Author

Byung-kyu Lee

Date of Award

2003

Level of Access

Open-Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Forest Resources

Advisor

Wilbur F. LaPage

Second Committee Member

John J. Daigle

Third Committee Member

Kenneth L. Nichols

Abstract

In a three-wave Delphi survey of a panel of 40 key experts of Korean National Parks conducted between February 2001 and March in 2002, four major issues -- (A) Park philosophy not clearly articulated; (B) Inadequate emphasis on ecosystem protection; (C) Widespread deficiency of management tools; and (D) Visitor services needed -- were asked to get the panel's opinions regarding 'importance' (1 = most important; 4 = least important) and 'likelihood' of being resolved (1= resolved in 5 years; 4 = not resolved in 5 years) of these four issues in Wave 3. In terms of 'importance,' Issue A (Park philosophy not clearly articulated) (mean rank = 1.9) was considered more important than the other three issues (mean ranks are 2.5 or 2.6). Meanwhile, in terms of the 'likelihood' of being resolved, Issue A (mean rank = 3.2) was less likely to be resolved than the other 3 issues (mean ranks are between 2.2 and 2.9). Issue D (Visitor services needed) was most likely to be resolved in the next 5 years. It implies that although the management objectives and legislative changes are needed to make the park idea articulated, due to a long-term need to get legislative support, the likelihood of resolving unarticulated park philosophy is lower than the others. This unclear park philosophy leads to the lack of recognition of national park roles toward ecosystem protection, which in turn results in a deficiency of management tools with little congressional support such as budget and staff. Finally, several suggestions for the Korea park system are introduced to help the Korea National Parks Authority (KNPA) management to make a balance between preservation and recreational use in national park areas. Recommendations include (1) formation of a 'Blue Ribbon Panel' of experts to comprehensively study the National Park conditions and trends, and to look at alternative styles of management from other models that exist around the world, (2) use parks as 'classrooms' and co-optation of legislators, (3) get support fi-om volunteers, Friends groups, and partners, and (4) get corporate sponsorship and develop 'Sister Park' program with other countries.

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