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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Paul Fokken


The correlation between human wellness and exposure to nature has been well documented. It would follow then that a society would encourage its citizens to take advantage of this by participating in outdoor recreation. This also raises several issues, such as what is stopping people from outdoor recreation participation and how are they getting around those constraints? Likewise if said barriers are negotiated, then what will this do to the very places people are seeking out to recreate in? Will outdoor recreation locales become completely trampled and unusable? Or can wilderness ethic play a role in the ways in which people interact with the environment? This study attempted to answer some of these questions by specifically surveying South Dakota State Park visitors on their outdoor recreation constraint and negotiation perspectives, as well as their wilderness ethic viewpoints. The conclusions of several previous studies were found to be similar for this group of subjects, however, some of the results contradicted previous findings. Hypotheses that were accepted include: constraint subscales were found to have the highest amount in interpersonal, followed by structural, and the least in intrapersonal; greater amounts of time spent outdoors recreating was correlated with having a higher wilderness ethic; and greater participation in resource dependent or nature appreciate activities was correlated with possessing a higher wilderness ethic. The results indicate recommendations for park managers, as well as valuable input for future management strategies. The implications of this study open up a wide array of demographic characteristics correlations and subsequent studies are also delineated.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Parks -- South Dakota
Outdoor recreation -- South Dakota
Conservation of natural resources -- South Dakota -- Citizen participation


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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