Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Recreation, Parks and Tourism Resources

Committee Chair

Steven Selin

Committee Co-Chair

Chad Pierskalla

Committee Member

Francisco Valenzuela


This thesis describes a qualitative investigation of the implementation of the Southwestern Strategy for Sustainable Recreation. Its purpose is to elaborate an operational model of sustainable recreation management. Eleven forest-level public land outdoor recreation management programs in the Southwestern Region of the USDA Forest Service developed five-year sustainable recreation action-plans in 2015 under the guidance of the Regional strategy. The purpose of this case-study research is to investigate how individual national forest-level recreation programs in the Southwestern Region operationalized sustainable recreation during the study time frame.;The grounded theory research approach applied in this research study reveals empirical knowledge about how sustainable recreation was implemented at the forest-level from an "on-the-ground" perspective. Grounded in the data, foundational relationships are presented which are essential to sustainable recreation program delivery. In addition, action-oriented components areas are identified for a sustainable recreation program. The researcher also highlights study findings which indicated how interrelationships between: the Recreation Program, the Agency, and the Community can increase the capacity of public land outdoor recreation programs. The emergent operational model developed through this study can help recreation managers to assess their own recreation program and build capacity.