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November 17, 2010

In Reply Refer To:
8300 (WO-250/OC-531) P
Information Bulletin No. 2011-011
To:               All State Directors and National Landscape Conservation System Director
                    Attn: Recreation and National Landscape Conservation System Program Lead
From:           Division Chief, Recreation and Visitor Services

Subject:       Bureau of Land Management 2010 Visitor Satisfaction Survey        DD: 01/07/2011
Program Area: Recreation, Travel, Tourism, Visitor Services, National Landscape Conservation System, and Management Systems.
Purpose: This Information Bulletin (IB) documents the decision to continue the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Visitor Satisfaction Survey through calendar year 2011. This IB requests that each state director, (with the exception of the Eastern States Director), in collaboration with their State Recreation Program and National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) Program Leads, select two sites in their respective area of jurisdiction for visitor satisfaction surveying. The Eastern States Office (ESO) may also participate at their discretion.
The annual visitor survey provides the BLM with both data for reporting results using national performance measures required under the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993, and information regarding visitors’ satisfaction with value for fees paid. This survey also provides BLM site managers with vital information on visitor satisfaction with facilities, interpretation/education programs and materials, road/trail maintenance, staff service, and general recreation management.
Policy/Action: Each state office (except the ESO) is asked to complete the following steps:  
  1. Review the Visitor Survey Instrument (Attachment 1) – the survey instrument has ongoing month-to-month Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval, while the Department awaits renewal of the expedited (generic) clearance process and Survey Sampling and Instructions for On-Site Visitor Survey Administration (Attachment 2). 
  1. Select two sites/areas that can be sampled within a two-month time period between January 15, 2011, and August 31, 2011, in accordance with survey instructions developed by the University of Idaho. Selected sites can be either fee or non-fee, and may be a NLCS unit. 
In choosing these two sites/areas, please consider the following requirements:
    • Select sites that have adequate visitation during the two-month survey time period. It is necessary to distribute approximately 350-400 survey instruments per site to potential respondents; therefore, each state must select sites with adequate visitation to meet this requirement.
    • Select sites that either have adequate on-site staffing or can otherwise provide staff to distribute the surveys in accordance with directions from the University of Idaho. Volunteers may be used in this process.
    • Select sites where the BLM has made an investment to provide recreation opportunities and benefits, since the BLM is asking for survey respondents to report on their satisfaction with the BLM’s recreation management activities. Surveying these types of sites 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. 
  1. Complete a Site Profile (Attachment 3) for each of the two sites/areas selected. 
  1. Submit the completed Site Profiles to David Baker, Outdoor Recreation Planner, National Operations Center (NOC) - Division of Resource Services (DRS), at djbaker@blm.gov by December 16, 2010. 
Once each state’s site/area nominations have been approved by the National Recreation and Visitor Services (NR&VS) Division, the site selections will be forwarded to the Principal Investigator, Jennifer Hoger Russell at the University of Idaho, who in turn will get in touch with the site contact person named on the site profile, to develop a sampling procedure. The following will then take place: 
  1. The University of Idaho will print the computer scannable surveys with the site name and ship them, along with the locked drop boxes and protocols, directly to the site contact person. The BLM will oversee the administration of the survey on site during the two-month sampling period between January 15, 2011, and August 31, 2011. It is necessary to distribute approximately 350–400 survey instruments per site to potential respondents. 
  1. Once the sampling is completed, the locked drop boxes containing the returned surveys will be shipped to the University of Idaho. 
  1. The survey data will be entered and analyzed by the University of Idaho, and then reports will be generated and distributed to individual sites. Data relating to BLM national GPRA reporting measures will be available to the BLM by late September 2011. The final and comprehensive national and site specific reports will be delivered to the BLM by the end of November 2011. 
Timeframe: Each state office should submit a completed Site Profile (Attachment 3) for each of their two site selections by January 7, 2011.
Budget Impact: The BLM Washington Office has a $65,000 contract with the University of Idaho to print the survey (individualized with BLM site names), provide surveys and locked drop boxes for completed surveys, establish a sampling protocol for each site, enter data, analyze the data, and prepares both national and site reports on the results. In addition, administering the survey will require 80–140 hours of paid staff or volunteer time at each of the 22 sites selected to participate in the survey.
Background: The BLM Visitor Survey has been conducted annually since 1999 (with the exception of 2002). The 2011 survey instrument has ongoing month-to-month OMB approval, as the Department awaits renewal of the expedited (generic) clearance process. 
Annual visitor 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.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: None.
Coordination: NR&VS Division (WO-250) and the NOC-DRS (OC-570).
Contact:  For more information, please contact either Andy Tenney, Branch Chief, Planning and Resources Branch (WO-251) at 202-912-7094, or David Baker, Outdoor Recreation Planner, NOC/DRS at 303-236-6313.
Signed by:                                                                   Authenticated by:
Gary G. Marsh                                                              Robert M. Williams
Acting, Division Chief                                                   Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Recreation and Visitor Services
3 Attachments

Last updated: 12-07-2010