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Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment
Forest Service 2003 Success Stories
Success Stories: Tourism is a Success for the Forest Service
The Recreation, Heritage and Wilderness Resources Unit (RWHR) in the NFS Deputy Area , works in many arenas relating to tourism and travel with states and industry through USDA Forest Service Tourism Program Activities . Tourism is listed as one of the top three income sources for all the western states and is a major player in the southeast and other state economies. The tourism industry is attracting, defining, and directing visitor use behaviors with a special interest in visitors that are interested in landscapes; wildlife; nature based adventure; traditional outdoor activities; heritage and culture.
Forest Service National Forests and Grasslands are major destinations for domestic tourism and are a growing force in international visitation; especially Alaska , Western States , and Puerto Rico . Their contribution is expanding rapidly in gateway communities throughout the United States as recreation and tourism centers for health and economic growth.
Areas of Forest Service involvement include:
Tourism planning, such as: special designations, visitor centers, byway corridors
Tourism product development, such as: wildlife tourism, birding or biking trails, interpretive sites, byways, or heritage sites
Community marketing grants, such as the Economic Assistance Program with the State & Private Forestry Deputy Area
Visitor research (NSRE)
On-line trip planning information and services, such as www.Recreation.gov
RWHR also has regional efforts underway with destination marketing organizations (DMO), and are actively involved in national events like the 2002 Lewis and Clark Commemoration. We have distributed two editions of Special Places to travel professionals, developing a redesigned third edition, in partnership with the BLM tourism professionals.
In November 2002 (FY2003), the Forest Service and other federal agencies renewed a 1997 memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Western States Tourism Policy Council (WSTPC). The intent of this MOU is for public land managers to work cooperatively with the 13 western states for our mutual interests in the conservation of natural and cultural resources. The agency is also a member of the Southeast Tourism Society, developing a model similar to the WSTPC for federal/state tourism policy coordination in the Southeast US .
USDA Forest Service - Strategic Planning and Resource Assessment