Los Padres National Forest Launches Visitor Survey
updated: Oct 24, 2013, 8:51 PM
By Edhat Subscriber
Los Padres National Forest officials today announced the beginning of a one-year National Visitor Use
Monitoring (NVUM) survey across the Forest. This survey, done in partnership with the University of
California at San Marcos, will conduct interviews at pre-selected points throughout the Forest through
September 2014. The Cleveland and San Bernardino National Forests are undertaking similar visitor use
surveys during this same timeframe.
The NVUM survey is a statistical visitor sampling system developed for all Federal land management
agencies to measure visitor activities and use within Federal lands using consistent methods. The
interviewers, stationed at key Forest roads or exits adjacent to recreation areas, will ask national forest
visitors about the activities they participated in that day and how much time they devoted to each form
of recreation. Also, the number of people per vehicle will be counted to tally the total number of visitors
in each party sampled.
Only activities and zip codes are requested; no names or personal information is collected. The
questions asked are very basic in nature, including:
What activities did you participate in?
How long did you stay?
How satisfied are you with the facilities?
Where are you from?
The numbers, locations and activities will be analyzed at a national tabulation center. This year-long
study, which is performed every four to five years, will be summarized and published along with other
national forests. The information is used by Congress, agency planners, and other groups or individuals
who study national visitor and recreation trends. It may also be used as part of the basis for allocating
appropriated funding to recreation programs of each forest.
Following the NVUM survey in 2008, key findings for the Los Padres National Forest included:
The estimate for recreation visits to the Forest totaled nearly 1.1 million
Over 46 percent of the visitors traveled more than 50 miles to visit the Forest
51.5 percent of the visitors stayed overnight in a US Forest Service campground
More than 83 percent of visits to National Forest System lands are done primarily for physical activity,
such as hiking, biking, and backpacking.
Sample sites will be safely located along low-speed Forest roads or near recreation sites. They will have
large florescent signs stating "SAMPLE STATION AHEAD - PLEASE STOP." Visitors are in no way required
to stop or answer questions. However, National Forest officials encourage the public's cooperation so
your favorite activities and the places you visit are recorded and appropriately valued during this coming
year, allowing us to provide the best customer service possible.
For more information about this visitor use survey, please contact NVUM coordinator Jeff Bensen at
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