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Criterion 6 Indicator 35
Rationale
Forest land managed for general recreation and tourism, in relation to the total area of forest land.
 
This indicator helps to determine the importance of recreation as a land use, and it shows the extent to which public forest lands are managed for recreational purposes.

Can This Indicator Be Quantified
Table 35-1. Acres available for outdoor recreation in Oregon, by selected agency
 
AgencyAcresEstimated % Available for Recreation
Federal15,610,000100%
State899,000100%
Non-industrial private4,438,0000-23%
Industrial private5,958,00077-100%
 
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Trends
 
Anecdotal evidence and previous research suggest that private forest lands are becoming less available for public recreation. Cordell, et. al., (1990) found that the amount of non-industrial private forest land (NIPF) available for public recreation decreased from 29 percent in 1977, to 23 percent in 1986. This downward trend is expected to continue due to increasingly fragmented NIPF ownership, increased absentee ownership, increasing risk of litigation, and a perception that owners get no benefits when the public uses private land for recreation. In Oregon, the Small Woodlands Association finds that there is a negligible amount of public recreation opportunities on NIPF land (Miles, 1998).
 
Cordell, et. al., (1990) also studied recreational opportunities on privately owned, industrial forest land. Although available information was limited, the study found that nationally, public recreational opportunities on industrial private forest land decreased from 97 percent in 1960, to 58 percent in 1977, for the same reasons that public recreation declined on NIPF land (Cordell, et. al., 1990).
 
However, in the Oregon Coast Range, an informal survey of private industrial forest owners found that all owners permitted some recreation activities on their land, although there was a wide range of opportunities provided (Langridge, 1996). For example, some owners provided facilities such as picnic tables, restrooms, and trails, although the most common policy was simply to allow fishing, hunting, and hiking, with no formal facilities. Camping was rarely allowed.
 
The type of recreation facilities provided depends on the supplier. Federal and state wildlife management agencies provide hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities, with little or no camping or trail facilities. The Army Corps of Engineers tends to provide camping and picnic facilities around their reservoirs, such as inland swimming and boating opportunities. Oregon state parks usually provide more well-developed camping opportunities than the U.S. Forest Service and BLM. However, these two federal land management agencies provide many primitive or less developed campsites. In Oregon, the National Park Service maintains cultural and educational sites, in addition to providing recreation opportunities at Crater Lake National Park.
 

Data Source and Availability
 
See "References" below for the data sources for this indicator.
 
Recreation data is readily available for public lands. Some data for private lands is available on the Internet, but more information should be collected through a survey of landowners. Current information is based on the assumption that 100 percent of public forested land is available for recreation, although very little is intensively managed for this purpose. A small sample of landowner policies and previous research provides the data about recreational opportunities on private lands
 

Reliability of Data
 
Data reliability is good for public lands, but poor for private forest lands.

Scale
 
Some data is available at the state level.

Recommended Action for Data Collection
   
Better information would be available if a methodology were developed to separate "land available for recreation" from "land managed for recreation" in the public lands database. For better data on recreation on private forest lands, a survey could be done on a selected sample of private industrial and NIPF owners.

Definitions
   
General recreation and tourism — This term refers to all public use of forest lands.

Selected References
 
Cordell, H. K., and J. C. Bergstrom, L. A. Hartmann, and D. B. K. English. 1990. An analysis of the outdoor recreation and wilderness situation in the United States: 1989-2040. U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Fort Collins, CO. General Technical Report RM-189.
 
Langridge, R. 1996. Opportunities and incentives for public recreation on private industrial land on the Oregon Coast Range.
 
Miles, D. 1998. Personal communication, on behalf of Oregon Small Woodlands Association.