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National Forest Counting, Surveying Users

Helena Lewis and Clark National Forest

If you spend much time in the Helena - Lewis and Clark National Forest, you might find yourself unexpectedly talking to rangers. This week, the national forest started a one-year survey to count how many people use the publicly-owned land. In addition to road and trail counters at randomly chosen spots in the Helena, Lincoln and Townsend ranger districts, that means a Forest Service employee might stop you on a hike to ask about your visit. According to the agency, these interviews will take about ten minutes.

The data the agency collects will help it better plan for visitor needs and is used at the state and congressional levels as well, according to officials.

The survey is conducted every five years in every National Forest.

This survey is entirely voluntary. Forest managers appreciate your cooperation and input.  If you have questions about this recreation study you can visit the national web site at or call your local Forest Service office.

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