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    Author(s): Donald B. K. English; Pam Froemke; Kathleen Hawkos
    Date: 2014
    Source: FS-1034. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 36 p.
    Publication Series: Other
    Station: Washington Office
    PDF: Download Publication  (8.75 MB)


    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.

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    English, Donald B. K.; Froemke, Pam; Hawkos, Kathleen. 2014. Paths more traveled: Predicting future recreation pressures on America’s national forests and grasslands - a Forests on the Edge report. FS-1034. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 36 p.


    populations, growth, recreation, visitation

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