Joshua Tree National Park
Research to Evaluate Visitor Characteristics Across and Within Seasons at Joshua Tree National Park
The overall goal of this project is to gather information to support visitor use management and planning at Joshua Tree National Park (JOTR) in California (U.S.). Specifically, this project is intended to inform and guide NPS managers in providing sustainable and appropriate visitor experiences and visitor uses in the park. The information gained from the project will help managers understand the visitor population and potential management actions that may ensure high-quality recreational and educational experiences, protect resources, and provide continued access to the park. A portion of the data analyses will incorporate discussion related to potential regional growth and its relationship to the park. The need for this project is evident in the NPS enabling legislation (the Organic Act of 1916), which mandates park managers to protect and maintain the natural and scientific values of the park and to provide for public enjoyment, education, and inspiration (NPS, 2016).
Specific objectives of this study include:
- Identify and evaluate visitor demographics, preferences, and important experiences across multiple sites at JOTR.
- Evaluate visitor characteristics and preferences across multiple user groups (e.g., campers, day users, climbers, backpackers) and across multiple seasons (e.g., spring, summer, fall).
- Identify emergent recreation uses and opposition/support for related specific management actions.
- Identify when and how park managers may use social media and other informational outlets to provide continued access to the park while protecting park resources and ensuring high-quality visitor experiences.
- Collect and evaluate temporal and spatial travel patterns from a visitors' trip origin to the park destination.
- Kansas State University
- U.S. National Park Service