Flagstaff AZ (October 3, 2019) – Over the next year, many visitors to Coconino National Forest will again have the opportunity to let the Forest Service know if their recreational desires are being fulfilled on Forest Service lands by random surveys being conducted forest-wide.
This opportunity for input is the result of the 2020 National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey, which will begin Tuesday (Oct. 1) on the forest and conducted for one year.
Throughout the year contracted employees will be working on the Coconino National Forest conducting 317 surveys at different sites across the forest. All information provided by the public for these surveys is confidential, and participation is voluntary. However, visitors to the forest are highly encouraged to participate in the survey. Forest Service managers can use the forest visitors desires to better meet their recreational needs.
“The surveys provide great information for recreation planning on the Coconino,” said Brian Poturalski, recreation program manager for the Coconino National Forest. “When the 2020 survey is completed, we will have the latest information regarding recreation on our forest and also the ability to compare prior surveys and recognize long term trends and desires.”
The purpose of this survey is to provide an estimate of forest recreation visits that will be used at many different levels, from local forest planning to Congressional planning in Washington D.C. This will be the fifth time that the NVUM survey has been conducted on the Coconino National Forest since 2000.
“As a recreation planner, it is extremely helpful to hear first-hand what types of recreation activities forest visitors are actively pursuing and how we can better manage for their expectations while maintaining the integrity of the natural environment,” said Poturalski.
The NVUM survey on the Coconino National Forest is part of a national process for measuring visitor use across all Forest Service lands. All National Forests across the country conduct these surveys every five years.
The information from this nation-wide study will be used by the Forest Service, Congress and the General Accounting Office for a variety of issues including forest planning and budget allocation. For more information about the National Visitor Use Monitoring process, or for recreational opportunities on U.S. Forest Service lands, please visit www.fs.fed.us/recreation/