Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Douglas Dalenberg

Commitee Members

Douglas Dalenberg, Jeffrey Bookwalter, Jennifer Thomsen


Economics, Forecasting, National Parks, Glacier National Park, Forest Fire, Air Quality


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Econometrics | Macroeconomics | Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration | Regional Economics


National parks have recently seen increased visitation demand. Glacier National Park is located in an area where changes in weather and climate will occur at an accelerated rate. Changes in fire and precipitation regimes are taking place at a time when Glacier National Park is setting new visitation records. This paper uses regression and forecast models to investigate the changing landscape of park visitation.

Findings suggest important impacts to monthly visitation and cycling on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park are associated with forest fire activity and precipitation. The conclusions of this paper support perceptions about the effect natural occurrences have on park use and help give direction to actions that Glacier National Park can take to keep visitation high and promote efficient use of park facilities. Economic prosperity in communities around Glacier National Park relies on successful park operation bringing a seasonal influx of visitors each year. Adapting park planning to unpredictable natural events as well as forces outside the park will facilitate efficient use of resources in and around Glacier National Park.



© Copyright 2019 Michael James Kernan