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Trails research: where do we go from here?Author(s): Michael A. Schuett; Patricia Seiser
Source: In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 333-335.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionThis paper describes a recent study focusing on trails research needs. This study was supported by American Trails. Using a Delphi technique, 86 trails experts representing a variety of federal, state and local agencies, nonprofits, and trail uses were queried by email on trails research needs. A Delphi technique is a prognostic tool for dealing with complex problems or issues. The project took place in three phases: Initially, individuals were chosen to participate in the study (expert panel) and respond on the type of trails research that is needed for the future. More than 200 comments were returned covering a plethora of topics, i.e., assessing physical impacts to establishing a national information clearinghouse to trail design. This information was analyzed using content analysis. Secondly, a list of 65 trails research items was sent back to the panel to be rated by level of importance, 1=Not at all Important, 10=Extremely Important. Response rate was 87% (n=75). Thirdly, after these responses were entered and scored, they were sent to the panel for final review and commentary. An overview of the findings show that the panelists rated several trails research needs as very important including values of trails to the community, economic impacts, and trail usage and demand. Results will be highlighted along with a discussion on the topics of research funding, information dissemination, and a national agenda for trails research.
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CitationSchuett, Michael A.; Seiser, Patricia. 2002. Trails research: where do we go from here?. In: Todd, Sharon, comp., ed. 2002. Proceedings of the 2001 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-289. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 333-335.
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