Forest Service conducting surveys on use of its lands

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If you soon see more Forest Service employees in recreation sites and along Forest Service roads, wearing bright orange vests and standing near a sign saying “Traffic Survey Ahead,” consider pulling over for an interview that’s part of an ongoing national forest survey last conducted on the Kootenai in 2012.

The new surveys will update information previously gathered, help illuminate recreation trends and be used for forest planning and local community tourism planning. The survey also provides National Forest managers with an estimate of how many people recreate in the forest, what they do there and how happy they were with the experience.

“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, we would appreciate visitors stopping to answer the questions,” the Forest Service says in a statement. “It’s important for us to talk with local people using the forest as well as out-of-area visitors. Even if you answered the survey questions once already, we would like to talk to you about each of your visits, so if you see us out there again, please stop for another interview.”

The surveyors will be out through September 30, 2017.

For more information visit www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/nvum/ or call Kootenai National Forest Recreation Program Manager Mary Laws at 406-293-2611.

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