Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Chad D. Pierskalla.


Because of recent changes in the USDA Forest Service (USFS) travel management regulations, all National Forests are required to create a travel management atlas that includes a motor vehicle use map by 2009. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of OHV use, issues, and management among USFS District Rangers on National Forests in the Appalachian region, and to determine the differences in perceptions of those District Rangers based on the level of OHV recreation opportunities provided on their Districts. Having this information available will help managers make decisions about how to update their travel management plans. In October of 2006, 42 District Rangers on 14 National Forests were surveyed using a modified Dillman mail-back method. The questionnaire, modified from a 2004 study by Chavez and Knap, addressed questions related to types of OHV activity on each Ranger District, amounts and types of road and trail opportunities on the District, OHV user motivations and preferences, physical and social issues arising from OHV use on the District, management tactics used to deal with OHV-related issues on the District, and demographic information. Out of 42 possible responses, 29 usable questionnaires were returned, for a response rate of 69.1%. Data were analyzed using Mann-Whitney comparisons between independent samples and Kendall's tau-b correlation. Further analysis was performed on responses to open-ended questions. The main difference found between managers with high and low levels of OHV recreation opportunities on their Districts was the number of management tactics employed to deal with issues. There were few differences in management perceptions of OHV use across Districts, of OHV users' motivations and preferences, or the types of OHV-related impacts managers reported. District Rangers need to weigh the costs and benefits of differing levels of OHV recreation opportunities on their Districts, including resource suitability and potential for collaborative management efforts.