A Comparison of Chattooga River Rafters and Kayakers and Their Effects on Each Other's Experience

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Title: A Comparison of Chattooga River Rafters and Kayakers and Their Effects on Each Other's Experience
Author: Massarelli, Erin A
Advisors: Roger Moore, Committee Chair
Chrystos Siderelis, Committee Member
Aram Attarian, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare rafters and kayakers on the Chattooga River and their effects on each other's experience. Data was collected via a mail survey of individuals who used the Chattooga River and its corridor in 2002, including commercially guided boaters, self-guided boaters, and annual pass holders to fee-based parking areas. Based on their primary activity for their most recent visit, rafters and kayakers were isolated from the remainder of the sample for analysis. Participants' general characteristics and their Chattooga River trip histories were gleaned from the survey responses. Motivations for visiting were measured by asking participants to rate the importance of different motives provided in the survey. Rafter and kayaker effects on each other's experiences were assessed by asking participants to rate their increased or decreased enjoyment due to encounters with each other. Results revealed that the rafters and kayakers were distinctly different groups based on general characteristics, most recent trip characteristics, and trip history. Overall, the rafters appeared to be families on vacation trips down the river, whereas the kayakers were generally small groups of friends participating in a frequently engaged in activity. Differences between the rafters and kayakers were also revealed in the importance that they placed on the motivation statements. Finally, when assessing the effects that they had on each other?s experiences, the majority of encounters produced neutral effects. However, there was evidence of asymmetrical conflict felt by kayakers towards rafters. These findings suggest that differences in activity style, mode of experience, resource specificity, and perceived status could have affected the amount of conflict experienced by the kayakers. One way to reduce the occurrence of conflict among river users on the Chattooga River may be to familiarize members of each group with each other. One way to familiarize river users with one another is though education efforts that emphasize group similarities and promote tolerance for their differences.
Date: 2004-04-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Natural Resources
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/2738

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