Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

Forest Service collecting traffic survey data

Individuals wearing orange vests will be out and about in the Black Hills National Forest over the next year collecting input on traffic within the forest.

Contract employees will be stationed in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along forest service roads and will be out in all types of weather conditions near signs that say “Traffic Survey Ahead.”

The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey began on October 1 and will go through September 30, 2024. The information gathered is useful for forest planning as well as local community tourism planning.

It provides National Forest managers with an estimate of how many people recreate on the forest, what activities they engage in while there and how satisfied people were with their visit. Economic impact to the local economy is also captured in the survey.

The survey gathers basic visitor information. Surveys are voluntary, and all responses are confidential; names are not included. Interviews last about ten minutes.

Questions asked include where you recreated on the forest, how many people traveled with you, how long you were on the forest, what other recreation sites you visited while on the forest and how satisfied you are with the facilities and services provided. About a third of the visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreation spending during their trip.

“Although the survey is entirely voluntary, participation is extremely important so we can assess visitor experiences on the Forest and strive to make it a better place to visit,” said Bradley Block, Forest Recreation Program Manager.

“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 out-of-area visitors, so all types of visitors are represented in the study.”

Information about the National Visitor Use Monitoring program can be found at