About Us  |  Contact Us  |  FAQ's  |  Newsroom

[design image slice] U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service on faded trees in medium light green background [design image slice] more faded trees
[design image] green box with curved corner
[design image] green and cream arch
Employee Search
Information Center
National Offices and Programs
Phone Directory
Regional Offices
Evaluate Our Service

We welcome your comments on our service and your suggestions for improvement.


USDA Forest Service
Recreation, Heritage & Wilderness Resources
Mail Stop 1125
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-1706

  [graphic]FirstGov.gov - The U.S. Government's Offical Web Portal

Recreation Facility Analysis

You are here: Home > Recreational Activities > Special Programs > RFA

Welcome to the Recreation Facility Analysis Web Site!

What is the purpose of this page?

This site is an overview of the Recreation Facility Analysis process -- What it is about, why the Forest Service needs it, and how it helps to make reasoned decisions.

Recreation Facility Analysis is a process of national scope with local forest emphasis. Each national forest will use this process to develop a 5-year proposed "Program of Work" to better manage and improve the quality of recreation sites. All forests are scheduled to complete this initial phase of the Recreation Facility Analysis process by the end of 2008.

What happened to Recreation Site - Facility Master Planning?

This process was called Recreation Site-Facility Master Planning (RS-FMP.) However, the Forest Service recognized, as a result of the findings of a team chartered specifically to review the public participation efforts associated with this analysis process, that the term “master planning” could imply that this is a decision-making process as opposed to an analytic one. Therefore, based on a recommendation from that team, the Forest Service decided to refer to the analysis of recreation facilities more accurately and simply as Recreation Facility Analysis.


Public Participation Plays a Key Role

Involvement by local publics, surrounding communities, and recreation visitors is a critical and essential component of the Recreation Facility Analysis process. With the help of these constituents, Recreation Facility Analysis results in a higher quality, more efficiently managed recreation sites program where the facilities reflect visitor desires, expectations, and use. Each forest includes input from the public throughout the entire analysis process.

Visit the web site of the forest near you to learn more about their recreation opportunities and Recreation Facility Analysis process.

Public Participation Review and Actions

Former Chief Dale Bosworth appointed a review team in January 2007, to examine how the Forest Service had incorporated public participation into the Recreation Facility Analysis process. The review team was comprised of Forest Service managers, communications specialists, and social analysts, as well as citizens with a high interest in recreation sites management.

The review team completed their report in April 2007. One of the report findings was a growing public concern over the potential loss of recreation facilities and the importance visitors attach to their recreation places. The Forest Service held a 30-day comment period to provide further opportunity for public review and comment on the action items resulting from the report. An "action plan" was then developed.

The links below include all information concerning public participation, the review team report and the action items resulting from the report.

If you have any questions or concerns about the Recreation Facility Analysis process, please contact your local forest or email us at: rsfmp_comments@fs.fed.us

What is Recreation Facility Analysis?

Recreation Facility Analysis is an analysis process, used nationally, to assist Forests in creating a sustainable program that aligns recreation sites with visitors' desires, expectations, and use. Recreation Facility Analysis helps ensure that recreation sites and facilities provide the appropriate mix of opportunities within the special characteristics of each Forest.

Recreation Facility Analysis gives recreation resource managers good information. Using this information they are able to develop a Forest level program of work to operate and maintain a financially sustainable and niche-focused recreation sites program that meets National Quality Standards. The initial product of the process is a 5 year proposed Program of Work that will help the forest meet the Recreation Facility Analysis goals which are:

  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Provide recreation opportunities consistent with the Forest recreation “niche”.
    • Niche is what the forest has to offer in terms of special places, opportunities and potential experiences, overlapped with what people desire and expect in terms of outdoor recreation from public lands.
  • Operate and maintain a financially sustainable recreation sites program to accepted quality standards
  • Eliminate deferred maintenance at recreation sites.

Public input continues to be important to the Forest Service and is a critical part of the Recreation Facility Analysis process. Forests will ensure appropriate public dialogue occurs throughout the process.

All forests are scheduled to complete the Recreation Facility Analysis process by the end of 2008.

Why is this recreation analysis process needed?

The Forest Service is committed to responsibly serving the public by efficiently operating and, when necessary, modifying the services to ensure recreation sites provide the right opportunities in the right places.

As demographics change and new challenges are presented, it is our responsibility to respond and ensure the appropriate recreation services and facilities are available to the public.

Recreation Facility Analysis is a process that, with the help of the public, communities, and the private sector, will allow us to be fiscally responsible and continue to provide outstanding recreation opportunities to the public.

How the analysis process works:

In general, Forests, with the help of interested people, identify the Forest niche. Forests analyze each recreation site based on criteria such as how well the site supports the recreation needs, desires, and expectations of the public; the role that site plays in the local community; and the site's relationship to the environment. Based on this analysis, the forest develops a 5 year proposed Program of Work to meet the goals of the Recreation Facility Analysis process. The public is invited to help implement and improve key tasks in the proposed Program of Work while meeting those goals.

Visitor satisfaction is the bottom line. Implementing the results of the Recreation Facility Analysis will result in a higher quality and more efficiently managed recreation sites program where facilities support the recreation niche; meet the needs, desires, and expectations of constituents and visitors, and are operated and maintained within the funding and resources of each Forest.


US Forest Service
Last modified March 28, 2013

[graphic] USDA logo, which links to the department's national site. [graphic] Forest Service logo, which links to the agency's national site. [graphic] A link to the US Forest Service home page.