El Yunque National Forest Project
El Yunque National Forest (EYNF) contains the largest area of undisturbed tropical rainforest in Puerto
Rico and is the second most visited place on the island. Managing recreational activities could be
ecologically and socially challenging. Visitors could access sensitive areas (e.g., El Toro Wilderness Area),
and use could exceed acceptable levels (e.g., crowding) during peak seasons. In addition, the main
recreational facilities are out of reach of the surrounding communities. This situation warrants
incorporating new planning and management approaches that allow for achieving social and
The overall purpose is to provide the necessary social science data to accurately and defensibly guide
visitor use management and community-based tourism development along the 186 Road Corridor at
EYNF. Users of the corridor and community members nearest to the corridor are the project’s focus.
The project will gather objective, science-based data on the following topics:
1) Visitors' characteristics, visitor attitudes, and visitor perceptions of issues.
2) Potential indicators for the visitor experience.
3) How acceptable are management alternatives (current and future) to visitors and community
4) Community members’ perceptions of EYNF and their level of involvement in its planning and