filed under: trail inventory & capacity
Predicting Future Recreation Pressures on America’s National Forests and Grasslands
This report, a publication of the Forests on the Edge project of the Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Deputy Area, examines the growth in population within 50 and 100 miles of national forests and grasslands. To understand how recreation pressure might increase in the future, the report also estimates future growth in recreation visits to NFS lands by local residents.
Populations near many national forests and grasslands are rising and are outpacing growth elsewhere in the United States. We used National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) data and U.S. census data to examine growth in population and locally based recreation visits within 50 and 100 miles of National Forest System (NFS) boundaries. From 1990 to 2010, the population living within 50 miles of NFS lands increased by 36 percent, from about 112 million to 153 million people; that population is expected to increase in the future. Recreation visits from local residents can be expected to increase by 12 million new visits per year, from 83 million in 2010 to about 95 million in 2020. Forests experiencing the most population growth and highest rates of local visitation can expect the greatest impacts on recreation resources and other public benefits. Strong partnerships and cooperation among Forest Service staffs, local communities, and other concerned parties can help avoid or mitigate potential impacts associated with increased recreation pressure and enhance the recreational experiences of users.
Published June 2015
These Trail User Survey examples show how trails across the country are listening to their trail users to gather data for funding, maintenance, events, and more.
A compilation of best practices and guidelines for the planning, design, construction, and management of your trail employing sustainable design.
Evaluating Effectiveness of Visitor Use Management
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.