State Park Visitor Behavior Study

Understanding and influencing state park visitors’ Leave No Trace behavioral intent


Impact to protected area resources due to uninformed or depreciative visitor behavior continues to be a principal concern for managers. Leave No Trace is a prevalent educational strategy for mitigating such impacts. Through on-site surveys, this study examined frontcountry visitor attitudes toward Leave No Trace practices, and self-reported knowledge concerning Leave No Trace in three Wyoming state parks to determine factors that influenced their behavioral intent to practice Leave No Trace. Results suggest that attitudes toward perceived effectiveness of Leave No Trace practices and appropriateness of Leave No Trace practices are significant predictors of behavioral intent. If education-based communication efforts focus on why Leave No Trace practices are appropriate and effective, there is an increased likelihood of meaningfully influencing behavioral intent.


Lawhon, B., Taff, B. D., Newman, P., Vagias, W. M., & Newton, J. (2017). Understanding and Influencing State Park Visitors’ Leave No Trace Behavioral Intent. Journal of Interpretation Research22(1).