National Visitor Use Monitoring Program Survey to be Conducted on the GMUG

Release Date: Oct 24, 2023

Delta, Colorado, Oct. 24, 2023 — The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison (GMUG) National Forests announce the National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) program to be conducted on the GMUG. The NVUM program survey is a program specifically designed to estimate the amount of outdoor recreation that occurs on National Forests. Each forest is surveyed every five years. The survey began at the beginning of October and will run through Sept. 30, 2024.

NVUM program has two main objectives: providing accurate estimates of recreational visits to National Forests and Grasslands and producing descriptive information related to such visits, including activities, demographics, duration, satisfaction levels and trip expenses. The information gathered is useful for forest planning and management at the local, regional and national scales. The survey gathers basic visitor use information and provides National Forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on the National Forest and what activities they engage in during their visit.

Contract employees will be conducting surveys of recreation visitors on the GMUG at both developed and dispersed recreation sites and traveling along roads. These employees will be working in all types of weather and will be easily identifiable by their bright orange vests. Signs will also be posted in the area to indicate the presence of a traffic survey. It is important to note that all surveys are voluntary and the responses will be confidential. Names will not be included. The interviews last around 10 minutes and will cover topics such as where the visitor recreated on the forest, how many people were with them, how long they stayed, what other recreation sites they visited during their stay and how satisfied they were with the facilities and services provided. Approximately one third of the visitors surveyed will also be asked to complete a confidential survey on their recreational spending during their trip. This will help assess the economic impact of recreational activities on the local economy.

“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, participation is extremely important so we can assess visitor use of the Forest and strive to make it a better place to visit,” said Ken Straley, Forest Recreation Program Manager for the GMUG. “We would appreciate it if visitors would pull over and answer a few questions. It’s important for interviewers to talk with local people using the forest, as well as visitors from other areas, so all types of visitors are represented in the study.”

National Visitor Use Monitoring program information can be found here. Connect with us or follow us on social media (Twitter and Facebook). For information on current fire restrictions, conditions and recreation opportunities, visit the forest website or