Noise impacts resources and visitor experience in many protected natural areas, and visitors can be the dominant source of noise. This experimental study tested the efficacy and acceptability of signs asking visitors to be quiet at Muir Woods National Monument, California. Signs declaring a “quiet zone” (at the park’s Cathedral Grove) or a “quiet day” (throughout the park) were posted on a randomized schedule that included control days (no signs). Visitor surveys were conducted to measure the cognitive and behavioral responses of visitors to the signs and test the acceptability of these management practices to visitors. Visitors were highly supportive of these management practices and reported that they consciously limited the amount of noise they produced. Sound level measurements showed substantial decreases on days when signs were posted.
Reducing visitor noise levels at Muir Woods National Monument using experimental management
David W. Stack, Newman Peter, Robert E. Manning, Kurt M. Fristrup; Reducing visitor noise levels at Muir Woods National Monument using experimental management. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 March 2011; 129 (3): 1375–1380. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.3531803
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