WILLOWS, Calif.; Sept. 26, 2017 – Mendocino National Forest visitors may notice more Forest Service and contract employees working in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along forest roads soon. They will be wearing bright orange vests and standing near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.” These well-trained interviewers want to know about your visit to the National Forest.
The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey has already been conducted once on every National Forest in the country. The Mendocino National Forest is working to update the information previously gathered as well as to look at recreation trends over time. The information provides National Forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in while there. Other important information is how satisfied people were with their visit and the economic impact of your recreation visit on the local economy. So many small towns are struggling and they hope that tourism may help strengthen their communities. This is one way to estimate the effects.
This recreation visitor program gathers basic visitor information. All responses are totally confidential, in fact a person’s name is never written anywhere on the survey. The interview lasts about eight minutes. Every other visitor is asked a few additional questions which may take an extra five minutes. The questions visitors are asked include: 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 a third of the visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreation spending during their trip.
Information collected in this national study will be used in local forest planning, at the state level, and even by Congress. The more they know about the visitors, especially their satisfaction and desires, the better managers can provide for their needs.
Although the survey is entirely voluntary, forest officials appreciate it if visitors pull up and answer a few questions. It’s important to gather information from local people using the forest as well as out-of-area visitors so all types of visitors are represented in the study. Please contact Katy Rich at 530-934-1199 for additional information or visit http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/.