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Visitor Use and Characteristics Throughout the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest
The vast majority of the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges are managed by the USDA Forest Service as the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. The National Forest provides surrounding communities with numerous ecosystem services such as clean water and carbon-sequestration. The National Forest also contributes to the region’s aesthetic appeal and economic vitality by offering easy access to spectacular views and world-class recreation opportunities. Because of its spectacular quality and easy access, the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest receives approximately nine million visitors a year, which is more than all five of Utah’s national parks combined.
To help ensure the Forest Service can provide high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities to current and future generations, the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism has provided data, technical assistance, and expertise to the agency. Since 2007, the Institute has conducted four separate year-long studies on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.
Two of these studies were part of the USDA Forest Service’s National Visitor Use Monitoring program, which is conducted on every National Forest and Grassland every five years to
- estimate the number of people using National Forests and Grasslands; and
- gain information about visitation, recreation activities, demographics, visit duration, visitor satisfaction, and visitor spending related to recreation use.
The Institute has also worked with the Salt Lake and Pleasant Grove Ranger Districts in conjunction with local governments, interest groups, and stakeholders to conduct two other studies aimed at addressing specific issues and to inform planning efforts to help managers and communities preserve the resources and opportunities provided by the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.