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This paper explores the influence of demographic and spatial variables on individual participation and consumption of wildland area recreation. Data from the National Survey on Recreation and the Environment are combined with geographical information system-based distance measures to develop nonlinear regression models used to predict both participation and the number of days of participation in wilderness and primitive area recreation. The estimated models corroborate previous findings indicating that race (black), ethnicity (Hispanic), immigrant status, age, and urban dwelling are negatively correlated with wildland visitation, while income, gender (male), and education positively affect wildland recreation participation and use. The presence of a distance or proximity factor mitigates some of the influence of race and ethnicity. The results of the cross-sectional models are combined with U.S. Census projections of total population, changes in population characteristics, and estimates of current National Forest Wilderness visitation estimates to give some insight into pressure that might be expected on the nation’s designated wilderness during the next half century. Results generally indicate that per-capita participation and visitation rates will decline over time as society changes. Total wilderness participation and visitation will, however, increase, but at a rate less than population growth.


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