Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Sherwood Thompson

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Second Advisor

Dr. James Maples

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Third Advisor

Dr. Bill Phillips

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

Rock climbing is becoming a very popular and mainstream outdoor activity. With the growth in rock climbing comes an increase in the number of visitors this sport attracts. The increase in visitor usage undoubtedly leads to an impact on the natural environment surrounding these rock climbing areas. Rock climbers acknowledge the impacts that are being made and are taking initiative to lessen their impact while visiting rock climbing areas such as the Red River Gorge (RRG) in rural southeast Kentucky. We know that rock climbers make a substantial economic impact while visiting and this dissertation looks at the environmental knowledge and background on Leave No Trace practices and principles. This research investigates the knowledge and reported behavior of minimal impact practices of the rock climbing community in the RRG. Specifically looking at the more knowledge one has on minimizing their environmental impact, the greater chance their behaviors might be minimal and becoming environmental stewards of the land.

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