A comparison of sampling designs for monitoring recreational trail impacts in rocky mountain national park

David Pettebone, Peter Newman, David Theobald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The dual goals of the Organic Act of 1916 and Wilderness Act of 1964 are to protect natural resources and provide quality visitor experiences. Park managers need metrics of trail conditions to protect park resources and quality of visitor experiences. A few methods of sampling design for trails have been developed. Here, we describe a relatively new method, spatially balanced sampling, and compare it to systematic sampling. We evaluated the efficiency of sampling designs to measure recreation-related impacts in Rocky Mountain National Park. This study addressed two objectives: first, it compared estimates of trail conditions from data collected from systematic versus spatially balanced sampling data; second, it examined the relationship between sampling precision and sampling efficiency. No statistically significant differences in trail condition were found between the 100-m interval and the spatially balanced datasets. The spatially balanced probability-based dataset was found to be a good estimate of trail conditions when analyses were conducted with fewer sample points. Moreover, spatially balanced probability-based sampling is flexible and allows additional sample points to be added to a sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)523-532
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume43
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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