STANLEY — The National Visitor Use Monitoring survey is being conducted on the Sawtooth National Forest from October through Sept 30. The public will encounter University of Utah employees working on the Sawtooth National Forest in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along forest service roads. They will be out in all types of weather conditions, wearing bright orange vests and will be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.”
The information gathered will be useful for forest planning as well as local community tourism planning. It will provide national forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on the forest land, what activities they engage in while there and how satisfied people were with their visit. Economic impact to the local economy will also be captured in the survey.
The survey gathers basic visitor information. Surveys are voluntary, and all responses are confidential; names are not included. Interviews last about 10 minutes.
Questions asked include where you recreated on the forest, how many people traveled with you, how long you were on the forest, what other recreation sites you visited while in the forest and how satisfied you are 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.
“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, participation is extremely important so we can assess visitor experiences on the forest and strive to make it a better place to visit,” Bernadette Barthelenghi, forest recreation staff officer on the Sawtooth National Forest, said in a statement. “We would appreciate it if visitors would pull over and answer a few questions. It’s important for interviewers 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.”