BEND, Ore. -

The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland will begin national forest surveys throughout Central Oregon starting October 1. 

Visitors will see Forest Service and contract employees setup in developed and dispersed recreation sites, trailheads, and along Forest Service roads. 

This recreation visitor survey gathers basic visitor information and provides national forest managers with an estimate of how many people recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in while there.

Interviewers will be wearing bright orange vests and be near a sign that says “Traffic Survey Ahead.”  The survey is entirely voluntary and confidential.  The basic interview lasts about eight minutes. 

Every other visitor will be asked a few additional questions which may take an additional five minutes, about a third of the visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreation spending during their trip. 

It is important for the interviewers to talk with local people using the forest as well as out-of-area visitors so all types of visitors are represented in this study.

This on-going national forest survey has already been conducted twice on both Forests and Grassland.  Interviewers are now returning five years later to update the information previously gathered as well as to look at recreation trends over time.

 Information collected in this national study will be used in local forest planning, at the state planning level, and even by Congress.  The more they know about the visitors, especially their satisfaction and desires, the better managers can provide for their needs.

Although the survey is entirely voluntary, we would appreciate it if visitors would pull up and answer a few questions.  Even if you answered the survey questions once already, interviewers would like to talk to you about each of your national forest visits.  Thank you for your cooperation in this important survey. 

For more information on the survey contact Mark Christiansen, Recreation Program Manager on the Deschutes National Forest at (541) 383-5571 or Cathy Lund, Recreation District Staff on the Ochoco National Forest at (541) 416-6451.  If you have any questions about the program you can visit the National Visitor Use Monitoring program Web site at http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum.