Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Experience Use History, Place Bonding and Resource Substitution of Trout Anglers during Recreation Engagements

Academic journal article Journal of Leisure Research

Experience Use History, Place Bonding and Resource Substitution of Trout Anglers during Recreation Engagements

Article excerpt


Certain types of wildland recreation activities (e.g., trout fly-fishing) can be characterized as having users who repeatedly use a limited number of specific resources (e.g., high quality mountain streams), who can become quite knowledgeable and bonded to these specific places, and who may be reluctant to use alternate places. The individual components of this hypothesized recreation behavior phenomenon have been conceptualized and researched by various individuals under the constructs of experience use history (Hammitt & McDonald, 1983; Schreyer, Lime, & Williams, 1984), place bonding/attachment (Williams & Patterson, 1996; Korpela, Hartig, Kaiser, & Fuhrer, 2001), and resource substitution (Shelby & Vaske, 1991). However, the relationships among experience use history (EUH), recreation place bonding, and recreation resource substitution have not been fully researched (Manning, 1999). This study aims to further examine the relationships among these three constructs.

It is important and relevant to outdoor recreation behavior and management that we better understand the linkages among these three behavioral constructs (Kruger & Jakes, 2003). In recreation behavior, similar to consumer behavior, individuals can become very habitual in site and product use, become very committed and loyal to certain sites and products, and be reluctant to use alternative sites and products, respectively (Havitz & Dimanche, 1997). This practice can be both advantageous and disadvantageous to managers, whether associated with recreation or business. Specific to recreation resource management, user perceptions and reactions to closures of favorite areas, regulations on activity and place habitual uses, needs to reallocate, shift or disperse long held uses from crowded and/or impacted sites, and invading new activities to traditional use areas, are only a few of the management issues associated with EUH, place bonding, and resource substitution. Very experienced user groups that are quite bonded to certain sites and habitual in their use patterns are commonly a "special interest group" that managers must deal with when making management decisions. On the other hand, these same user groups can be quite predictable in terms of resource use patterns, attachment to the resource base and support of managing agencies, and be a strong focus group-constituent when making resource management decisions.

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the relationships among EUH, the degree of place bonding, and stream substitution behavior of a select group of experienced trout anglers for a Wild and Scenic stream in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. More specifically, the research analyzes the relationship of an index measure and user classification of EUH to five proposed dimensions of place bonding, and to the number of similar fishing substitute streams of respondents. In particular, EUH is tested for its ability to differentiate among some newly formed dimensions of place bonding and associated substitution behaviors.

While the investigation involves some constructs that may have been previously conceptualized as components of recreation specialization (Bryan, 1977; Bricker & Kerstetter, 2002), the purpose of this paper is not to analyze the three constructs in the context of "recreation specialization," nor as indicator variables of the multi-faceted specialization construct. The relationship among the constructs of EUH, place bonding, and substitution is not, nor meant to be, a sufficient conceptualization of the complex specialization issue (Scott & Shafer, 2001). Therefore, the literature review to follow is limited to a review of EUH, place bonding, and resource substitution as individual constructs and what is known concerning relationships among them.

Related Research

Experience Use History

Experience use history (EUH) refers to the amount of past experience, usually measured in terms of total visits, total years of use, and frequency per year of participation with an activity and/or resource at a specific site and/or other sites (Hammitt & McDonald, 1983; Schreyer et al. …

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