Volunteer Opportunity - Olympic National Forest Sustainable Trails Survey

The Mountaineers are a sponsor and partner of the Olympic National Forest's 2022 Sustainable Trails Survey. Learn more about the survey, and how you can get involved.
Dee Ann Kline Dee Ann Kline
Olympia Branch Super Volunteer
July 15, 2022

Join the Olympia Branch as they work to support the Olympic National Forest's Sustainable Recreation Study. The study is designed to engage the public in the care of trails and gather feedback on individual trail management.

The Olympic National Forest (ONF) is one of our community's favorite public lands for outdoor recreation. It offers a wide variety of year-round opportunities, from family-friendly day trips to serious mountaineering challenges. ONF includes over 630,000 acres, 5 wilderness areas, 20 developed campgrounds, and 73 trails offering almost 300 miles of hiking and backpacking. The Sustainable Recreation Study offers a win-win solution for people and resources, and a long-term plan for recreation in the Olympic National Forest. The survey will be available in both hard-copy and digital form. 

Take the survey

Are you an ONF trail user yourself? Learn more about the benefits of the survey by reading our last blog, and use the link below to complete it: 

Take survey


Step 1: Sign Up

Sign up on the form below, then pick up your materials, head out on a trail (or set up a table at the trailhead), and encourage people to participate in the survey.

Volunteer sign up

Step 2: Gather Materials

Material Distribution sites 

  • Private home in Olympia. Contact Denise Livingston at (360) 515-1746 to make arrangements.
  • Olympic National Forest Hoodsport Work Center.  This is a white house located at 150 N Finch Creek Road, Hoodsport. On its back porch is a tote with materials and supplies. It is accessible at any time. For assistance, call (360) 301-9760.

    Finch Creek House.png

Materials

  • Forest Service volunteer hats and vests. Volunteers may keep the hat, but are asked to return the vest. 
  • Packets with Sustainable Trails Survey information, including cards with a QR code.
  • Basic trail outreach instructions.
  • Sign in and sign out log.

Step 3: Share the Survey 

On the Trail

  • Greet the users.
  • Introduce yourself as a Mountaineer and a volunteer for Forest Service, explain the purpose of the survey, and explain how it will benefit trail users for the next decade.  Ask if they would be interested in participating. 
  • Participants can either download the QR code into their phone or take home a printed copy of the QR code.
  • Mountaineers who have participated already this summer have reported friendly, rewarding contacts with trail users. They suggest going in a small group, using your own short dialogue, and making contact as you hike along the trail of your choice.

Priority Trails 

Although volunteers are welcome to survey trail users on any ONF trail, Forest Service Ranger Jai Lust has identified a few trails as top priorities:
  • Mt. Townsend
  • Upper Big Quilcene
  • Lower Big Quilcene
  • Big Creek Loop
  • Lena Lake
  • Duckabush Trail
  • Lower South Fork Skokomish
  • Upper Dungeness

Survey Details 

INFORMATION BEING GATHERED

  • Trail-specific opinions and preferences
  • Opinions on facilities accessed at recreation sites 
  • Recreational preferences 
  • Concerns over visitor-caused impacts
  • Ranking of preferences for recreational facilities 
  • Visitation frequencies in the Olympic Peninsula
  • Trailhead community shopping preferences

SURVEY METHODS

The survey will be available online (accessible via website or QR code), as well as in hard copy form.

SURVEY PERIOD

  • May 1 – October 1, 2022

Questions? 

For more information about the Sustainable Trails Survey and how you can get involved, please contact Jim French.

2022-06-14_11 Giving Trail Survey code to a trail biker.JPGGinger Sarver giving the survey code to a cyclist on the trail. Photo by Kathy Fox. 

Lead image of Kathy Fox giving the Trail Survey Code to two hikers. Photo by Ginger Sarver.