Forest Service Conducting Visitor Surveys

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Forest Service Press Release

Beginning Thursday, visitors to the Manti-La Sal National Forest will have an opportunity to tell the Forest Service how they recreate on the Forest.

Surveyors with the National Visitor Use Monitoring Program will begin interviewing people at forest recreation sites and along forest service roads beginning Oct. 1. These surveys will be ongoing across the entire forest through September 2021.

They will gather information about visitors’ experience on the national forest. All information is confidential and the survey is voluntary. Interviewers are hoping many visitors will pull over for an interview. The surveyors can be easily recognized by their signs saying “Traffic Survey Ahead.”

The information is useful for forest planning and local community tourism planning. It provides national forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on National Forest System lands and what activities they engage in while there.

The basic interview lasts about eight minutes. Visitors will be asked where they recreated on the forest, how many people they traveled with, how long they were on the forest, what other recreation sites they visited while on the forest, and how satisfied they were with the facilities and services provided.

About one-third of visitors will be asked to complete a second confidential survey asking about recreation spending during their trip.

Once the survey information is compiled and analyzed, it is made available to the public through the internet. Information collected in the study is used by a variety of individuals and organizations, including members of Congress.

It is important for surveyors to talk to local people using the forest as well as out-of-area visitors, so that all types of visitors are represented in the study. Even if visitors answer survey questions once, they can be surveyed each time they visit the forest. This allows surveyors to collect additional information about visitors’ recreational activities.

For more information about the National Visitor User Monitoring program, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/about-agency/nvum.

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