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Degraded visibility and visitor behavior: the case of New Hampshire's White Mountain National ForestAuthor(s): John M. Halstead; Wendy Harper; L. Bruce Hill
Source: In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 58-63
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionThe issue of visibility degradation and its impact on visitors to national parks and wilderness areas helped prompt passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977. This act required the U.S. EPA, the states, and federal land managers of national parks and wilderness areas to protect and restore visibility in these areas. Yet, as Hill et al. state (1995, p.2) AVisibility throughout the United States--especially in the Northeast-has declined substantially as human-induced regional smog conditions have become progressively worse. While degraded visibility may adversely impact visitors experiences and pose questions of health effects, it is also possible that gradually declining visibility may reduce the number of visits to a site, which could lead to negative multiplier effects on the regions economy. Using data collected from a survey conducted in 1997 - 1998, this paper examines how (if at all) declining visibility in the White Mountain National Forest of New Hampshire has affected visitors experiences and affected the probability of return visits. Photographs provided by the U.S. Forest Service of Mt. Jefferson, a 1,743 m peak in the Great Gulf Wilderness, were used to illustrate changes in visual range. Combining this information with data on travel costs and other trip expenditures, estimates are generated of the local economic impact of visibility degradation.
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CitationHalstead, John M.; Harper, Wendy; Hill, L. Bruce. 2001. Degraded visibility and visitor behavior: the case of New Hampshire''s White Mountain National Forest. In: Kyle, Gerard, comp., ed. 2001. Proceedings of the 2000 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-276. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station. 58-63
- Introduction [Chapter 1]
- Effects of forest fires on visibility and air quality
- Terrestrial ecosystems [Chapter 4]
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