WNF visitors to be surveyed on Wayne National Forest

Published 10:56 pm Saturday, September 27, 2008

NELSONVILLE – Beginning in October, you’ll see U.S. Forest Service and contract employees interviewing the public in developed and dispersed recreation sites on the Wayne National Forest. The forest was last surveyed in 2004. Now five years later, forestry officials are seeking to update their information to look at recreation trends over time.

The Wayne is partnering with Ohio University and Ohio University Southern to help conduct interviews. The information collected will be used by Congress, regional & state level planning as well as forest planning. The more they know about the visitors, especially their satisfaction and desires, the better managers can provide for their needs.

The interviewers will wear bright orange vests and be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.” The workers will ask about your visit to the national forest. Interviews will occur from Oct. 1, 2008 – Sept. 30, 2009. All information you give is confidential and the survey is voluntary. In fact, a person’s name is never written anywhere on the survey.

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Participation in the survey is entirely voluntary. The basic interview lasts about eight minutes. Every other visitor is asked a few additional questions that may take an additional five minutes. The questions include where they recreated on the forest, how many people they traveled with, how long they were on the forest, what other recreation sites they visited while on the forest, and how satisfied they were 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.

The information is also useful for local community tourism planning. Forest and tourism planners want to know how satisfied people were with their visit and the economic impact of recreation visits on the local economy.

For more information, contact a local WNF office in Nelsonville, (740) 753-0101; Pedro, (740) 534-6500; Marietta, (740) 373-9055.of visit the agency’s website at

http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum or call Leon LaVigne at 414-297-1313.