Daniel White

Daniel White
Steven R. Martin, Ph.D.
Graduation Year: 

Headwaters Forest Reserve (HFR) has existed since 1999, when the Bureau of Land Management purchased remnants of old-growth forestland from Pacific Lumber Company. The area provides numerous recreation opportunities, including hiking and dog walking. High visitor numbers combined with many different user group types seeking different experience outcomes often leads to conflict, and in recent years instances of human-dog conflict have increased. To assess the nature of human-dog conflict at HFR, 434 visitors to the area were surveyed from May to September 2012. The survey had two components, an on-site interview, and a written survey that was mailed to participants and then mailed back upon completion (71% response rate). Participants were asked about the quality of their visit, agreement with proposed area management strategies, and opinions on the current dog policy. Results showed about 20% of respondents reported conflict between humans and dogs, with figures higher for those visitors who didn't bring dogs. Significant differences in attitudes about potential management techniques were also found between visitors who bring dogs to HFR and visitors who don't, with visitors who bring dogs less receptive to more restrictions placed on dogs at HFR. I propose potential management techniques to alleviate conflict by adjusting attitudes of visitors through changing social norms, which includes increasing visitor education and increased enforcement of regulations