Forest Service Seeks 8-minute Feedback


SANTA FE—Forest Service and contract employees working in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along Santa Fe National Forest roads want to know about your visit to the national forest as part of a recreation visitor program.

The interviewers gather basic visitor information. All responses are totally confidential. In fact, a person’s name is never written anywhere on the survey. The basic interview lasts about eight minutes. The questions visitors are asked to include such things as where they recreated in the forest, how many people they traveled with, how long they were in the forest, what other recreation sites they visited while in the forest, and how satisfied they were with the facilities and services provided.

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, Forest Service spokesman Denise Ottaviano said.

This on-going national forest survey has already been conducted twice on every National Forest in the country in the past. The Forest Service is now returning five years later to update the information previously gathered, as well as to look at recreation trends over time.

The information is useful for forest planning and even local community tourism planning, Ottaviano said. It provides national forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in while there. Forest and tourism planners will also use this information to determine the economic impact of recreational visits on the local economy.

Although the survey is entirely voluntary, the Santa Fe National Forest would appreciate if visitors would give feedback about their forest visit.

“It is important to talk with local people using the forest, as well as out-of-area visitors, so all types of visitors are represented in the study,” Ottaviano said. “Even if you answered the survey questions once already, we would like to talk to you about each of your national forest visits, so please stop for another interview.”

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