Decreased instream flows are thought to negatively impact river recreation, such as whitewater rafting. Runoff declines are often accompanied by high temperatures, wildfires, and associated media coverage. Very few studies have examined the impact of these accompanying factors, and none have disentangled their influence. Using regression analysis of data from the Arkansas River in Colorado, we find that reduced flows usually decrease the number of whitewater rafting customers, although very high flows also deter rafting activities. More importantly, negative media coverage of wildfires also appears to have adverse impacts on rafting tourism, controlling for instream flows and weather.
- whitewater rafting
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law