Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Kerry F. Schell

Committee Members

William Hammitt, Charles Cleland


The purpose of this study was to leam about the habits and patterns of use of the Savage Gulf State National Area (SGSNA) by Grundy County citizens and to determine the attitudes of Grundy Countians about the Savage Gulf project and related issues. The information gained through this study was to be used by the Tennessee Department of Conservation in the planning of the SGSNA. At the time the study was conducted, the De-partment of Conservation was seeking input from various groups of people in order to formulate the Master Plan for the SGSNA project. The local residents of Grundy County and members of certain organizations were sur-veyed to learn more about their perceptions of the SGSNA and the Depart-ment of Conservation, and to obtain their opinions and preferences con-cerning the SGSNA. The primary means and procedures used in data assembly for this re-search involved the administration of a questionnaire to two populations of Grundy Coundy citizens. Informal personal interviews also proA/ided a major portion of the data. The populations included (1) members of eight selected conservation or outdoor recreation organizations and (2) members of randomly selected households from throughout the county. The research findings show that the members of organizations have more knowledge about the SGSNA and they use the land areas of the Savage Gulf project more than county residents who generally do not belong to these organizations. Because organization members presently use SGSNA lands for jeeping, hunting, and hiking, they are brought into closer contact with the Savage Gulf project than those people who do not regularly engage in these three popular activities. Organization respondents were more knowledgeable about the purpose of a natural area and their knowledge of the rules that govern the SGSNA surpassed that of the household respondents. The research also found that the respondents tended to welcome the State of Tennessee as a protector of "their" resource with the hope that the establishment of the Savage Gulf pro ject would be beneficial for the citizens of Grundy County. The study attempted to learn the opinions and perceptions of Grundy countians about the SGSNA and related issues. This was know-ledge gained through personal contact with many individuals on both a formal basis, the questionnaire, and on an informal basis, through per-sonal interviews. The study makes the point that public participation methods should be applied on a case-by-base basis so that as many citi-zens as possible can have the opportunity to participate in the planning of a project that is important to the entire county.

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