Human Dimensions of the Frederick City Watershed
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The Frederick City Watershed is a multi-use property with the primary function of providing clean water for The City of Frederick, but also provides many opportunities for recreation. Our research focused on analyzing the historical and current human dimensions of the Frederick City Watershed to inform management decisions. To better understand the makeup of recreational user groups and their impact on the watershed, both interviews and surveys were conducted. Interviews with Frederick City Watershed stakeholders provided historical context related to land use activities, forest cover, wetland modification, native species distribution, and management decisions. The surveys of recreational users imparted a better understanding of use and perceptions of the Frederick City Watershed. From the surveys and interviews, eight main topics of interest were identified for further discussion: user group demographics, environmental concerns, trail signage, trail conditions, garbage and illegal dumping, invasive species, forest purpose, and safety. Public perception on each of these topics is expanded through quantitative survey data and user comments within the report. We recommend creating a Recreation Management Plan for the Frederick City Watershed geared toward the multi-user group community. Besides the watershed’s primary function as a source of high quality water, survey responses and user comments can be used to pinpoint the areas of greatest concern to the majority of users and help narrow the focus of the Recreation Management Plan to the most pressing issues facing the Frederick City Watershed.