The National Visitor Use Monitoring methodology and final results for round 1
A nationwide, systematic monitoring process has been developed to provide improved estimates of recreation visitation on National Forest System lands. Methodology is presented to provide estimates of site visits and national forest visits based on an onsite sampling design of site-days and last-exiting recreationists. Stratification of the site days, based on site type and use level, is used to improve the estimates by reducing variability. Forests are sampled on a 4-year cycle, with a fourth of the forests sampled each year. The site visit and national forest visit estimates for each of the 121 forests sampled in round 1 (2000 to 2003) are presented along with their coefficients of variation and 90-percent confidence intervals. In addition, these estimates are decomposed into their nonproxy, proxy, and Special Events components which provide a level of transparency important for understanding the estimation process and for building credibility among the users of these National Visitor Use Monitoring estimates. The concepts, equations, and data presented are reinforced by illustrating a typical analysis of the visitation estimation process for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. This includes site- day characteristics of the nonproxy and proxy strata, information about the National Visitor Use Monitoring sampling process, and detailed calculation of the national forest visit estimate for the nonproxy, proxy, and Special Event components of the visitation estimate. The total national visitation estimate is the summation of all the individual forest visit estimates. The national site visit estimate for 2004 was 239,009,917 with a 90-percent confidence interval of 231,554,913 to 246,464,921 and a coefficient of variation of 1.90 percent. The national forest visit estimate, circa 2004, was 204,358,864 with a 90-percent confidence interval of 197,468,684 to 211,249,044 and a coefficient of variation of 2.05.