You might be surveyed as you visit forestland

National Forest Surveys are coming, and you may be asked for your opinion as you travel the outdoors.

The U.S. Forest Service says that starting in October, you may be seeing more Forest Service and contract employees working in recreation sites and along Forest Service roads. 

These workers will be wearing bright orange vests and be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.” The goal will be to learn more about your visit to the national forest. 

All information you give is confidential and the survey is voluntary.

The survey has already been conducted 4 times on every National Forest in the country, and now the USFS is returning to update information as well as to look at recreation trends over time. 

Questions on the survey are said to 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 planning 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.

The USFS says that this information can be useful for forest planning and local community tourism planning, providing National Forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in while there.

The survey will also show how satisfied people were with their visit and the economic impact 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 confidential and the interview lasts about 8 minutes, although every other visitor is asked a few additional questions which may take an additional 5 minutes. 

“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, we would appreciate it if visitors would take a few minutes and answer the questions from our surveyors.”

If you have any questions about this program you can visit our web site at