equitable participation of diverse recreation user groups in land-use planning. How well have past land-use planning exercises represented the needs of outdoor recreationists? How well represented do participants of newer recreation activities feel? Moreover, who should represent these diverse groups? There has, to date, been very little research in this area. In an attempt to explore these questions and begin building a theoretical framework for understanding key relationships, this study measures recreationists' perceptions of representation in land-use planning and their participation in land-use planning in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor and Peace Foothills. Relationships between recreation use and socio-economic characteristics and recreationists' participation and perceptions of representation in land-use planning were examined. Moderate levels of perceived representation were found for most recreation groups, although some users seemed unclear about how well they were represented. In sum, some socio-economic characteristics (household income, age, and education) were associated with a person's participation in land-use planning; this influence extended to perceived representation through aspects of social capital, as membership in an outdoor recreation club and degree of recreation specialization were associated with perceived representation. The localness of recreationists played a role in their participation in land-use planning; localness also was associated with perceived representation. Outdoor recreation characteristics (recreation specialization, activity choice, the number of activities participated in, annual participation, and club membership) had an influence on recreationists' likelihood of participation in land-use planning. Logistic regression models suggested that recreation specialization and household income contributed to respondents' perceptions of representation in land-use planning; age, recreation specialization, the number of recreation activities participated in, club membership, and local residence contributed to respondents' likelihood of having been a participant of a land-use planning process. The results of this study support four land-use planning strategies that may assist planners in increasing actual and perceived representation of recreationists.

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