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

Norma P. Nickerson

Commitee Members

Elizabeth Covelli Metcalf, June Ellestad




University of Montana


Recent data shows that three quarters of nonresident vacationers to Montana are primarily attracted to characteristics of public lands such as national parks, mountains and forests, and open space. Thirty-five percent of Montana is public land, therefore understanding what values those visitors have for these public lands is very important and has not been analyzed in previous research. This study used panel survey methodology to identify a set of respondents who are not Montana residents but have visited the state. One component of the study used Borrie, Freimund, and Davenport’s National Parks Values Scale and Winter’s Natural Area Values Scale, as a basis for determining value statements. A mean value score for each of the 41 values statements relevant to Montana’s public lands was identified. The study also identified recreation activity participation and public land visitation. A priori segmentation of user groups based on participation of these activities developed three cluster groups: non-motorized active, motorized, and passive. An analysis of variance identified value differences between the groups. Results indicate most respondents agreed with the value statements from the two scales. However, when the clustered groups were compared, there were 17 value items that showed significant differences. Using the Bonferroni post hoc test, the greatest differences were found between the non-motorized active and passive groups. With nonresident vacationers of 5.1 million visitors per year, identifying the values nonresident visitors have for Montana’s public lands are important for understanding how values influence destination decision-making, how values influence recreation activity participation, and how tourism marketers can use values when developing marketing strategies.



© Copyright 2013 Megan Michele Tanner