International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online)

The Socio-economic Contribution of Small and Medium-sized privately Owned Outdoor Recreation Enterprises in Alabama – An Exploratory Investigation
Colmore S. Christian, Yaoqi Zhang, ElleneKebede

Abstract
An increasing number of Americans participate in outdoor recreation programs and services for a fee. Approximately 5 million landowners own nearly 190 million acres of forested land in the southern US. In Alabama, ranked fifth in the nation for total biodiversity, more than 90% of the forestland is privately owned. Factors such as the shrinking pulp and paper industry, Alabama’s vast natural resources, as well as the growing demand for outdoor recreation services could potentially stimulate the development of small and medium-scale private sector outdoor recreation enterprises. To assess this potential an exploratory study, based on a selfadministered mail survey of existing relevant enterprises in 12 counties of Alabama was undertaken. Data analysis included evaluation of the mean and standard deviations. In spite of a low (31%) response rate, data analysis indicated that these enterprises have the potential of contributing significantly to socio-economic development and quality of life in rural Alabama

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