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Criterion 6 Indicator 36
Rationale
Number and type of facilities available for general recreation and tourism.
 
The location of recreational facilities in relation to population centers is an indicator of the relative accessibility of forest recreation areas. This information also shows what proportion of forest land is at a higher risk for crowding problems and ecological degradation.

Can This Indicator Be Quantified
The following table summarizes the recreation sites available on public lands in Oregon. Information is given for state and federal agencies, and for all public lands, not just forest lands. The table also includes the number of campsites available in privately owned recreation vehicle parks.
 
Table 36-1. Summary of recreation supply for Oregon for selected agencies
 
AgencyCamp SitesPicnic UnitsMiles of TrailsVisitor Centers
Bureau of Land Management1016317622.82
National Park Service2162111537
US Army Corps of Engineers664493-1
USDA Forest Service8,366--2
US Fish and Wildlife Service0--1*
Oregon Department of Forestry227-40.50
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife---2
Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.5,9386,444--
Private Recreation Vehicle Parks6,909#-00
 
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- Information not applicable or not available.
 
* Museum.
 
# A minimum count; number is probably higher.
 
Seventy-one percent of the state’s residents are located in the 8 counties along the I-5 corridor. The following table shows how many recreation sites are available within 50 miles of the Willamette Valley, as an indicator of sites easily available to the majority of the population.
 
Table 36-2. Percentage of selected agencies’ recreation areas that are located within 50 miles of the Willamette Valley
 
AgencyAcres% of Total acres in StateCampsitesPicnic Sites
National Park Service1256%0%5%
USDA Forest Service3,340,42322%49%-2
Oregon Dept. Parks and Recreation46,98751%41%60%
ODF State Forests565,80084%--
Bureau of Land Management2,730,78517%58%76%
US Corps of Engineers 1146271%38%71%
Total6,119,78220%  
 
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  1. Note that Corps of Engineers acreages are for recreati
  2. on areas only, and not for total project areas.
  3. - Denotes that data are not available.

Trends
   
Reliable statewide data are not available for specific trends in the supply of recreation facilities. BLM’s data for the past decade shows an increasing supply of facilities until 1995, when there is a sharp drop; after 1995, there is an increase again. Cordell, et. al., (1990) found that by the year 2040, if national trends continue and no major policy changes occur, intensively developed sites are expected to increase, while all other recreation resources, including partially developed roaded areas, undeveloped areas near roads, and wilderness areas, are projected to decrease as much as 40 percent from 1987 levels. However, intensively developed land, water, and snow/ice recreation facilities are projected to increase 37 percent, 61 percent, and 49 percent, respectively, over the same time period.
 
Twenty percent of Oregon’s forest lands are within 50 miles of the Willamette Valley. These lands will be at greater risk for crowding problems and ecological degradation due to high levels of visitation. (See the "Trends" section of Indicator #37, for a discussion of the effect of distance on use.) Actual impacts, however, would be site-specific.
 

Data Source and Availability
Data is kept by recreation staff at state and federal agencies. The type of data available from private industry may vary. The key contacts and sources, including web site addresses, are given below.
 
BLM. Contact was Ken White, recreation planner. BLM District Office, Salem, OR.
 
Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 1997. Integrated resource management plan (draft management plan). August 1997.
 
Langridge, R. 1996. Opportunities and incentives for public recreation on private industrial land on the Oregon Coast Range. This report has information on public recreation on privately owned industrial forest lands. Companies not included in the report were contacted directly.
National Park Service. Web site addresses: http://www.nps.gov/ . Data on the Oregon Trail was obtained from "The Oregon Trail, transforming the West" (pamphlet), and Oregon Trail: Comprehensive Management and Use Plan. Also, Pacific Crest Trail Association Office.
 
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Web site address: http://egov.oregon.gov/ODFW/.
 
Oregon Lodging Association. 1998. Where to stay in Oregon, the 1998 Oregon traveler’s guide to accommodations. This publication has information on private RV campgrounds. Web site address: http://www.kiz.com/campnet/html/campnet.htm, http://www.sova.org/camp.htm.
 
Oregon State Marine Board. 1997. Oregon boating facilities guide.
 
Umatilla Tribe. Web site address: http://www.ucinet.com/~umatribe/. Contact was Buffy Hines at the Umatilla Department of Economic and Community Development. Agencies keep records of the number of their facilities available for public recreation use; private land data not generally available.
 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Web site address: http://www.gorp.com/gorp/resource/us_nra/ace/or.htm.
 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Web site address: http://pacific.fws.gov/.
 
U.S. Forest Service. Various national forest web sites, U.S. Forest Service maps. Contacts were recreation planners for each forest.

Reliability of Data
   
Data reliability is generally good. Information from private companies may be less reliable than information from public agencies.

Scale
   
Most data was small scale. State and federal agencies tend to have facility information available on campground or other facility level, not as regional totals.

Recommended Action for Data Collection
 
It would be helpful to develop a consistent definition and classification system that all agencies and landowners can use. A survey could gather more information from private landowners.

Definitions
   
Definitions vary from one agency to another. For example, the term "developed campsite" is defined differently in various agencies.

Selected References
 
See publications listed earlier under "Data Source and Availability."