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DOES A NATIONAL PARK'S PROXIMITY TO CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES IMPACT ITS VISITATION RATES?

by Engen, Annette

Abstract

Wildfires in California are getting larger and more frequent – a trend that is only expected to worsen with time. Previous studies explain that a primary reason for visiting California national parks is for their beautiful vistas. Wildfires release a variety of pollutants, such as ozone and particulate matter, which have detrimental effects on those vistas. As the number of wildfires increases, park visibility worsens. This thesis examines the impact of wildfires on national park attendance, evaluating whether poor park visibility may inspire visitors to cancel their visits to parks closer to fires and instead visit parks farther from wildfires with better visibility. More specifically this thesis asks whether a national park’s proximity to a California wildfire impacts visitation rates. To answer this question, univariate and multivariate regressions using monthly park attendance, wildfire, and pollution data test several hypotheses. Results show that visitors ultimately do not consider nearby fire activity in their decision to visit a national park, and that a park’s proximity to a California forest fire has no substantial effect on attendance levels.

Note

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Includes bibliographical references.

Administrative Notes

The author has given permission for this work to be deposited in the Digital Archive of Colorado College.

Colorado College Honor Code upheld.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Colorado College Tutt Library
PID
coccc:30911
Digital Origin
born digital
Extent
32 pages : illustrations, map(s)
Thesis
Senior Thesis -- Colorado College
Thesis Advisor
Jessica Hoel
Department/Program
Economics and Business
Degree Name
Bachelor of Arts
Degree Type
bachelor
Degree Grantor
Colorado College Tutt Library
Date Issued
2019-05