Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Recreation Management

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Neil Moisey

Commitee Members

Alan Watson, Sarah Halvorson


Bob Marshall Wilderness, Flathead River, indicators, Limits of Acceptable Change, social setting attributes


University of Montana


Previous research has shown that wilderness visitors place much value on an uncrowded social recreation setting. However, the current indicators that the Flathead National Forest has implemented to monitor this setting on the upper South Fork of the Flathead River may not satisfy several of the qualities of a good indicators, particularly “significance.” In an attempt to recommend new indicators to monitor opportunities for quality experience within this social setting, this study assessed the significance or importance of several alternative social setting attributes. It also attempted to provide meaningful qualifications to these evaluations by analyzing variation in three concepts associated with a cognitive hierarchy (value-orientations, attitudes and norms, and behavior intention). The results of the study suggested that there are two dimensions of social attributes from which indicators could be developed. The first is associated with the number of encounters or user density, and monitoring camps within sight or sound was suggested for this dimension. The second was associated with the evidence of poor behavior of others. Monitoring campsite ethics violations was recommended for this dimension.



© Copyright 2012 Forest Waters Moulton