Wisconsin All Terrain Vehicle Owners: Recreational Motivations and Attitudes Toward Regulation
Smail, Robert A.
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Natural Resources
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Between October and November of 2006, a mail survey was sent to 1000 people who registered an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in Wisconsin. The survey measured a range of variables including riding habits, site preferences, recreational motivations, attitudes towards regulation, environmental value orientations, willingness to pay and demographics. In total, 519 surveys were successfully completed and returned with a final useable response rate of 57%. Multivariate analysis revealed that there are three major subgroups of recreational users on public land: 20.7% who use their ATV in support of another activity such as hunting or fishing, 37.5% who use their ATV to explore trails and 15.7% who use their ATV to experience thrill and excitement. Additional multivariate analysis revealed that public land users support for regulation is best predicted by intrinsic factors including environmental value orientations, age, concern for others and self-identification with their ATV. External influences such as respondents’ ATV club membership and past participation in a safety course had no influence on support for regulation. Univariate results indicated that on average 83.9% of respondents trailer their ATV less than 125 miles to ride, 75.8% ride at least some of the time on their own land and 29.3% do not ride on public land. In addition, 26.4% agreed that they would rather ride a snowmobile if there is snow and 65.3% indicated they prefer to ride completely off trail or on user created trails. Respondents had a mean age of 46.49 years old, 85.2% live in an area with less than 20,000 people, 19.6% have completed a Wisconsin DNR safety course and 8.7% belong to an ATV club.