Big Bear Valley, CA, October 4, 2013 – Federal furloughs notwithstanding, the San Bernardino National Forest will be participating in a one-year visitor survey called the National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM). This survey process, done in partnership with the University of California at San Marcos, will be conducted  through September 30, 2014. The interviewers will be stationed in orange vests at key forest roads or exits from recreation areas, and tally the number of people per vehicle and ask visitors a few basic questions, including:

– What activities did you participate in?
– How long did you stay?
– How satisfied are you with the facilities?
– Where are you from?

The information will be analyzed at a national tabulation center, summarized and published along with other national forests. This year-long study, which is performed every four to five years, is used by Congress, agency planners and those who study national visitor and recreation trends. It may also be used as part of the basis for allocating funding to recreation programs.

The last sampling showed that the San Bernardino National Forest was visited approximately 2.4 million times for recreation in 2009, with over 76% of those visits made for physical activity. It was also found that more than half of the visitors live within 50 miles of the forest, and that 29% of visitors stayed overnight in a US Forest Service campground.