Recreational rates and future land-use preferences for four Department of Energy sites

Consistency despite demographic and geographical differences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The management of ecosystems has been improved by both a public understanding of ecosystem structure and function and by managers' understanding of public perceptions and attitudes. This is especially true for contaminated lands where there are a variety of remediation, restoration, and future land-use decisions to be made. This paper synthesizes several surveys from four US Department of Energy (DOE) sites in the states of South Carolina, Idaho, Nevada, and New York. Although ethnic composition varied among the sites, age and gender did not. The percentage of the study population engaged in hunting ranged from 30% to 41% and that in fishing ranged from 55% to 74%. Average hunting rates ranged from 9 (New York) to 15 (South Carolina) days/year; average fishing rates ranged from 12 (New Mexico) to 38 (New York) days a year. Despite the demographic and recreational rate differences, there was remarkable agreement about future land uses. Maintaining these DOE sites as National Environmental Research Parks and using them for nonconsumptive recreation rated the highest. The lowest rated future land uses were current and additional nuclear waste storage and the building of homes and factories. People who participated in a recreational activity rated those future land uses higher than nonusers. While these data on recreational rates can be used to assess the potential risk to people using contaminated sites and to aid in setting clean-up standards based on potential risk, the information on land-use preferences can be used by managers to determine future use and to plan for such use. This information is particularly relevant to the Department of Energy's "Risk-based End State Vision."

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental research
Volume95
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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Land use
Demography
land use
Ecosystem
Radioactive Waste
energy
Recreation
Ecosystems
hunting
fishing
Managers
contaminated land
recreational activity
ecosystem structure
environmental research
ecosystem function
Remediation
radioactive waste
Restoration
Industrial plants

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Biochemistry

Cite this

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abstract = "The management of ecosystems has been improved by both a public understanding of ecosystem structure and function and by managers' understanding of public perceptions and attitudes. This is especially true for contaminated lands where there are a variety of remediation, restoration, and future land-use decisions to be made. This paper synthesizes several surveys from four US Department of Energy (DOE) sites in the states of South Carolina, Idaho, Nevada, and New York. Although ethnic composition varied among the sites, age and gender did not. The percentage of the study population engaged in hunting ranged from 30{\%} to 41{\%} and that in fishing ranged from 55{\%} to 74{\%}. Average hunting rates ranged from 9 (New York) to 15 (South Carolina) days/year; average fishing rates ranged from 12 (New Mexico) to 38 (New York) days a year. Despite the demographic and recreational rate differences, there was remarkable agreement about future land uses. Maintaining these DOE sites as National Environmental Research Parks and using them for nonconsumptive recreation rated the highest. The lowest rated future land uses were current and additional nuclear waste storage and the building of homes and factories. People who participated in a recreational activity rated those future land uses higher than nonusers. While these data on recreational rates can be used to assess the potential risk to people using contaminated sites and to aid in setting clean-up standards based on potential risk, the information on land-use preferences can be used by managers to determine future use and to plan for such use. This information is particularly relevant to the Department of Energy's {"}Risk-based End State Vision.{"}",
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