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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Allocation of outdoor recreation across a mine waste section Rouse, Clayton Karl


The objective of this thesis was to test multi-attribute utility analysis as a method to help a planner allocate outdoor recreational activities across a mine waste section. The mine waste examined was a hypothetical 10 km x 10 km section. The physical features of the mine waste resemble the coal mine waste of the Elk River Valley in southeastern British Columbia. Nine activities were chosen for examination. These were trailbiking, four-wheel driving, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, horseback riding and recreational vehicle camping. The activities were grouped into sixteen land uses. A resident of the Elk River Valley was chosen to represent the interests of each activity user group. These interests were described as preferences for attributes of the mine waste. Multi-attribute utility analysis was used to develop the nine representatives' preference structures for the mine waste attributes. The results of the analysis were used to develop an objective function which measured how well a recreation plan for the mine waste satisfied the user groups' interests. A computer program was developed to evaluate the objective function. Using this program, a recreation land use plan was produced for the hypothetical mine waste section which maximized the value of the objective function. Two limitations of the multi-attribute utility analysis were identified in this study. The first was the large time commitment required by user groups to structure their preferences for the mine waste attributes. This resulted in user groups becoming tired with the preference assessment procedure. The second limitation was that the assessed preferences did not take into account the cost to the user groups of obtaining each attribute level. These two factors may influence user groups' preference structures for the mine waste attributes. Accepting these limitations, multi-attribute utility analysis in this study was successful in breaking the large outdoor recreation planning problem into smaller problems where user groups' objectives and associated attributes were identified. The analysis enabled user groups to systematically articulate and understand their preferences for each of the attributes. Using this information, a planner was able to isolate agreements and differences in the preferences of the user groups, which provided a firm basis on which to begin a process of conflict resolution. A planner is then able to incorporate these results with other information on the mine waste development area to develop a feasible outdoor recreation land use plan.

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