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ERIC Number: ED479323
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Influence of Selected Wilderness Experience Programs in Changing Participant Attitudes toward Wilderness Purism, Privacy, and Tolerated Encounters (a Pilot Study).
Simon, Mark
The 1964 Wilderness Act was legislated to protect and maintain a portion of the nation's remaining wild areas as they were during pre-settlement times. In part, the intent was to provide the opportunity for primitive forms of recreation in surroundings where wilderness can be experienced on its own terms. However, overuse and related resource degradation have resulted in the loss of the primeval character of many wilderness areas, decreasing the opportunity for solitude. Solitude is specifically mentioned in the Wilderness Act as a critical component of wilderness. A study explored the effects of wilderness experience programs (WEP) on feelings of purism, privacy, and tolerated encounters. Pre- and posttests were administered to 42 college students who participated in a short-term WEP (about 5 days) and 64 participants in a long-term WEP (10-plus days). Pretest data did not show a relationship between participant concern for solitude and the number of encounters participants would tolerate and still consider their trip a wilderness experience. However, posttest data indicated that following a field experience, participant concern for solitude was significantly related to unwillingness to tolerate encounters with others in the wilderness. These results suggest that WEPs emphasizing wilderness education may effectively influence course participants to become a more educated wildland user constituency and to support use limits and other resource protection measures. (TD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A