Increased visitor use and overuse are well-documented in popular national parks in the Western United States. Previous research has documented how this high level of visitor use negatively impacts park resources and inhibits the provisioning of recreational ecosystem services to park visitors. This research informs the management of recreational ecosystem services in wildland protected areas by identifying important provisioning areas, degraded provisioning areas, and at-risk provisioning areas through a participatory mapping exercise conducted with park managers and other key residential stakeholders (e.g., tourism operators, NGOs, and local community leaders) in Grand Canyon National Park. Following a mixed methods design, responses were analyzed via overlap, hotspot, and qualitative metadata analyses. Findings indicate that unique bundles of recreational ecosystem services are provisioned in specific areas across the study area. However, many of these service provisioning areas were also found to be either degraded or at-risk of degradation due to visitor use trends. Based on perceived service provisioning and degradation, areas of concern for recreational ecosystem service management were subsequently classified. Finally, sources and impacts of degradation for areas of concern were identified through a paired qualitative analysis of the spatial participatory mapping data. As a result, this manuscript outlines a new method of prioritizing areas for recreational ecosystem service management through an areas of concern analysis that examines the overlap of service provisioning areas and ecological and experiential degradation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Environmental Science(all)
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management