Boise, Idaho -- Beginning in October and continuing through next September, visitors to the Boise National Forest may see employees gathering information for the National Visitor Use Monitoring Program (NVUM). The program was developed to gather information about recreation sites along Forest Service roads. Employees will wear bright orange vests and be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.”
A similar survey was conducted five years ago.
The approximately 10-minute confidential surveys gather basic visitor information. Questions include: where they recreated on the Forest, how many people they traveled with, how long they stayed, what other recreation sites they visited, 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.
“These well-trained interviewers will use the information about a visit to the national forest to help with forest planning and local community tourism planning,” Danelle Highfill, Boise National Forest Recreation Program Manager, said. “It is entirely voluntary, and the information will indicate recreation trends over the years which improve facility development and economic benefit in our local area.”
Information gathered provides an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in. It also includes how satisfied people were with their visit and the economic effect on the local economy.
This periodic on-going national forest survey was last conducted in 2014. The current survey updates information previously gathered and looks at recreation trends over time.
Information collected is used in local forest planning, at the state level, and even by Congress. The information helps managers provide better service.
“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, we sure would appreciate it if local and out-of-area visitors would pull up and answer a few questions,” Highfill added.
Further information about this program is at https://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/