Brief 1

Brief 1

Bowker, J M, et al. “User Fees for Recreation Services on Public Lands: A National Assessment.” Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, vol. 1, no. 7, ser. 3, 1999, pp. 1–14. 3,;jsessionid=9A932F3C2003954156EE2208D282DC88?doi=

This first article, User Fees for Recreation Services on Public Lands: A National Assessment, comes from the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. This journal is a well know and reputable source for information regarding the presentation of research and park administration material. All three authors appear to be well educated and professional. They have each been published numerous times and have been cited by other scholars. Their writing is clear, and it does not appear that they have any prevalent bias.

In the article, User Fees for Recreation Services on Public Lands, a study was conducted and discussed to determine the public’s support for the use of taxes or fees to fund recreation services on public lands such as, campgrounds, boat ramps, trails, picnic areas, etc. The conclusions “suggest a general receptiveness by the public for recreation fees, as indicated by the fact that over 95 percent of the respondents in [their] sample supported either user fees or a combination of user fees and taxes to fund at least one recreation service on public land,” which has some interesting implications for Zinke’s proposed National Monument recommendations (Journal of Park and Recreation Administration). One of the main concerns that opponents of this policy have is the impact it could have on their recreational access to these public lands. According to this article, it is clear that the public is willing to pay to retain admission to National Monuments, which should be encouraging to the proponents of Zinke’s proposal, especially if their primary concern deals with economic benefits. If the National Monument borders are shrunk, then it is possible that the government will no longer have this source of income that people have already proved they are willing to fund.

Vanasselt, Wendy, and Christian Layke. “Protecting the Best of the West.” Issues in Science and Technology, XXII, no. 3, 2006,

This second article, Protecting The Best of The West, comes from Issues in Science and Technology, which is another well trusted source. Much of the content in this journal is regarding public policies and is a place for important discussions to occur and for important questions to be raised. Initially it appears as if this publication may have some bias since it is so heavily focused on public policy however, “it is not just a platform for these communities to present their view to Congress and the public. Rather, it is a place where researchers, government officials, business leaders, and others with a stake in public policy can share ideas and offer specific suggestions,” not just to promote their own agendas (Issues). Each of the authors of this article in particular is dependable, and their work can be trusted.

The article, Protecting The Best of The West, focuses more on the conservation and environmental aspects of the topic. One important note discussed is that, “data on recreational activities, which are important for gauging pressures on resources and deciding how many law enforcement rangers are needed, and where, are fraught with inconsistency” which creates many problems (Issues). In addition, “the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] does tract total visitors to each part of the NLCS [National Landscape Conservation System], as well as nearly a dozen recreational uses. However, during the past five years, some NLCS units have changed how they measure visitor use, rendering trend data nearly useless” and making it incredibly difficult to actually track the environmental impact (Issues). If the conservation of resources truly is a primary concern for the policy advocates and proponents, then this is something they need to consider. If Zinke’s recommendations were put into place that could change the way records are kept and information is gathered within the National Monuments.

Cline, Sarah A, et al. “The Value of a Name: Estimating the Economic Impact of Public Land Designation.” The Social Science Journal, vol. 48, no. 4, Dec. 2011, pp. 681–692.,

The third article, The Value of a Name: Estimating the Economic Impact of Public Land Designation, comes from The Social Science Journal. This journal is a valid source that consists of many peer reviewed, and scholarly references. The authors of this article are well educated, and have published many other articles in their lifetime. This article cites their sources correctly, and it appears as if they all consist of reliable content.

The article, The Value of a Name: Estimating the Economic Impact of Public Land Designation, the main subject of discussion is the influence public land designations can have of other economic factors. While evaluating previous reports and research conducted in regards to the economic impact that protected lands have on neighboring communities it is discussed in the article that, “using regional asset indicators and economic trend analysis, the report concludes that the presence of the National Monument will significantly contribute to the social and economic success of the region,” ultimately providing benefits (The Social Science Journal). One way that this article evaluates the potential economic impacts of protected lands is by comparing the visitor’s willingness to pay (WTP) to several other factors. One of those factors includes, “the level of protection,” which is relevant to the proposal that I am conducting research on (The Social Science Journal). It was discovered that the designation or title that a land receives can greatly influence that land’s success and visitation rates. For example, National Parks have significantly greater protection in place than National Monuments, and it’s no surprise that National Parks generate a greater economic impact in their residing regions. If Zinke’s recommendations to shrink National Monument borders and decrease their protection is put into place, then it is likely that it could have negative economic impacts for those communities. As protection of land decreases, it is predicted that visitation too will decrease.

I believe the most important idea presented by these three sources is the potential effects that could occur if protection of National Monuments is decreased. There is convincing research presented that indicates the greater protection a public land receive, such as National Parks compared to National Monuments, the greater economic benefits that region also receives. Both proponents and opponents of Zinke’s proposed recommendations reference the economic impacts in some way or another, so it is important that we pay attention to what those results could be, whether they are beneficial or harmful.

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