Date(s) - 10/01/2022 - 09/30/2023
Harrisburg, Illinois October 8, 2022— The public will encounter employees and volunteers
working in the Shawnee National Forest in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along forest
service roads. They will be out in all types of weather conditions, wearing bright orange vests and be
near a sign that says, “Traffic Survey Ahead”. The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey
is being conducted on the Shawnee National Forest that began on October 1 st and will go through
September 30, 2023.
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 actually recreate on the
National 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 10 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 Chad Deaton, Forest
Recreation Program Manager on the Shawnee National Forest. “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