San Juan Islands Visitor Study

Posted February 5, 2018 at 5:55 am by

Project researchers will present results from the 2017 San Juan Islands Vis­i­tor Study…

Mike Vouri with park vis­i­tors — Louise Dus­trude photo

Local, state, and fed­er­al agen­cies that man­age lands or recre­ation facil­i­ties in the San Juan Islands spon­sored a study in 2017 to col­lect bet­ter infor­ma­tion about use, impacts, vis­i­tors, and pref­er­ences for man­age­ment. The study address­es sev­er­al ques­tions relat­ed to San Juan Islands tourism, pub­lic lands, and recre­ation areas. The goal is to describe vis­i­tor expe­ri­ences on San Juan Islands pub­lic lands, their trips, their opin­ions about impacts or prob­lems, and their views on man­age­ment actions that might be used to address problems.

The study included:

  • A sur­vey of fer­ry pas­sen­gers (vis­i­tors and residents)
  • Sur­veys of vis­i­tors to attrac­tion sites (e.g., Lime Kiln State Park, Moran State Park, Shark Reef Sanctuary)
  • Counts and obser­va­tions of use at attrac­tion sites
  • An inven­to­ry of accom­mo­da­tions on the three main islands (San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez)
  • An analy­ses of vis­i­ta­tion from WSF, oth­er pas­sen­ger fer­ries, air­lines, and marinas

Infor­ma­tion will be used to inform deci­sions about devel­op­ment (camp­grounds, lodg­ing, roads, park­ing), recre­ation uses (boat­ing, bik­ing, trail net­works), and ways to man­age or bet­ter dis­trib­ute use to enhance the qual­i­ty or sus­tain­abil­i­ty of vis­i­tor expe­ri­ences. It is antic­i­pat­ed to facil­i­tate effi­cien­cies in coop­er­a­tive plan­ning among recre­ation managers.

The study, fund­ed through coun­ty lodg­ing tax grant and Nation­al Park Ser­vice invest­ment, is being con­duct­ed for sev­er­al agen­cies (includ­ing San Juan Coun­ty Parks, San Juan Coun­ty Land Bank, San Juan Islands Vis­i­tor Bureau, Wash­ing­ton State Parks, WA State Depart­ment of Nat­ur­al Resources Bureau of Land Man­age­ment, and the Nation­al Park Ser­vice) by Con­flu­ence Research and Con­sult­ing. For more infor­ma­tion about the study, con­tact Dr. Doug Whit­tak­er at 907–346-3769 or Dona Wuth­now, Parks & Fair Direc­tor at 360–370-7452

Pub­lic Pre­sen­ta­tions: High­lights from the study will be pre­sent­ed at four pub­lic events as list­ed below. The pre­sen­ta­tions will run about 1.25 hours, inte­grat­ed with about 45 min­utes of discussion.

Mon Feb 26 — 9:00 to 11:00 am — Meet­ing with Coun­ty Coun­cil, Fri­day Har­bor, San Juan

Mon Feb 26 — 5:30 to 7:30 pm — Senior Cen­ter, East­sound, Orcas

Tue Feb 27 — 5:30 to 7:30 pm — Grace Epis­co­pal Church, Lopez Vil­lage, Lopez

Wed Feb 28 — 5:30 to 7:30 pm — San Juan Pub­lic Library, Fri­day Har­bor, San Juan

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Categories: Around Here, People

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