The map at right represents an imaginary but typical piece of California geography, including a city and its suburbs, a state forest, a state park, a sizable lake and connecting highways. The chart below the map summarizes the behavior patterns of participants in 13 types of outdoor activity. Short-distance activities generally take precedence over such sports as hunting and camping for which people have proved themselves willing to travel. The problem, which recreational planning attempts to solve, is to relate the individual, and sometimes competing, demands of the participants, about 80% of whom live in the built-up area, to the land on the map.
To accomplish this, the planners draw two concentric circles around the city. The city itself and its suburbs are labeled Zone 1. The recreation demand here comes from all age groups and ranges from swimming to the quiet enjoyment of a municipal park. It is primarily up to the municipality and private enterprise to take the steps necessary to acquire this land and develop it for such use. The land inside the first circle, Zone 2, is within 40 miles of the city. The need here is for free and more naturally developed open space, which will be used by people who want to spend a day riding, hiking, picnicking and fishing. Zone 3 extends 250 miles from the city. It belongs to weekending families: campers, hunters, fishermen and sightseers. Zone 4, limited only by the zones of other cities, primarily attracts travelers with more time at their disposal.
Control of the land shown on this map lies in many hands. It is owned by individuals, municipalities, by the state and the federal governments. To achieve the objectives of the California plan, private owners must be given an incentive to open their land to the public, and government agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service, which administer recreation areas, must work closely with state recreation officials. Only through such an over-all approach can the enormous number of California sportsmen expected by 1980 be accommodated and existing areas be rescued from misuse—or ruin.
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