Starting on October 1rd, the Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands will begin conducting National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) surveys across all of its units. NVUM surveys are conducted every five years on all national forests and grassland in the nation. These surveys will take place at randomly selected locations on the Buffalo Gap and Fort Pierre National Grasslands in South Dakota and the Oglala National Grassland and Nebraska and Samuel R. McKelvie National Forests in Nebraska.
Visitor counts are done to look at recreation trends over time. The information is used for forest/grassland planning and for local community tourism planning. It provides managers with an estimate of how many people recreate on federal lands and what they do when they visit. Other important information collected includes how satisfied people were with their visit and the economic impact of recreation visits on local communities. The more information we know about visitors, especially their satisfaction and desires, the better the forest and local community providers can meet their recreational needs.
Interviewers conducting the surveys will be wearing bright orange vests and be near “Traffic Survey Ahead” signs. Interviewers are eager to talk to visitors about their visit as they exit the forest or grassland. If you see a survey in progress, please pull over for an interview. The survey takes less than ten minutes and is voluntary and confidential. It’s important for interviewers to talk with local people who use the forests and grasslands, as well as out-of-area visitors.
If you have any questions about this program you can visit the National Visitor Use Monitoring web site by clicking here or call Julie Johndreau at (308) 432-0300.