Local residents and tourists are encouraged to share their experiences on public lands this year by participating in a voluntary survey to collect information on recreation trends. Contract employees working for the San Juan National Forest, identified by orange vests, will be staffing survey sites located at recreation areas and along roads on public lands. Official survey sites will be obviously marked with “Survey Ahead” signs. Surveys will also be conducted at ski areas, interpretive sites and the Durango to Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
The survey is completely voluntary, and all responses are confidential. Interviews will take no more than 15 minutes. The San Juan effort is part of a national survey program last conducted in 2005. The standardized survey is designed to gather information on how many people recreated on federal lands, what activities they engaged in, how satisfied they were with their visit, and what services they took advantage of in adjacent communities.
The data will be used in public-lands planning efforts at local, state and federal levels, as well as in community tourism planning.
The surveys will continue from now until next fall. For more information on the national survey, go to www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum.
For information on San Juan Public Lands, call Brian White at (970) 385-1246.