Drought impacts and management in prairie and sandhills state parks
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Drought impacts and management in prairie and sandhills state parks

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  • Journal Title:
    Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
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    The combination of decreased water availability and increased temperatures can interfere with outdoor activities, particularly with surface water decline and the increased risk of wildfire. Drought is a longer-term climate trend, but there is a tendency toward short-term reactions only when a drought occurs. Policy mechanisms for drought, where present, are often left to managerial discretion because they are not needed every year, and lack specific indicators. Recreator choices contribute to adaptation and public lands managers also shape drought response by monitoring meteorological trends and managing resources wisely. Despite these trends, no singular recreational drought definition exists. To understand socio-environmental interactions from a management perspective, this study synthesizes interview findings to provide in-depth insight about drought monitoring, impacts, and management across a variety of ecological regions in Nebraska state parks. Collectively, the eight participating superintendents oversee more than 152 km2 of land, approximately 287 km2 of surface water, and more than 364 km of lakeshore. The emergent properties of drought in the recreation sector include a shortage of naturally available water needed for vegetation health and animal habitat, to support lake sports, to prevent permanent infrastructure damage, and maintain visitor volumes for economic stability. The study concludes with recommendations for increasing drought resilience within the sector.
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    Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 26, 1-12
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    Accepted Manuscript
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