Impacts of protected areas on adjacent communities: an examination of attitudes and perceptions towards Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.




Chafey, Adam

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Protected areas, such as national parks, can provide nearby communities with a wide range of environmental, social, and economic benefits, such as ecosystem services and tourism development. However, protected areas can also subject communities to a number of costs, such as displacement and an increase in negative human-wildlife interactions. This study investigates how the communities of Tofino and Ucluelet, British Columbia, Canada perceive they have been impacted by Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (PRNPR). Specific areas of focus include respondents’ attitude and level of support for PRNPR and their perceptions of concerns and benefits related to the park. Data for this study was collected using a focus group and questionnaire administered using the “drop-off” method. The results of this study suggest that residents of Tofino and Ucluelet generally have a positive attitude towards the park and perceive PRNPR subjects their communities to a number of concerns and benefits. It was found that attitudes were linked to perceived concerns and benefits, perceived changes in the community, and level of involvement with PRNPR. With regards to concerns and benefits, it was found that respondents were most concerned with financial costs related to PRNPR and most valued benefits related to conservation.



protected areas, costs, benefits, perceptions, attitudes, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve