Journal of Environmental Protection, vol.6, no.9, pp.1014-1028, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)
Urban forests are confronted with high using pressure because of the increasing demand for recreation and accessibility of these settings. For that purpose, defining and managing recreational carrying capacity is considered as significant in ensuring ecological value’s and recreational satisfaction’s continuity. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the carrying capacity of Erzurum Urban Forest with respect to Level of Service (LOS) as a new management technique that focuses on service quality and visitor satisfaction. The data were obtained by self-administered questionnaire conducted with 166 visitors on weekends and holidays during summer season of the year 2014. Data were analyzed by dimensions/indicators of recreational satisfaction and socio-demographic characteristics with intent to identify tolerance range of visitors. The contribution and relative importance of each of the indicators to the overall satisfaction were analyzed by using Ordinal Logistic Model (OLM). The results indicated that the four indicators were at the greatest degree; “distance from picnic spot to toilets” and “quantity of children’s playground facilities” were decease of overall satisfaction while “distance from picnic spot to parking” and “level of shade at picnic spot” had a positive contribution to the overall satisfaction. The outputs from these analyses were used to calculate LOS. It was revealed that the level of service (0.40) in Erzurum Urban Forest was below the moderate level. Planning and managing strategies for optimizing the LOS were developed and discussed by considering these results.