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Following the advent of hydraulic fracturing to effectively collect natural gas and oil, there has been growing interest in placing exploration and extraction wells in or adjacent to public park and forest systems across North America and Europe. At the heart of the debate about leasing public parkland is the concern that park acreage and accessibility will be lost to fracking operations, thereby decreasing park attendance. In this study, we apply value-belief-norm theory to evaluate park users’ general attitudes toward fracking and public policy and their perceptions of fracking’s impact on their recreational activity. A survey of 255 park users in the Appalachian Basin of the United States indicated that individuals holding strong pro-environmental attitudes in general would likely avoid parklands that are affected by fracking operations. Additionally, a majority of respondents reported concern that fracking would disrupt park access and thusly supported legislative bans of fracking in public parklands.


Author accepted manuscript version of an article published in

Kellison, T. B., Bunds, K. S., Casper, J. M., & Newman, J. I. (2017). Public parks usage near hydraulic fracturing operations. Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism, 18, 75–80.


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