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Publication Information

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Title: Mountain Biking at Tsali: An Assessment of Users, Preferences, Conflicts, and Management Alternatives

Author: Bowker, J. Michael; English, Donald B.K.;

Date: 2002

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-59. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 28 p.

Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)

Description: Tsali Recreation Area is part of the Cheoah Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest. Overlooking the Great Smoky Mountains, it is one of the premier mountain biking sites in the Eastern United States. The results of a 13-month on-site survey of 1,359 Tsali visitors examine the demographics, behavior, current trip profile, and attitudes toward user fees, current management policies, and future management alternatives. More than 70 percent of visitors were male, 96 percent were white, 85 percent had attended college, 90 percent were between the ages of 20 and 49, and more than 60 percent had incomes over $50,000. Sixty percent of the visitors had four or more years of experience; 16 percent were beginners. Visitors averaged 21 biking trips totaling 59 days yearly, averaging 3 visits to Tsali. Fifty-five percent were first-time visitors, while 80 percent said Tsali was their "favorite place" to ride. Trail surface and congestion were the most important site attributes to visitors. Surfaces rated high in performance, indicating that management practices are successful. Congestion on trails rated slightly less than "good" suggesting management consideration. Site facilities rated "good" or better on average. Parking and security were ranked highly for both performance and importance. Toilet facilities ranked the lowest in performance but high in importance suggesting another area for management consideration. Most visitors (95 percent) agreed that fees are a "good tool to manage public recreation areas," in general and at Tsali. Visitors overwhelmingly supported future management alternatives that proposed more trail miles, even though these were combined with fee increases.

Keywords: Amenities, fee demo, importance/performance, mountain biking, recreation management, site facilities, trail attributes, user fee

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Bowker, J. Michael; English, Donald B.K. 2002. Mountain Biking at Tsali: An Assessment of Users, Preferences, Conflicts, and Management Alternatives. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-59. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 28 p.

 


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