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Frequency and rates of outdoor activities, and perceptions of places to perform these activities by Native Americans and Caucasians interviewed in Tennessee

Summary


Land management decisions should consider the varying outdoor activities and ecosystem values of different populations

This study looked for differences in resource use and perceptions of ecosystem values between Native Americans and Caucasians, for the purpose of assessing environmental characteristics that should be managed for natural resources located close to Department of Energy nuclear facilities.  Structured interviewed were conducted with 233 people attending a Native American festival in Tennessee. Questions focused on understanding: demographics, participation in both consumptive activities (i.e. hunting, fishing, and gathering berries) and non-consumptive activities (i.e. hiking or photography) and religious or sacred use; and perceptions on the importance of the environmental features of the places where these activities occurred.

The study found that Native Americans reported higher rates of consumptive activities like fishing as well as religious or sacred activities and displayed slightly higher preferences for natural characteristics of the environment, especially for places where religious activities like prayer or vision quests took place. The authors proposed a model for integrating the information gathered from the assessment of activity patterns and perceptions of the environment into land management decisions, and suggested that the varying needs of different populations must be given substantive consideration.

 

Citation

Burger, J., Gochfeld, M., Pittfield, T., Marchioni, M., (2012). Frequency and rates of outdoor activities, and perceptions of places to perform these activities by Native Americans and Caucasians interviewed in Tennessee. EcoHealth, 9(4), 399 - 410.

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