Year 1 Milestones: Surveying recreation users through online forum

Volunteers at DNR recreation site
Volunteers at a DNR recreational site cleanup event at Merrill Lake. Photo: Carlo Abbruzzese/DNR

Last September DNR held an online recreation user forum to hear from major user groups and individuals about funding strategies, recreation planning, and other topics. Many users responded to our daily discussion questions, and offered good ideas.

One of the highlights of the forum was getting feedback about funding—many users responded favorably to the idea of a fee-based annual or day pass. Users offered many suggestions on how this could work, and some of that input went into crafting Senate Bill 5622, that resulted in the Discover Pass.

Another highlight of the forum was the discussion of recreation planning. Through the nearly 200 responses we received about recreation use, DNR was able to gauge the most popular activities on DNR-managed lands. Hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, and off-roading were top activities, according to the respondents. Many also offered recommendations about future planning, allocation of resources, and what DNR can do to improve the overall recreation experience.

Launching this forum met a goal of the DNR Strategic Plan. This conversation was one tool for DNR to survey the public and capture their thoughts as we develop our budget and policies in this challenging economic climate.

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