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Outdoor Recreation

Research Highlights

National forests and grasslands offer the single largest source of outdoor recreation opportunities in the United States. People are visiting them in record numbers to hike, camp, fish, canoe, ski, and much more.

Recreation and wilderness managers must balance the recreation and rejuvenation people seek from outdoor environments, with the need to sustain healthy ecosystems. Well-informed decisions can maintain that balance.

Forest Service scientists produce science and technology that natural resource managers can use to offer quality outdoor recreation experiences for current and future generations.

Recreation Experiences and Decision Support

  • Recreation experiences and satisfaction
  • Recreation supply, demand and use
  • Urban recreation connections: serving a diverse clientele
  • Tools to measure and manage recreation capacity and performance

Society, Community, and Partnerships

  • Social benefits and quality of life
  • Health effects, active living and environmental justice concerns
  • Co-management with partners, other agencies and special use groups
  • Tourism and community economic sustainability

Interactions Between Recreation and Ecological Systems

  • Wildland fire, recreation, and the wildland-urban interface (WUI)
  • Invasive species and the recreation system
  • Recreation management and use in fragile environments