How do recreationists feel about the Blackfoot River?

The Blackfoot River attracts a variety of recreation users from anglers, whitewater boaters and general recreationists tubing the river on a hot day. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, which manages the river, wanted to know if recreationists feel crowded or unsatisfied with their recreation experience. Professors Libby Metcalf and Alex Metcalf conducted a study of Blackfoot River users, with assistance from a Parks, Tourism & Recreation Management undergraduate student. Preliminary results suggest that users are very satisfied with the management of the river. Very few recreationists expressed they were crowded on the river or at put-ins and take outs.

The study also examined place attachment (the importance of a place, both symbolically/emotionally, and to support goals of an activity) and found that Blackfoot River users are very attached to the river. Place attachment is important because it is often linked to overall support for a resource. This indicates that Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are successfully managing the river for a diversity of recreation experiences.

Read more about research on the connections between people and the environment from the Human Dimensions Lab