Human actions in protected areas impact both the human and natural side of coupled human and natural systems. While this is broadly accepted, research projects that measure both social and ecological impacts of activities are rare. This study used an integrated approach to understand the social, ecological, and economic impacts of small-scale race events on two state forests in Pennsylvania. Trail conditions were assessed before and after each event, and visitor experiences were evaluated in the weeks prior, during, and after the events. Race participants were sent an online survey in the weeks following their race. In total, nine race events of three different types–mountain biking, running, and motorcycling–were assessed. Semi-structured interviews with race organizers and forest managers were also conducted. This paper details the methodology and rationale for this effort and presents highlights of results and their implications for further research and resource management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
- Sociology and Political Science