June 15, 2024 9:15 am

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Prescott National Forest News

Camping and Motor Vehicle Use Closures at Perkinsville Bridge on the Chino Valley Ranger District

Officials on the Prescott National Forest will implement a Camping and Motor Vehicle Use closure for the area near Perkinsville Bridge on the Chino Valley Ranger District starting on October 3, 2021.  Over the past few years, dispersed camping in these areas and high use has caused significant resource damage to soil and water quality; as well as abandoned property, trash, and sanitation issues creating an unsafe environment for other forest users and continued resource degradation.  The area is also subject to flash flooding potential and is critical habitat for both threatened & endangered species.

In order to address these issues on the Chino Valley Ranger District, Forest Officials are issuing a 2-year temporary camping and motor vehicle use closure in and around the Perkinsville Bridge area.  This will include a motor vehicle use closure of 9004W and 9004M roads adjacent to the bridge.  Camping in and around the bridge along the Verde River will be prohibited. County Road 70 will remain open with limited parking alongside the roadway.  The area will still be open to both day use and non-motorized activities including swimming, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and hiking, among other recreational activities.

Over the next two years the district will be analyzing current dispersed camping corridors, district-wide recreational opportunities, areas of overuse and look at the long-term management of these areas. This process will provide opportunity for public involvement and input.

Details of the closure will be shared when the Forest Order is approved and signed.

National Visitor Use Monitoring Surveys to Begin October 1, 2021

In the near future, visitors to Prescott National Forest may see contract employees working in developed and dispersed recreation sites and along Forest Service roads.  They will be positioned near signs stating, “Traffic Survey Ahead,” wearing bright orange vests.

The National Visitor Use Monitoring (NVUM) survey is being conducted on the Prescott National Forest October 2021 through September 2022.  The ongoing survey was last conducted on the Prescott National Forest in 2016/2017.  This five-year follow up will update information previously gathered and identify recreation trends over time.  The information is useful for forest planning and local community tourism planning.  It provides national forest managers with an estimate of how many people recreate on federal lands and activities they engage in while there.  Other important information forest and tourism planners find useful includes visitors’ satisfaction with their experiences and the economic impact of recreational visits on the local economy.  Information collected in the national study will also be used at the state planning level and by Congress.  The more information known about visitor experiences, particularly concerning satisfaction and areas of potential improvement, the better managers can provide for their needs.

As part of this effort, those conducting surveys may be out in favorable or adverse weather conditions.  They will engage visitors to answer questions about their use of the national forests and will inquire about their experiences.  Visitors are encouraged to stop to be interviewed.  All information provided is confidential and the survey is voluntary.

The survey gathers basic visitor information.  The basic interview lasts about eight minutes.  The questions visitors will be asked include where they recreated on the forest, how many people they traveled with, how long they were on the forest, what other recreation sites they visited while on the forest, and how satisfied they were with the facilities and services provided.  Approximately one-third of visitors will be asked to complete a confidential survey on recreational spending during their trip.

The survey is entirely voluntary.  Survey personnel encourage visitors to stop to answer survey questions.  Interviews with local forest users are important, as well as interviews with out-of-area visitors, to include all types of visitor representation in the study. Visitors who have answered the survey questions previously are encouraged to again participate to provide information on each national forest visit.  Further information can be found on the survey web site at National Visitor Use Monitoring Program | US Forest Service (usda.gov),

For more information contact the Bradshaw & Chino Valley Ranger Districts at 928-443-8000.

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