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Data Survey and Sampling Procedures to Quantify Recreation Use of National Forests in Alaska

Estimating visitor numbers and collecting information on visitor attitudes in Alaska national forests is especially challenging because of the dispersed access to the forests by a relatively small number of visitors.

by USDA Forest Service


Data Survey and Sampling Procedures to Quantify Recreation Use of National Forests in Alaska


Fay, Ginny; Colt, Steve; White, Eric M. 2010. Data survey and sampling procedures to quantify recreation use of national forests in Alaska. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-808. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 59 p.

Estimating visitor numbers and collecting information on visitor attitudes in Alaska national forests is especially challenging because of the dispersed access to the forests by a relatively small number of visitors. The Tongass and Chugach National Forests are each millions of acres with miles of saltwater coastline and numerous lakes that allow almost infinite boat and float plane access points.

This study identified a number of methods used by land managers in Alaska and other states to address dispersed recreational access as well as other ongoing data collection processes in Alaska, such as sport fish angler surveys, traveler surveys, and other systematic efforts that generate visitor data. These data may be useful for USDA Forest Service efforts to improve their visitor use monitoring processes.

Keywords: Visitor use monitoring, national forest visitation, Alaska public lands, Alaska visitation, Alaska visitor surveys, Alaska wilderness use.

Published January 2010

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