The Effect of Place Attachment and Leisure Identity on Wildland Stewardship

Elena R. Thomas, William L. Rice, Christopher A. Armatas, Jennifer M. Thomsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With increasing outdoor recreation participation in the U.S., managers face the challenge of balancing visitor experiences with the protection of natural resources. To address declining management capacity, agencies seek to involve both new and established recreationists in local stewardship behaviors. However, community involvement in stewardship efforts is hindered by a lack of understanding of the connection between recreationists’ antecedent conditions and their behavioral intentions. This study focuses on a wildland recreation setting near a western U.S. city to examine the relationship between place attachment, leisure identity salience, and local environmental stewardship behavioral intention. The results show that place identity influences willingness to engage in place-specific proactive stewardship, while leisure identity is predictive of engagement in Leave-No-Trace behaviors. The findings highlight the importance of targeting place and leisure identity in messaging strategies and forming partnerships with recreation organizations to encourage stewardship and engage the local community in land management.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLeisure Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Leave no trace
  • leisure identity
  • outdoor recreation
  • place attachment
  • stewardship


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