Release Date: Oct 8, 2014
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – In an effort to better understand and meet the needs of visitors, the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests are conducting a 12-month visitor survey that began Oct. 1.
The National Visitor Use Monitoring program, which occurs every five years, provides the Forest Service with science-based estimates of the volume and characteristics of recreation visits to the National Forest System.
“The survey will provide visitors to the national forests in Arkansas and Oklahoma an opportunity to let forest managers know how we can improve their recreation experience,” said Chris Ham, the Recreation Program manager for Ouachita National Forest.
Throughout the year, visitors to the National Forests may encounter “Traffic Survey Ahead” signs and Forest Service employees wearing bright orange vests who will ask for interviews. Participating in the survey is voluntary and the information gathered is confidential.
“No names are taken during the survey which takes only about 8 minutes to complete,” said Robert Duggan, Natural Resources Specialist for the Ozark-St. Francis National Forests.
The data collected from the surveys helps forest managers know why people visit the national forests, how satisfied they are with the facilities and services provided and the amount they spend on each visit. Questions will also address how people use the national forest road systems and facilities.