Outdoors blog: What's the average age of a BWCAW visitor?
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
BWCAW visitor use study revealing
I recently was made aware of a 2007 study of visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Perhaps these results have been published or widely distributed before, but I don't recall seeing them and thought I'd share them.
The results are based on 1,432 surveys returned by visitors to the wilderness area between May 1 and Sept. 30, 2007. The study was funded by the U.S. Forest Service, which administers the BWCAW; the Rocky Mountain Research Station; and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute.
Here are some of the most interesting categories:
- Average age -- 45 for overnight visitors, 49 for day-use visitors
- Gender -- 75 percent male for overnight visitors, 64 percent male for day-use visitors
- Education level -- 73 percent of overnight visitors had an undergradute degree; 67 percent of day-use visitors had an undergraduate degree.
- Household income -- 49 percent of overnight users had household incomes between $60,000 and $120,000; 55 percent of day-use visitors had household incomes of $60,000 to $120,000
- Group size -- Average group size for overnight visitors was four; for day-use visitors, between three and four
- Outfitter use -- 39 percent of overnight visitors used an outfitter's services for all or part of their equipment needs; the figure was 38 percent for day-use visitors
- Visitors who fished on their trips -- 76 percent of overnight users fished on their trips; 63 percent of day-use visitors fished. Thirty-four percent of overnight visitors and 53 percent of day-use visitors said fishing was the major reason for their trip.
- Visitors were asked if they felt the BWCAW was too crowded. Among overnight visitors, 51 percent said the BWCAW was too crowded in a few areas and 9 percent said it was too crowded in most areas. A total of 38 percent did not think the BWCAW was too crowded.