Outlook for outdoor recreation in the northern United States. A technical document supporting the Northern Forest Futures Project with projections through 2060
We develop projections of participation and use for 17 nature-based outdoor recreation activities through 2060 for the Northern United States. Similar to the 2010 Resources Planning Act (RPA) assessment, this report develops recreation projections under futures wherein population growth, socioeconomic conditions, land use changes, and climate are allowed to change over time. Findings indicate that outdoor recreation will likely remain a key part of the region's future social and economic fabric. The number of participants in 14 of the 17 recreation activities is projected to increase over the next five decades. In about two-thirds of 17 activities, the participation rate will likely decrease, but population growth would ensure increases in the number of adult participants. Some climate futures could lead to participant decreases for certain activities. Hunting, snowmobiling, and undeveloped skiing appear to be the only activities for which a decrease in participants is likely. Total days of participation would generally follow the pattern of participant numbers. With the exceptions of hunting, visiting primitive areas, and whitewater activities, snowmobiling, undeveloped skiing, total days are expected to increase for the remaining 14 activities, some less so than others because of climate differences.