ELKINS, W.Va. (WBOY) — A voluntary survey looking to gather visitor information is set to begin Sunday for the Monongahela National Forest. The National Visitor Use Monitoring survey will be conducted from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024.

The purpose of the survey is to provide various estimates, such as number of people, activities they engage in and visitor satisfaction, which will factor into future tourism and forest planning.

According to a Forest Service release, survey questions include “where did you recreate, how many people traveled with you, how long were you on the Forest, what other recreation sites did you visit while on the Forest, and how satisfied you are with the facilities and services provided?”

Responses are confidential, with interviews lasting around 10 minutes, and about a third of participants will be asked to do an additional survey regarding their trip’s recreation spending.

“Participation from a variety of forest visitors is important,” W.J. Cober, Forest Recreation Program Manager, said. “Interviewers need 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.”

The survey, conducted on national forests every five years, “will be carried out by Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area employees at both developed and dispersed recreation sites and along Forest Service Roads,” the release said. They can be spotted wearing high visibility vests near a “Traffic Survey Ahead” sign.

To look at the findings of previous surveys, visit the Forest Service website.