2021 Bureau of Land Management Visitor Satisfaction Surveys

IB 2021-006
Information Bulletin

In Reply Refer To:
8300 (HQ-430/OC-520) P

Information Bulletin No. 2021-006


To:                   All State Directors (Except Eastern States)

Attn: State Office Recreation Program and National Conservation Lands Program Leads

From:              Assistant Director, National Conservation Lands and Community Partnerships

Subject:           2021 Bureau of Land Management Visitor Satisfaction Surveys

                                                                                                                        DD:  12/18/2020


This Information Bulletin (IB) outlines the procedures for state engagement with the 2021 Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Visitor Survey.  This IB requests each state director (except Eastern States) in collaboration with their state recreation program and National Conservation Lands program leads, select two sites in their respective area of jurisdiction to participate in the survey.  The Eastern States Office may participate at their discretion due to their limited number of recreation sites.

This annual survey provides the BLM with data for national performance measures required under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 for both overall visitor satisfaction and value for fees paid.  This survey also gives BLM site managers vital information on visitor satisfaction with facilities, interpretation/education programs and materials, road/trail maintenance, staff service, and general recreation management.

Each state (except Eastern States) is asked to complete the following steps:  

  1. Review the BLM Visitor Survey instrument (Attachment 1) and the Instructions for On-Site Visitor Survey Administration (Attachment 2).
  2. Select two sites/areas to survey within a two-month period between January 11, 2021 and September 30, 2021, in accordance with survey instructions developed with Washington State University (WSU).  Selected sites can be either fee or non-fee and may be a National Conservation Lands unit.  In choosing these two sites/areas, please consider the following requirements:
    • Select sites that have adequate visitation during the two-month survey period.  It is optimal to distribute approximately 350-400 survey instruments per site to potential respondents, depending upon annual visitation.  Therefore, each state must select an appropriate site and timeframe with adequate visitation to meet this requirement.
    • Provide on-site staffing or volunteers to distribute the surveys in accordance with directions from WSU. 
    • Select sites where the BLM has made an investment to provide recreation opportunities and benefits.  Given the list of recreation activities listed in the survey, surveying sites providing one or more of these activities will best allow the BLM to understand how effectively its recreation management is meeting the public’s needs.
    • Select one site/area, if possible, that provides interpretive programming and/or facilities.  It is strongly recommended to choose such a site so that the BLM can meet the departmental requirement in reporting GPRA information on interpretive efforts.
  3. Complete a separate online Site Profile Form or PDF Site Profile Form (Attachment 3) for each of the two sites/areas selected.
  4. Submit the completed Site Profile Forms by the due date to Kim Leitzinger, Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Operations Center (NOC) - Division of Resource Services (DRS).  If submitting the PDF version of the Site Profile Form (Attachment 3), email it to kleitzinger@blm.gov.
  5. States with sites that experience high visitation during the fall may consider submitting an additional online Site Profile Form or PDF Site Profile Form (Attachment 3) for FY 2022.  Simply enter the desired fall start date on the form. This will help WSU coordinate survey efforts between BLM’s fiscal years. 
  6. Results from the FY 2021 surveys will be available to BLM in April 2022 and be included in the comprehensive national report available by the end of November 2022. Resulting reports are available from WSU online at https://sesrc.wsu.edu/blm/reports/.

Once each state’s site/area nominations have been approved by the Division of Recreation and Visitor Services (HQ430), the site selections will be forwarded to the Principal Investigator, Lena Le, Ph.D. at WSU, who will establish the number of surveys to be completed based on the annual visitation of the site.  The following will then take place:

  1. WSU will print scannable surveys with the site name and ship them, along with the locked drop boxes and other survey materials, directly to the site contact person.  The BLM field staff will oversee the administration of the survey on-site during the two-month sampling period between January 11 and September 30.
  2. Both WSU and BLM NOC staff are available to assist field units with developing their sampling profile, or to answer any questions or address concerns.  Primary contacts for sampling-related issues are David Vollmer at WSU (david.vollmer@wsu.edu, 509-335-2350) and Kim Leitzinger at the NOC (kleitzinger@blm.gov, 970-274-7823).
  3. Once the sampling is completed, all survey materials (lock box(s) containing the completed surveys, leftover surveys, instruction manual, extra forms) will be returned to WSU.
  4. The survey data will be scanned and analyzed by WSU, and reports generated and distributed to individual sites.  The final and comprehensive national and site-specific reports will be delivered to the BLM by the end of November 2021.

The existing annual agreement with Washington State University, managed by the NOC will be used as a vehicle to establish the number of surveys to be administered by site, print the survey (individualized with BLM site names), scan the survey data into a spreadsheet, analyze the data, and prepare both national and site reports.  Field units conducting the survey will require approximately 100 hours of staff or volunteer time (surveying and administration) at each of the sites selected.  Depending upon annual visitation, site type, the number of surveys to administer, travel time from/to the field office, and level of effort, however it may take substantially more time.

The BLM Visitor Survey has been conducted annually since 1999. The 2021/2022 survey instrument has been approved by OMB.

Annual visitor satisfaction surveys are required as part of the Annual Performance Plan mandated under GPRA which stipulates meeting explicit long-term goals related to recreation and NLCS customer satisfaction measures.

Coordination has included the HQ430 and the NOC-DRS (OC520).

For more information, please contact either Cory Roegner, Deputy Division Chief HQ430 at 385-258-0496 or Kim Leitzinger, Outdoor Recreation Planner, NOC/DRS at 970-274-7823.

Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:

Timothy J Fisher                                                         Robert M. Williams

Acting, Assistant Director                                          Division of External Affairs,(HQ-63)

National Conservation Lands and
     Community Partnerships


3 Attachments

  1. Bureau of Land Management Visitor Survey (2 pp)
  2. Bureau of Land Management Survey – Instructions for On-Site Visitor Survey Administration (2 pp)
  3. Online Site Profile Form or Site Profile Form (2 pp)