Visitor attitudes and expectations of grizzly bear management in the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks

Sarah Elmeligi, Owen T. Nevin, Julie Taylor, Ian Convery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Park managers in Canada’s Rocky Mountain National Parks are continually challenged to balance visitor needs with those of grizzly bears. While research pertaining to grizzly bear habitat requirements is abundant, human dimensions’ research examining the perspectives and expectations of the trail user is not. Guided by principles of behavior intention and its influence on management support, we assessed trail user support for management options regarding grizzly bears in Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks in Canada using an intercept survey. The main findings were in line with predictions, trail users were more supportive of restrictive management options e.g., closing the trail when a female grizzly bear with cubs was in the area rather than a solitary
bear; and management options pertaining to modifying bear behavior were largely opposed. Local users who live within these protected areas or who use them daily were less supportive of restrictive management options compared with other trail users. The research supports the proposal that specificity may be an important factor in determining stakeholder beliefs for intervention design. Identification of key influencing factors in the selection of management options for diverse groups of trail users is important if the needs of trail users and grizzly bears are to be managed in a sustainable and risk-sensitive manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100444
JournalJournal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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