Add your input to improve the Black Hills experience

Jen Kocher

Jen Kocher

NLJ Correspondent


Don’t be surprised if someone in an orange vest stops you on your next outing into the Black Hills. Among other questions, these part-time survey takers will want to know how your experience was that day, what you were up to, who you were with and how long you were out in the woods. 

There’s a point behind the questions in the National Visitor Use Monitoring survey, according to Scott Jacobson, public affairs officer for the Black Hills National Forest. Jacobson pointed out that these surveys are voluntary and confidential.

What the U.S. Forest Service is after, Jacobson said, is feedback, both good and bad. The agency wants to know how it might improve maintenance and services and facilities throughout the Black Hills, including hiking trails, campgrounds and ATV trails, to name a few. 

“We’re hoping people will take advantage of the opportunity to share their input about their user experiences,” he said. 

The surveyors went out Oct. 2 for the yearlong project ending in September of next year. Surveys will take about 10 minutes and will be conducted seasonally at various locations throughout the hills.  

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