ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, vol.37, no.5, pp.606-625, 2006 (SCI-Expanded)
Gllcuk Nature Park (GNP) is an area protected by law in Turkey. It is an important nature park with rich flora, fauna, geomorphologic forms, landscape features, and recreational potential in the region. However, GNP does not have a recreation management plan. The purpose of this study was to determine the actual natural, cultural, and visual resources of GNP, determine the most suitable recreational sites with multiple factors, evaluate the demands and tendencies of visitors, and suggest recreational activities and facilities for the most suitable sites of GNP. However, it was also conceived as leading to a recreational plan and design of GNP in the future and identifying the entire appropriate and current data of GNP with the creation of various maps. This study used multifactor analysis to determine the most suitable recreation sites of GNP. Used recreation factors were established including degree of slope, proximity to water resources, accessibility, elevation, vegetation, soil, climate, aspect, current cultural facilities, visual values, and some limiting factors in accordance with the characteristics of GNP. Weighting and suitability values of factors were determined by 30 local expert surveys. All obtained data were evaluated and integrated in the Geographical Information Systems base. Obtained maps were overlapped. Thus, recreational suitability zones map were created manually. However, the demands and behaviours from visitor surveys in GNP were focused on the most suitable recreation sites of the park. Finally, 10% of GNP was identified as the most suitable sites for recreational use. Various recreational facilities and activities (including picnicking, sports facilities and playgrounds, camping sites, walking paths, food and local outlets, etc.) were recommended for nine of the most suitable areas on the proposed recreational map.